Homemade Salsa Fresca

This fresh salsa is made with ripe tomatoes and jalapenos from the garden, diced onion, cilantro, salt, lime juice and a few seasonings.  Fresh and flavorful!

What do you do in July when all of your tomatoes ripen at once?  You make salsa, tomato sauce, can tomatoes, oven roast tomatoes…hmm, I’m open to any other suggestions. 

I love a fresh summer sun ripened tomato.  This year we got a little ambitious and decided to plant 12 tomato plants.  Yikes!  Not only do their vines grow and take over the neighboring plants, but that’s a lot of tomatoes!  I’m not complaining,  just learning as I go as a novice gardener seeking to enjoy that fresh tomato taste year round through preservation.

We ate a pint of this fresh salsa in a week.  It’s so fresh and flavorful and can be enjoyed with of course chips, but we also had it with Sheet Pan Jerk Chicken Nachos and Smashed Cheesy Bean Tacos.  It’s seriously delicious and adds a fresh summer vibe to whatever you have it with.  

Salsa Fresca (fresh sauce) is Pico de Gallo and also called salsa Mexicana.  These are all salsas that are made with raw, fresh ingredients versus “Salsa” which is either blended or smashed.  Because I had so many tomatoes to play with I also tried a Roasted Tomato and Onion Salsa that I blended together.  It was also delicious!

What you need to make Homemade Salsa

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • A serrated knife- like the one pictured above.  Non-serrated knives may squish your tomatoes while dicing, leaving a juicy mess.
  • Jalapenos– Note:  I removed the seeds and membranes of one of the peppers.  I suggest tasting your peppers first (a tiny bite) to see how hot they are and add accordingly to your preference.  Jalapenos are unpredictable.  Even from the same plant, one can be mild and taste like a green pepper and the next will set your lips on fire!
  • Onion– I used a red onion because I like the taste and because it looks pretty in the fresh salsa (just being honest)
  • Seasonings– salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro paste (in place of fresh), juice of half a lime

Helpful tips

Fresh garden tomatoes are JUICY because tomatoes are about 95% water. Well you don’t want a watery salsa.  Here are a few tips:

  • When dicing up your tomatoes, do not scrape them off of the cutting board into the bowl.  Instead use your hands to pick them up,  leaving most of the juice on the board.
  • After you season your salsa and stir it up, you will notice a lot of the tomato juice in the bowl.  I suggest using a fine mesh strainer to drain as much of the juice so you don’t soggy up your chips or have it run all over when you plate it.  Don’t worry about losing any of the seasonings. You can taste and adjust if needed when you pour it back into the bowl.
  • When dicing the jalapenos, I like to cut them into quarters.  Slice down the middle, turn a quarter then slice again (see picture below- sorry it’s a little blurry, still learning)
  • For removing the seeds and membranes, I slice the jalapeno in half and scrape out the inside, then slice into fourths and dice.
  • Important:  Don’t forget to wash your hands after dicing jalapenos!! The capsaicins in peppers are oily and will stick to your skin.  So before you forget and scratch your face or rub your eye- Go Wash!

Good for you ingredients

Tomatoes– Tomatoes are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help our bodies fight diseases. And, as you read above, they’re 95% water!  Tomatoes are a perfect summer time food.  They also can:

  • help prevent cancer
  • regulate blood pressure
  • improve skin and hair health
  • promote heart health
  • act as an internal sun screen, building resistant to sun burns  (It’s pretty cool how nature provides these gorgeous and delicious fruits in the season that our bodies will need the extra support) 

How to store salsa

  • To store: Place in a glass container with sealable lid, (a pint or half pint sized mason jar works great).  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • To freeze: I have heard people freezing salsa in glass jars, but it makes me nervous.  I froze bone broth in a glass quart jar one time and it busted.  I think I didn’t leave enough room for expansion as it froze.  I dunno!  I suggest freezing salsa in a freezer bag letting out excess air. Then thaw it out at room temperature or in a bowl with water. 

You may also try…

  • Roasted Tomato and Onion Salsa
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Homemade Salsa Fresca

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This fresh salsa is made with ripe tomatoes and jalapenos from the garden, diced onion, cilantro, salt, lime juice and a few seasonings.  Fresh and flavorful!

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 cups 1x


  • 4 large fresh tomatoes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 jalapenos (Note: I removed the seeds and membranes from one of my peppers to control the level of spiciness, yet still get the flavor of the jalapeño)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. cilantro paste (2 TB freshly chopped cilantro or 1 TB dried cilantro)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Juice from 1/2 lime


  1. Dice tomatoes and onions and add to a bowl.
  2. Carefully dice jalapenos, taste to measure their spice level and add to your preference.  Just a tip of advice: You can always add more-but you can’t really remove them once they’re in.
  3. Add salt and spices and mix well.
  4. Serve immediately or pour into a jar to serve cold later.


  • I used cilantro paste because I didn’t have any fresh cilantro.  I find that when I buy fresh cilantro, because you have to buy a big bunch at once, I end up wasting most of it.  This helps me cut down on waste.  I like cilantro in my salsa and a few other sauces I make, but not sure it’s an herb I’m ready to grow simply because I’m not sure I’d use it.  Maybe one day!
  • Author: Farm Raised Foodies
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

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