Restaurant Style Salsa (Easy, Mild, Homemade Salsa)


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This mild restaurant style salsa is made from scratch with fresh tomatoes. It’s packed with so much delicious flavor – you’ll love this easy homemade salsa!

Restaurant Style Salsa

When I was at the grocery store the other day, I saw 1/2 bushels of tomatoes for only $7 each. I jumped as soon as I saw it and bought it immediately.

Needless to say, we’ve had tons of garden fresh tomatoes to experiment with.

I’ve been trying to replicate my Grandma’s homemade salsa for years, and having all these fresh tomatoes on hand gave me the chance to finally test it as thoroughly as I wanted to!

After at least a dozen batches of Mexican restaurant style salsa, we’ve settled on this as our favorite variation (it’s really the best salsa). It’s mild, delicious, and so easy to make from scratch.

If you love salsa, be sure to check out my Fresh Salsa (Pico de Gallo) recipe, too!

Restaurant Salsa Ingredients

This simple recipes uses only 6 ingredients:

  • Fresh Roma Tomatoes
  • Jalapeno
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

It’s made with no cilantro and no lime juice, but you could definitely add some in if you prefer it that way!

A bowl of restaurant style salsa next to two bowls of tortilla chips.

How to Make Restaurant Style Salsa

This is a cooked salsa. Cooking the ingredients is such an important step. It helps tone down the sharp acid notes in the tomatoes, the astringent notes in the onion, and the overly spicy notes in the jalapeno. 

Start by preheating the oven to 400 F. While the oven preheats, prep the other ingredients. 

Cut each tomato in half lengthwise on an angle. If you cut it on an angle, you can get the entire stem on one half of the tomato, which allows you to cut it away with only one cut (rather than having to cut it away from both sides). 

Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membrane. That’s where a lot of the heat is, so it’s important to get rid of those bits to keep this salsa non spicy.

Remove the cloves from an entire bulb of garlic. Take off the papery skins. Smash each clove by pressing the heel of your hand on the flat side of your knife against each clove.

Peel a yellow onion and cut it into quarters.

Tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet before roasting.

Arrange everything on a nonstick baking sheet (lined with parchment paper if you’d like easier cleanup). I arrange the tomatoes skin side down and the jalapeno skin side up. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and let everything cool for 20 minutes before blending the salsa.

Tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet after cooking.

Add everything to a food processor. Don’t forget the flavorful liquid that accumulated on the baking sheet! This is where so much of the flavor is and it’s critical to include it. Add in the additional oil. Pulse until you get the texture you prefer. Taste and add salt to your preference.

Cooked tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, and onion in a food processor.

*Note – If you’re looking for a fire roasted salsa recipe, you’ll need to cook ingredients under the broiler with the skin side up for 6 – 8 minutes instead (or until the skins have blackened and blistered).

Restaurant style salsa in a food processor.

Best Tomatoes for Salsa

We’re using roma tomatoes in this recipe. They have lots of flavor, a great meaty texture, very few seeds, and a lot less liquid than other varieties. All of those traits make them perfect for cooking and amazing for salsa. Using roma tomatoes helps the final texture of the salsa have actual substance rather than just separating and turning watery.

A bowl of restaurant style salsa in a platter of tortilla chips.

How to Freeze Salsa

This is a great recipe to freeze! Once it’s blended, allow it to cool to room temperature. Pour it into portioned airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

A hand dipping a chip in a bowl of restaurant style salsa.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Click here to pin this recipe for later

A Pinterest pin image displaying two images of restaurant style salsa with title text in the middle.
Yield: 4 cups

Restaurant Style Salsa

A hand with a tortilla chip dipping into a bowl of glistening restaurant style salsa.

This mild restaurant style salsa is made from scratch with fresh tomatoes. It’s packed with so much delicious flavor - you’ll love this easy homemade salsa!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rest Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 10 - 12 roma tomatoes (depending on size; cut in half lengthwise with stem removed )
  • 1 medium jalapeno (stem, seeds, and membrane removed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled and cut into quarters)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt (or to taste; divided)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).
  2. Place the tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and garlic on a nonstick baking sheet (parchment paper lined if you’d like easier cleanup). Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool somewhat, about 20 minutes.
  5. Move everything from the baking sheet to a food processor fitted with the S-shaped blade. Don’t forget all of the remaining oil and juice from the pan! A lot of the flavor is in this liquid and it needs to be blended into the salsa. Pour in the remaining ½ Tablespoon olive oil. Pulse until you reach the texture you prefer. Taste, and add additional salt to taste preference. Pulse to combine.


Best served cool (between room temperature and cold).

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 Tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 16Total Fat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 98.8mgCarbohydrates: 1.4gNet Carbohydrates: 1.1gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.7gProtein: 0.3g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

Try making this easy homemade restaurant style salsa when you have an abundance of garden tomatoes!

A hand with a tortilla chip dipping into a bowl of glistening restaurant style salsa.

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