4 Essential Steps to Making Homemade Salsa + 22 Recipes to Try

Did you know that salsa, the word for “sauce” in Spanish, has surpassed ketchup as America’s preferred condiment? It’s not hard to see why, salsa can turn an average meal into something you’ll enjoy eating again and again. If you’ve never tried to make your own salsa at home, you might be surprised how simple it really is.

Mexican salsas are traditionally made using amolcajete, a mortar and pestle. These days all you’ll need is a sharp knife, a cutting board, or possibly a food processor or high-speed blender, and a bowl. Most salsa recipes can come together in minutes, making prep time a snap. While salsa variations are practically unlimited, there are four fundamental steps or guidelines that all successful salsas follow:

1. The Base
This isthe bulk of your salsa- the foundation. Choose from ingredients like tomatoes, tomatillos, avocados, beans, or fruit like mangoes, papaya, peaches, or pineapple. Don’t feel limited to one base ingredient either, feel free to mix it up. Try tomatoes and peaches or black beans and avocados, for example.

2. The Hot & Smoky
This is not only the heat of the salsa, it’s the smokiness as well. Include a spicy pepper like a habaneroor jalapeno pepper, or a smoky chile such as a chipotle or other dried chile.

3. The Acid
Acids found in citrus fruits like limes, lemons, and vinegar create balance in dishes, which is true in salsa as well. While limes and lemons are more commonly used in fresh salsa preparations, vinegar works well for cooked salsas.

4. The Essential Spices
Salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro: the trinity of essential spices will help draw out all of the intricate flavors of the salsa. Fresh garlic, cumin, dried chilies, or chopped onions can also be used.

Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong ways to make a salsa. Mix and match ingredients for unique combinations. Have fun and experiment with flavors and spice levels. Check out these classic and not-so-classic salsa recipes to inspire you in the kitchen for some salsa-making magic.


salsa recipes

Pico de Gallo

Also knowns as Salsa Fresca, this salsa is typically made with raw tomatoes, lime juice, chilies, onions, cilantro. It can also be made with other coarsely chopped ingredients like fruit or avocado.

Recipes to try:


Salsa Roja

This is a red salsa typically cooked with cooked tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic and fresh cilantro.

Recipes to try:


Salsa Negra

A dark, smooth salsa that is typically made with dried chiles, oil, garlic and vinegar.

Recipes to try:


salsa recipe

Salsa Verde

A thin, green smooth salsa that is typically made with cooked tomatillos and chilies.

Recipes to try:


Salsa Taquera

This salsa is made with tomatillos and morita chilies.


Grilled Salsas

Grilling adds an additional layer of smoky flavor to the salsa. Try adding grilled vegetables like corn, onions, or peppers and fruits like mangos, pineapples, or peaches.

Recipes to try:


salsa recipe

Photo: Your Daily Vegan

Fruit Salsas

Fruit salsas are a sweet spin on more traditional salsas. They typically feature fruits mango, papaya, pineapple, or peaches but almost any fruit would work beautifully.

Recipes to try:


Jetana A
Jetana A1 months ago

Great collection of recipes!

Margie F
Margie FOURIE1 months ago

Thank you

Carl R
Carl R2 months ago

Thanks Care2!!!

Janet B
Janet B2 months ago


Carl R
Carl R2 months ago

Thank you Care2!!!!!

Doris F
Doris F2 months ago


Philippa Powers
Philippa P2 months ago


Edgar Z
Edgar Zuim2 months ago

Great recipes. Thanks.

scarlett g
scarlett g2 months ago

LOVE these special Recipes ...........THANKS!!

Leo Custer
Leo Custer2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!