Forget store bought salsa! This Homemade Chunky Salsa is fresh, easy to make, and love at first bite for all who try it.
This homemade chunky salsa is made with the freshest ingredients like ripe tomatoes, fresh cilantro, diced red onion, jalapeño peppers, and more.
Say goodbye to jars of salsa from the grocery store, because once you take a bite, there is no going back.
If you love Mexican cuisine as much as I do, you are definitely going to want to bookmark my favorite salsas for later: Mango Pineapple Salsa, Avocado Mango Salsa. I think you’ll love this Authentic Guacamole, too.
Chunky Tomato Salsa Recipe
The taste of Summer is here! Who doesn’t love fresh salsa or pico de gallo salsa?
I don’t know what it is, but there is something about the fresh flavors of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro that come together so well and taste like a burst of Summer in your mouth.
Pile this restaurant style salsa high on nachos, serve it on the side to garnish tacos, or gather with friends and family to snack with tortilla chips.
This recipe is a staple for Mexican cuisine-themed dinner nights and cookouts!
Easily adjust the heat level based on your preference by adding the jalapeño seeds!
What is chunky salsa?
This chunky salsa recipe is not like smooth salsa, it’s like pico de gallo and made with tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and peppers. Rather than finely mincing the ingredients and blending them into a smooth texture, chunky salsa uses diced ingredients and has a chunkier texture.
It’s perfect for piling high on nachos, tacos, or even a breakfast burrito!
Chunky Salsa Ingredients
Fresh tomatoes: I recommend using Campari tomatoes for this recipe because they taste great, are beefy, juicy, and have low acidity. Beefsteak tomatoes are another great option. You will also need tomato paste.
Onion: for this recipe, I used a classic red onion which you will find in most chunky salsa recipes. I recommend red onions in this instance because they have a great bite and a more palatable. If you prefer, you can also use a sweet onion or a white onion.
Other fresh ingredients: whether you grab them from your garden or the store, you will need garlic, green onions, jalapeños, and fresh basil.
Seasoning: pack in the flavor, heat, and balance out the acidity with chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, kosher salt, and granulated sugar.
Lime juice: top off your salsa with fresh lime juice for flavor a hint of bright citrusy flavor. The acid in the lime juice will help keep your salsa nice and fresh.
How to dice a tomato
I recommend starting with a sharp knife and then following the instructions below.
- Wash the tomatoes you are going to use.
- Rotate the tomato to its side and trim off any stems.
- Rotate the tomato top-side up and cut off the sides of the tomato, leaving the core.
- Set the core piece flat-side down on the cutting board and cut off the two remaining sides around the core. When done, discard the core.
- Make evenly spaced slices from each tomato piece. Choose to cut thick or thin strips based on how small or large you want your pieces to be.
- Rotate tomato slices 90 degrees and slice in the opposite direction creating a dice or small pieces.
The best knife to use when slicing a tomato is a serrated knife. It allows the knife to break through the skin without squishing the tomato.
How to Make This Homemade Salsa Recipe
1. Begin making the salsa. Add the diced tomatoes, red onion, green onions, minced garlic, jalapeño, and basil to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Finish making the salsa. In a small mixing bowl, combine the tomato paste, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and sugar until well mixed. Add the tomato paste mixture to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes and toss until combined.
3. Garnish and serve. Top with more basil and lime juice if desired and serve with tortilla chips.
You can dice your ingredients quickly in the food processor!
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
There is really no substitute for chunky salsa; throw out all those store bought bottles because you won’t be needing them anymore. However, you might want to change things up. If so, here are some recommendations:
Tomatoes: if you can’t find Campari tomatoes at your local grocery store, a good substitution would be Roma tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes.
Onions: I highly recommend red onions, however, if you need to substitute you can make this chunky fresh salsa with white onions or sweet onions as well.
Chips: use crunchy tortilla chips or corn chips. You can even make your own out of wonton wrappers like I did in this Poke Nachos Recipe.
Peppers: for more flavor and texture, you can try adding some diced bell peppers. Green peppers are my favorite to add because it adds to the color variation.
Favorite Mexican Dishes with Serve with Tomato Salsa
This simple side dish pairs perfectly alongside easy recipes for lunch or dinner like Crispy Crockpot Carnitas, Mexican Street Corn White Chicken Chili, and so many of my favorite Cinco De Mayo Recipes!
What is the best tomato to make homemade salsa with?
I love Campari tomatoes. They’re sweet and low in acidity which makes them the best partner for homemade salsa!
You might find that some salsa recipes recommend you use a super meaty or beefy tomato like beefsteak, however, I find that this tomato allows for a nice balance in flavors from all ingredients.
More Easy Side Dishes
- Cucumber Radish Salad
- Green Beans With Bacon
- Jalapeño Creamed Corn
- Cranberry Bacon Broccoli Salad
- Jalapeño Popper Dip
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Homemade Chunky Salsa
- 12 compari tomatoes, seeded and diced, you should have about 1 1/2 cups when diced
- 1/2 of a large red onion, diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 lime, juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Add diced tomatoes, red onion, green onions, minced garlic, jalapeño, and basil to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the tomato paste, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and sugar until well mixed. Add the tomato paste mixture to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes and toss until combined.
- Top with more basil and lime juice if desired and serve with tortilla chips.
I love this recipe! I had never thought of basil or green onions in salsa but it TOTALLY works! Will be making a lot this summer!
I love trying new salsa recipes, and this was a hit. I could eat it on everything. So good, thanks!
I could snack on this all day (and I did)! This was so fresh and delicious. This disappeared fast in my house!
This salsa recipe was insanely delicious! The chunkier the better, and it looks so fresh and vibrant. Thanks for this!
SO many gorgeous flavours in this! I thought making my own salsa would be a huge hassle but this is SO much better than shop-bought and only takes minutes.