This salsa fresca is a blend of diced ripe tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice, all mixed together to make a light and refreshing dip or condiment. A quick and easy recipe that tastes so much better than store bought salsa, and always gets rave reviews.
My local Mexican restaurant serves a big basket of chips with the most delicious salsa fresca with every meal. I decided it was time to learn to make this zesty dip at home, and it’s actually quite simple to prepare.
What does salsa fresca mean?
Salsa fresca refers to a salsa made with fresh ingredients rather than cooked ingredients. The base of salsa fresca is ripe tomatoes, which are flavored with onion, cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice. This salsa can be served chunky, or in more of a puree style texture.
How do you make salsa fresca?
Start by cutting up all your vegetables into small pieces. Remember, you want the tomatoes to be small enough that they don’t fall off the chips, and items such as onion and jalapeno should be finely diced. Place the tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine. Let the salsa sit for a few minutes for the flavors to combine, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect dip
- I prefer to use Roma tomatoes as they have a firm texture and don’t contain as many seeds. Vine ripened tomatoes are also a good choice. You really can use any tomato you like, so long as you remove the seeds and dice it into the appropriate size pieces.
- This dish will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing it, as the texture will change and become watery.
- I’ve written this recipe to have a mild level of heat by removing the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos. If you prefer a spicy salsa, leave some of the seeds and ribs in the jalapeno.
- Serve your salsa with chips, or as a condiment for carnitas, tacos, grilled chicken or fish.
- Be sure to rinse your onions with cold water before you add them to the salsa. This will help temper their strong flavor.
- If you prefer a finer texture to your salsa, you can put all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse it until you reach your desired consistency.
Salsa Fresca flavor variations
While this salsa is great as-is, you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Vegetables: Stir in up to 1/2 cup of black beans, corn kernels, cucumber, olives or avocado. While white onion is a classic choice in this recipe, red onion also works well.
- Seasonings: Swap out the cilantro for green onions. You can also add a dash of hot sauce for more heat.
- Fruit: Go for a sweet and savory blend by substituting diced mango or pineapple for half of the tomatoes.
I make this salsa fresca when I need an easy appetizer or a low calorie condiment that I know everyone will enjoy.
More Mexican favorites
Salsa Fresca Video
- 1 1/2 cups diced Roma tomatoes cored and seeded
- 1/3 cup white onion rinsed in cold water and finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno seeds and ribs removed, then minced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- salt to taste
- Place the Roma tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later use.