Homemade salsa can taste incredible, but I wouldn’t say it’s incredibly easy to make. It is the kind of dish that people mess up easily for any number of reasons.
Maybe the tomatoes aren’t very fresh or the peppers they use are too spicy or not spicy enough. Maybe they have too much liquid or not enough liquid. Maybe their seasoning proportions are off just a little bit.
There’s a lot that could go wrong when you make salsa for tacos, and I want to break down the process of making taco salsa at home and discuss how to deal with some of those common mistakes people make when they are putting together this dish from scratch.
I’ll make it really simple so it should be easy to follow, and you shouldn’t have many difficulties in making your own at home.
Salsa For Tacos Recipe
Let’s just get right into a recipe for homemade salsa. One thing I want to say right from the start is that you can use your own seasoning and vegetable combinations.
Feel free to use this salsa recipe as a base and then make modifications as you like. You want to first try to make the recipe exactly as I’ve described and then change things up from there as you become comfortable making the original.
- 5 or 6 Roma tomatoes
- 1 can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded
- 1/3 cup of cilantro
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped roughly
- 1/3 cup of chopped red onion
- 2 green onions, chopped and trimmed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- Mix all of your ingredients together and pour them into a food processor.
- Pulse all ingredients for one second at a time until everything is combined and chopped finely.
- Consider refrigerating the salsa for a few hours before serving it for best results.
Now you know how to make salsa for tacos or to dip with tortilla chips. Let me share with you a few little tips that may help you in producing great tasting salsa every time.
You want to make salsa with fresh tomatoes whenever you make it. If your tomatoes are starting to go bad, then your salsa won’t be as crisp and flavorful as it should be. It will have the wrong texture, and the subpar tomatoes will throw off the rest of the dish.
Do you like your salsa to be extra spicy? If so, leave the seeds from the jalapeno pepper. The seeds are actually the spiciest part. Feel free to add a little Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce to the salsa to spice it up some more.
You can use this salsa for fish tacos, chicken tacos, and a lot of other Mexican foods. You may find that you prefer the flavor of the salsa for certain dishes with lemon juice rather than lime juice.
You can modify the recipe a little by adding bell peppers, banana peppers or Anaheim peppers. The different flavors, spiciness, and texture they add can change things up in interesting ways.
How to Make Green Salsa for Tacos
Have you ever seen green salsa and wondered how you make it? Which ingredients do you have to substitute or add to make your salsa look green and creamy?
Green salsa is known as salsa Verde, which is literally green salsa in Spanish. The key components are green tomatoes, also known as tomatillos. They give the salsa its distinctive green look and unique flavor. You can make it with as little as six ingredients- tomatillos, garlic cloves, cilantro, onion, jalapenos, salt, and olive oil.
When you make this salsa, be sure to sauté the tomatoes before blending them. This will give them the right flavor and texture. Other than that, however, you can use the same method I showed you above for making homemade salsa- just combining your ingredients and pulsing them in the blender.
For a smoother, creamier salsa, blend everything for longer. The olive oil helps to make the salsa a bit runnier than if you were making red salsa for tacos.
What to Do If Your Salsa is too Runny
There are a few problems you may run into as you try to make salsa for tacos. One of the more common ones is that the salsa can turn out a bit watery or runny. To fix that, you can drain out some of the water.
Try pouring your salsa through a strainer with small holes, and that should do the trick. It’s best to save back some liquid in the salsa and not drain all of it out. Otherwise, it can clump together and dry out a bit, which you probably don’t want.
When the salsa is too watery, that’s usually due to the water content of the tomatoes and not some fault of yours for using the wrong ingredients or the wrong amounts in the recipe.
Watery salsa can taste a little diluted and slightly bland, so it’s best not to leave it overly watery. It can also be kind of messy, especially if you are using it in tacos or burritos. You may want to drain out the water from only the salsa you are using for one of those dishes and then leave the rest of the salsa you made with its excess water.
Leaving the extra liquid in the salsa until you are going to use the salsa helps keep it tasting fresh and prevents drying out.
Do I Have to Use Roma Tomatoes for Salsa
You can use any kind of tomatoes you want, really. It’s up to you, but Roma tomatoes give you that authentic salsa texture and flavor. Just make sure that you are using fresh tomatoes when possible.
Canned tomatoes work okay, but they tend to be a bit mushy and soft. You can use them for part of the salsa, but your dish won’t have the right crunch without the fresh tomatoes.