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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in dip/salsa (2)


Salsa staple.

Since I discovered it, I have made this salsa nonstop.  Here is a weekly vignette on my countertop.

I like this salsa far better than any ready-made jar version I've tried, even though it starts with canned tomatoes--which, by the way, is another reason I love it.  Sure, if we're having company or headed out, I will make my signature salsa and plan for the chopping.  And more chopping.  But this one?  This one comes together in no time in the blender with ingredients I always have on hand.  And it can sit in a huge vat in the fridge for up to two weeks--though I'm guessing on that as it has never lasted past a week.  Yes, we like our salsa.  This one especially.  

Restaurant Style Salsa, via The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice 
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies) (*I use one can mild, one can normal*)
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin (*usually omit*)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro (more To Taste!) (*usually 3/4 to a full cup*)
  • 1/2 whole lime (juiced)

Preparation Instructions

As the Pioneer Woman notes, this makes a huge batch*.  I put mine in my Blendtec blender but she recommends using a 12-cup food processor.

Blend ingredients until you get the consistency you'd like---we like this particular salsa pretty smooth.  Add additional seasonings to taste.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.  Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.



*it makes so much, we often send over a jar to some fellow foodie neighbors (pssst, Harriet, this is what we send over when we're feeling share-sy). 


Favorite salsa.

We really love fresh salsa.  The recipe below makes enough for a crowd but it's also just the right amount to make up and enjoy on the side of a few weekday meals (or lunchtime nachos).  Once, I brought it to a summer cook out and spotted a gaggle of teenage girls hijack it off the table and go at it with plastic spoons.  Salsa-free chips were a small price to pay because their moms told me it was the most veggies they'd seen their girls eat.  Ever. 

The recipe, like all good salsa recipes, is a starting point.  So much depends on the freshness and flavor of the ingredients.  I always seem to need a splash more vinegar and cumin.  And a note about avocado...although this shot does not show it, I usually add a couple.  But they must be firm, as in firm enough to hold shape when you dice them fairly fine.  Do not...add soft avocados.  So to recap, firm avocados = salsa approved.  Soft avocados = save for guacamole.  And yes, I'm a little paranoid you will add soft avocados and end with a mushy mess coating all the pretty veggies and blame me.

Here is a rough guide of what I throw together.  You can and should, of course, add and subtract veggies per your preferences.  One of our favorite batches included a sweet (but firm!) mango to go along with grilled fish.


Heavily adapted from V and Co's Black Bean and Corn Salsa recipe

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cans corn, drained (sweet shoe peg preferred)
  • 4 ripe, firm roma tomatoes, diced fine (you may need more or less depending on size of the tomatoes.  I don't measure but shoot for a 1:1 ratio of tomato to black beans)
  • 1/2 to an entire sweet (Vidalia) onion, diced fine
  • 3-4 sprigs chopped green onion if you have them (I'm Asian.  We always have 'em)
  • 1/2-1 bunch cilantro, leafy party only chopped fine (finely chopping cilantro can be extra work but it's worth it.  I find the key is to wash it ahead of time so it has plenty of time to dry and avoid clumping together.  I wash it when I bring it home, then wrap it in a paper towel and tuck into the fridge until it's needed.  To chop, bunch up the leafy part, chop with a large/wide bladed knife (chef knife or cleaver), then go back over your pile again and again until it's fine enough)
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced (optional, only add if you like some heat)
  • 1-2 firm avocados, diced fine (please review crazy-lady notes above on only adding them if they are firm)


  • 3 Tbl olive oil
  • 2 Tbl vinegar (I like cider or red wine.  But oddly, right before serving, I find that adding a splash of good ole white vinegar brightens everything up nicely)
  • 1 Tbl lime or lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp kosher salt, per your taste
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp pepper, per your taste
  • 1-2 tsp cumin (I actually think I put in a lot more but always start small)


In a separate container, combine the liquid ingredients and whisk to combine.  Set aside while you prep the veggies.  Place veggies in a large bowl and add dressing.  Best if allowed to sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  I often make it ahead and hold it in the fridge, covered.  But if making ahead, only add the avocados right before serving.