Home ยป Tomato-Serrano Salsa

Tomato-Serrano Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Mr. Prevention and I are self-proclaimed Mexican restaurant connoisseurs. Personally, I base the quality of a Mexican restaurant on their salsa. Why so many Mexican restaurants serve salsa that is eerily similar to ketchup I will never understand. G-ross.

I have the salsa basics down: tomatoes, peppers, onion, salt, and cilantro. The rest is negotiable. I’ve always used jalapenos…just because. I have no good reason. Maybe because serranos have the reputation of being hot-as-heck? Which they are, don’t get me wrong. But a little goes a long way. I also believe onion is a must. I know some would argue this, but I really do think it makes any salsa better. And tomatoes. I use plum or Roma tomatoes because they tend to have less juicy insides and less seeds. For chunky salsas and pico de gallos, you want a firmer tomato that can dice really well without too much juice.

I honestly thought I made pretty amazing salsa, but it’s been out-done. I made fresh pico de gallo with home-grown tomatoes last summer…it was really good. But I’m now learning that pico de gallo does not need any oil to be full of flavor. This Tomato-Serrano Salsa is right up there with Biz’s Baja Fresh Salsa – yum! And both…contain (little to) no oil, and thus, are lower in calories. 😀 Because really, who exercises perfect portion-control when it comes to salsa? Not this kid.



Tomato-Serrano Salsa from Bon Appetit May 2011

1 lb. plum tomatoes, cored, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 serrano chiles, seeded, minced
1 medium white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Tortilla chips (for serving)


Combine tomatoes and chiles in a medium bowl. Place minced onion in a strainer; rinse under cold water for 10 seconds. Drain well and add to bowl with tomatoes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips.  Yield: about 3 cups (12 servings, 1/4 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per 1/4 cup): 14 calories; 0 mg. cholesterol; 60 mg. sodium; 0.1 g. fat; 3.3 g. carbohydrate; 0.7 g. fiber; 0.6 g. protein

Result: Simple, flavorful, and super healthy salsa! This is certainly my go-to recipe for chunky salsa from now on! Enjoy!


A quick smile from the cutest girl I know:

What a goofy face.

I am Chicago-bound again this weekend! A friend’s shower and Mother’s Day! And yes, workouts with Mama Prevention that will probably have me hobbling around some more next week. Have I whined about still being sore from MONDAY’S Crunch Diesel workout? Well, I am. Very much so.

Question: What’s your “go to” hot pepper of choice, if any? And is it true that onion is bad for dogs? I’ve heard different answers on that one…

Happy Cinco! See ya in the Windy City!

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  1. The Teenage Taste
    May 5, 2011 / 6:40 am

    Mmmmm…I love all types of Mexican food, but salsa is one of my all-time favorites! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Joanne
    May 5, 2011 / 7:06 am

    I definitely exercise ZERO portion control when it comes to salsa…that stuff is eaten straight out of the bowl or jar. With a spoon. NO GUILT. This looks delicious!

  3. erica
    May 5, 2011 / 7:13 am

    Awww Lily is adorable and that salsa looks awesome. I would say Poblano Peppers (roasted) are my go to pepper!

  4. Bridget
    May 5, 2011 / 7:55 am

    Cute pic!! Yes, onions are bad for dogs, so says my cousin the vet. I don’t remember the exact details, but they don’t digest them in the same way that humans do, which makes them toxic for the pups.

  5. Lee
    May 5, 2011 / 8:02 am

    I pretty much go to Mexican restaurants for the chips and salsa. Other than that, I don’t really like Mexican food! (At least at restaurants, I like to make it at home.)

    I’ve always heard that onions, garlic, mushrooms and grapes are all really bad for dogs.

  6. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate
    May 5, 2011 / 8:05 am

    I pretty much only eat Mexican food for the chips. I prefer guac over salsa though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    May 5, 2011 / 8:10 am

    I totally agree with you- the free salsa and chips will totally make or break a place.

    I’m sort of weird, but like salsa when it’s less chunky- it’s a texture thing for me (I don’t get it, either).

  8. Samantha @ Bikini Birthday
    May 5, 2011 / 8:17 am

    I never put oil in pico de gallo I didn’t know people do that!

