Easy Fresh Garden Salsa Recipe

bowl of fresh homemade salsa with chips, lime, knife on a tea towel

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This Fresh Garden Salsa Recipe is one of my family’s favorite summer treats during tomato season.  Fresh homegrown tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, garlic, fresh cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime are key in making the best homemade salsa. Easy and super fast to put together with just five summer fresh ingredients.

closup up of homemade salsa on a chip

Spicy, flavor-packed, smooth Salsa is the perfect companion to these quick Air Fryer Burritos or as a companion dip for the best sausage queso dip you’ve ever had. But the best thing about this easy salsa recipe is that it’s deliciously addictive like…eat the whole basket…of your favorite tortilla chips. Yes, it’s that good!

overhead picture of homemade salsa in a white bowl on a cutting board and dish towel


what you’ll need:

fresh ripe ingredients

  • Fresh tomatoes – make sure they’re ripe. If you’re not sure of the ripeness then set them in a window for a day otwo.
  • Fresh Jalapeno Pepper – any fresh hot pepper will do but be aware of the heat level. Note: I would not use green bell pepper or cayenne peppers.
  • Garlic Cloves – Garlic is actually really easy to grow. Growing Garlic: How to Plant, Grow, Harvest, and Store (morningchores.com)
  • Fresh Cilantro – is super easy to grow…but it’s a cool-weather herb in my Okie area so I end up buying it because it’s long gone by the time my tomatoes are ripe.
  • Fresh yellow onion – easy to grow as well but I usually pick these up at the local farmers market or the grocery store.
  • A Big Squeeze of Lime!

ingredients and spices

Seasoning is Key!

  • Sea Salt 
  • Chili Powder    
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder


Four easy steps to make homemade garden salsa.

2 collage picture of spices in a white bowl and blended up salsa in a food processor with spices

  • STEP 1: Rough chop all the veggies
  • STEP 2: Place in the food processor or blender
  • STEP 3: Add seasonings to the food processor or blender
  • STEP 4: Pulse process at first then blend until you have smooth salsa.

I don’t know about you but the last thing I want to do is deal with a hot oven in the middle of summer! This homemade tomato salsa is a perfect, 5-minute, no-bake partner for almost any dish.

A few more recipes like Garden Fresh Tomato Bruschetta, Homemade Hummus, savory Easy Artichoke Dip Bread, or Healthy Chicken Salad pair great with easy summer salads, cold pea pasta salad, or baked potatoes. Mix it with this Jalapeno Ranch Dressing for a really spicy dip, as a baked potato condiment or salad topper!

What are the best tomatoes for garden fresh salsa?

Beefsteak tomatoes or any kind of juicy heirloom tomatoes have the best flavor and make the best salsa. Fresh Roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are not juicy enough and the skin is thicker. If you have an abundance of these tomatoes the best way to use them in salsa is to add them as fillers. If you grow a big variety of garden tomatoes, then any combination will work. Honestly this time of year, I use the tomatoes we have the most of and what my tomato man will let me use, lol. 

What peppers are best and how many should be used to make your own salsa?

I prefer jalapeño peppers because they have a medium heat level and one or two jalapeno plants can supply us all summer. The number of jalapenos you use depends entirely on your taste buds and heat tolerance. If you want it “warmer” try different varieties of peppers like a Serrano pepper or a finely chopped cayenne pepper. Here is a link to a great article about peppers and their heat level. Warning: the salsa will get hotter when it sets for a while. Be careful!

close up of fresh sliced homegrown tomatoes

Quick Tips for the best homemade salsa

With only 5 fresh veggie ingredients and 5 Mexican spices, the variations are limitless to make it your own delicious salsa recipe.

Easy additions and substitutions 

Tomatoes – the best tomatoes are fresh, ripe, homegrown fresh from your garden. If they’re not available, then any chopped canned tomatoes will do as a substitute.

Jalapeños – peppers, just like tomatoes, are best when fresh and crisp but also come in canned and are labeled mild, medium, or hot. Use the ones that fit your heat tolerance. Add an extra pepper to make it “fire salsa”.

Garlic – if you don’t want to peel garlic then buy the bulk already peeled cloves. They’re inferior to fresh but I’m a garlic freak.

Cilantro – fresh cilantro is by far the best but if you can find fresh then use dried but go lightly with it. All dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones. If you’re not a cilantro fan, then, by all means, omit it. Use fresh parsley instead.

Onion – onions are not hard to find, any grocery store will have them. You can substitute a chopped red onion, green onions, or a fresh white onion for the yellow.

Experiment a little and add a few black beans, canned corn, or chopped avocado.  A squeeze of lemon juice or fresh lime juice. 

For the best flavor let it set in the refrigerator in an airtight container like a mason jar for a couple of hours. This allows all the tasty flavors to meld. This garden fresh salsa will keep in the fridge for at least a week and can be frozen for later use.

That’s it…so simple!! Enjoy!!!

fresh garden salsa on a chip over a white bowl full of salsa

a few more garden fresh easy recipes…

Cilantro Dill Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Dijon Italian Salad Dressing

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

bowl of salsa

Easy Homemade Salsa

This garden-fresh homemade salsa is a welcome summer snack especially when you have an abundance of homegrown tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic. Easy and super fast to put together with just five summer fresh ingredients..
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 10
Calories 25 kcal


  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes rough chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion rough chopped
  • 1.5 medium jalapeno rough chopped
  • handful of cilantro
  • 3-4 garlic cloves peeled and rough chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder or more to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin or more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp salt or more to taste prefer sea salt but regular is good


  • Rough chop all the veggies.
  • Place in the food processor.
  • Add seasonings to the food processor.
  • Turn the processor on and blend until the desired consistency.


  • It doesn’t matter what kind of tomatoes you use. A lot of recipes call for Roma tomatoes…well you don’t get a lot of juice with those and salsa needs good, fresh tomato juice.
  • The amount of salt and all other spices depends on the number of tomatoes you use. The juice just sucks up the salt and the spices… taste teste often!
  • If you want a more chunky salsa bypass the food processor and cut up all the veggies to the desired size and place in a bowl.
  • The amount of jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro is entirely up to your taste buds. I was making this salsa recipe for guests so I went mild on the spice/ heat level. Set out some extra Tobasco sauce for the fire lovers!
  • For hotter and spicier salsa use 2 jalapenos with seeds, a little more chili powder, and 1 or 2 extra teaspoons salt.
  • Refrigerate this for at least an hour…24 hours is optimal for ultimate flavor melding!


Calories: 25kcal
Keyword appetizer, chips, dip, hot sauce, salsa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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