Award Winning Hot Salsa

27 Sep

I’ve never made salsa before. My mom always did the work, because we’d have tomatoes growing like crazy in the garden. And it always tasted amazing – she used a recipe from a family friend, and we called it “Mike’s Salsa.”

Award Winning Hot Salsa

So when I learned about a salsa tasting competition at the office, I went straight to her for the recipe. And attempted to make salsa for the first time of my life. It was labor-intensive, made a huge mess, took nearly two hours, and ended with me in tears multiple times from the raw onions and spicy peppers.

But I won. My salsa beat out 11 other salsas. And for that reason, I’m going to share with you the very recipe (and adjustments) that afforded me this victory.

If you have the patience or just a lot of tomatoes, give this a shot. It’s a good end-of-the-season recipe to use up all those garden-fresh veggies. And you might win a contest, or at least the taste buds of your family and friends. This IS hot, so if you don’t like that, reduce the jalapeños by half.

Award Winning Hot Salsa

Award Winning Hot Salsa, adapted from Mike’s Salsa recipe

Makes about 16 cups of salsa

  • 20 medium size tomatoes
  • 1.5 red onions, diced
  • 6 jalapeños, seeds mostly removed
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeds mostly removed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 full bunch of cilantro, washed, leaves removed and chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Fill the largest stock pot you have 2/3 with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Get out your food processor too.

Wash and pierce tomatoes. Once water is boiling, carefully add them in and let boil for about 10 minutes, until skins crack. You may need to do this several times, with so many tomatoes ahead of you.

Transfer crack-skinned tomatoes to an ice bath to cool. Once cooled, remove skins, cores and seeds. This is the messy part! Do this with all tomatoes, and either dice by hand, or use the food processor and a few pulses. Transfer to a big (metal or glass) mixing bowl.

Dice the onions and add to the mixing bowl.

Slice 4 jalapeños and one serrano in half, and use the food processor to dice them fine. Add to the mixing bowl.

Juice limes straight into the mixing bowl, and add a good bit of salt, a few spoonfuls of sugar, and the cumin.

Stir in the cilantro. Mix it all really well. Now taste it! Use a spoon or tortilla chip. If you want it spicier, use more of the peppers left behind. If it’s too spicy, add some more sugar and cilantro.

Once you adjust to your tastes, stir it again, and let it sit in the fridge. The taste develops marvelously overnight.

Serve with chips, let the heat hit you at the back of the throat, and feel alive! Ok, that’s how I justify the spice level in this salsa 🙂

P.S. if you think about it, salsa is basically a salad…it’s ALL vegetables! So go crazy, eat a lot. Just maybe not so many chips.


13 Responses to “Award Winning Hot Salsa”

  1. Abbey Sharp June 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    Congrats on making the best salsa! I definitely need to try this award winning salsa now! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  2. Chrissy Carroll June 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    YUM! I haven’t made homemade salsa in a while. I should start making it more, because I really do love it as a snack with chips or veggies.

  3. Karen G June 23, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    Yum! I am definitely saving this one! I’m such a huge fan of fresh salsa! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. chocolaterunnergirl June 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    That looks good! I would have to try it without the onions though 😉
    Congrats on winning!

  5. Annmarie (@FitFoodieMama) June 24, 2017 at 4:58 am #

    I haven’t made my own salsa at home in years (mostly because I can’t eat it) – this looks really good though. Saving so when I have guests I can whip it up!

  6. Jill Conyers (@jillconyers) June 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    Salsa should be a food group. I have a recipe with a super secret ingredient that is a family and friends favorite. Your recipe looks delicious!

    • xtinaluvspink June 24, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

      That’s awesome! And yes, it should totally be it’s own food group!

  7. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables June 25, 2017 at 6:50 am #

    This salsa sounds like it’s worth the work!! YUM!


  1. October Unprocessed & Spicy Savory Cornmeal Pancakes | Eat, Drink, Be Healthy! - October 1, 2013

    […] Serve with fresh salsa on top, like my award winning hot salsa! […]

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