Here are the three most authentic Mexican salsa recipes local Mexicans make at home. Perfect for chips, homemade tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and more. All gluten-free and vegan.

Authentic Mexican Salsa Trilogy

A few years ago, I did a cross-country trip in Mexico, starting from a beautiful small town called Valle de Bravo. I was lucky enough to visit Valladolid, Mérida, Campeche, Tulum, Chichén Itzá,  and Akumal, and I had a chance to see some of the Mayan ruins. The experience was surreal. 

I met Suzanne, a marvelous mother of two who makes the best Mexican food I had ever had, including homemade salsa. During my stay with her family in Valle de Bravo and on the rest of the trip, we took God-knows-how-many tequila shots, and we jumped into the pool together in the middle of the night (probably an impulsive decision made after the tequila shots). We also spent a lot of time cooking together. She generously let me “steal” her authentic Mexican recipes by allowing me to hang out with her in the kitchen all the time.

Just like Mexican restaurants, Mexicans serve fresh salsa at home as an appetizer. The homemade salsa recipes are not limited to tomato salsa made with fresh tomatoes (they always use fresh ingredients, so no canned tomatoes), onions, cilantro, and lime juice. They love spicy salsa, so they add different kinds of chili peppers such as chipotle peppers, jalapeño peppers, or Guajillo peppers, etc. It’s not surprising to find toasted nuts or cumin in their salsa as well. 

Authentic Mexican Salsa Trilogy - salsa de guajillo, salsa verde, and salsa de cacahuate

Then the salsa gets thrown into homemade burritos with meat, veggies, and black beans. It gets to top off nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas along with pico de gallo

In this post, you’ll find not one, but THREE delicious Mexican salsa recipes. They might not be restaurant-style salsas, but they are the ones that local Mexicans make at home! 

Whenever you need an easy recipe to add some authentic flavor to your homemade Mexican food, pick one of these. Or make all three. Add them to your Mexican recipe list, so you can make the best salsa at Cinco de Mayo or anytime you want

Recipe credits go to my wonderful friend, Suzanne!

Mexican Salsa Recipe #1: Salsa de Guajillo

I love the smoky flavor of this salsa. It goes well with pretty much everything—tacos, tortilla chips, quesadillas, or even pasta. You name it. The secret is to toast Roma tomatoes and Guajillo chilies before blending them. Don’t discard the Guajillo seeds if you like some extra heat.

Ingredients for salsa de guajillo and after blending
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Salsa de Guajillo

Smoky, spicy, and refreshing, this salsa goes well with pretty much everything—tacos, tortilla chips, quesadillas, or even pasta. 

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 6 Guajillo chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roast Roma tomatoes and Guajillo chilies together for 10 minutes. Flip the chilies halfway through.
  2. Place all prepared ingredients in a food processor. Blend well.
  3. Optional: Use a colander to screen out any solid pieces to ensure a smooth salsa if you like.  

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 71
  • Sugar: 9.4g
  • Sodium: 278.1mg
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.2g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 3.4g

Recipe #2: Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)

Don’t lower your guard because of the lovely color of this salsa. This recipe calls for 5 serrano peppers. You may also use 2-3 jalapenos. I love the extra kick from leaving the seeds in when blending. But feel free to cut down the heat by using fewer chilies. It tastes super refreshing, just as it looks. Most of the ingredients we use for this salsa have a natural green color. You can find tomatillos in Mexican grocery stores.

Ingredients for salsa verde and after blending
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Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)

Naturally green, this salsa verde tastes super refreshing, just as it looks. You may adjust the heat by adding more or fewer chili peppers. 

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 ounces tomatillos
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 5 serrano peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Place all prepared ingredients in a food processor.. Blend well and serve. 

Notes

If you don’t serve it right away, put one of the avocado seeds in the salsa to prevent discoloration. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 250
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 276.2mg
  • Fat: 20.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.3g
  • Fiber: 11.2g
  • Protein: 3.8g

Recipe #3: Salsa de Cacahuate

Cacahuate means peanut in English. Toasted peanuts and white sesame seeds bring a great mixed aroma to this salsa. It goes perfectly well with chips and seafood. Serve it with any food according to your own preference. It cannot go wrong!

Ingredients for salsa de cacahuate and after blending
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Salsa de Cacahuate

Toasted peanuts and white sesame seeds bring a great mixed aroma to this salsa. It goes perfectly well with chips and seafood.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes
  • 5 dried chilies (any kind)
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place Roma tomatoes, peanuts, and white sesame seeds on a baking sheet and roast together for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Place all prepared ingredients (except the olive oil) in a food processor. Blend well.
  3. Optional: cook the salsa in olive oil over low heat for 10 minutes. (Salsa can last longer this way.)

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 209
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 136.9mg
  • Fat: 15.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.3g
  • Fiber: 5.2g
  • Protein: 9g

Authentic Mexican Salsa TrilogyAuthentic Mexican Salsa Trilogy

10 thoughts on “Authentic Mexican Salsa Trilogy”

  1. All I can get a dried guajillo peppers–hoping that is correct to cook in the oven with Roma tomatoes? Thanks.

  2. I’m looking for this salsa recipe, its clear to follow and i love the various kinds! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I loved these selection of salsas! They were all so flavorful and super easy to make. I eat them on everything – eggs, potatoes, tacos, etc. They are all so delicious but I think salsa verde was my favorite!

  4. Tomatillos arent really green tomatoes though, theyre just called that cause of how they look. When they grow the dont look anything like tomatoes with their little paper husks. Unripe tomatoes are not an ok substitute.

    1. Hi C! Thanks for your clarification! I usually go to a Mexican grocery store here in San Francisco to pick up tomatillos. They label them as both tomatillos and green tomatoes. I guess it’s easier for people to address them. Some people also call them unripe tomatoes probably also because of how they look. Other than tomatillos, I have never seen other type of green tomatoes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are completely different ingredients. To minimize the confusion, I have revised my post accordingly. Thank you so much for your comment! Now I am very curious about green tomatoes! 🙂

    1. Haha…I heard that Austin has amazing food! I am seriously considering going. You will have to take me to a food tour or something. 😛

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