Salsa Casera or “homemade salsa” is a simmered fresh tomato salsa filled with flavorful spices. Whip up a batch of this, and you might never eat a single bite of your favorite store-bought salsa brand again!
From your typical Mexican White cheese dip like you’d find at your local Mexican restaurant, a Baked Mexican Cheese Dip, or your go-to Rotel dip that you find at every football party, I’ve collected plenty of spicy dip recipes. But sometimes you just need a plain and simple salsa recipe! I mean jarred salsa just doesn’t cut it anymore.
So when I discovered Blogging for Books and found a whole book dedicated to salsas, I knew this was my chance.
Salsas and Moles by Deborah Schneider contain over 60 recipes of Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and more.
Save this Fresh Tomato Salsa to your favorite Pinterest board!
This book was full of tips on working with chiles and some essential pantry ingredients to have on hand. I love how informative it was and how it breaks down into sections of classic table salsa, hot salsas, moles and enchilada salsas, salsa for tacos, chunky salsas, and botanas. And for those new to making salsas from scratch she includes a guide to fresh and dried chile peppers.
The introduction spoke to me. She said “every Mexican cook…has a special secret salsa recipe.” And this Salsa Casera, which is a simmered fresh tomato salsa has now become mine.
Salsa Without Chips?
So you know how we all like to eat our salsa with tortilla chips? Well, apparently this is not the case in Mexico unless you’re in tourist areas. Now, I love my chips and salsa so I’ll gladly keep that tradition anyway!
Ingredients for Salsa Casera
Gather together your ingredients to make this delicious salsa. You’ll need the following:
- 2 cups of water
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 medium tomatillos, husked and washed
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes
- ½ white onion, diced
- 1 whole clove (optional)
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed
- 1 chile de arbol, stemmed
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)
What if I can’t find a Chile de Arbol or other ingredients?
It is true that some of these ingredients aren’t on the shelves of your local grocery store. Dried chiles aren’t exactly a kitchen pantry staple! If you have a specialty grocery store or one that carries international food, you may have better luck.
You can also order online. There were some neat online resources given in the book for finding certain dried chiles, canned goods, dried beans, and cheeses. I actually have ordered some cheese from one of the places before for some of my recipes.
If nothing else, you can substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper for the chile de arbol.
How to make Salsa Casera
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the water, 2 teaspoons of salt, tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, clove, garlic, and chiles. Bring this to a simmer over medium heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the tomatillos are just softened. Be careful not to boil vigorously, or the ingredients may fall apart.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a food processor, draining well. Discard the cooking liquid.
Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and pulse the salsa until it is very smooth, with specks of chile de arbol. This is NOT a chunky salsa.
Cool completely. Stir in the cilantro, then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
What is Salsa Casera used for?
This is a very typical salsa that goes well with all kinds of basic Mexican dishes. It is a very mild salsa that you’ll find in most homes throughout Mexico!
Serve this all-purpose table salsa on my Beef Enchiladas or pour it over your own enchiladas or burritos. Some other serving ideas are to add it to scrambled eggs or homemade chicken noodle soup for a little kick and flavor!
How to store your Salsa
Keep your cooked and cooled Salsa Casera in an airtight container. Reuse a lidded glass jar or another container. I don’t recommend plasticware as tomato-based dips and sauces tend to stain them. But if plastic is all you have on hand, spray the inside of the container with some cooking spray and that will help minimize the stains from the tomatoes. I do this for pasta sauces as well!
Can you freeze Salsa Casera?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze salsa! Place it in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. After that, the flavors start to break down.
More Mexican-Inspired Dishes
- These Mexican Street Corn and Chorizo Tacos are the perfect handheld treat – making them a great weeknight dinner option or game day finger food!
- You’ll love my Spicy Tequila Shrimp Tacos, stuffed with Mexican Rice and Cilantro Lime Cream.
- This Mexican Corn Salad is dressed in a fresh lime cumin vinaigrette. It’s so good!
- Our Mexican Sloppy Joe Sweet Potatoes are made with ground beef, homemade taco seasoning, and your favorite ingredients for a delicious twist on an old favorite.
- If you love your margaritas, you’ve got to try this Skinny Sparkling Margarita or these tart Frozen Cherry Margaritas.
- 2 Cups Water
- 3 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 6 Medium Tomatillos Husked And Washed
- 3 Medium Roma Tomatoes
- ½ White Onion Diced
- 1 Whole Clove Optional
- 4 Large Cloves Garlic
- 1 Jalapeño Stemmed
- 1 Chile De Arbol* Stemmed
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Cilantro Optional
- In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the water, 2 teaspoons of the salt, tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, clove, garlic, and chiles. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the tomatillos are just softened. Be careful not to boil vigorously, or the ingredients may fall apart.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a food processor, draining well. Discard the cooking liquid.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and pulse the salsa until it is very smooth, with specks of chile de arbol. Cool completely.
- Stir in the cilantro, then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
did you make this recipe?
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This post was originally published 4/1/16. It has been updated in format and with pictures on 2/10/23.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I did not receive any compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.
Reprinted with permission from Salsas and Moles, by Deborah Schneider, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Book Cover Photograph copyright © 2015 by Maren Caruso