Dive into the vibrant flavor of Serrano Salsa! Our homemade salsa is made with fresh Serrano peppers and a blend of savory spices, making it the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. This recipe has the perfect blend of rich tomato, cumin, garlic, cilantro, and onion flavors giving it a restaurant-quality taste you’re sure to love.
Whenever John and I visit a Mexican restaurant, we can’t help but be impressed by the taste of their salsa. After a decade of living in South Florida, we have been fortunate enough to experience an abundance of different cultures and flavors.
It's that mix of tastes that sparked the idea for this unique Serrano salsa recipe. We are regulars at two restaurants in particular, both of which have amazing salsas! One serves up Argentinian food and the other specializes in Mexican dishes.
When we're unable to make it out for dinner, our mild serrano pepper salsa comes to the rescue! The best of both worlds come together in this hybrid dish that blends their restaurant-style salsa appetizers into one incredible recipe.
It has a slight smokiness paired with a mild spice from the Serrano peppers that make it the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican dish. The peppers give the salsa a subtle heat that is not overwhelming but still provides a depth of flavor that's perfect on tacos, burritos, or tortilla chips as an appetizer.
How to Make Serrano Salsa with Fresh Tomatoes:
Our salsa recipe only takes a couple of minutes to make. The longest part is prepping the ingredients.
Scroll to the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse 4 to 5 times until you reach the desired consistency.
- Serve with chips, over nachos, on burritos, on tacos, or scrambled eggs.
Tips for Success:
- Use fresh Serrano peppers for a more vibrant flavor and color.
- For a spicy salsa, add a whole Serrano pepper with the seeds attached.
- Give your salsa time to meld together before serving so that all flavors have time to combine and deepen over time.
- Keep it chunky by pulsing it just a few times in the food processor- too much blending makes the salsa watery and thin.
- Try different herbs including cilantro, parsley, mint oregano, or basil.
- Remove the seeds from the tomatoes to keep the salsa from becoming too soupy.
- Make sure you use a high capacity food processor that fits all the ingredients. We use at last a 10 cup food processor.
Refrigerator: Store leftover salsa in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Is Serrano Salsa Spicy?
Our version of Serrano pepper salsa is mild because we've removed the seeds and membranes from the peppers.
If you prefer a spicy salsa, simply use a whole Serrano pepper instead of removing the seeds. Begin by trying one fully-seeded pepper and two de-seeded peppers, then modify the amount according to your tastes.
How Hot are Serrano Peppers?
Serrano peppers rank between 10,000-23,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), making them significantly hotter than jalapeños which usually range from 2,500-8,000 SHU and are spicy when consumed with their seeds. Serranos are similar in heat to cayenne peppers which can range from 30,000-50,000 SHU.
What Does a Serrano Pepper Taste Like?
A Serrano pepper has a sharp, distinct flavor that is often described as having smokey and earthy notes with a flavor very similar to a jalapeño. It has a strong heat with medium levels of spiciness that is similar to cayenne peppers. The flavor can be both slightly sweet and spicy, depending on the ripeness of the pepper when it's picked.
Are Serrano Peppers Good for Salsa?
Yes, absolutely! We love making Serrano salsa with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and spices. The peppers give the salsa a wonderful, fresh flavor with just a hint of smokiness.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 4 large tomatoes, quartered
- 3 serrano peppers, seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 small onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro, about 1 small bunch
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.4 large tomatoes3 serrano peppers2 small onions2 garlic cloves1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro¾ teaspoon kosher salt½ teaspoon ground black pepper½ teaspoon smoked paprika½ teaspoon chili powder½ teaspoon garlic powder½ teaspoon onion powder½ teaspoon ground cumin3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Pulse the ingredients 4 to 5 times or until the salsa reaches the desired consistency.
- Serve with chips or use a condiment for your favorite dish.
- Scroll up and see the post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.