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Restaurant Style Salsa

This Restaurant Style Salsa recipe is super simple to make. Serve it as is with tortilla chips or as a condiment with salads, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, drizzled over eggs or any of your Mexican inspired favorites.


Easy Restaurant Style Salsa

Half of the fun of going to eat at a Mexican restaurant is the basket of warm tortilla chips and salsa they serve as soon as you’re seated. In fact, we typically plow through a couple by the end of the meal. It’s so fun to try and recreate those flavors at home and that’s how I began making this for us. It makes a large batch but could be adapted to a smaller batch if you’re so inclined. How to make quick Restaurant Salsa:

  • Tomatoes – Canned crushed tomatoes with the puree and Rotel tomatoes with green chiles. You can use hot or mild Rotel tomatoes according to your taste.
  • Vegetables – Onion, jalapeno peppers and garlic.
  • Herbs – Fresh Cilantro.
  • Seasonings – Plain salt, lemon pepper, cumin and granulated sugar.
  • Lime Juice.
Restaurant Style Salsa

How to Make the Best Restaurant Style Salsa

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Restaurant Style Salsa: One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with tomato puree, 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, either hot or mild, one medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges, one large jalapeno pepper with seeds, omit seeds if heat shy, 2-3 garlic cloves, one bunch of cilantro, plus salt, lemon pepper, cumin and sugar to mellow the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A stand blender, food processor or Vitamix, a sharp knife and chopping board, measuring spoons and an airtight container for storing in the refrigerator.
  • The crushed tomatoes I use for this recipe also contain tomato puree. I prefer this as I feel it’s less watery and it gives the salsa a rich texture. You could also adjust the thickness of this salsa by adding a small amount of tomato paste, if you like. I typically don’t find this to be necessary as it thickens further while it chills in the refrigerator.
  • You can adjust the amount of heat in this salsa by using less jalapeno pepper or even more, if you like to turn up the heat. You can also omit the seeds. We leave them in for more spice.
  • You could really up the ante by adding a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce to the mix.
  • The small amount of sugar in the recipe is to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s optional, you can omit, if desired.
  • Cilantro is one of those herbs that people seem to love or hate. I wouldn’t dream of omitting it we all love it. That being said, if you don’t like it, you should omit it or use less, it’s your call.
  • The texture of this recipe is smooth in keeping with the kind typically served at restaurants. You can easily adapt by pulsing the ingredients less aggressively for a more chunky style and texture.
  • Store Restaurant Style Salsa chilled in the refrigerator for up to one week.

More Southern Style Salsa Recipes to Make

This salsa is smooth in keeping with the kind typically served at restaurants and it also makes it ideal for using as a quick sauce. More homemade salsa recipes you may also like to try:


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Restaurant Style Salsa

Prep Time5 minutes
Chill time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican Inspired
Keyword: easy-salsa-recipes, restaurant-style-salsa
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 118kcal


  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (with tomato puree)
  • 2 10 oz cans Rotel tomatoes with green chiles hot or mild
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 medium onion cut into wedges
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper quartered (Omit seeds and membrane if heat shy)
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, rough chopped
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro (stems removed) adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sugar optional


  • Place all ingredients into a food processor, stand blender or Vitamix. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  • Chill for 2-4 hours then serve with tortilla chips or as a condiment for tacos, enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas and more.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Sodium: 1061mg | Potassium: 270mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


    1. Nutrition amounts are given as a courtesy and should always be considered estimates. Please use an online converter to establish the values based on the adaptation you make.

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