5 Best Salsa Recipes: From Mild to Flaming Hot

5 salsa recipes

When it comes to snacking, few things are more fun and satisfying than a good salsa. Be it smooth and mild, chunky and mind-blowingly hot, or any variation in between, salsa has a way of bringing people together in a frenzy of chip-dipping madness. However, for many of us, the store-bought salsa never quite compares to the fresh stuff you can get in restaurants. This may be because store bought salsa is loaded with preservatives and is often overcooked, so as to increase its shelf life. While this is important—so that when you open it up, you’re not greeted with the garbage-bin aroma of rotten food—for those who’ve tasted the crisp tang of flavorfully fresh, homemade salsa, the stuff that comes in a jar is simply unacceptable.

But that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to head to the local Mexican restaurant every time you want to be able to enjoy fresh salsa! With some simple ingredients, a bit of know-how, and a food processor, you’ll be able to make amazing salsa right in your own kitchen.

Here are five DIY recipes to help keep your salsa cravings in check while at home. They get hotter as you scroll!

1. Kid-Friendly Fresh Salsa (Spiciness: very mild)

salsa recipes

This recipe comes from Amber at Jadelouisedesigns.com. If you, your kids, or anyone on your guest list just can't handle spicy hot salsa, this is the recipe for you. This mild salsa contains all of the fresh taste, but none of the spiciness of traditional salsa, making it perfect for children and adults who have low spice-thresholds.


10 or 11 medium tomatoes (cut in half)
3 tbsp fresh cilantro
¾ tsp sea salt
½ large white onion (chopped)
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
⅓ cup lime juice


  1. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes, and then place them in a food processor and dice them (do this by pulsing the food processor a few times for no longer than a second or two).
  2. Remove the tomatoes and set then aside in a bowl.
  3. Place the chopped onion into the food processor along with the cilantro and dice them (again, use the pulsing method).
  4. Add the onions and cilantro to the tomatoes in the bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt, red pepper, and lime juice.
  5. Stir together, and cover the bowl with an airtight lid. Refrigerate the salsa for approximately 2 hours before serving.
  6. Of course, you can always add some sliced jalapeños if you want to make things a bit hotter!

2. Fresh Mild Salsa (Spiciness: mild–medium)

salsa recipes

This recipe is originally from allrecipes.com, where it currently holds a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5! 

Despite the presence of serrano and jalapeño peppers in this salsa, the recipe itself yields a mild to medium mixture that shouldn’t be too hot for sensitive mouths, while still delivering a delightful little “kick.” The best part? It couldn't any easier. 

 4 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
 2 ½ tsp lemon juice
 2 tsp fresh cilantro
 2 tsp salt  (or to taste)
 1 serrano pepper (seeded and chopped)
 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and chopped)                                                               1 tbsp ground cumin  (or to taste)                                                                           1 tsp ground black pepper  (or to taste)                                                                ¼ green bell pepper (chopped)


    1. Combine all ingredients together in a blender, and then process until desired consistency is reached.

3. Amazingly Simple {Homemade} Gourmet Salsa (Spiciness: mild to hot)

salsa recipes

This easy recipe comes to us from Ginny at Organizinghomelife.com. You only need four simple ingredients to make it, yet it manages to end up tasting as fresh and delightful as any restaurant salsa. Be warned, however, that there is quite a range of spiciness in this salsa, depending on what kind of diced tomatoes with chilies you get. Consider using “mild” chilies if you don’t want your mouth burning up.

1 or 2 cans canned diced tomatoes with chilies
½ cup onion (chopped)
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
3 tbsp fresh cilantro


  1. Combine the chopped onion, garlic, and cilantro together in a food processor.
  2. Blend until the ingredients are finely diced.
  3. Add the 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes with chilis, and then continue to blend until the mixture takes on a uniform chunkiness and color.
  4. Add salt if necessary.

4. Salsa Roja (Spiciness: medium to hot)

salsa recipes

Things are really heating up now. Special thanks to Erin at Oneparticularkitchen.com for this medium to hot salsa recipe. It produces a lovely smooth and aromatic salsa which will absolutely dazzle your taste buds.

The spiciness of this salsa depends heavily on the peppers you use, and some peppers may seem excruciatingly hot, while other may have little to no spiciness at all. If you’re afraid that you might get a batch that is too hot, consider reducing the number of peppers you use, or remove the seeds and the membranes from the peppers before you cook them.

16 full sized tomatoes, or 1 full produce bag Roma tomatoes
2 or 3 yellow onions
20–25 serrano peppers
8–10 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 or 2 tbsp salt
1 or 2 cilantro bunches


  1. Cut the tomatoes and onions in half, and then lay them on a cookie sheet along side the garlic and peppers with the cut-side facing upwards, and bake them in the oven at 375°F.
  2. Once the the tomatoes begin to look soft and the peppers have darkened, remove the cookie sheet and allow it to cool.
  3. Once the ingredients are no longer hot to the touch, place them, along with the salt and cilantro, into a food processor and blend it until it reached the desired consistency (you may have too many ingredients to fit them all into the food processor, so be prepared to break the recipe up into two batches).

5. The Hottest Salsa in the World (Spiciness: beyond hot)

salsa recipes

This may or may not actually be the hottest salsa in the world, but you can bet that it will absolutely knock your socks off. Special thanks to Sarah at Villagevoice.com for sharing it with us.

Seriously, this salsa really is indescribably spicey. Be sure to wear gloves while you prepare the naga jolokia chillies (which may be difficult to find outside of specialty markets), and only try a small amount at first. You’ve been warned!

⅓ cup water
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 oz dried naga jolokia chillies (stemmed, soaked in warm water, and drained)
1 large pinch salt


  1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor and puree.

Unique Ways to Use Salsa

Whether you are looking for a mild or a hot salsa recipe, we hope you found one you love! But what if you made too much, or it didn't all get eaten by your guests? Here are some fun, unique ways to use your homemade hot salsa: 

  • Have it with your eggs. Mixing hot salsa into scrambled eggs or adding it on top of an omelette is a great way to spice up your morning. 
  • Add it into your burger mixture before throwing the patties on the grill, or add it after instead of ketchup. 
  • Spread some on your next slice of pizza. 
  • Layer it into a grilled cheese sandwich. 
  • Add a spoonful into your mac and cheese. 
  • Make an entire salsa bar.

If you have any mild to hot salsa recipes that you are dying to share, post them in the comments section and let the world experience the spice! 


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  • Anthony Adams

    In recipe #5, what chile can you substitute that won’t be so hot. I like very spicy so I know it has some heat, but not so hot that I cannot enjoy it. I can
    easily stand chile arbol, knowing it has some heat

  • Adrian

    I suppose u can add as many as u like depends on how much u want to make

  • Lila

    mada and bottled salsa and then realized forgot to add green and red pepper. It is a little runny

  • Kelli Farley

    You will not need any tomatoes for recipe #5.

  • terry

    In recipe# 5 how much tomatoes should we use?

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