What's better than a fresh salsa made with colorful ingredients like vine-ripened tomatoes, spicy jalapeños, and tangy lime juice?!
In 15 minutes or less, you could be relaxing with a bowl of this homemade salsa fresca, some tortilla chips, and a drink in hand. Ahh, bliss.
Also known as pico de gallo, this dish is our most consumed appetizer (next to guacamole), especially when we visit Mexico. It's so vibrant and delicious! To be completely honest, we usually fill up on both snacks before our meals even arrive.
So, the other day when we harvested more jalapeños and tomatoes from our garden, we immediately thought "we definitely need to make salsa fresca and chips". What better way to turn some fresh ingredients into a tasty snack?!
Traditionally, salsa fresca is made with a mix of chopped tomatoes, white onion, spicy peppers (usually Serrano or jalapeño), lime, cilantro, cumin, and salt. All foods that top our favorites list. It's such a simple recipe, but so dang good. That's what we're all about here at Broke Bank Vegan!
Salsa fresca has to be one of the most versatile creations out there. Whether it be for an appetizer, taco topper, side dish for an entree, or in a breakfast burrito. Is there anything it can't do?! Seriously, we'd love to know.
You can serve this homemade salsa fresca with your favorite tortilla chips, or try making your own too! They're so easy, and it really adds to the authenticity of it all.
🍲 Key ingredients
- Tomatoes: this juicy fruit that seems like a vegetable is what gives salsa fresca a slight sweetness to balance out all that spice. Not only do tomatoes taste amazing, these babies are packed with potassium, which is really good for your heart! So much health.
- Onions: while the tomatoes add sweetness, diced onion gives this salsa a punch! It's best to use white onions, but if you only have red or yellow, don't cry about it (see what we did there). Use whatever you have on hand! Onions are an awesome source of a compound called quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant.
- Lime: what would a pico de gallo be without lime? Bland! This ingredient adds a zesty and tangy flavor that makes you pucker up a touch. It puts the "fresca" in salsa fresca if you know what we mean. We recommend consuming citrus if you want to lead a long and limber life. It contains high amounts of vitamin C, which has been shown to help reduce side effects of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Cilantro: we've never seen a more polarizing food before. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either really love, or really hate. There isn't a lot of in between with this one. Well, we're in the really love camp, so we always throw it in our salsa. Cilantro has notes of sweet citrus and pepper that perfectly elevates this dish.
The nice thing about this salsa is how quick it is to prep! You'll start by slicing the tomatoes and removing the inner seeds and jelly. If you prefer a runnier salsa, you can definitely omit this part. Then, chop what's left of the tomatoes and throw them in a mixing bowl.
After the tomatoes are in your bowl, you'll need to finely dice the onion. We prefer extra small chunks, but you can cut them to your preference. Add the onion, along with the minced garlic and cilantro, to the same bowl as the tomatoes.
To de-seed your jalapeño, you'll cut it in half lengthwise. Take a small spoon and scrape out the seeds. Then, finely mince the pepper and add it to the bowl.
Lastly, squeeze in some fresh squeezed lime juice, a pinch of cumin, and sea salt to taste. You can serve this salsa fresca with some homemade tortilla chips for a tasty snack or appetizer!
This salsa will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge, but we recommend consuming it right away for optimal freshness. This recipe is not freezer-friendly.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Try your hand at growing vegetables like onions in a small garden for a fun challenge
- Find Roma tomatoes are your local farmer's market
- Add half the amount of lime juice
🍴 Tasting notes
This recipe is so easy to throw together, it makes the perfect appetizer for any night! We know you're going to love the combination of flavors. They're:
If you try this salsa, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Homemade Salsa Fresca (Pico de Gallo)
- Chef knife
- Mixing bowl
- 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped ($0.72)
- ½ medium white onion, finely chopped ($0.12)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.04)
- 2 tbsp packed cilantro, finely minced ($0.07)
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced ($0.25)
- 2 tbsp lime juice ($0.18)
- Sea salt to taste ($0.01)
To Serve optional
- To begin, slice the tomatoes and remove the inner seeds and jelly. If you prefer a runnier salsa, you can omit this part. Then, chop what's left of the tomatoes and add them to a mixing bowl.
- Next, finely dice the onion. Add that, along with the minced garlic, to the same bowl.
- For the jalapeño, cut it in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, scrape out the seeds and finely mince the pepper. Add that to the bowl as well.
- Mix in the minced cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt to taste.
- Serve this salsa fresca with some homemade tortilla chips for a tasty snack or appetizer!
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of this recipe.
- We measure the cilantro after mincing it.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty recipes, check out our:
- Guacamole and tortilla chips if you're looking for an authentic as possible version of a classic snack.
- Coconut crusted cauliflower tacos to curb your appetite and chow down with some friends or family.
- Creamy cilantro lime dressing if you're looking for a new sauce to add to your repertoire.
- Southwest sweet potato salad for a little spice and a lot of nutritional benefits.
Yes, you can make this in a food processor if you prefer. Just make sure you pulse to mix everything to prevent over chopping the veggies into a mush.
Yes, you can absolutely use other tomatoes. We just find the Roma variety is readily available and fairly cheap. But, you can use whichever variety you prefer. The Spruce Eats has a post on the best tomatoes for salsa for reference.
If you don't like cilantro, or don't have access to any, you can omit it completely. We've also think fresh oregano, basil, or green onions could be good in place of cilantro.