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For the fresh flavor of smooth salsa made with tomatoes, onion, lime, cilantro, and garlic made in your kitchen, you’ve just got to try this Restaurant Style Salsa recipe. No need to go out to dinner when you can enjoy dunking your favorite Mexican restaurant chips in this better-than-a-restaurant copycat Chili’s Salsa.

A colorful bowl of copycat Chili's salsa garnished with lime slices and cilantro with tortilla chips around the bowl.

And here is the best news– Restaurant Style Salsa can be enjoyed all year long using canned tomatoes. Serve it this Cinco de Mayo, or while watching the Superbowl, a great Netflix movie, or really, anytime you are craving your favorite chips and dip.

How do you like your salsa? Chunky salsa and Pico de Gallo are so good. But I love mild salsa with fresh ingredients and some salty tortilla chips to scoop it up with.

Then if the Best Homemade Salsa recipe gets ya craving more great Mexican restaurant dishes made at home, try my easy recipe for Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken. Pair that dish with some Easy Instant Pot Mexican Rice and a hearty helping of Mexican Fruit Salad, and you are on the verge of Mexican genius meal planning!

And don’t worry, I have plenty more fiesta recipes listed below in my Other Homemade Mexican Recipes section at the bottom of this post.

Ingredients

  • Canned Whole Tomatoes– Use unflavored, canned, whole tomatoes. I really prefer San Marsano when if you can find them.
  • Rotel or Diced Tomatoes & Chiles: This adds another layer of flavor those chiles canned with the tomatoes sit together and get so yummy!
  • Onion– Any onions will do, but I like the flavor of white onion or yellow onion in this salsa recipe.
  • Garlic– You can use fresh garlic cloves but jarred minced garlic is so easy to use and pulls all the flavors together.
  • Cilantro– Cilantro makes it authentic, so use fresh cilantro leaves if you can.
  • Lime– You cannot make Mexican Salsa without fresh lime juice – so use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor.
  • Sugar– Sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes down and balances all the flavors.
  • Cumin– Salsa is made right with a splash of warm, nutty ground cumin seasoning.
  • Salt– Adjust the flavor of your salsa with a pinch or two of salt.
A labeled image of ingredients needed to make restaurant style salsa.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Fresh vs. Canned: Which is better? Who is to say? This recipe uses canned with a touch of fresh, so you can freeze the recipe, and it is so fast and easy.
  • Onions: Use any onions you would like. Most any onions will do for this good salsa recipe. Yellow, white, or red onions are all great for the flavor of the salsa. Use what you have!
  • Spicy Salsa: Add green chiles, serrano peppers, or fresh jalapeno slices to your restaurant-style salsa. Cayenne pepper works too, just be careful not to add too much.

How To Make Blender Salsa

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Gather Ingredients

Open your can of tomatoes and drain them a bit. Then chop your tomatoes, onion, and cilantro for the blender. Then get your lime and squeeze the juice out, removing any seeds that fall.

A two image collage showing all ingredients for salsa in a food processor and then after being blended.

Step 2 | Into the Blender

As if it could get any easier, put those chopped ingredients into the food processor or blender bowl, and pour in the freshly squeezed lime juice.

Measure in the sugar, cumin, and salt—and PULSE! When all the ingredients are combined, it is ready for the refrigerator. Chill for a couple of hours and serve!

Tips

  • Plain Tomatoes: Use plain, unflavored canned tomatoes so you can add the flavors you want to the recipe.
  • Prep Ingredients: When you get all the ingredients chopped for the blender, the process goes so much faster.
  • Fresh Mexican Flavors: Use fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice for the most authentic full flavor.
An overhead image of a bowl of restaurant style salsa on a Mexican themed cloth with cilantro, lime, garlic, an jalapenos in the background.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can you use dried cilantro in salsa?

Wish I could answer yes, but the truth is, it does not have enough flavor. Use the fresh stuff this time.

Can I make homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes?

Sure, you can. You are welcome to use fresh Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes if you would like. Just wash and core the tomatoes, then remove the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and add to the blender.

How many does this recipe serve?

This copycat chili serves 4 cups or 8 people—depending on how heavily they scoop, of course! Having a big party? Make up a second batch in no time.

A white bowl of salsa with a hand dipping a tortilla chip into the salsa.

What to Serve with Mexican Restaurant Salsa Recipe

There is no shortage of great chip and dip recipes out there. Here are some of my favorites to add to the dipping buffet of salty goodness.

Storage

Storage: Cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Freeze: More good news—you can freeze blender salsa if it is made with canned tomatoes! Thaw and enjoy.

Other Recipes

Hungry for more easy, home-cooked, delicious recipes?

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A bowl of restaurant style salsa surrounded by tortilla chips.
Recipe
5 from 16 votes

(click stars to rate)

Restaurant Style Salsa

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Nikki Lee
For the fresh flavor of smooth salsa made with tomatoes, onion, lime, cilantro, and garlic made in your kitchen, you’ve just got to try this Restaurant Style Salsa recipe.
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Ingredients 

  • 14.5 ounce can whole tomatoes and juice
  • 10 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles (like Ro-tel)
  • 2 Roma tomotoes
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped white or yellow onion, (about ½ of a small onion)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, (or to taste)
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño, seeded and deveined (you could also used canned (not pickled) for a milder taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 ½ fresh limes juiced, (about 2 tablespoons – or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, (optional-check your canned tomatoes to see if they have added sugar first)

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender; and blend until combined and desired consistency.

Video

Nutrition Information

Serving: 8servings Calories: 55kcal (3%) Carbohydrates: 5g (2%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 0.5g (1%) Saturated Fat: 0.1g (1%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g Sodium: 740mg (32%) Potassium: 473mg (14%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 3g (3%) Vitamin A: 635IU (13%) Vitamin C: 32mg (39%) Calcium: 78mg (8%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make this tasty salsa. I served it for a Super Bowl party with restaurant-style tortilla chips and it disappeared so fast!

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe so much! Quick, easy and delicious with the perfect amount of kick! Easily, a new favorite salsa recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this salsa and it was ideal for Taco Tuesday. I added a little more cumin and cilantro because I just adore those flavors!

  4. 5 stars
    This salsa came out perfect the very first time! Did not need to add any extra seasoning! The whole family loved it!