You’ll never go back to the jarred stuff after trying this Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe! It’s bursting with flavor thanks to a mix of tomatoes, vegetables, simple seasonings, and pickled banana peppers.
You know that bright red and green-speckled salsa they bring to the table in Mexican and Tex Mex restaurants? This Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe is even better!
Restaurant style salsa features crushed fresh tomatoes, diced vegetables, and simple seasonings. Pickled banana peppers add just a touch of heat, but you can make it as spicy or as mild as you want. It’s the perfect dip for tortilla chips, burritos, quesadillas, and more.
You just won’t find the same level of flavor as homemade salsa in storebought salsa. Grab a big bag of chips because you won’t be able to get enough!
What is restaurant style salsa?
Restaurant style salsa is a type of red salsa (salsa roja) that’s traditionally served as an appetizer in Mexican and Tex Mex restaurants with tortilla chips. It’s made with similar ingredients to pico de gallo but the tomatoes and vegetables are chopped almost to a pulp, giving the salsa a much smoother texture. The flavors are layered and the spice level is mild, making this a crowd-pleasing dip or condiment.
Ingredients and substitutions
There aren’t any hard-to-find or complicated ingredients here. This list will always leave you with an ultra-fresh salsa that’s bursting with flavor:
- Tomatoes - This salsa recipe uses tomatoes threefold: Canned Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, diced canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. No fresh tomatoes needed. The mix of canned tomatoes simplifies the preparation and adds layers of flavor to the finished salsa.
- Vegetables - Dicing celery, bell peppers, and onion in a food processor will not only save you time but also give this salsa the best texture.
- Seasonings - All you need is garlic salt, onion powder, celery salt, and cumin.
- Pickled banana peppers - For just a little heat! Feel free to use pickled jalapenos instead but it is just not the same.
How to make restaurant style salsa
Making this salsa in a food processor speeds up the process and saves you from chopping all of those vegetables by hand. Here’s how it’s done:
- Chop the vegetables: Add the bell peppers, onion, and celery to a food processor. Pulse until they’re diced into very small pieces (but not mush).
- Add the rest: Next, add the rotel tomatoes and canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and banana pepper brine to the processor. Pulse until the tomatoes aren’t as chunky.
- Add the banana peppers: Finish by stirring the pickled banana peppers into the salsa.
- Let it chill: Transfer the salsa to a bowl or airtight container and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Once the time is up, serve the salsa or keep it in the fridge for later. For full ingredients and instructions see printable recipe below.
Tips for success
- Most salsa recipes (both red and green) are made with fresh cilantro. I find that this recipe is better without. However, if you’re a die-hard cilantro fan, go ahead and add a bunch to the processor when you add the tomatoes.
- If you love spicy red salsa, feel free to add extra banana peppers, pickled jalapeno peppers, or a pinch of cayenne.
- Chilling the finished salsa in the fridge before serving is important. Those 30 minutes give all of the ingredients time to mingle, leaving you with a better-tasting salsa!
- For even more depth and flavor, add garlic cloves, fresh herbs, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, or fresh lime juice.
- If you don’t have a food processor, use a chef’s knife to finely chop all of the vegetables instead.
Ways to use restaurant style salsa
I have no doubt that this salsa will be your new favorite condiment. Keep a batch in your fridge at all times and use it anywhere you want an extra burst of flavor!
- As a dip for tortilla chips or quesadillas.
- Stuff it into burritos or a vegan crunch wrap supreme.
- Add a dollop on top of vegan nachos, vegan tacos, and vegetable fajitas.
- Include it on snack night along with cowboy caviar, refried black beans, and vegan nacho cheese sauce.
- Stir it into a pot of Mexican rice.
- Scoop a little onto lettuce wraps, tofu scramble, or a baked potato.
How long does homemade salsa last?
The salsa will last for 7 to 10 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
More vegan Mexican recipes
- Mexican Chopped Salad
- Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup)
- The Best Vegan Taco Meat
- Easy Homemade Guacamole
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print