Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe is sooo easy to make at home. Just a few tomatoes, a jalapeño, half an onion and a clove of garlic or two then, you good to go. This fast and easy salsa recipe uses your air fryer to get that roasted tomato, roasted chile, authentic Mexican flavor in a hurry.
Everyone has their favorite restaurant salsa. You know, the stuff. You start with a little bit on the tip of a chip and, before you know it, you have eaten a whole basket of chips!
There is a woman who comes in to the local Mexican restaurant every Friday and orders a basket of chips and salsa and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream. She makes a meal out of restaurant salsa and chips. Everyone knows her and everyone wishes that they were bold enough to do the same.
My family is the other way around, my husband and sons would rather skip the ice cream and have chips and salsa for dessert! This is one of their favorite salsas.
Authentic Mexican Restaurant Style Salsa makes a Delicious Sauce-
Salsa is not just for chips any more. This authentic Mexican salsa is a great way to add fresh ingredients and authentic Mexican flavor to any dish.
Of course, salsa is perfect with tacos and burritos, but people don't usually think of it as a sauce to cook will like marinara sauce.
I love it as a sauce for grilled chicken or spooned over steak.
This is the salsa recipe to I use to cook fried corn chips in for my Chilaquiles recipe.
It is also a perfect sauce to simmer eggs in for baked eggs or my famous Eggs El Diablo Recipe that I serve for fancy brunches or roll into burritos in my Burritos El Diablo.
Fresh Ingredients for Classic Salsa-
Great salsa starts with fresh, ripe ingredients.
- Tomatoes- the first thing you need is fresh, ripe, delicious tomatoes. I use Roma tomatoes. I think they have the best "tomato-y" flavor. You can use any type, really, just make sure they are ripe and flavorful.
- Chile- Jalapeños are the most common chile and are used for most Restaurant Style Salsa recipes. Jalapeños are rather mild these days. So, if you would like a hotter salsa, try another green chile such as half of a Hatch green chile or 2 smaller Serrano chiles.
- Onion- Don't under estimate the onion. Restaurants typically use a white onion. They are easy to find and don't compete with the flavor of the tomatoes. Save the red onions and green onions (scallions) for another day.
- Garlic- Just a clove or two is all you need. Restaurant style salsa is not too garlic-y, it is really about the tomato and the chile.
- Fresh Cilantro- Again, a little bit will do. Not everyone loves cilantro but, it adds that authentic Mexican flavor.
- Salt and Pepper- Don't forget the salt! That little bit of salt makes the tomato sing. I remember picking tomatoes my grandmother's garden and eating them whole, like an apple, with a shake of salt with each bite.
- Lime Juice- Optional- This is a taste test. If the tomatoes in your finishes salsa are not very acidic, and need that "somethin' somethin' " squeeze half a lime or so over the finished salsa and stir.
How to Roast Ingredients for the Best Restaurant Style Salsa in an Air Fryer-
Now comes the easy part of making this delicious salsa.
- Rinse the whole tomatoes and jalapeño then, pat them dry. Place them in the air fryer tray.
- Remove the outer skin of the onion and cut it into quarters. Add one quarter of the onion to the air fryer tray.
- Peel the garlic clove and place in the center of the air fryer tray where it will not get as roasted as the other fresh veggies.
- Reserve the cilantro for later, do NOT put it in the air fryer.
- Slide the tray into the air fryer and set the temperature to 390F. Set the timer to 10 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, carefully turn the ingredients over and continue cooking.
- Remove the tomato and garlic from the air fryer and place in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Return the jalapeño and onion the the air fryer, set it to 390F and cook another 3 minutes. Place cooked the jalapeño and onion in the bowl with the tomato and replace the plastic wrap.
How to Make Restaurant Style Salsa with Roasted Tomatoes-
This is the quick part-
- When the jalapeños are cool, remove the stems and wrinkly skins (optional). Chop the jalapeño and onion into 1 tp 2 inch pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic, salt and pepper.
- Pulse them in the food processor until they are in small pieces (about ¼ inch).
- Add the tomatoes and cilantro and pulse again until you've made slightly chunky restaurant style salsa. You can make the salsa as chunky or as smooth as you like.
- Chill salsa and serve with chips, tacos, chicken or over your favorite recipe.
Tip for making Chunky Salsa
I like to blend my restaurant style salsa in the food processor (rather than the blender) because there is better control over the texture of your salsa.
Pulse the salsa in the food processor until you reach your desired "chunky" texture.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
- 4 large Roma tomatoes, best when they’re soft and ripe*
- 1 large jalapeño pepper**
- ¼ of a medium-small white onion, peeled
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
- handful of cilantro leaves
- pinch of salt, adjust to taste
- Thoroughly rinse the tomatoes, jalapeño, and cilantro and pat them dry. Arrange the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion and garlic in your air fryer tray. Set the temperature to 390F and set time to 10 minutes. At the 5 minute mark open the air fryer and carefully flip the ingredients. Once timer goes off, very carefully remove the tomatoes and garlic and set either in your serving bowl or on a plate.
- Leave the jalapeño and onion in the basket and set the temperature to 390F and 3 minutes. This is to help them both soften more. When cooked allow to cool slightly. Place the jalapeño, onion, garlic clove and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few minutes until you end up with smallish chunks. Next add the cilantro and tomatoes and again pulse until you have a slightly chunky salsa – you can make it as smooth or chunky as you’d like.
- Serve with baked corn chips or as desired. Enjoy!
* Salsa tastes best when you use softer, ripe tomatoes. If you use hard or unripe ones it won’t taste as good and also won’t yield as much salsa.
** For a milder salsa use a small jalapeño and make sure to remove the seeds and veins – you can do this by slicing it in half (lenghtwise) before putting in the air fryer.
*** For those that don’t own an air fryer you can also put the ingredients under the oven broiler until charred.
You’ll notice that when made under the broiler the ingredients will have blacked or charred, but you won’t see that result with an air fryer. Also the broiler salsa will have little specs of the blackened veggies, you could peel before putting in the food processor if you’d like, or leave them for extra flavor.
(The baked corn crackers/chips used in the photos are these https://www.amazon.com/Salmas-Horneadas-Baked-Corned-Tostadas/dp/B07BVF2PNF?ref_=ast_bbp_dp )
Serving Size1 grams
Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g