Classic Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa
The Spruce
Ratings (109)
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2 Cups (6 to 8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
35 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
2g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)


  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 small cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeds removed, and chopped)
  • 2 chile peppers (hot or mild, chopped)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain thoroughly. Discard the water. Allow the chopped onion and garlic to fully cool.

    Strain onion and garlic.
     The Spruce
  2. Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

    Mix salsa vegetables.
    The Spruce 
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend the flavors.

    Mixing fresh salsa.
    The Spruce
  4. Serve as a dip or a condiment with Mexican style dishes. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 to 7 days.

    Classic fresh salsa.
     The Spruce
  5. Enjoy!

*Use hot or mild chile peppers in the salsa. Jalapeno peppers, serrano, New Mexican, and Anaheim are good choices. Take caution when chopping the peppers and be sure to wash your hands immediately following the cutting. If you want a spicier salsa, keep some of the pepper seeds in the mixture. If you prefer a more mild salsa, make sure all the pepper seeds and ribs are removed.

Tips and Variations

  • Plum tomatoes are an excellent choice for salsa. They are firmer and have fewer seeds, and they're easier to dice.

  • If you're not a fan of cilantro, omit it or add fresh parsley.

  • For extra texture and color, add about a few tablespoons of drained and rinsed black beans and a few tablespoons of cooked corn kernels.

  • For something a little different, try a peach salsa or a tasty corn and pepper salsa.

  • If you store this salsa in the refrigerator for a few days, the tomatoes will continue to release their juices. Simply drain the salsa prior to serving to keep it from having too much liquid.