Mom's Fresh Garden Salsa




Salsa is so easy to make, and it can be done completely with vegetables from your garden, or from store-bought ingredients.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Very Large Bowl
Cutting Board
Garlic Press*
Food Processor*

*Recommended, but not required

Tomato - 4 x 28oz cans Crushed Tomatoes in Tomato Puree
Peppers - 4 x Green Bell Peppers
Onion - 1 x Medium to Large Onion
Garlic - 1 x Bulb
Cilantro - 2 x Bunches (index finger to thumb)
Oregano - 3 Stalks Fresh or 1/4 Cup Dried
Jalapenos - 4 x Fresh, Pickled, or Dried
Vinegar* - 1 x Tablespoon
Salt - 1 x Teaspoon
Cumin - 1-2 x Teaspoon

*Jalapeno pickle juice may be substituted.

Step 2: Tomato

Empty all the cans of tomato into the Very Large Bowl. Most types of plain canned tomato will work, with a little effort. Fresh tomatoes can also be used. I've found Crushed Tomatoes in Tomato Puree is the easiest to use, as it is already the right sized pieces in the right consistency sauce.

Step 3: Pepper and Onion

Cut the 4 Green Bell Peppers into about 1 inch squares. Remove and discard the stem, white center, and seeds. Add a handful of peppers to the food processor, and use the 'pulse' button to chop it up into small chunks. Try to avoid turning it to pepper puree. Do it a little at a time and add it to the tomato before putting more into the food processor.

Peel the onion, and cut it in half. Then take the halves and cut them again into about 1 inch cubes. As before, use the food processor to chop the onion a little at a time, being careful not to puree it. You may want to make the onion chunks a little smaller than the pepper chunks. Add it to the tomato and pepper and stir it all together. It should start looking good around now.

Step 4: Garlic

Take the garlic bulb, and separate each of the cloves. Peel them. Hitting them with the bottom of a glass jar will make them easier to peel. Then use the garlic press to mush them. If you don't have a garlic press, be creative.

Step 5: Cilantro, Oregano, and Jalapenos

Take a handful of cilantro and cut the stems off. Pull the leaves off any thick stems, and throw all the stems away. Put all the leaves and leafy stems in the food processor. If you have fresh oregano, rinse it and pull the leaves off, placing them in the food processor with the cilantro. Again, discard the stems.

The jalapenos will need to be adjusted to match the level of heat you are looking for. In my case, I wanted a medium/hot salsa, so I added 4 pickled jalapenos. Also, you can take the seeds out to make it slightly milder. Put the desired number of jalapenos in the food processor with the cilantro and oregano. Add a little bit of vinegar, or jalapeno pickle juice. This makes the salsa taste better and last longer too.

Now, puree the whole bunch: cilantro, oregano, jalapeno, and vinegar. Add it to the tomato, pepper, and onion, and you are just about done!

Step 6: Cumin and Salt

Add a teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon or two of cumin. This may need to be adjusted based on taste. That's it!

Step 7: Storage and Customization

Store the salsa in your refrigerator in any water-tight container available. It would last a long time, if it weren't so good you eat it all in one day. That's why I made so much, because we eat a ton of it. Chips and salsa, nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, etc. I also love to use it as a salad dressing.

This is only basic instructions to get you started. You can change the recipe however you like. Try adding corn and black beans, or with lots of hot peppers like habaneros. If you don't like it so chunky you can puree all the veggies that go into it. The most important thing is that you enjoy the end result, so experiment until you get it.



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    12 Discussions


    5 years ago

    These look great!! Gotta make some


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Made this today and WoW! That's some AWESOMENESS! Thanks for sharing!


    8 years ago on Step 6

    MMM thank you so much for this recipe It tastes great!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Just found this...thanks for the great instructions...looks wonderful. My tomatoes are coming in now, so this is just in the nick of time. thanks again. Cman


    Can it be made out of fresh tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes? It wud be great if u could tell me how.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I forgot to add if that you want a garlic flavor that is less pungent but much better, try roasting the cloves. All you have to do is cut off the ends of a bulb of garlic. Then separate the cloves. Leave the skin on and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. You'll know when they are done. You simply take a clove, and squeeze the garlicky goodness from the cut end like it was toothpaste. It's also great on crusty bread. It's a simple trick that really seems to impress guests.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cut your bell peppers into smaller pieces before you slap them into the food processor. They'll come together better and be less mushy. You may also want to use the pulse function on the processor. If the machine does not have one then just flick the power button on and off. To be honest, if your goal is to bring most things into small sizes add the large stuff cut small (peppers, onions, etc) and then add a wee bit of water and a quarter can of your tomato. Pulse it from that point and you'll be fine. Good job.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    "Homemade pickled Jalapenos" OK, how do you make these? All of it looks awesome. As much Salsa as we eat at my place, think this would be a good idea.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You have to slit them and soak them in salt water, then pickle them in white vinegar. Best to find a recipe.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Top salsa recipe! A great instructable! We make salsa like this. Much better than gloopy, store-bought stuff.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome documentation and pictures! This salsa looks delicious. Nice job!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Oh man, this looks soooooo delicious! And I love salsa! I can't wait to make this.