Fresh Garden Salsa for Summertime Flavor

Memorize these five ingredients; you’ll never need a salsa recipe again. Nothing beats this easy garden fresh salsa recipe — it’s my family’s favorite summertime snack.

Prefer your salsa cooked? Try this spicy salsa recipe!

Garden fresh salsa recipe in a yellow bowl with round yellow tortilla chips

Also known as pico de gallo, this fresh salsa requires some chopping and dicing, but once that’s done it’s a simple matter of combining the ingredients. If you can make it an hour or so in advance of serving it, the flavors will have a chance to meld, but it’s not critical. 

It’s a delicious way to savor homegrown tomatoes or the beauties you picked up at the local farmers market. The summertime abundance of tomatoes means you can make this delicious salsa recipe all season long. It’s the best thing about growing your own tomato plants!

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Fresh Garden Salsa Recipe

My method for this garden fresh salsa recipe is simple — there’s no measuring involved. Memorize these five ingredients: tomato, hot pepper, onion, garlic, and lime. You’ll never need a salsa recipe again. 

Feel free to adjust the quantity of ingredients to suit your preference. More garlic is always a good bet. If you like things extra spicy, add another hot pepper. Or use my fermented hot pepper relish instead of fresh peppers. No lime? Feel free to substitute lemon juice. Cilantro is optional, of course.

ingredients for fresh salsa.


Tomatoes —  You can use any type of tomato; heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors are great, but don’t hesitate to use fresh roma tomatoes. You can even use cherry tomatoes! The best tomatoes for salsa are straight out of the garden or off the farmers market table. Those barely-pink store-bought tomatoes? Don’t even bother. Seriously. You will be disappointed. Because that is not actually garden fresh salsa, now, is it? 

Onion You can use any kind of bulb onion you have on hand. Yellow onion or white onion is great; red onion adds a bit of sweetness. 

Hot peppers Jalapeno peppers are commonly used in salsa and add a nice amount of heat without being too overpowering. You can vary the heat level of the salsa by adding hotter peppers. 

Garlic — Fresh garlic cloves are best, but in a pinch you could add garlic powder.

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Fresh lime juice — The addition of lime juice gives the salsa a delicious tang. No lime juice? Feel free to substitute lemon juice.

Fresh cilantro — This ingredient is optional but delicious for those of us who love it. 

process of chopping and mixing vegetables for salsa.

Making the Salsa

This easy homemade salsa recipe is a chop-and-serve recipe. Pull out the cutting board and use a sharp knife to dice the tomatoes and onions into 1/2″ pieces. Finely dice the hot pepper and garlic. Remove the stems of the cilantro (if using) and chop the leaves. 

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and toss to combine for a chunky salsa. Simple, right?

If you are in a hurry, you can certainly make this recipe in a food processor. Cut fresh tomatoes, onion, and pepper into rough chunks and drop them into the processor. Pulse until you achieve desired consistency. Transfer to bowl and add garlic and lime juice, and chopped cilantro if you’re using that. 


As if you need any help with this! Definitely enjoy it fresh. Serve it up with your favorite tortilla chips. It’s also a great addition to tacos, tostadas, or refried beans. If you’re looking for a great recipe to preserve your bounty, I suggest you try this salsa recipe for canning. It’s one of our favorites.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

fresh salsa with chips, text reading pico de gallo.

★ Did you make this garden fresh salsa recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

bowl of fresh garden salsa surrounded by round tortilla chips.

Garden Fresh Salsa Recipe

Yield: About 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This fresh garden salsa is a summertime treat. Memorize these five ingredients; you'll never need a salsa recipe again. If you've got a garden that's brimming with juicy ripe tomatoes and peppers, get chopping and make up a big batch of this fresh salsa recipe.


  • 5 medium-sized vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 hot peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , finely chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Chop tomato and onion into a quarter-inch dice.
  2. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.


Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Feel free to adjust the quantity of ingredients to suit your preference. If you like things extra spicy, add another hot pepper or opt for a hotter type of pepper. No lime? Feel free to substitute lemon juice.

If you're using really juicy tomatoes, you may wish to drain some of the excess juice to avoid a watery salsa.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

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Originally published August 2014; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

7 comments… add one
  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 21:44

    Easy to make and so yummy. I will definitely make this again!

  • Mary Jan 16, 2016 @ 5:57

    how long will this keep in the refrigerator?

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 17, 2016 @ 20:21

      Well. I don’t think I’ve ever kept it more than a day or two; my guys usually finish it off in a hurry! My estimation would be a week, though, give or take.

  • Amanda L Aug 21, 2014 @ 6:40

    Do you remove the tomato seeds and pulp, so that it doesn’t cause the salsa to be overly watery? I don’t see that mentioned anywhere. Thank you.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 21, 2014 @ 6:53

      I don’t! We like it juicy and the seeds don’t bother us at all. (Also: I’m lazy.) 😉

  • Rachel @ Grow a Good Life Aug 17, 2014 @ 16:10

    Wow, what a beautiful photo! I pinned it immediately 🙂

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 17, 2014 @ 16:58

      Thanks, Rachel! My son is my photographer these days. There will be a steep learning curve for me when he moves out! 

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