Homemade Salsa Recipe {Restaurant Style} – Aromatic Essence

Quick and easy salsa recipe no cook

This homemade restaurant-style sauce recipe is easy, quick and delicious! You only need 10 minutes to prepare this delicious sauce to accompany your favorite fries or use it in any recipe that calls for salsa!

Restaurant-style sauce served in a white bowl

Since I posted Instant Pot refried beans last week, I’ve thought I’d share other quintessential Mexican dishes with you! These sides are pretty quick to prepare and complement all your Mexican and Tex-Mex meals very well.

One of my favorite things to eat in Mexican restaurants is the potato chips and complimentary salsa. That basket full of hot tortilla chips and salsa is really so irresistible and addictive. Club that with some margs and I’m in the heaven of appetizers! Haha, 😀

I came across the Pioneer Woman restaurant style sauce recipe online and thought I’d try it. I thought it was actually better than any of the sauces I’ve tried in restaurants.

It is full of a spicy and spicy taste that tickles your tongue! The ingredients melt and mix, complementing each other perfectly in this recipe. It’s seriously the best sauce I’ve ever made!

Restaurant style sauce

Necessary ingredients

  • Tomatoes: This homemade sauce recipe calls for canned whole peeled plum tomatoes and a can of Rotel. You can substitute whole plum tomatoes with other canned tomato products such as diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes. You can also use fresh tomatoes. More on that in the FAQ.
  • Chopped onion: I prefer to use yellow onions for this recipe. I suggest you stick to this or consider using Vidalia or shallots. White onions have a stronger, spicier flavor, while red onions can be too astringent and may end up dominating the flavor of tomatoes in the sauce. In small amounts, they should not affect so much. You can find more tips on onions in the ‘customize this sauce’ section below.
  • Garlic: I have added a nail, you can add anything you want. If you have time to spare, you can probably roast the garlic and add it instead.
  • Fresh chilies: I have used a jalapeno pepper
  • . Fresh coriander /

  • coriander leaves along with tender stems
  • Sauce seasoning mixture, consisting of ground cumin, sugar and salt
  • . Fresh lemon juice

  • : You can also use lemon juice.

Ingredients for restaurant-style sauce with canned tomatoes

Reasons why you will like this


Sauce prepared with canned tomatoes, served in a white bowl

How to make a homemade recipe for

Salsa – Step by Step Instructions Step


: Add all ingredients in a food processor’s bowl Add

1 can (

14.5 oz) whole peeled plum tomatoes, 1 can (10 oz) Rotel with green chilies, 1/4 cup onion, thickly diced onion, 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 to 1/2 cup coriander leaves along with tender stems (wash cilantro thoroughly and pat dry), 1/2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in a blender or food processor.

Add all ingredients in a blender

Step 2: Process

Pulse in short bursts until the sauce has reached the desired consistency.

Taste test! Check for seasonings with a tortilla chip, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon or more of lemon juice if necessary. Add more salt or sugar to balance the flavors, if needed.

Pulse in short bursts

Transfer sauce to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving, so flavors have a chance to merge and develop. The salsa tastes better while settling, it’s even better on the second day, only if it lasts that long 😀

tablespoon of tostitos full of salsa

Ways to use this sauce

Not only is this salsa great along with your favorite Mexican foods like fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, etc., but it’s also fantastic in recipes that call for salsa.

I love topping baked potatoes or scrambled eggs with sauce. Sometimes, I use it instead of tomato sauce to make Mexican rice. I also love using this sauce to make chicken Instant Pot sauce (so good for preparing meals) and burrito bowls.

It’s also amazing as a light salad dressing!

Storage and freezing instructions

This fresh homemade sauce will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to

a week.

Personally, I don’t like to freeze sauce, as I think it’s best to consume it within a week. And you barely need 5-10 minutes to assemble this sauce.

You can freeze it if you want! Transfer sauce to freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags in required serving sizes. Label and stack them flat, freeze for up to 2 months.

To thaw the

sauce, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a bowl, mix with a spoon, taste and adjust with fresh cilantro and other seasonings if needed.

Customize this simple homemade salsa recipe

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to making sauce. This easy homemade sauce recipe is so good that you may not need to modify much. But there’s always room to experiment with recipes like these!

Heat: This salsa recipe is medium-spicy because it uses a can of diced tomatoes and chiles (Rotel) along with jalapeño. I remove the seeds from the pepper and set them aside. If necessary, it is easy to increase the heat by adding some of the seeds to the sauce.

Jalapeño doesn’t add as much heat as Rotel. You can also experiment with other peppers, jalapeño or serrano, habanero or a ghost pepper if you really like to raise the heat.

Roasting the bell pepper is another alternative to adding a little depth of smoky flavor to your sauce


You can also experiment with dried Mexican chiles such as Anaheim, tree, ancho, guajillo, rattlesnake, pasilla, Morita, etc. Roast the peppers in a pan for 2-3 minutes. Do not treat them too much, as they will give a bitter taste to the final dish. Wear gloves, discard stems, seeds, and membranes. Rehydrate the peppers in boiling water until soft, and use them in the sauce.

You can also use peppers in this recipe, although I prefer to leave them out.

