Easy Fresh Garden Salsa Recipe

Learn how to make fresh garden salsa with this easy recipe. It only takes minutes to throw together and tastes amazing!

a bowl of salsa surrounded by fresh tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro
This delicious homemade salsa recipe is a great way to use up summer and late fall veggies from your garden!

No cooking required for this flavor packed salsa recipe! You just need a bunch of fresh garden produce, a few seasonings, a splash of lime juice, and a food processor.

If you’ve got all those things on hand, then you’ve got all you need to knock together a delicious bowl of fresh healthy salsa. It’s quick, easy, and ready in time for a fast appetizer or snack idea!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 12 roma tomatoes
  • 2 bell/sweet peppers; any color, with tops, white ribs, and seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion; both yellow onions or red onions will work
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 habanero pepper, tops, ribs, and seeds removed
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup loosely heaped fresh cilantro, stems included
  • 2 teaspoons roasted ground cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • a food processor that holds 8 cups, (or a blender, in a pinch)
plates of chopped tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro
The tomatoes, peppers, and onions are roughly chopped before adding to the food processor.

How to Make Fresh Garden Salsa:

This really is such an easy recipe! Basically, you’re combining everything together in a food processor, pulsing a few times, and then… you have almost instantly made your own salsa, ready to enjoy!

If you don’t have garden fresh veggies, check your local farmers market for seasonal options. Feel free to get creative with tomato, pepper, and spice types and amounts!

This recipe makes a medium-heat salsa. To make it milder, half the habanero amount, or use a less-hot option, such as jalapeno pepper.

Yield: 4.5 to 5 cups

Step 1

Pull out your food processor, and set it up. Make sure it has at least an 8 cup capacity – if it can’t hold that much, halve the recipe.

Step 2

Slice the tops off your tomatoes, and rough-chop them up, placing them in the bowl of your food processor. Make sure the sweet peppers have no tops, ribs, or seeds, then rough chop them and add on top of the tomatoes in the food processor.

Step 3

Wearing gloves, make sure your habanero pepper has no top, inner white ribs, or seeds, then chop it up finely. Throw it on top of the green peppers in the food processor.

Step 4

Next, remove the skin and peel your onion and garlic, then rough-chop them as well, dumping them in on top of the peppers and tomatoes.

woman's hand adding lime juice to a food processor containing tomatoes, peppers, onions
This is our most favorite salsa ever! Just layer all of the ingredients into your food processor and pulse to chop!

Step 5

Finish off by tossing in the cilantro, and then sprinkling the roasted ground cumin powder, salt, and lime juice over top of everything. (You can use fresh lime juice or bottled, both will work in this recipe!) Place the lid on the food processor.

Step 6

Pulse for 1 second at a time, about 9 or 10 times. Stop sooner if you like a very chunky salsa consistency, or pulse a couple more times if you like a finer salsa. You may need to scrape the bowl or stir one time if you notice any unmixed ingredients, but in general, this method is very effective at mixing everything together.

Taste test and adjust spice level if you wish, though remember the flavors will develop further as it sits in the fridge.

Finishing Up

Now your homemade salsa is done! Ideally, let it sit in the refrigerator a few hours so the flavors can mingle and develop, but you can taste test it alone or with some tortilla chips right away.

It will depend on the size of your tomatoes, but you should end up with about 4 1/2 to 5 cups total salsa. No batch will ever turn out exactly the same because of the natural size variations of homegrown or farmers market vegetables – and that’s one of the charms of garden salsa!

freezer containers filled with fresh salsa
Can’t eat the whole batch of this garden fresh salsa recipe in one week? Spoon leftovers into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2 to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this salsa milder?

Yes, you sure can! One option is to reduce the habanero to half of a pepper, instead of using a whole one. Another idea is to use a milder pepper, such as jalapeno instead of a habanero.

How long can I store homemade salsa in the refrigerator?

This salsa will stay good in your fridge for about 5 to 7 days.

Is it okay to can this recipe?

This recipe hasn’t been developed or tested for canning safety. Instead, we recommend enjoying it fresh and using within one week, or freezing it in individual containers.

Can I freeze this salsa?

Yes! Divide any extra salsa into small single serving size food storage containers. To thaw, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge overnight, or until completely thawed. For best quality, try to use thawed salsa up within a couple of days. This salsa can be frozen for up to 3 months.

bowl of salsa

Fresh Garden Salsa Recipe

4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Keyword: fresh tomatoes, salsa
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4.5 cups


  • 12 roma tomatoes
  • 2 medium-small sweet or bell peppers, any color, with tops, white ribs, and seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion; any color
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 habanero pepper, with tops, inside ribs, and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, stems included
  • 2 tsp roasted ground cumin powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lime juice


  • Set up your food processor. Make sure it can hold 8 cups of ingredients.
  • Slice the top off of the tomatoes and rough chop them, then add to the bottom of the food processor.
  • Make sure sweet/bell peppers have no tops, inner ribs, or seeds, then rough chop them. Add them on top of the tomatoes in the food processor.
  • Wearing gloves, make sure the habanero has no top, inner ribs, or seeds. Finely chop and add them on top of the sweet peppers in the food processor.
  • Peel and rough chop the onion and garlic, adding them to the food processor.
  • Add the spices and fresh cilantro, then put the lid on the food processor.
  • Pulse for one second at a time, for about 9 or 10 times. Pulse less for a chunky salsa, or pulse a few extra times for a finer salsa.
  • You can eat your salsa right away, or ideally, let the flavors meld together by storing in the fridge for several hours.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. Freeze any leftovers.

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  1. 4 stars
    It’s winter, but this is a hopeful recipe! To me, all paste tomatoes, including Amish, (even when vine-ripened) are blah, so I like how you approved tomato substitutions! My problem with my food processor is that it doesn’t pulse tomato skins : ( So next year, I’ll try using slightly underripe tomatoes, and see if they pulse better. But extra-ripe tomatoes do self-peel as you’re cutting, which is handy if you’re using a cutting board with a rim! I’ll also ADD INGREDIENTS IN THE ORDER YOU LIST THEM. When I’m pre-chopping, if the skin starts to separate, I pull it off and discard (or save for soup). But it’s too hard to blanch (and stop before the tomatoes start to cook!). I try to grow the most flavorful varieties, such as the “black” ones. Flavorful smaller sweet peppers: Jimmy Nardello, and Lipstick.

    1. Hi Lightharvest, We hope you like the recipe if you get to try it out this summer! 🙂 Black tomatoes are top favorites for us as well, and Lipstick pepper is a MUST HAVE each year in our garden too!

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