In food

Garden Salsa

A wooden cutting board with vegetables for a garden salsa recipe.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely judge a Mexican restaurant by its salsa. 

For me, it sets the bar for the rest of their food.

With restaurant salsa, I’m looking for 3 main things: fresh tomatoes, plenty of cilantro, and a bit of a kick. My favorite Mexican restaurants are the ones that have all three in their salsa. A good example of the restaurant salsa I love is at Chuy’s. There’s one really close to our house and we’ve picked up to-go orders pretty often during these last few months of quarantine.

When I’m eating salsa at home, I really like to make my own. I make a big batch and then keep it in the refrigerator for several days in a container. Now that it’s gardening season, it’s easy to grow most of the ingredients for my garden salsa recipe in our own backyard.


One of the things I like about making salsa at home is that I can control the level of spiciness. For mild salsa, just remove all the seeds from the jalapeño. To make it spicier, leave in some (or all) of the seeds, depending on how hot you like it.

The cilantro really brightens up the flavor of my garden salsa. Ground cumin adds a bit of smokiness that warms up the salsa without adding more spice.

You can puree this smooth or leave it on the chunkier side. Just be careful not to overdo it. Use the “pulse” function rather than just switching on the blender and letting it go.

Obviously, you could just eat this with a bowl of tortilla chips, (which is great), but it’s also really delicious added on top of tacos.

Now, I’m curious, do you prefer a thin, crispy tortilla chip or thicker traditional style?

A bowl of fresh garden salsa sits on a plate beside a pile of tortilla chips.

Garden Salsa


  • 4 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • ¼ bell pepper diced
  • ½ jalapeno diced (remove seeds for a milder salsa, or leave them to make it spicier)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves torn
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse as much or as little as you like, until salsa reaches the desired consistency. Makes about 24 oz.

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