My Favorite Salsa Recipe

Thursday December 8, 2011


I discovered this salsa recipe from The Pioneer Women a few years ago.   I love it and we make it frequently, with a few tweaks to make it our own.  I love that the recipe uses canned tomatoes because it makes it easy and affordable to make all year long.

Not only is good with chips and nachos, but great over black bean soup, chili, or enchiladas.

Restaurant Style Salsa

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman/Ree Drummond


  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced or Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies) — I use one can Mild and one can Original
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Onion (Red onion looks nice)
  • 1 -2 cloves Garlic, Minced (we like garlic)
  • 1 habanero seeded and sliced (if you can’t stand the heat, sub a jalapeno)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar  (Skip the sugar to make it Paleo-friendly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • juice from 1/2 a Lime

Preparation Instructions

Note: this is a very large batch. Recommend using a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, habanero, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour, if you can bear to wait.  Flavor will intensify in the fridge.

About the Ingredients


I stock up on Rotel tomatoes whenever I see them on sale.  They are regularly $1.39 @ Wegmans and will go on sale for $.99/can occasionally.  It’s a lot more than I pay for regular canned tomatoes but they add a lot of flavor.  Also, I buy crushed tomatoes in the big 28oz size — they are typically cheaper than diced for some reason and even their regular price (at Wegmans) is a steal at ~$1.29.

The secret ingredient that really makes this recipe is to use a habanero instead of a jalapeno.   Usually I make the batch by combining everything except the habanero and then portion out some to save as mild for the kids.  Then I seed the habanero and chop it up and throw it and puree again to get the wonderful heat and flavor of the hot pepper.

I buy most of my produce at the Asian markets where you can get a bunch of cilantro for ~$.50.

Here’s what mine looks like after blending.


I should also mention that the Costco Organic Chips are our favorite and the best value I’ve found for a good tasting chip.  I think the huge bag costs ~$4.50 and the chips taste really good!




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