Salsa from Nothin’ – Restaurant Style

When I lived in the Southwest, the ladies often brought their favorite Mexican and Southwestern specialties to our “food days” at the office. That’s where I first learned this simple home-style or blender salsa. If you’ve eaten at a Mexican restaurant, you know this salsa!

Part of the beauty of this salsa, I think is the absolute simplicity of it. The rest is that I usually have all these ingredients at home. That’s why I call it Salsa from Nothing.

After all, who doesn’t have a can of tomatoes, an onion and a few spices around? In a pinch, a vinegar, preferably red wine, but a plain old cider or white will work, can stand in for the lime. (I like a little of both, the lime and the vinegar.)

Salsa from Nothin’ – Restaurant Style Salsa

If you have a little something green, maybe some parsley, cilantro (if that’s your thing) or green onion growing in your windowsill it will always add a bit of freshness.

So here’s my Salsa, feel free to alter as you wish, tasting as you go. It takes five minutes to make, but improves if it sits for a while. It gets even better overnight, and is really at it’s best with chips! 🙂 The salsa gets a bit hotter as it sits and the oils from the peppers mingle, so I’d say one teaspoon of peppers for mild, two for medium and three for hot. You all know how that goes, though! My hot might not be your hot!

Salsa from Nothin’ – Restaurant Style Salsa

Salsa from Nothin'

  • Servings: abt 3 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 small onion or half a large, roughly chopped, in a pinch onion powder or dehydrated onion could work, but isn’t as good.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled (jarred will work here, garlic powder in a pinch)
  • 1 29 ounce can of tomatoes, juice reserved
  • 1 to 3 teaspoon of chili pequin, crushed, or red pepper flakes, heat range at different amounts vary from mild to hot*
  • Small handful cilantro, parsley or finely sliced green onion tops, if desired
  • juice of one lime, or to taste, may substitute a tablespoon or two of vinegar, red wine, cider or white, or use a combo of lime and vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar and up to a teaspoon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except reserved tomato juice in a blender or food processor. Pulse to chop. Add juice in desired amount and process until desired consistency and thickness is reached.

It’s your choice if you’d like this chunky or smooth, thick or thin. I generally process this into tiny bits and have about a cup of the juice from the tomatoes left over.

Best if sits for awhile.

*note: If you have another pepper, a Jalapeno, Serrano, etc., feel free to use it.

Don’t waste the juice – use in another recipe, drink it or freeze it for later! Hot Salsa Bloody Mary, anyone?

From the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

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21 thoughts on “Salsa from Nothin’ – Restaurant Style”

  1. I love that this recipe can be made from pantry ingredients. I’m such a homebody in the winter and put off going to the store as long as possible. I can’t wait to try this. I think I will add some of my Penzey’s dehydrated cilantro to see how that works. We love salsa at our house!

    1. Kimberly, I am lucky – retired, so I can kind of pick and choose when I shop (weather permitting) if I plan well…but I’m a home-body too and there’s times I’m like, “Oh, it’s raining I don’t want to go out, lol!!” Or it’s late and we’re watching a movie and get the idea we have to have chips and salsa, lol!!

  2. I have made salsa a few times, with raw, fresh ingredients which is good. Your recipe looks more like the ‘real’ stuff. Will give it a try. Like you said, who doesn’t have canned tomatoes. Diced ones would be good to use.Thanks !!

    1. I would guess that you wouldn’t even need a blender if you used diced ones! But if it wasn’t blended, it would probably be best to make sure to let it sit for a bit and let the tomatoes get infused with flavor.

      I was just wondering if you have a blog? I would love to read about your adventures!

    1. LOL! Cheers! It’s very simple and so good – but I think I have a salsa for every mood. This is great with scrambled eggs, too! I’m sure with your chooks you have a few eggs around! 🙂

  3. I love how you adapted this to use what you already had 😀 When I’ve got both kids at home, there’s no way I’m going to load them up and make a trip to the store…. that’s too much work lol. Great recipe 😀

    1. Heck, it’s too much work for me to go to the store, anymore, but oh, do I remember the days of trying to get there with kids! We had to abandon more than one cart at a store, too!

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