World's Easiest Salsa

Throw together homemade salsa with canned tomatoes. It's so easy even a kid can do it! Made primarily with pantry ingredients, there's barely any chopping involved.

Simple Green Chile Tomato Salsa
Elise Bauer

There are two basic types of tomato-based salsas — salsa made with fresh tomatoes and salsa made with cooked tomatoes. When cooking salsa, as we do when we make enchiladas, we always use the cooked-tomato version, not the fresh.

This particular salsa is popular in the north, or Sonoran part of Mexico, because of its use of Anaheim green chiles.

Starting at age seven it was my job to make salsa for our family, which I did at least once a week for ten years. This is the recipe we used, the only difference between now and the mid-60s is that now you can get some very good canned "fire-roasted" tomatoes, perfect for salsa making.

best homemade salsa ingredients
Elise Bauer

Salsa Made with Canned Tomatoes

This salsa uses almost all pantry ingredients. You'll need canned tomatoes, green chiles, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic or garlic powder, salt, pepper, green onions, and cilantro.

Why used canned tomatoes?

If you live where we do, and in most places in the U.S., you can only get great fresh tomatoes maybe 2 months out of the year.

If you do have access to good tomatoes and want to make the effort to roast them yourself, go for it! Put several tomatoes under a broiler until the skin is blistered all over, remove from the oven, let cool, remove the skin. You can do the same with the Anaheim chiles.

Easy Enough for a Child To Make

Yet, the beauty of this recipe is that it is something a 7-year old can make in about 10 minutes — pretty useful when you are trying to get dinner on the table.

And speaking of dinner, the way we usually serve our salsa? with steak and refried beans.

homemade tomato salsa with green chiles and canned tomatoes
Elise Bauer

More Great Salsa Recipes

Like salsa? Check out these other terrific salsa recipes:

World's Easiest Salsa

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Yield 2 to 3 cups

Instead of canned green chiles, you may use 1 large or 2 smaller Anaheim chiles, roasted under a broiler or directly on a gas stove burner so that the outer skin has completely blackened. Put into a brown paper bag for a few minutes after roasting to loosen the blackened skin. Remove and discard the blackened skin. Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. Chop.


  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (Muir Glen makes an excellent product.)

  • 1 (7-oz) can green chiles, chopped (see recipe note)

  • 1 clove garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt

  • 2 green onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (can supplement with fresh)

  • 1/4 cup very loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Break up the canned tomatoes:

    Remove just the tomatoes from the can of whole tomatoes, place in a medium sized non-reactive mixing bowl. Using your fingers, or a fork and a sharp small knife, shred or break up the tomatoes.

    use canned fire roasted tomatoes for the salsa
    Elise Bauer
    break up the canned tomatoes with your fingers or a fork for salsa
    Elise Bauer
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tomatoes:

    Mix in chopped green chiles, green onions, garlic (or garlic salt), olive oil and vinegar.

    Add back in about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce from the can of whole tomatoes.

    Sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano. Mix in and taste. Adjust if needed. Add cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

    Refrigerate when not using. Will keep several days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
39 Calories
2g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 39
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 253mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 22mg 110%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 237mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.