It’s that delicious, perfectly textured salsa that keeps you coming back to your favorite Mexican restaurants time and again. But what if we told you that you could get the same salsa without ever leaving your house? The secret: blender salsa.
The reason restaurant salsa is so addictive is all in the way you make it -- and it’s easier than you might think. With a high-quality blender and a few inexpensive ingredients, you’ll be giving your favorite restaurants a run for their money in no time. You will soon be the superstar among your friends, and everyone is going to want you to bring your delicious salsa to their parties.
The Appeal of Blender Salsa
You’ve bought jars of salsa from the grocery store. You might have even mixed up a chunky, pico-de-gallo-style salsa at home. However, there’s a reason none of it matches the salsa many restaurants make in-house: You’re using the wrong equipment.
Blender salsa gives a perfect consistency and blends flavors together in a way no other method can. That’s why so many restaurants make salsa this way. It’s also inexpensive and super-easy to make. You just need a good blender to get the job done.
Making your own salsa is a great way to put fruits and veggies from your garden or the local farmers market to use in the summer. And in the colder months, you can still enjoy delicious blender salsa, because it works even better with some canned ingredients.
Storing blender salsa is easy: It will keep for up to a week in the fridge. In fact, this is one of the few dishes that gets better with time. If you store it in your fridge for a day or more, the flavors can mix better, making the taste smoother and more balanced.
This salsa method also allows for the ultimate customizability. Not only can you switch up the ingredients according to your preferences, but you can also change the consistency of the salsa. If you hate chunks in your salsa, blend it more thoroughly. If you want a chunky salsa, pulse the blender a couple of times to get everything mixed without being pulverized.
The Best Types of Blenders for Salsa
When it comes to making blender salsa, not all blenders are created equal. Technically, you can use any old blender for these recipes. But getting different fruits and vegetables mixed up with an even consistency can prove difficult for a lot of blenders.
For the best results, choose a blender with a built-in tamper component that helps mix the ingredients for an even blend. More powerful blenders tend to hold up better when mixing hefty ingredients like vegetables. It would help if you also looked for multiple settings, so you can experiment to get different salsa consistencies. Don’t forget to make sure it’s easy to clean, since making blender salsa gets messy.
Canned Tomatoes Are the Key Ingredient
Lots of people make salsa at home using fresh tomatoes. You can certainly use freshly grown produce for your blender salsa. However, to get the best restaurant-style results, you’ll actually want to stock up on canned tomatoes. Bonus: canned tomatoes are inexpensive and always in season!
Many restaurants use canned tomatoes during the off-season because they taste better than the out-of-season “fresh” tomatoes at the store. Eating seasonal food is often more cost-effective and better for the environment, and it also tastes much better. The processes used to grow, store, and transport tomatoes that aren’t in season locally can negatively affect their flavor and texture. Plus, many of the tomatoes you buy year-round are bred to be durable and high-yielding, not to taste great.
If you live in a place where tomatoes are grown locally and are in season, go ahead and use them in your salsa (as long as you don’t mind the work of chopping and seeding them). But if you don’t, skip the tasteless tomatoes in the produce section and head over to the canned section instead.
What’s so great about canned tomatoes?
Canning preserves all the things you love about the taste of a tomato, no matter what time of year it is. In fact, canning intensifies and concentrates the taste, so it will stand up better to the other strong ingredients you might put in a salsa, like jalapeño and onion.
Canned tomatoes are also perfectly primed for the smooth, sauce-like texture that you want in your blender salsa. Fresh tomatoes come out chunkier, more like a pico de gallo. If you want to mimic your favorite restaurant’s traditional salsa, canned tomatoes do the trick.
Canned whole tomatoes tend to be the easiest to break apart in a blender. Canning them whole also preserves the taste better than other canning methods. However, you can also use diced tomatoes or just about any other type of canned tomatoes you have on hand. Just make sure to avoid cans that have seasonings added, since this will throw off the taste of the finished product. You also don’t need to buy the most expensive canned tomatoes on the market. The cheap ones taste just as good.
The Best Blender Salsa Ingredients
Tomatoes form the perfect base for blender salsa. However, there are countless other ingredients that you can mix and match for your very own custom blend. Here are some of the basics to start with. After you’ve gotten the hang of it, try making salsa with creative additions like corn, avocado, mango, and more.
Fresh onion is one of the key, basic ingredients in almost any salsa. Most restaurants use white onions, but there’s no reason why you can’t use yellow or purple ones for a different taste. You can even experiment with the onion’s close relative, shallots, for a sweeter, richer taste.
Garlic is also one of the essential ingredients you’ll find in most basic salsas. However, the beauty of blender salsa is that you can add more or less or even skip an ingredient altogether according to your preference. If you don’t have fresh garlic, garlic powder works too.
The freshness of lime offers a nice contrast to the other savory ingredients in salsa. Fresh-squeezed is ideal, but there’s nothing wrong with bottled lime juice in a pinch. You can even use lemon juice or a little bit of white vinegar if you don’t have limes on hand. These ingredients can be strong, so use just a little bit and add more if you need it.
Chiles add heat and flavor to your blender salsa. Jalapeños are the most traditional choice, but you can also experiment with other chiles for more or less heat, or a different taste. Serranos and habaneros add heat, while poblanos and Anaheim chiles reduce heat but still add flavor. Don’t forget to take out the inner ribs and seeds from any chile you use to cut down on the heat.
If you want to switch up the taste even more, try roasting your chiles before you use them. That adds a smoky warmth to the salsa.
Most restaurant salsas use cilantro. However, science has proven that for a subset of the population, cilantro tastes just like soap. The cilantro aversion is actually inherited! If you or someone in your party has this gene, you can skip the cilantro. If not, the leaves and even the stems add a classic flavor to your blender salsa.
A little bit of salt can give your salsa the perfect taste. However, start small, and taste as you go -- you can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s there. Remember that the chips you’ll eat your salsa with already have salt on them, too.
You might be surprised to learn that honey makes a great addition to blender salsa. It’s not essential, but it adds a nice touch of sweetness that goes well with the acidic tomatoes.
How to Make Blender Salsa
Add the first can of tomatoes to your blender, along with the pepper, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Blend until the consistency is close to smooth. Then add the second can of tomatoes and blend lightly again. Taste, and add more salt or lemon juice as needed. Store the salsa for at least half an hour before serving so the flavors can mix.
Blender Salsa Will Change Your Life
Can salsa be life-changing? We’d say so. If you’re the type who polishes off basket after basket of chips and salsa at restaurants, blender salsa is sure to be a game changer. With the right blender and a few simple ingredients, you can impress your friends anytime you’re playing host, and you’ll never show up to a potluck empty-handed again. Plus, blender salsa can easily elevate any quiet night of Netflix and snacks at home.
Did you know that blenders are the key to your favorite restaurant salsa, or is this news to you? How excited are you to try a blender salsa recipe? Give us your thoughts in the comments!