How have I gotten 5 years into writing a food blog and not provided a simple red salsa recipe?
How dare I? How could I? I know. Shame, shame. But I realized this recently and am excited to fill the void with this EASY, 10-minute Red Tomato Salsa! Let’s do it!
Origins of Salsa
Salsa is thought to have originated in Central America from the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans. It dates back as far as the 1500s where it was used as a condiment to add flavor and spice.
But in the early 1900s, salsa’s popularity spread beyond Mexico and Central America and it began to be commercially manufactured in the US. By 1991, US sales of salsa had surpassed that of ketchup!
There are many different varieties including salsa roja, verde, criolla, and more! Our inspired version most closely resembles salsa roja, but is not a traditional preparation. You can find more traditional recipes here and here.
How to Make Red Salsa
I did quite a bit of experimenting for this 10-minute, 8-ingredient, 1- bowl recipe.
The dreamy minimalist in me thought, “Cool. I’ll just throw some tomatoes and onion and a pepper in a blender and ‘voila!’ I’ll have salsa!”
While you can go that route, I find that it yields a watery, flavorless salsa, and I’m obviously not down for that. So, instead, I tested multiple canned-tomato varieties as a base and found fire-roasted tomatoes to be the best fit!
They’re extremely smoky and complex, and they add a rich tomato flavor to this salsa. Supporting ingredients like onion, cilantro, lime, garlic, and jalapeño or serrano pepper round the flavors out to yield the perfect red salsa.
I hope you all LOVE this salsa! It’s:
Quick + Easy
This is the perfect salsa for dipping tortilla chips, Frito chips, or even kale chips! It would also make a delicious addition to things like our Mexican Quinoa Salad Cups, Black Bean Butternut Squash Enchiladas, Best Damn Vegan Nachos, Sweet Potato Kale Chip Nachos, or Plantain Black Bean Tacos.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Red Salsa
- 2 15-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes* (slightly drained)
- 1 medium serrano or jalapeño pepper (more or less depending on preferred spice level // stems and seeds removed)
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (large stems removed)
- 1 medium lime, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml as original recipe is written)
- 1/2 cup chopped white or red onion (or sub green onion)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 clove garlic (crushed // or 1 tsp garlic-infused oil per 1 clove garlic)
- Stevia or cane sugar (optional // to taste)
- 2-4 Tbsp diced mild green chilies (optional // for extra heat)
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, lime for acidity, garlic for kick/zing, cilantro for herb flavor, pepper or mild green chilies for heat, or a little stevia or sugar to sweeten/offset heat.
- Store leftovers in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without stevia, sugar, or green chilies (or chips for serving).
*Recipe makes ~2 cups salsa.