    My salsa mix is pretty much the same as yours except I use red onion instead of white and I also put cumin in it

    • Nicole
      May 5, 2011 / 10:04 pm

      I don’t know why I ever did…it doesn’t need it at all, I’ve learned. Duh…

  9. Gina (The Candid RD)
    May 5, 2011 / 9:23 am

    Yum, this salsa sounds (and looks!) deeeelicious. Perfect for Cinco De Mayo. I agree, restaurant salsas are so gross. I hate that they always blend them into a paste, but I guess that’s how they do it some countries. Yuck.

    Have a safe trip to Chicago! And of course have fun working out with your mom. I hope your soreness is gone by then!

  10. FoodFitnessFreshair
    May 5, 2011 / 9:52 am

    Might have to pair this with my guacamole. I love homemade salsa. Happy Cinco De Mayo!

  11. renee@mykitchenadventures
    May 5, 2011 / 10:09 am

    I prefer a fresh salsa over a cooked salsa almost always! Love pico.

    I have never heard that about onions….let me know if you find an answer. Molly gets a couple of tbs of leftovers most nights, and I am sure has eaten her fair share of onions.

  12. Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa
    May 5, 2011 / 10:12 am

    Where’s the garlic?! Garlic is a must in my salsa – otherwise my go to recipe looks very similar to yours above.

    • Nicole
      May 5, 2011 / 10:03 pm

      THAT’S what’s missing!!! I heart garlic. The more the better and the only thing I don’t put it in is cereal! Well, not really…but almost! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa
        May 6, 2011 / 9:30 am

        “A little of this, a little of that, and a lot of garlic.” That is my motto when it comes to cooking!

        I should try to grow some in my garden. (er…what garden?!)

  13. Mo'Betta
    May 5, 2011 / 10:18 am

    yum! this salsa looks so fresh and delicious! excellent photo. and I’ve heard onions give dogs gas…

  14. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    May 5, 2011 / 11:22 am

    I always make my own salsa – its just better. My recipe is pretty much the same as that one, but I use a CRAZY amount of cilantro, and hot sauce instead of hot peppers. Im lazy that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Biz
    May 5, 2011 / 11:23 am

    over the weekend Tony and I found an authentic Mexican joint – a place we’ve probably passed by 1000 times, and finally stopped. You know a Mexican place is good when you are the only white people in the place – we played it safe with tacos, but they were so flavorful – I got flank steak and it was seasoned to perfection.

    That being said, their salsa WAS CHOCK FULL OF ONIONS. We couldn’t even dip a chip in it because it was so oniony, but I thought “my daughter would love this salsa!”

    Love your chip picture – what appeture did you have it on??

    • Nicole
      May 5, 2011 / 10:00 pm

      Mmm…onions ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have no idea on the apperture, I’m sorry! I just use the no-flash setting always. I need to learn how to use that silly camera…I’ve had the thing a year almost!

  16. Roz
    May 5, 2011 / 1:45 pm

    Lily is HILARIOUS! That is an “I like salsa too – don’t forget about me” look! (ok,not really, but she’s so cute) Great looking recipe. Safe journey to Chicago Nicole.

    • Nicole
      May 5, 2011 / 10:01 pm

      You should see her SQUIRM over meat. Hilarious ๐Ÿ™‚

      Here safe and sound…have a WONDERFUL weekend, Roz!

  17. Melinda
    May 5, 2011 / 4:45 pm

    Yes, onion is no good for dogs, along with garlic, however just like chocolate and other items, I have seen some dogs tolerate them. I wouldn’t risk it. We don’t give her anything with garlic or onion. Grapes (and obviously raisins) are not good either. I keep a list on the fridge. I’m a nerd!

    The salsa looks great. I am not a fan of super hot, but I do like some. We used these little tiny bell pepper looking things and they were hots as heck. Too much heat!

    • Nicole
      May 5, 2011 / 10:02 pm

      I’ve heard all of those are bad, too. Good to confirm! I never give Lily leftovers for that reason. I should keep the list on the fridge ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Habaneros I think are the ones you’re talking about…and yes, they are HOTTTTT.

  18. Kristi
    May 5, 2011 / 9:54 pm

    Seriously? That simple and it looks amazing. I could easily eat the entire bowl! And you are right, she is the cutest girl. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Nicole
      May 5, 2011 / 10:02 pm

      That’s what I thought, too! But it really is SO flavorful!

  19. Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama
    May 6, 2011 / 3:51 am

    Love me some salsa!!!

  20. Kerstin
    May 7, 2011 / 7:45 pm

    I judge by the salsa too, and if the chips are warm or not ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks perfect for a fiesta!

  21. Pingback: Dips, Hummus, and Salsas

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