Easy Restaurant Style Salsa

One of the things I love about going out to eat at Mexican restaurants is the all you can eat chips and salsa.

I love to recreate our favorite restaurant food and I knew restaurant  salsa similar to what we enjoy would not be hard to figure out. I have seen a lot of recipes for homemade salsas, but I had several things that I was looking for in a homemade version of restaurant salsa, so like always, I tweaked and adjusted until I got it just right for us.

I love salsa, but I do not like super spicy salsa. I prefer something with just a little kick to it.

I also do not like super chunky salsa. One of the reasons I like most restaurant salsas is that they tend to be on the thinner side.

My other requirement for a homemade version was for it to be super easy to make, using ingredients that I usually have on hand.

Most homemade salsa call for jalapenos, but jalapenos are not a staple in my kitchen unless it is summer and I have a ready supply growing in the garden. I wanted something I could make at any time. This recipe does have cilantro in it, which I sometimes have on hand, but often do not have. It does add an extra depth of flavor to it, but it is really good without the cilantro. If I have cilantro I put it in, if I do not have it I leave it out.

Another salsa fact about our family is that we go through tons of it. My husband and son both love salsa and put it on everything. Well, not quite everything, but much of their food. We often go through several jars a week, so a homemade version is a nice alternative. It satisfies the salsa lovers in my family, and it lets me make a quick and easy salsa when I need it.

Please tell me we are not the only ones that use that much salsa?

This post linked to Foodie Fridays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I use the Pioneer Woman recipe that is very close to this, and I LOVE it. As this recipes makes a lot of salsa, do you think it could be frozen?

    • @Amy, I have never frozen it, because we go through so much of it, it would probably work it just might be a little bit thinner. Could you just half it?

    • @Amy, and I forgot to add this is kind of, but very adapted from a copycat version of Chili’s Salsa, plus a few other I have seen. I kind of adapted them all into one and tweaked it how we like it. I have seen quite a few recipes like this that are very similar though.

  2. I make a very similar version, only it makes about half as much, and it is my take on a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. I never really thought of it as “restaurant style” though. More of a winter-style salsa, when fresh tomatoes aren’t really anything you want to use :)

  3. I, too, make homemade salsa, and discovered just this summer that it can be frozen! What a wonderful treat, to dig in the freezer and pull out a salsa packet… and it still tastes like it did when I made it.

  4. Don’t feel bad, we go through about a jar a week – and that’s just for the two of us! It definitely helps that I started buying tortilla chips at Sam’s Club for $1/lb. The salsa recipe that I make when we are out is just a can of diced tomatoes, some cilantro, some onion, and some garlic. My food processor is only a 2cup, so it fits perfectly…. and the whole recipe can go into an empty salsa jar.

  5. Amy in Arkansas says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I keep trying different ones and most have so much cilantro in them. I used to eat a jar a week all by myself! I was going to make some chips tomorrow (I bake them) so I’ll make this too!

  6. Oh my… I could eat salsa all day, every day. Love the stuff!! I haven’t made any for a while, but my favorite restaurant recipe is a copycat from Chi-chi’s. Remember that place? The best part about going was definitely the all you can eat chips and salsa! Thanks for sharing your recipe – it sounds wonderful!


  7. Thanks Lynn! I just stocked up on salsa at the grocery store…but I cannot keep it in the house…my husband is like the guys in your house. Salsa and sour cream…I can never buy enough!

  8. Amy in Arkansas says:

    I left out the cilantro and all I can say is WOW!! This is absolutely fantastic!!!! Thank you for the recipe!!


  9. Mmmmmmmmmmm! I will try this soon. Our family (even down to the 5 year old) loves salsa ad chips. Hands down our favorite snack. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Others I have tried are much too chunky for my taste.

    By the way, whenever I buy cilantro it comes in that big old bunch for super-cheap. I always wash it and then chip it up finely and whatever I don’t use I stash in a freezer bag. We love cilantro in everything here!

  10. Thanks for the recipe! I just made this and it is wonderful. Unlike others, I doubled the cilantro and LOVE IT! I have half in the fridge and half in the freezer :)

  11. Our two 1/2 year old LOVES salsa! (has for about a year) Can’t be too spicy though or he starts rubbing his tongue- it’s really kind of funny. We eat quite a bit so I too was looking for something quick and easy… Chilli’s is a FAV of ours. Thanks! Can’t wait to try it. (and maybe freeze some)

  12. Jeanette says:

    Made this today and the whole family LOVED it!!! Will be making this again and again. Thanks for sharing!

  13. My kids and I just made this recipe this morning. It is so good! My son, who is 2, gobbled it up. He’s a little salsa man. My daughter was munching on the leftover lime. :) Thanks for this great recipe!

  14. Hey, Lynn! Just a tip on the cilantro: I have found “tubes” of cilantro at Walmart in the produce section. All you have to do is squeeze out what you need for whatever recipe and, voila! there it is! It keeps in the fridge for a while, too. I have not, however, tried freezing fresh cilantro, but I will definitely try that. We all love salsa, too. My husband could eat his weight in salsa and chips! I so enjoy all your recipes! Thanks!


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