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Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa

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How do you choose a favorite Mexican restaurant? Most people tend to gravitate to the establishment with the best chips and salsa, right? Yes, the Shredded Beef Chimichangas are just as important, but if the chips are stale, or the salsa tastes like tomato paste, it leaves a really bad impression in your memory. This Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa is the exact version of salsa that I love…..

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa that is easy enough to make at home in minutes | cookingwithcurls.com

As bizarre as this is about to sound, Carlos O’Kelley’s in Iowa serves this same type of Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa. I never did find out the history behind the Irish-Mexican name for the restaurant, but I liked their salsa….and their chimichangas!!

Hot Harry’s Burritos serves a delicious Pico de Gallo as their salsa, but fresh tomatoes are not always available at a reasonable price, and it’s much more chunky. I want a salsa that sticks to the chip, does not look or taste like tomato paste, with a more delicate mouth feel.

I am happy to say that I have created the exact Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa that would put any Mexican restaurant on the map. And now you can make this delicious salsa at home as well. 🙂

How to make Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa:

Place all ingredients into a blender canister…..

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa blend cookingwithcurls.com

I use this Blender  and love it! {affiliate link} Pulse to chop a few times…..

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa scrape cookingwithcurls.com

Scrape down sides if necessary, and pulse a few more times until desired consistency. The cilantro was sticking to the top of the canister.

Taste for spiciness and add additional seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until needed…..

This Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, game day, or a midnight snack | cookingwithcurls.com

It is so insanely good, I cannot stop eating it!!


Do not stress out if you have some stems in your cilantro, they will get pulverized in the blender. I just chop the top off the bunch of cilantro like so…..

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa cilantro cookingwithcurls.com

Remove any thick stems that may find their way in, but there shouldn’t be very many at the top. 😉

I drained my tomatoes {I used Ro-tel by the way}, but I saved the liquid just in case…..

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa drain cookingwithcurls.com

If your salsa seems a bit too dry, or thick simply add a Tablespoon or two of the liquid back in to thin your salsa out. It may not be necessary, I may have just drained mine too well, LOL

***Update*** I have made this salsa hundreds of times now and I have finally decided that I prefer 1 can drained and 2 cans not drained. The choice is yours but that is my favorite!

Do you like it spicy?? I do not, but mine definitely had a kick to it. I added 1/2 of a jalapeno…..

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa jalapeno cookingwithcurls.com

and I would rate my salsa a Mild-Medium on the heat scale. If you like very mild, just use 1/4th of the jalapeno. If you like Medium heat, then leave the seeds and membrane/vein intact.

If you like Medium-Hot, then add the entire jalapeno with the seeds and membrane….or, substitute a serrano pepper for the jalapeno.

If you like burn your face off, turn your ears red, HOT salsa, substitute a habanero pepper for the jalapeno!!

Hint, I use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and vein/membrane inside the jalapeno. A melon baller also works well.


Do not touch your mouth, eyes, nose, or any other sensitive area on your body while handling jalapenos!! Washing your hands is not enough to remove the oils. If you can’t trust yourself, wear gloves while handling hot peppers.

Did you know that drinking water to cool down your mouth after eating hot peppers will not work? The water actually just spreads the oils around, it does not dilute them. The proper way to cool the burn, is to consume dairy. Yep, a big ‘ol glass of milk is the right thing to do if your mouth is on fire. 😉

So what is your favorite version of restaurant salsa?


Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa that is easy enough to make at home in minutes | cookingwithcurls.com

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa

Now you can make your favorite Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa at home in minutes using simple ingredients, and it's Paleo and Whole 30 compliant!
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: whole 30, paleo, recipe, Mexican, cinco de mayo, tomatoes, condiment
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 Servings
Calories: 7kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson


  • 30 ounces diced tomatoes with chiles (3 cans - 1 drained, 2 not)
  • 1 small onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 large clove garlic (smashed)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4th fresh jalapeno (seeded and membrane removed*)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • sea salt and black pepper (to taste)


  • Place all ingredients into a blender canister.
  • Pulse to chop a few times. Scrape down sides if necessary, and pulse a few more times until desired consistency.
  • Taste for spiciness and add additional seasonings if necessary.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until needed.


  • *the seeds and membrane will make the salsa spicier. Remove them for a mild salsa, or leave them in for a spicier salsa.
  • For a super spicy salsa, substitute habanero for the jalapeno. Substitute serrano pepper for a medium heat salsa.
  • For thicker salsa, drain all three cans of tomatoes.
  • This recipe makes 3 cups of salsa. Serving size is calculated at 2 Tablespoons per serving.


Calories: 7kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 74mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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One Comment

  1. This looks YUMMY!!! I do not like big chunks of tomato so I am going to have to try this blender version of salsa!! Looks like I am going to have a new favorite Salsa! I did not know about the oil in the jalapeno and I scraped the seeds out with my thumb oh boy under my nails were on fire forever after that. I learned not to do that again… Jalapeno Hot Hand is no fun!

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