How To Make Simply Spectacular Salsa (Quick & Easy!)

Published by Lisa Spector on

How To Make Simply Spectacular Salsa (Quick & Easy!)

Salsa is just the garden on a chip!  

Here is the way I make my fresh salsa as well as some substitutions for using canned goods if you want the salsa to taste more like the jarred type or are making it in the middle of winter when the fresh ingredients may be more difficult to come by.

This salsa is best if you make it at least a couple of hours ahead of time to allow all the flavors of each ingredient to dance with the other…if you can wait that long!


  • 2 large ripe tomatoes or 3 medium diced – or a mix of tomatoes equal to about 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1-2 cups Assorted Peppers diced – I like the orange peppers or the yellow peppers.  They are not as “green” tasting as green bell peppers but not as sweet as red bell peppers.  Somewhere in between.  Play with different types of peppers!​
  • 1 whole jalapeno – diced
  • 3-4 green onions sliced
  • Juice of one large lime or two small limes
  • Half of one bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt to taste  –  start with 1/4 tsp and adjust from there.

Dice the tomatoes and sweet peppers into roughly the same size dice.  Think about what size you want to pick up with a chip and what you want it to mingle with!

Dice the jalapeno small or finely.  Check the flesh and then the membrane for heat prior to deciding how much to put in the salsa.  Usually, the membrane holds the majority of the heat.  I test it by cutting the cap off and touching my tongue first to only the green flesh part to see if there is heat there, then to the white pithy part to do the same.  This allows me to control the amount of heat I put into the salsa!

Slice the onions and chop the cilantro.

Mix all together and add the fresh lime juice and salt.  Taste to adjust.  

Then add the apple cider vinegar and taste to adjust.  

As the salsa has time to sit, the flavors meld and each ingredient lends itself to the whole rather than tasting each individual ingredient. 

Now is the time to make the choice…either allow the salsa to marinate for a couple of hours… or eat it!

Here is a fun and surprising variation, add strawberries to the recipe above.  They lend an acidic sweetness while still playing nicely with the other traditional ingredients.

Want to make salsa in the winter or are looking for more of a jarred or cooked salsa taste?

  • Use 1 large can of whole tomatoes, dice, and add the juice and all
  • Use jalapenos that are pickled in a jar, and dice about 1/4 of the jar.
  • Add 2 T of the juice from the pickled jalapeno
  • and 1 T of apple cider vinegar.
  • Add diced peppers, chopped cilantro, and red onion.  
  • You may not need salt, depending on the pickling juice and the salt it brings.  
  • (All pickled jalapenos are not the same.  Some add garlic to the pickling liquid and other ingredients.  I personally don’t like garlic in my salsa.  Just something to keep in mind according to your preferences when shopping for your ingredients.)

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