The flavor of the sauce

will vary depending on the type of pepper you use, as each of them has its own unique flavor profile


Soft or thick consistency: The consistency of the sauce comes down to personal preference. We like ours soft as served in Mexican restaurants. You can adapt it to be thick or soft.

If you want a very thick sauce, drain the can of plum tomatoes and Rotel. Also, remember to press the ingredients in short bursts.

You can refrain from adding the Rotel in the processor. Process all the ingredients, then drain them and add them to the mixed ingredients. Doing so will also give you a thicker sauce.

No Cilantro: I love my homemade sauce with cilantro! However, I know a lot of people who have something against cilantro! You can hate or love this herb. If you can’t stand it, just skip. This sauce won’t taste the same, but it will still be delicious. You can substitute cilantro with other fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or mint.

No onion or garlic: Don’t like one or both? Then just skip it.

If the spicy taste of onion puts you off, I have 3 suggestions.

  • Use sweet onions or shallots that are a little soft. Place
  • the

  • diced onion in cold water for 10 minutes, drain and use in the recipe. This trick helps reduce the pungency of onions.
  • Avoid adding onions in the food processor. Fine cubes and add them to the sauce at the end.

No lemon juice

: I like the little sizzle that lemon juice gives, it illuminates the flavor of the sauce. If you are not sure about using it, you can skip it. I suggest, start with some lemon juice and then gradually increase if necessary.

Quick FAQs


do I prefer to use canned tomatoes for this recipe? Why is

my sauce


There can be a number of reasons why your sauce might have a bitter bite. It could be the type of onions you used, or probably the garlic was old, or it could be the type of peppers you used in the sauce. Add some acid, salt, or sugar to balance the bitterness.

Can I make this sauce with fresh tomatoes


If you have a lot of garden tomatoes, you can certainly use them to make this red sauce from scratch. I prefer to make Pico de Gallo, which is basically a fresh, chopped tomato sauce, which doesn’t require any blender or food processor.

Unfortunately, you

can’t swap fresh tomatoes for canned ones directly in this recipe, especially if you use

a blender, because the sauce will be;

  • Watery
  • Sparkling and bubbly
  • Have a dull red-pink color

Whether you opt to make the sauce with fresh tomatoes in a blender or food processor, I suggest you follow one of the procedures of doing some preparation work for tomatoes.

First things first, you will need at least 6-8 fresh, ripe, juicy and plump tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are excellent for this recipe.


the tomatoes

  • and get an ‘x’ on the bottom of the tomatoes. Place them in a pot along with half an onion, fresh peppers and garlic and enough water to cover the ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until you see the tomato skins separate from the meat.
  • Transfer the ingredients to a bowl with a slotted spoon reserving the water in the pot.
  • Once it is cool enough to handle, peel the skins of the tomatoes, cut into halves, discard the seeds and transfer the tomatoes to the blender or processor along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Blend in short pulses to the desired consistency by adding the reserved water if necessary.
  • Add about a tablespoon of oil in a pan, transfer the sauce, season with salt and other seasonings like ground cumin, sugar, etc
  • .

  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add some chopped cilantro if desired. Serve hot or cold.

This is more or less a traditional recipe for table sauce or table sauce made

with fresh tomatoes.


  • You can roast tomatoes in a pan or directly on the gas flame with the help of tongs or under the grill or roast it
  • .

  • Stove: Cover the tomatoes and cut lengthwise. Heat the oil in a pan, place the cut tomatoes side down, along with the diced onion slices, the unpeeled garlic and the peppers in a cast iron skillet. Roast for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and tenderized. Flip and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes.
  • Baking: Place the cut tomatoes side up on a bordered baking sheet, along with the onions, unpeeled garlic, and bell peppers. Drizzle some oil on the vegetables. Roast for about 7-10 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to release their juices and the skins begin to carbonize.
  • Peel the garlic, discard the pepper stems and transfer to a blender or processor, along with the rest of the ingredients. Tap the required consistency.
  • Follow the same procedure of frying the sauce as mentioned above.

Note: I like to add cilantro at the end to preserve the freshness of the herb. You can certainly mix all the seasonings, lemon juice and cilantro along with the rest of the ingredients and then simply fry the sauce.

Uncooked sauce with

fresh tomatoes Cut the diced tomatoes

  • lengthwise, remove the seeds, place them in a strainer or in a fine-mesh strainer, sprinkle a little
  • salt and mix well.

  • The salt will draw out excess moisture, let the tomatoes drain for at least 30 minutes, and then use them in this recipe. You can then use them in a blender or processor to make the sauce, but always remember to pulse in short bursts instead of pureeing.
  • Or follow the traditional route and use a molcajete to grind the ingredients. The sauce made in molcajete is undoubtedly the best.

Of all these alternatives, I prefer the sauce made with roasted tomatoes. What about you?

You can also enjoy these easy sauce recipes

Corn sauce

  • Mango sauce Roasted
  • green tomatillo


If you try this homemade sauce recipe, I’d love to hear from ★ you! I would appreciate it if you could rate and leave a review below in the comments. Your feedback helps others get to know the recipe better as well. Feel free to share your comments and suggestions at [email protected] Thank you very much You 🙂

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Restaurant style sauce

Canzaciti.com Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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