Authentic Homemade Salsa


Would you believe me if I told you this was a family recipe?  You might wonder how a girl that clearly descends from more of an Irish/German background than Mexican can possibly have an authentic family recipe for salsa.  But it’s true!  Kind of…

My stepdad’s Mexican heritage is what makes it possible for my claim to hold water.  He used to come back from out-of-town family gatherings with jars of his mom’s homemade salsa.  It was all kinds of delicious, but it was also in very limited supply.  After all, he had to wait for the next family birthday or holiday to make the trip up to see his mom and pick up more of the hot stuff.  Then finally my mom got the recipe from her one day.  Now she could make amazing salsa and I had easier access to it.  Yay!

It wasn’t until we recently came home from vacation to a ginormously overgrown tomato plant with loads of ripe tomatoes on it that I thought to ask for the recipe myself.  If your garden is overflowing like ours is this summer, by all means use your fresh tomatoes, jalapeños, and cilantro in this recipe to make it extra special.  Don’t despair if you’re lacking in the green thumb department though… you can use canned tomatoes with good results too.


Be warned that this recipe makes a lot of salsa… so throw a fiesta and invite your neighbors, your mom, your best friend, and that coworker that’s always hinting that she wants to hang out.  After all, it’s not a party till there’s chips and salsa!



Authentic Homemade Salsa

yield: a lot of salsa… about 7-8 cups

28-30 ounces of fresh tomatoes (or one large can of whole tomatoes)
3/4 pound jalapeños
3 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Trim the tops off of the jalapeños. Remove the seeds from at least half of them… more if you want less heat.
  • Place prepared jalapeños in a large saucepan and cover them with water.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the jalapeños, reserving some of the water in case you need to adjust the consistency of the salsa later.
  • Place all ingredients into the blender and process until desired consistency.
  • Add in some of the reserved jalapeño water to adjust consistency if necessary.
  • Enjoy your restaurant style salsa in the comfort of your own home! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Notes:  You can easily halve this recipe if you don’t need the large quantity of salsa.  Or give some of it away to a lucky friend or neighbor. I’ll save you some trouble and tell you that freezing the leftovers does not work well.  And one more thing… some separation may occur when it sits in the fridge.  Just stir it up and keep on eating!



  1. I feel really fortunate that I was able to watch my mother-in-law make this recipe and write down the steps one by one because it is really yummy! She is from Mexico and her English is limited so it was definitely a watch and learn experience. Be warned, it is extremely spicy, but that’s how my husband likes it. Thanks for sharing Mo!

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