There's nothing better than a really great tomato salsa. In fact, chips and salsa are a year-round staple in my house. However, there are about as many recipes as there are chefs, and selecting one to make can seem daunting. When tomatoes are out of season and you need a go-to recipe that you can throw together in a matter of minutes, this is about the best one I've come across. What I love most about it is that you can customize it on the fly, adjusting ingredients depending on your preferences.

This salsa comes together in less than 10 minutes. All you need is a decent blender or food processor. You can serve it immediately if needed, but it is great to refrigerate it for at least an hour to let the flavors start to meld together. The next day, it is amaaaaaazing (if it lasts that long, which in this house is not likely).

Adapted from Pioneer Woman.

Homemade tomato salsa on a chip

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Total time: 10 minutes 

Yield: 1 medium bowl of salsa

Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa


  • 1 14-oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking directions

Salsa ingredients in a food processor

Salsa ingredients after being blended in a food processor

  1. Pour tomatoes, including the juice, into the food processor. Add in the onion, jalapeño, garlic, sugar and salt. Top it off with the cilantro. Pulse the food processor 8-10 times until everything is well combined.
  2. Check for flavor and add more salt, cilantro, jalapeño or any other ingredients as necessary. Remember, though, that the salsa will get more flavorful and spicier as it sits, so don't go overboard.
  3. Pulse until the salsa is the consistency you want — some people like it on the chunkier side, some on the more blended side. It's up to you.
  4. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour (if you want) before serving.

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Restaurant-Style Tomato Salsa
The flexible recipe is easy to customize, so you can make it to suit your group's chip-dipping preferences.