We’re getting ready for summer gatherings with this Homemade Chunky Salsa Recipe. Made with fresh ingredients and bursting with flavor, thanks to juicy tomatoes, fiery jalapeño peppers, sweet shallots, and fragrant garlic. It’s the perfect topping for tacos, crunchy tortilla chips, nourish bowls, grilled chicken, and so much more.
Fresh Chunky Salsa Recipe
Homemade chunky salsa is one of the most versatile toppings out there, and it’s one of my absolute favorites! It’s delicious on everything from enchiladas, tacos, and burritos to breakfast eggs and grilled chicken.
What I love most about a homemade chunky salsa recipe is that you can customize it to your liking by adjusting the level of spiciness or adding the ingredients YOU love. Plus, making your own salsa allows you to control the quality of the ingredients used – no mystery additives or preservatives here!
Overall, there’s just something special about making salsa from scratch instead of relying on store-bought salsas. Whether you’re hosting a party or want to add some excitement to your everyday meals, I just know homemade chunky salsa will become one of your go-to toppings too!
If you’re looking for tomato-less taco toppings, no problem! Check out my quick and easy pickled red onions for a crunchy tang with a pop of vibrant pink. Or, a favorite on fish tacos, my spicy mango salsa. Don’t know which to choose, go for both. They’re always a hit!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Chunky Salsa Recipe
There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh, homemade salsa…
- It’s bursting with flavor. Thanks to a combination of juicy tomatoes, punchy shallots, zesty lime juice, garlic, and cilantro.
- It’s incredibly versatile. Use it as a dip for chips or veggies, spoon it over tacos or burritos, or even mix it into scrambled eggs for breakfast!
- It’s an easy recipe to make. All you need are a few simple ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep time.
- You can customize the heat level. Whether you prefer mild or spicy salsa, this recipe can be easily adapted to suit your tastes.
- This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, soy-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.
Making homemade tomato salsa could not be easier. All the ingredients and fresh produce can be found easily at your local grocery store.
- Fresh Tomatoes: The star ingredient in this homemade chunky salsa recipe! Tomatoes provide a juicy and refreshing base that perfectly balances the heat from the jalapeños. For the best flavor, choose tomatoes that are a deep red color and firm to the touch.
- Shallots: Provide a delicate crunch and slightly sweet flavor.
- Fresh Cilantro (Coriander): Cilantro adds a unique citrusy and slightly peppery flavor that works perfectly with the ripe tomatoes and the subtle heat from jalapeños.
- Jalapeño: For heat.
- Fresh Garlic: Adds a satisfying punch of flavor.
- Lime: For brightness.
- Agave Nectar: A touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and the lime.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: For richness and to help the body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients in the dish.
- Sea Salt Flakes and Pepper: To make the flavors pop! The salsa can fall flat without a lift from the seasoning.
How to Make Homemade Chunky Salsa: Step-By-Step Instructions
Ready to find out how to make this homemade chunky salsa recipe from scratch in 10 minutes or less? You’re in the right place. Let’s go!
- Prepare Ingredients
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl.
- Combine Ingredients
Gently mix the ingredients to combine. That’s it! It’s that easy!
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩Jump to Recipe
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
Don’t let ingredients you don’t like or can’t get hold of at your local grocery store stop you from making what I think is the BEST homemade chunky salsa recipe EVER! There are plenty of options to make the recipe work for you. Here are some examples:
- Tomatoes: As the star ingredient, the kind of tomato you choose is important. Look for a variety that’s in season, and check that it’s firm. While I use British Rosa vine-ripened tomatoes, Roma tomatoes are a great option. As are Campari tomatoes. Or even better, toms freshly picked from your garden tomato plants would be epic!!
- Heat: The amount of heat in a flavorful salsa comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for mild salsa, then remove the seeds from the jalapeño pepper. For hot salsa, keep the seeds. And if that’s still not enough heat for you, add an extra jalapeño if you dare! Just be sure to taste as you go. If you can’t get hold of any jalapeños, you could use Serrano peppers, a touch of chili powder, or a dash of hot sauce. If you don’t want any spice whatsoever, swap out the jalapeño for some bell pepper.
- Acid: Acid is one of the four vital components (salt, fat, acid, heat) to balance out the salsa. But you don’t have to use fresh lime juice. Lemon juice, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar all work really well.
- Onion: While my personal choice is to use shallots for their sweet onion flavor, red onion, yellow onion, white onion, and green onions are all perfectly good subs. Just be sure to chop them finely.
- Restaurant-Style Salsa: A chunky salsa isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a smooth salsa, commonly referred to as restaurant-style salsa, this is what you need to do. Put all of the ingredients from this recipe into a food processor along with a 7oz (200g) can of chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of tomato paste (tomato purée in the UK). Pulse until you achieve the texture you like. But don’t overdo it, or you’ll have yourself a tomato smoothie.
- Use fresh ingredients: The key to making great tomato salsa is using fresh and high-quality ingredients. Opt for ripe and juicy tomatoes, crisp shallots, perky cilantro leaves, and fresh, fiery chili peppers.
- Balance the flavors (it’s easier than you think!): A good tomato salsa should have a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. Don’t overdo any one ingredient, as it might overpower the others. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences by adding more salt or sweetness if needed.
- Chop uniformly: As this is a chunkier salsa, the tomato pieces will be larger in size than the other ingredients. However, everything else should be finely chopped. This is a great way to ensure each bite has a wonderfully consistent flavor and a huge chunk of garlic or onion doesn’t make you wince.
NUTRITION TIP: Did you know that tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant? Yep, lycopene helps protect our bodies from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Research has also shown that lycopene has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to lower the risk of diabetes. [Source]
What to Serve with Salsa
If you’re wondering what you should serve with your homemade chunky salsa, here are just a few ideas:
- BLT Tortilla Wrap Sandwich
- Easy Spinach Feta Egg Cups
- Pan Fried Salmon Teriyaki Bowl
- Easy Chilli Scrambled Eggs
- BBQ Chicken Enchiladas
- Homemade Burgers
Thinking of making this recipe? Share your thoughts in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I always LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
Homemade Chunky Salsa Recipe
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- 1 lb (450 g) tomatoes , ripe but firm, deseeded & diced into roughly 1 cm cubes
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar, or honey
- pinch sea salt flakes
- pinch black pepper, freshly ground
- Prepare: Gather and prepare your ingredients.
- Salsa: Add all the ingredients to a large bowl (diced tomatoes, shallots, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave nectar, salt, and pepper) and gently mix to combine. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Pour into a serving bowl and enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.
Frequently Asked Questions
This fresh salsa recipe is an excellent addition to a varied and balanced diet. You can use the nutritional information panel in the recipe card as a guide to see if the recipe can fit in with your personal nutrition goals.
When it comes to salsa, there are many varieties out there, but two of the most popular are chunky salsa and restaurant-style salsa. Chunky salsa is made by hand-chopping the ingredients into small chunks. This gives the salsa a rustic texture with visible bits of each ingredient. Whereas restaurant-style salsa is typically made in a food processor, which blends all of the ingredients together until they become smooth and uniform. Regardless of preference, though, both types are delicious and can be enjoyed as dips for chips or toppings for tacos and burritos!
Homemade salsa is best eaten fresh. But if you’re wondering whether it’s possible to freeze homemade chunky salsa, the answer is yes! However, the texture of your salsa does change after freezing and thawing, as the vegetables will release liquid during this process. To combat some of this issue, before freezing your salsa, drain off as much excess liquid as you can.