Salsa actually means 'sauce' in Spanish. Most salsas in North America are tomato-based, but many other acidic bases are used as well. Salsa contains raw, fresh ingredients with strong flavors. The spiciness is usually dependent on the type of peppers used in the salsa.

Homemade salsa can be made with only a few simple ingredients, or it can be a complex blend of flavors. A huge variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices complement each other in delicious salsas used as dips, sauces, or salad dressings. Blenders and food processors are ideal to prepare finely-chopped or smooth salsa.

Tropical Berry Dessert Salsa

  • 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup yellow raspberries
  • 1/4 cup purple or black raspberries
  • 1 cup red raspberries
  • 1 diced medium-sized mango
  • 1/3 cup basil
  • 1/3 cup crushed mint leaves
  • 1-pint heavy whipping cream

Mix all of the fruit and the basil together in a large bowl. Pour the berries into a blender and blend for approximately 50 seconds. Refrigerate the fruit mixture for 2 hours. Pull the fruit mixture out of the fridge, and pour the cream over the blended fruit. Gently stir ingredients together. This fruity salsa tops waffles, pies, angel food cake, pastries, and other desserts. Garnish salsa with crushed mint leaves before serving.

dessert, raspberry, cherry tomato, cream GMVozd / Getty Images


Honey and Habanero Salsa Recipe

  • 1 cup peeled and quartered red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 habanero chile
  • 4 large Roma tomatoes cut into quarters

Put the onion, peeled garlic cloves, habanero chile, and honey into a blender. Blend for 40-60 seconds for desired consistency. Add the tomatoes and lime juice to the blender, and hit the pulse button 6 or 7 times to thoroughly mix ingredients. Pour blended salsa into a serving bowl and cover to chill for 2-3 hours before serving. Other peppers can be substituted for the habanero to achieve milder flavor.

honey, habanero, milder, honey, Roma sjenner13 / Getty Images


Himalayan Pink Watermelon Peach Salsa Recipe

  • 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly or relish
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 cup of diced peeled peaches
  • 1/3 cup basil
  • 1/3 cup chives
  • 3 cups of golf-ball-sized heirloom tomatoes cut in half
  • Himalayan pink sea salt

Mix the pepper jelly or relish with lime zest and juice in a large bowl. Stir in the watermelon, peaches, basil, and chives. Sprinkle pink salt over the tomato halves, and place the halves carefully in the bottom of 8 cocktail glasses. Spread the salsa evenly between the glasses, and garnish with pink salt, basil sprigs, or pickled ginger.

watermelon, ginger, pink salt, peaches DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images


Cucumber and Melon Salsa Recipe

  • 1 large diced mango
  • 2 cups cucumber slices
  • 1/3 cup diced red onions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups quinoa

Put all ingredients except the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly, but cook the quinoa separately. Combine the salsa and cooked quinoa. Turn this salsa into a filling meal as a burrito or a substitute for pasta.

quinoa, mango, cucumber, eggs, burrito LauriPatterson / Getty Images


Pineapple Salsa Recipe

  • 2 cups diced pineapple, preferably fresh
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped jalapeno or habanero peppers
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice

Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. This salsa makes a great dip for chips or a tart sauce to complement fish entrees. Add 1/2 cup of diced peaches to sweeten this salsa, or use hotter peppers to increase the spiciness.

pineapple, sweeten, chill, tart sauce Mariha-kitchen / Getty Images


Ghost Pepper Salsa

  • 4 diced ghost peppers
  • 1 medium-sized firm tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 small white onion, slivered or diced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl, and toss to combine them. Pour the bowl's contents into a food processor, and blend until the mixture is uniformly smooth. Pour the mixture into a skillet, and bring it to a quick boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, so the flavors meld together. Wait for the salsa to cool then pour it into a serving bowl. Ghost peppers are very hot. Some people find them excessively hot and do not like ghost pepper recipes. Numerous peppers such as serranos, jalapenos, or habaneros are great substitutes for the ghost peppers in this recipe.

ghost pepper, hot, spicy, substitute alpaksoy / Getty Images


Cast-Iron Salsa

  • 3 plum tomatoes cut in half halved
  • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium-size white onion sliced into 16 wedges
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Place tomatoes across the skillet with the cut side down. Add the unpeeled garlic and the pepper to the skillet then cook for 6 minutes. Pour skillet ingredients into a blender, but peel the garlic first. Put onion wedges in the skillet and cook them for 5 or 6 minutes until they are softened. Add onions to the blender and blend the ingredients for 40-50 seconds. Pour salsa from the blender into a container or serving dish and stir in the cilantro.

cast-iron, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, pepper DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images


Cranberry Salsa

  • 1 diced small onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 diced large beefsteak tomatoes (or another type with firm flesh)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Slowly stir the cranberries, tomatoes, and cider into the skillet, and cook until all ingredients are soft. Pour the skillet contents into a blender for approximately 40 seconds. Pour salsa into a serving dish and garnish with parsley. Salsa can be served chilled or at room temperature.

cranberry, parsley, chilled salsa, serrano xamtiw / Getty Images


Southwest Salsa

  • 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 5 pickled jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small chopped clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Take 1 tablespoon of liquid from the can of tomatoes and drain the remaining liquid. Put the saved liquid, canned tomatoes, and the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Blend for 40-60 seconds or longer for smooth salsa. Pour the salsa into a serving dish and refrigerate overnight before serving.

southwest, cayenne, liquid, chopped clove kajakiki / Getty Images


Exciting Ingredients to Try

Salsa includes an incredibly diverse range of flavors. It needs an acidic base, which includes most tropical and citrus fruits such as dragonfruit, kiwi, and pomegranates. Multiple acidic or non-acidic ingredients can be added to the same batch of salsa.

Popular salsa additions include corn, black beans, plantains, and radishes. Herbs and spices are used according to personal preference. Taste small portions of new homemade salsas with various main course dishes to find great new combinations

tropical, citrus, ingredient, experiment, flavors komargallery / Getty Images


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