Quick Homemade Salsa Fresca

Quick homemade salsa fresca recipe.

Homemade Salsa Fresca can be yours in a snap with this go-to recipe. Throw it together, and it will elevate even the most basic meals to party status.


I love how this salsa made from all fresh ingredients sings with flavor. Fully ripe, sweet tomatoes are essential. Colorful peppers, red onion, and cilantro make the salsa festive and tart lime juice brings all the flavors forward.

Ripe tomatoes, hot peppers, onion, lime and cilantro for salsa recipe.


Here is the best part of the recipe. First, ripe tomatoes are seeded and hand-cut to create just the right texture. Then they are salted and drained while the rest of the ingredients are prepped.

Chopped, salted and drained tomatoes.

You might be thinking, why take the extra step to salt and drain the tomatoes? Well, removing most of the liquid from the fresh chopped tomatoes helps concentrate the sweet tomato’s flavor.

Juice extracted from slated tomatoes.

Once drained, the tomatoes soak up zingy lime juice which adds just the right amount of tartness. Thus, you won’t have to settle anymore for that watery, bland salsa sold at the store.


  • Flat edged knife
  • Small serrated knife
  • Fine mesh strainer

An ordinary sharp, flat-edged knife is fine for mincing peppers and onion.

However, if you want your tomato dice to be fast and beautiful, a knife designed for slicing tomatoes is helpful. I especially like the Kai Komachi 4-inch Tomato knife and have had mine for five years now. In addition to being ideal for slicing thin-skinned delicate produce, it easily handles the tough skin of a lime. 

The strainer doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it has a fine mesh.

How spicy is it?

Guess what? That’s up to you. You can easily adjust the spiciness from mild to kick-ass hot. But maybe you’re wondering how? So here’s a guide with suggestions on choosing your peppers:

Mild to hot peppers.

Choose jalapeno peppers and remove the seeds for gentle heat.

Or, mince Serrano or Thai chilies to make a boldly spicy dip. 

If you want your salsa flaming off the charts, use habanero peppers and include all the seeds.

Even if you have a busy schedule, you can still have the brightest bowl of spicy salsa on your table in 20 minutes. Now I think that’s 20 minutes well spent. How about you? 

The only thing left to do is decide what you want to put your Homemade Salsa Fresca on. Perhaps you would like to try these make-ahead Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas. Go all the way with a dollop of the Best Vegan Sour Cream and you won’t be sorry.

quick homemade salsa fresca.

Quick Homemade Salsa Fresca

Hand cut fresh ingredients make all the difference in this 15 minute Homemade Salsa Fresca. The end result is a perfectly textured, vibrant salsa that has just the level of spiciness you want.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Plant-Based, Raw, Whole Food
Cooking Skill Beginner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 10
Author poppyswildkitchen


  • 8 oz. ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped small
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TB minced red onion
  • 1 TB minced sweet yellow pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced jalapeno, serrano or other hot peppers*
  • 1/4 cup sliced cilantro
  • 1 TB lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grated black pepper


  • Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Dice into into 1/8 inch pieces. A finely serrated knife is really helpful. Place the chopped tomatoes in a medium bowl with the salt and give a stir. Set aside.
  • Mince the red onion, sweet yellow pepper, and spicy jalapeno or serrano pepper. Slice the cilantro.
  • Spoon the salted tomatoes into a small strainer and gently press the extra liquid out with the back of a spoon.
  • Return tomatoes to bowl and stir in all the remaining ingredients. Adjust salt, pepper and lime juice if needed. 
  • Spoon into a serving bowl and serve right away or refrigerate up to 3 days.


Tip: Wear gloves and/or wash hands immediately after chopping very spicy peppers.
Sweet grape tomatoes are essential to this recipe. They provide the best flavor and color as well as texture. Taking the time to chop them individually and salt them is worth the effort. No more bland or watery salsas!
*For mild salsa, use jalapeno peppers and discard all the seeds. For medium salsa, use serrano peppers. For extra-hot salsa, use Thai chilies and include the seeds. Still not hot enough? Use Hawaiian chilies or habanero peppers and wear your gloves.  Ole!


Calories: 10kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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