This fresh garden salsa recipe is the perfect snack you will be enjoying all summer long. It’s perfect to scoop up with a crunchy tortilla chip and makes a perfect appetizer to share at your next backyard barbecue.
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I am a huge salsa fan. From tacos to black beans and rice I put salsa on everything. But this garden salsa is my go-to summer dip. It is a great addition to any meal.
🌟Why This Salsa Recipe is the Best
This easy homemade salsa recipe uses all the veggies backyard gardeners love. So if you went overboard with tomato plants this year you are in luck! I also add a bell pepper for extra crunch. And to use more of your harvest.
But in addition to fresh ingredients, this salsa has a touch of olive oil. The oil helps create a dressing for the salsa incorporating the flavors without making the salsa watery.
What are the Best Tomatoes for Fresh Salsa?
The best tomatoes for salsa are ripe off-the-vine tomatoes from your garden or farmer's market. Because salsa is pureed and slightly saucy you want to use big juicy tomatoes. I like a classic beefsteak or any type of beautiful heirloom tomato.
While for pico de gallo recipes, like our avocado pico, we want less juice so we use roma, plum, or paste tomatoes.
Bell Pepper - Any color of bell pepper will work in this recipe. But I like to add a green bell pepper because the refreshing flavor compliments the sweetness of the tomatoes,
Onion - I generally use red onion because tends to have a sweeter, milder flavor when raw. But you can use yellow onion or white onion if you like. I don't recommend just using green onions but they can be added in addition to the other onion.
Garlic - Use fresh garlic cloves not jarred or powdered.
Jalapeno Peppers- Jalapeno provides some nice, fresh spice to the salsa. You can also use other hot peppers you might have growing in the garden like serrano peppers or habaneros.,
Cilantro - If you are anti cilantro you can replace it with parsley.
Lime - Fresh lime juice is preferred but bottled will work.
Olive Oil - Olive oil works with lime and tomato juice to create a sort of “dressing” for the salsa.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
🍲How to Make Fresh Garden Salsa
This recipe is best made in a food processor but you can also make it by hand. I don't recommend a high-speed blender, otherwise, the salsa will be too watery. If you prefer a chunky salsa do the by hand method.
Core and quarter the tomatoes, and if you prefer, you can remove the seeds and the gel that surrounds them. Then roughly chop them.
Chop the remaining ingredients. Place these in the bottom of the food processor.
Add the tomatoes on top.
Pulse a few times until the tomatoes are incorporated.
Transfer the salsa to a bowl and add a sprinkle of salt, lime juice, and olive oil. Give it a good stir to mix everything together.
Taste it and add more jalapeno or salt if you want. Let it sit for 15 minutes or put it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. This way, the flavors will have more time to develop and make the salsa even more delicious.
🥣 How to Use Garden Salsa
While this fresh tomato salsa recipe is perfect for dipping homemade tortilla chips, it’s also great for use in recipes. Or pair it with guacamole, elote dip, and mango pico de gallo for a delightful chips and dip board.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the tomatoes. It makes it a lot easier to make clean cuts instead of squashing the tomato.
- If you make the salsa by hand, using a garlic press or Microplane grater can help get the garlic into a finer paste than you can easily achieve with a knife.
- If you prefer milder salsa, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos. If you like a spicier garden salsa, leave them in.
🌡️How to Store Garden Salsa
Fresh tomatoes are best stored on the counter, not in the refrigerator. Refrigerating homegrown tomatoes can give them an unpleasant mealy texture.
This sauce should only be stored at room temperature when it’s being served. In the refrigerator, this salsa will keep in an airtight container or jar for up to 4 days, but it’s so good I bet you won’t even have leftovers.
I don’t recommend freezing this salsa. The texture of the vegetables will be unpleasantly mushy from the freezing and thawing process.
Make Ahead Instructions
This is a great make-ahead recipe since I really do recommend letting the flavors meld together by making it in advance. Prepare the salsa, cover it, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a day before serving.
But I recommend holding off on salting the recipe until 15 to 30 minutes before serving as the salt will breakdown the vegetables.
❤️More Salsa Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Watery salsa is caused by using overripe tomatoes, pureeing them too much or adding too much lime juice. No worries, you can either strain out some of the juice or add more of the chunkier ingredients.
📖 Printable Recipe Card
Fresh Garden Salsa
Food Processor Instructions
- Core and quarter the tomatoes. Optionally, remove the seeds and pulp. Place all the vegetables and garlic in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are combined but still slightly chunky.1 pound tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, ½ cup red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeno, ½ cup fresh cilantro, 1 lime, 1 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Transfer salsa to a bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Add additional salt or jalapenos to taste. Let it sit for 15 minutes or refrigerate to enhance flavors.1 lime, 1 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
By Hand Instructions
- Core and dice the tomatoes. Optionally, remove the seeds and pulp. Transfer the tomatoes and juice to a mixing bowl. Using your hands, gently squeeze the tomatoes to release more juice. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add additional salt or jalapenos to taste. Let it sit for 15 minutes or refrigerate to enhance flavors.
- You can use any type of tomato for salsa but large beefsteak tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes are my favorite.
- For mild salsa, remove the veins and seeds from the jalapeno. For a spicier version, leave them in.