Who doesn’t love a good salsa? As one of America’s favorite condiments, salsa holds a special place in our hearts and on our palettes. Nary has a party been thrown where the ever-present bowl of chips wasn’t accompanied by a chunky, spicy salsa.

And while mango or black bean may be the ultimate salsa for some, the purists among us want just the basics. Here we present a winning fresh salsa recipe that is sure to make your taste buds dance (the salsa, of course).

If you like it really hot, set aside some of the seeds from the peppers to add back in after tasting. Try to avoid handling the peppers with your hands. Use gloves or plastic bags wrapped around your hand when removing seeds and chopping peppers to avoid skin burns from hot peppers. If your hands touch the inside of the pepper, particularly the seeds, wash with warm water and soap and avoid contact with your eyes.

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

Fresh salsa recipe Salsa in a bowl.
Prep time: 20 min  

Yield: 2 cups (4 servings)


  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 to 5 jalapeno or serrano peppers, finely chopped (Use gloves to remove seeds and ribs, set aside a few seeds to add later for more spice)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate to chill. Double or triple the recipe if you’ve got friends and family. (If you don’t have friends, sharing a fresh, spicy salsa may be the key to starting a great relationship.)

For an out-of-this-world fresh and tasty salsa, use home-grown tomatoes and cilantro. If your garden isn’t up and growing yet, find a neighbor or family member who’s got the goods and offer to barter a few home-grown tomatoes and some freshly picked cilantro for a tub of the salsa.

Did you know?

One of the earliest historical notes on salsa comes from Bernardino de Sahugan, a Franciscan missionary who wrote about Mexico in the 1500’s. He is the author of the Florentine Codex, a scholarly work rich with information on Aztec life, including the common cultural foods. de Sahugan wrote about the many salsa ingredients found in the marketplace and the wide variety of tomato-based sauces offered by vendors. Centuries later, in the 1940’s, Americans were offered the first marketed salsas.

If you’ve got a salsa recipe or hot pepper story you’d like to share, please enter it in the comments below.

Sarah F. Berkowitz Sarah F. Berkowitz was born in Jerusalem, raised in Detroit, and currently lives in Atlanta with her Manhattan born and bred husband. Her dream of becoming a psychologist was traded in for a laptop and chef’s hat when she decided to pursue her passion for writing and food. Sarah enjoys cooking, trying to get food to stay still for a good photo, and convincing her kids that they're lucky to have a chef as a mom. (They're still waiting for dinner.)