Learn how to make this Traditional Salsa Recipe, a delicious table salsa made with canned tomatoes, and it’s a perfect snack or appetizer.
I first made this recipe back in 2012 when I hosted a birthday party for my father-in-law. I made two fresh salsas for our taco bar: this traditional salsa recipe made with canned tomatoes and a fun enchilada salsa which is also made with canned tomatoes.
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Salsa using canned tomatoes
Why buy bland jarred salsa when you can make a more flavorful salsa using canned tomatoes at home with not a lot of effort?
I love salsa; I eat it all the time. Seriously, there isn’t a time when I don’t have salsa in the house. I’d always prefer to have homemade, but what’s a girl to do when there’s no fresh tomatoes?
Try canned ones! And, you know, I’m really happy with this salsa recipe!
You won’t want to stop eating this yummy salsa once you start. The good thing is that it’s healthy, so you won’t feel bad about indulging a bit.
Taco bar party
I mentioned the other day that we made homemade carne asada. Well, if we serve tacos, you can bet that we serve salsa.
In this case, salsa is good for two courses – the appetizer with chips, and the main dish tacos with all the taco fixin’s.
This recipe is for a nice traditional classic tomato salsa, and I love the convenience of using canned tomatoes. If you’re making salsa in the winter months when fresh tomatoes just aren’t available, this recipe using canned tomatoes is perfect!
Looking for more great salsa recipes?
This deeply flavored Homemade Roasted Tomato Salsa is amazing in a taco, on a burrito, on top of nachos, or simply served with tortilla chips! Roasting the fresh summer garden tomatoes retains their freshness, while gaining flavor intensity and sweetness. The resulting dip creates a way better-than-store-bought salsa.
Just 5 ingredients makes this Easy Restaurant Style Salsa so quick to make. After placing some of the ingredients in the food processor, you briefly cook the canned tomatoes and processed ingredients for a perfectly cooked salsa. And, it’s fresher tasting than the store-bought jarred stuff.
Blender vs. food processor
When I went to remake this salsa this time, I found that my food processor had broken. So, I used my blender to make the salsa this time.
I will say that I’m a much bigger fan of the food processor for things like salsa. You can get more control over the fineness of the chop using the food processor. The blender is much more suited to making purees for things like smoothies and soup. I suppose if you wanted to make this salsa into gazpacho, the blender would be great. LOL
Want to read more on the differences and specialties of each appliance, take a look at my guide to the blender vs. food processor.
So, yes, you can use the blender to make this salsa, but I do recommend the food processor.
Pro tips for homemade salsa
Wear disposable gloves when cutting, peeling, and removing the seeds and membranes of hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. And definitely avoid touching your face.
As I stated above, I recommend a food processor for easy and well chopped ingredients. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop by hand, or very carefully, and working in batches, use a blender, but be careful not to over process the ingredients.
Let it sit: Prepare your salsa about an hour before you plan on serving it. Not only will the flavors mingle together better, the salt will draw out the moisture from the tomatoes. Just keep in mind: The longer the salsa sits, the liquidy-er it will get, so plan accordingly.
Want to make it a little zippier? Squeeze in some fresh lime juice.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own air fryer tortilla chips. It’s super easy if you have an air fryer.
How to make
Roast the onion & chile under a broiler or on a grill. Roasting the veggies creates rich, smoky flavors, and softens the bite of the onion.
You don’t even have to peel the onion before you roast it!
After the veggies are charred, peel the onion and chop it. Cut the stem end off of the chile and remove the seeds and membranes for a mild salsa; leave the seeds and membranes in if you want a hotter salsa.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Super simple and delicious salsa.
Can I make this ahead of time?
This salsa can absolutely be made ahead of time. The flavors will meld and the salsa will be tastier.
It can be stored in a tightly covered container for 5-7 days in the fridge.
If your salsa separates a bit and you get a liquid-y patch, simply stir it back together.
Can I freeze this salsa?
Again, yes absolutely, you can freeze this for later if you want to. Allow the salsa to cool completely, then store it in airtight containers in the freezer. You can also freeze it in old-school ice cube trays, then pop the salsa ice cubes into a heavy-duty freezer bags.
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Traditional Salsa Recipe
Traditional Salsa Recipe
- 1 yellow onion unpeeled
- 1 Serrano chile
- 28 ounce can petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 28 ounce can no-salt added whole peeled plum tomatoes undrained
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ bunch cilantro
- Roast the onion and pepper on a hot grill, until blackened and charred. Or place them on a baking sheet and broil until the peels are black, turning once or twice to roast all the sides of the vegetables, about 15 minutes.
- Take the peel off the onion. Coarsely chop the onion. Cut the stem end of the spicy pepper and remove the seeds and membranes for a mild salsa; leave the seeds and membranes in if you want a hotter salsa.
- Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired chunkiness. If the salsa is too thick, thin with a little water, about 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.