Salsa Fresca

This post may contain affiliate links.

Here is my recipe for Salsa Fresca. Preparing fresh salsa couldn’t be any easier.  

In Southern California, Mexican food is a pretty big deal. Restaurants of the Mexican sort are plentiful, and many of them are very inexpensive. Tortillas of every make and grind are easily available. Avocados are treasured and loved and affordable year-round. Egg burritos are a welcome breakfast item. Everyone is familiar with “Carne Asada.” The idea of a “fish taco” is not unusual or gross. And salsa rarely comes from a jar.

Bowl of homemade Salsa Fresca with tortilla chips

“Salsa Fresca” translates to “Fresh Sauce” to top Mexican food. When I worked for a caterer for a few years back in college, we made gallons upon gallons of this stuff for too many parties to count. I could make it in my sleep.

How to make Salsa Fresca:

You’ll need these simple and fresh ingredients to make your own fresh salsa:

  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • jalapeño peppers
  • fresh cilantro
  • onion
  • fresh lime juice
  • sea salt

making salsa fresca

Combine chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped jalapeño peppers and freshly minced garlic.

About the jalapeños:

And since I’m predicting that someone will ask, nope… it’s not spicy.  I use two medium jalapeño peppers (seeds and ribs completely removed), and my kiddo gobbles this stuff up like there’s no tomorrow.

Don’t be afraid of the jalapeños, but do be careful in handling them.  The spice gets on your fingers and you need to be careful not to rub your eyes until you can successfully rid your fingers of that spicy stuff (or better yet- use plastic gloves when handling them).

making salsa fresca

Add chopped fresh cilantro.

making salsa fresca

Add chopped onion and a little bit of freshly squeezed lime juice.

salsa fresca

Give all of your salsa fresca ingredients a stir, add a little sea salt to taste, and that’s it!  I prefer to make my salsa a couple of hours ahead of serving time– just to give the flavors a chance to blend together.  Just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve.

Bowl of homemade Salsa Fresca

Salsa Fresca can be served with tacos and burritos, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is to add a big spoonful on top of my scrambled eggs.  Of course the most popular way to enjoy it is as an appetizer, alongside chips for dunking.

How to make your own low carb tortilla chips:

Shown here, I make my own chips using low carb flour tortillas.  I cut them into wedges, place them on a baking sheet, spray them with nonstick olive oil spray and give them a light sprinkle of cumin powder and kosher salt.  Then I bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F. until they become crisp (5 to 7 minutes).

Here are a few more recipes for salsa you might enjoy:

Print Pin
Save Recipe

Salsa Fresca

Easy, healthy appetizer recipe!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Servings 8 servings (1/4 cup per serving)
Calories 40kcal
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword fresh salsa, salsa, salsa fresca


  • 3 medium vine ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 medium jalapeño peppers (seeded and ribs removed), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt, to taste


  • In large glass bowl, combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.


  • This is great to prepare the evening before your event and let it marinate and chill overnight.
  • Try adding corn or black beans to your salsa for a different twist.
  • This salsa will keep for several days (covered) and kept refrigerated.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 429IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg | Blue WW Smartpoints: 0 | Green WW Smartpoints: 0 | Purple WW Smartpoints: 0
More Mexican Food Favorites...
Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate This Recipe


  • Arggg wrote:

    Great recipe! Just what I was looking for. Add fresh, fire-roasted chilies for extra yumminess.

  • pinkshoelady wrote:

    I found this recipe on “Pinterest” and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it. It is simple to make and doesn’t seem to last long in my house! Thank you for the great recipe.

  • Liz wrote:

    Add some cucumber to it, nice tasting!

  • Aggie wrote:

    this is my absolute favorite version of salsa. I’ll can eat a bowl of this with tortilla chips every single day!

  • Karen @ Sugartown Sweets wrote:

    I was happy to see this post! I just finished making fresh guacamole for my hubby’s lunch tomorrow. He’s grilling some fish to make fish tacos! Thank you for this recipe. 🙂

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction wrote:

    salsa freca… beautiful juicy chunks of tomatoes, mixed with lots of fresh cilantro and garlic… just how i like my salsa 🙂 i used to work at a mexican restaurant and would sometimes eat the salsa fresca with a spoon… that’s not weird right?! 😉