This chipotle blender salsa is a quick and easy alternative to store-bought salsa, and can be made with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Make it as spicy or mild as you like. Makes 2 pints.
Have you ever made salsa in a food processor before? It’s something we did, on occasion, but never with a recipe. And, we almost always used fresh tomatoes, but this chipotle blender salsa is quick and easy because it uses canned diced tomatoes and other ingredients you normally have in your pantry. It’s also a great alternative to queso or guacamole dip if you’re looking for something healthier or dairy free. It’d be a great side for your favorite taco recipe or some chilaquiles.
The first time I made this salsa – inspired by my friend Ashleigh’s pantry salsa – I became instantly obsessed. I’d always been a huge chips-and-salsa fan, but I struggled with enjoying it at home because I didn’t really love the “cooked” flavor of preserved (store-bought) salsas. There were a few that I liked, but I just didn’t love them.
The best part about this salsa is that it tastes just like the restaurant salsa you love, but I’ve added some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to give it a slight-unique, smoky flavor. If you don’t love that smoky chipotle flavor, you can easily swap the out for regular jalapeños, but I urge you to at least give the chipotles a try first.
Tips for making the best chipotle blender salsa:
- Drain a little bit of the juice from your tomato cans. I don’t like my salsa to be super chunky, but I also do want it to be runny. Draining off the juices allows the salsa to be a little more substantial, and prevents the flavor from getting “watered-down”.
- Pulse the onions and garlic little before adding the rest of the ingredients. You really don’t want your huge chunks of the more potent ingredients, so I suggest pulsing them a bit before adding the rest of your ingredients. It will give you a more consistent texture for your salsa.
- Don’t scrimp on the salt. I know we’re all scared of salt, but if you don’t have the right amount in your salsa, it will just taste like a water-down tomato mess. Salt brings out the flavors in the salsa. I suggest adding half of the salt, and adding more until you’re happy with the flavor.
- 1 small sweet onion, cut into chunks (or 1/2 large)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1/2 tablespoon)
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 10-ounce can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 2 large handfuls fresh cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)
- 2 chipotle peppers (from a can in adobo sauce)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Pulse the onion and garlic a few times in a food processor or blender.
- Add remaining ingredients and continue pulsing until you’ve reached your desired texture.
- Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Transfer salsa to mason jars, or container of choice, and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.