Pantry Salsa

Rancho Gordo Cooking Sides Recipe inspiration for Pantry Salsa with ingredients from your pantry

Sometimes people ask me if I've tried a particular brand of salsa and I am almost always perplexed. Who would buy salsa when it's so easy to make? Apparently I'm in the minority and some statistics show salsa sales surpassing catsup! When good tomatoes and tomatillos are not handy, my standby is this salsa that uses ingredients that can be found in your pantry, giving you no excuse to buy commerical salsa!


As with most salsas and many great dishes, there are few rules. Add more tomato, vinegar or whatever as you see fit.

The tomatoes I use are tomatoes I canned from the previous season. I put them through a food mill and reduce by half before canning. You can use whole, peeled plum tomatoes from a can and maybe add a pinch of tomato paste to give it a little more body. The chiles are Serrano del Sol, a jumbo serrano pepper I sell and always can for use through the winter. You can replace them with fresh chiles are commercial canned serranos.

The salsa will be better with fresh cilantro but if you don't have it on hand, don't use that as an excuse not to make the salsa. It will still be better than almost any store-bought variety.


  • 1/2 red onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 cup tomatoes (see note above)

  • 1/4 cup chopped chiles (see note above)
Salt to taste

  • 3 tablespoons (or to taste) pineapple vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just chopped.