Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa is ready in 5 minutes. It's spicy and delicious—AND, because we use canned tomatoes, you can enjoy it any time of year!
We're addicted to the chips and salsa that appear on our table when we visit our local Mexican restaurant. So I'm amazed that I haven't posted a recipe for tomato salsa until now.
More to the point, I never even tried making it until a few weeks ago.
Now I'm convinced that we'll never get the jarred stuff again! (But I'll still eat the chips and salsa at the restaurant when we eat out.)
What's in Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa?
It's very straightforward: tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, garlic, cilantro (unless you're a hater: in that case, leave it out!), salt and pepper, ground cumin, and lime juice.
Can I make salsa with canned tomatoes?
If you've ever wondered this, you'll be happy to know that the answer is a resounding YES.
Often times (like in the dead of Winter) tinned tomatoes are far better quality than anything you'll be able to find in the produce section.
That means you can enjoy this salsa all year long!
About the spice level...
The first time I made my restaurant-style tomato salsa, I used one jalapeño—seeds and all.
That produced a result that was far too mild for us chiliheads. But it might be just about right if you're heat-averse.
If you're concerned, start with half of a seeded jalapeño. After all, you can always add more later—but you can't take it out!
If you are a chilihead, I'd suggest substituting 2–3 serrano chiles for the jalapeño.
For my first attempt, I added a habañero to the mix and the heat level was just about right.
Making restaurant-style tomato salsa
This might be the easiest recipe on the blog. The hardest part is getting out the food processor!
All you do (summarized in the preparation collage below) is add a garlic clove and chunks of onion and jalapeño to your food processor.
Close it up and pulse 3 times to coarsely chop. Open and add the cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add the canned tomatoes (if you're using diced, add the juice too).
Next, squeeze about 2 tablespoon of lime juice into the food processor.
Close the processor and pulse 3 more times, or until you're happy with the consistency.
Finally, check the seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!
That's it! Wasn't that EASY?!
Beyond eating with tortilla chips, salsas are great over rice, over the protein of your choice—even served with your eggs for breakfast!
I hope you love making restaurant-style tomato salsa right in your own kitchen. If you're looking for more salsa ideas, be sure to check out my Fiery Mango-Habañero Salsa, Salsa Verde, and Pico de Gallo.
For more great recipe ideas that come mostly from your pantry, check out Easy Pantry Meals – Living Out of Your Pantry (and refrigerator and freezer)! Or, for potluck and cookout inspo, have a look at my Virtual Memorial Day Potluck Recipes Roundup.
I’m sharing my restaurant-style tomato salsa recipe with #CookBlogShare, a fantastic food blogger recipe-share hosted this week at Everyday Healthy Recipes.
Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa
Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa is full of spicy, delicious flavor. Done in 5 minutes with the help of your food processor! Plus, because we use canned tomatoes, you can enjoy this salsa any time of year!
- 28 oz canned tomatoes , (either crushed or diced with juices)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, (stem removed and cut into a couple of rough chunks; or see Recipe Note #1)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and cut into rough chunks
- ½ cup cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Add garlic, onion, and jalapeño to food processor Close and pulse 3 times to coarsely chop. Open the food processor and add the cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes, and lime juice. Close the processor and pulse 3 more times, or until you're happy with the consistency. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated up to 5 days. Mix well before serving.
- If you are heat-averse, seed the chile and remove the membranes. Add half of the chile to start with (you can add more later if the salsa is too mild). If you're a chilihead, consider either adding up to an additional 2 jalapeños or substituting 2–3 serrano chiles for the jalapeño.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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Jhuls | The Not So Creative Cook says
This is one of the best salsa recipes I've ever seen. Now, give me that! 😛 Thanks for sharing, Michelle. x
Whoa, thank you so much Jhuls!! 😀
Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder says
I love a good salsa with tortilla chips and a cold beer when the mood strikes 🙂 It's great to see that the salsa made with tinned tomatoes can be as good as using fresh ones! Will definitely be giving it a go!
Yaaaaaas to salsa, chips, and beer! I hope you love my version!
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie says
Ooooh yes please! I love a good salsa roja 😀 Someone pass me the nachos! Eb x
Thank you, Eb! We're addicted too! 😛
Rebecca - Glutarama says
Genius! I can't believe I've never thought to use tinned tomatoes before. I love salsa and my son adores chilli and fajita's with salsa...so I'll be making this from now on - thank you.
Thank you, Rebecca! We're year-round salsa eaters in this house, and we can't deal with those mealy winter tomatoes! I hope you enjoy the salsa! Yum...fajitas...
Oh yum, chips and dip has to be one of my favourite movie night snacks! #CookBlogShare
Thanks, Donna! Ours too! 🙂
Kat (The Baking Explorer) says
I love salsa but I always keep the heat level low as I'm such a wuss so it's great you've given options for different tastes!
Thanks, Kat! If I'm having guests over, I'll sometimes divide the salsa in half after blending in half a pepper and then blitz more jalapeño into the "spicy half".
Monika Dabrowski says
I must say I've never tried using canned tomatoes in a salsa but you've convinced me, i'll give it a go. Thank you for bringing your lovely recipe to #CookBlogShare
Thanks, Monika! There are some times of year when you really can't get good tomatoes, so tinned 'maters are a must. 🙂