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Restaurant Style Salsa

This easy recipe for Restaurant Style Salsa is the perfect party food to make right at home. Roma tomatoes are combined with classic salsa ingredients and blended into a rich dip that takes just 10 minutes to make!

There’s nothing like a bowl of crunchy warm tortilla chips from a Mexican restaurant served with a hearty salsa. But why only enjoy it at a restaurant? 

We’ve found that making a quality restaurant style salsa is incredibly simple to achieve right at home. All you need are some simple ingredients from the produce section such as fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, onion, lime, and cilantro. 

You can spice it up using diced jalapeno with or without the seeds and add in a serrano pepper for additional heat. Once everything is washed and prepared, throw it into a food processor along with some salt and smoky cumin and pulse until a thick fresh salsa is formed. 

Serve this salsa at any party or event, or just have it ready to go in your fridge for a quick satisfying snack along with crunchy tortilla chips.

Top down view of chips, salsa, and cilantro on a cutting board.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A great way to enjoy restaurant-quality salsa right at home. 
  • This homemade salsa uses simple ingredients you can find anywhere. 
  • You can customize the level of spice by adding your preferred amount of spicy peppers and their seeds. 
  • The perfect appetizer to serve at any party. 
  • It takes just 10 minutes to make!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Roma Tomatoes – This breed of tomatoes makes the perfect salsa because they are both sturdy and flavorful. 
  • Fresh Garlic – Infuses the salsa with fresh garlic flavor. 
  • Cilantro – Gives the cilantro a fresh herb taste and a pop of green color. 
  • Jalapeno – Adds a classic kick of heat to the salsa. 
  • Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice adds acidity to the salsa and helps to enhance the flavors of all the ingredients. 
  • White Onion – Adds crunch and a fresh onion flavor. 
  • Salt – Balances and enhances all the ingredients. 
  • Cumin – Gives a light smoky touch to the salsa. 
  • Serrano Pepper – OPTIONAL – adds an additional layer of heat.
Chip being dipped in salsa.

How To Make Restaurant Style Salsa

  1. Prepare the Roma tomatoes: Wash the tomatoes, then chop off each end. Quarter it into 4 pieces and add to the food processor.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: Wash the peppers and cilantro. Remove the stems from the cilantro, and peel the garlic and onion. You can roughly chop them to help them blend better in the food processor. 
  3. Pulse the salsa together: Add all remaining ingredients to a food processor and pulse until your desired consistency is met. Pour into a bowl for serving or store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
Collage showing how to make restaurant style salsa.

Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe Tips

  • When choosing the Roma tomatoes, try getting ones that are ripe, but not overripe. They should give into slight pressure when pushed with your finger. These tomatoes will hold their shape best and offer lots of tomato flavor. 
  • The level of spiciness in this salsa is completely up to you! You can add the jalapeno without the seeds or add the serrano pepper and jalapeno with the seeds. If you don’t like spicy salsa, feel free to omit the spicy peppers from the recipe completely. 
  • For a thick salsa, pulse just until the ingredients are chunky. You can also drain any excess liquid if necessary. 
  • For a thinner salsa, pulse until most of the ingredients has broken down into a sauce-like texture. 
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a blender. Just pulse and scrape down the sides as necessary until the desired consistency is reached. 
  • For best results, store in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will give a chance for the lime juice to help tenderize the ingredients so all of the flavors have a chance to come together. 


  • If you enjoy a cooked tomato flavor in your salsa, try using canned diced tomatoes or canned fire-roasted tomatoes. You can also use a mix of fresh and canned for different layers of tomato flavor.
  • Can’t find Roma tomatoes? Beefsteak tomatoes are a great alternative. 
  • Bulk up this salsa by adding some canned corn or black beans to make it super hearty. 
  • Add a pinch of sugar to the salsa to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and to balance the acidity. 
  • Add taco flavor by using a pinch of Homemade Taco Seasoning.
  • Skip the tomatoes and replace them with chopped mango or pineapple for a sweet summer-inspired salsa. Peaches will work well too! 
  • Toss in some diced avocado for a creamy texture and healthy fats.
Fresh salsa in a mason jar.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Homemade salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also store it in a sealed jar. 

Freezing: Due to the high water content in the fresh vegetables, salsa does not freeze well and is not recommended.

What does restaurant style salsa mean?

This refers to the type of salsa often served at restaurants. These types of salsa generally have a more fresh flavor since they are made daily and will often have a thinner consistency.

Is it cheaper to make or buy salsa?

This depends on how much your vegetables cost. Generally, making salsa from scratch is less expensive because you’ll end up with a larger quantity than you would if buying a jar of shelf-stable salsa.

How do you add flavor to salsa?

The best way to add flavor to salsa is to make one with a good balance of onion, garlic, and cilantro like in this recipe. A pinch of cumin also helps add a slightly smoky flavor that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.

Recipes That Pair Well With Restaurant Style Salsa

Don’t forget to check out our Salsa web story!

Yield: About 3-4 Cups

Restaurant Style Salsa

Top down view of salsa in a jar.

This easy recipe for Restaurant Style Salsa is the perfect party food to make right at home. Roma tomatoes are combined with classic salsa ingredients and blended into a rich dip that takes just 10 minutes to make!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 6 Roma tomatoes, with the ends cut off and each tomato cut into fourths
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and membranes removed if you want less heat
  • Optional: 1 Serrano, seeded if desired
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ large white onion, cut into fourth
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin


  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until the desired consistency is reached.
  2. Garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.
  3. See post for storage recommendations.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 2 ounces of salsa. Actual calories will vary.

*The total amount of salsa depends on the size of the tomatoes.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 ounces

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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