Simple Green Chile Tomato Salsa


Quick and easy tomato and green chile salsa, with canned cooked tomatoes, green chiles, scallions, garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano, and cilantro.

Photography Credit: 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.

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Salsa ingredients

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

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Like salsa? Check out these other terrific salsa recipes:


Simple Green Chile Tomato Salsa Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2-3 cups


  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (Muir Glen makes an excellent product.)
  • 1 7-oz can green chiles, chopped*
  • 1 clove of garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped, including the green parts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (can supplement with fresh)
  • 1/4 cup of very loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

*Or one large 6 inch or two 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 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 break up the canned tomatoes with your fingers or a fork for salsa

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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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11 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Anne

    Made this recipe because i forgot to buy salsa, and i already had all ingredients. My family raved about it – unlike ready-made salsa. I always have these items on hand, and will continue to make it from scratch. Honestly, any brand tomatoes or green chiles will do.


  2. Penny

    I used to love Ortega brand “green chile salsa” — do you think this is pretty much the same? They don’t seem to manufacture theirs any more.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Tina

    This salsa is delicious. I have made it for the enchiladas, as well as on its own to enjoy with chips. My boyfriend said it’s the best salsa he’s ever had! Oh yeah, and it’s easy, too! :)


  4. Jeanette

    Canning salsa is easy. I submitted a canned salsa recipe under “fresh tomato salsa” so you can look there for the actual recipe.

    I use a hot water bath to can my salsa. For those who have never done this, it is rather easy. I use jars that have metal snap lids. I find I can always trust the seal with these and once processed and sealed, your salsa will keep a couple of years – if it lasts that long:)))

    First sterilize your jars. Soak the lids of the jars in a bowl of hot water – that helps to soften the rubber on the metal lid and I find it faciliates getting a good seal every time. Put your cooked salsa into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom in the jar. If necessary, wipe the jar clean of any excess salsa that might have dripped on the top or the sides of the jars. Pay particular attention to having the top of the jar completely clean. That is where the lid will sit and you do not want anything to prevent a good seal. Now put on the metal snap lid. Next put on the metal ring and fasten tightly.

    Put your jars in a canner and fill the canner with hot water. Jars should be completely submersed in water, I like them to be covered by at least one inch of water. Put the lid on the canner. Put on a cooktop and bring to a full rolling boil. Turn down heat, just so the water keeps a gentle boil. Process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and let them cool at room temperature for 24 hours. You can hear the lids “snap” as they seal. It is important not to disturb the jars while they are cooling.

    Next day, wipe down the your jars, tighten lid a bit if necessary, label and store in a cool dark room or closet.

    If you do not have a canner, you can certainly improvise. You can use something like a large metal roaster, should be big enough and have tall enough sides to do a good sized turkey. You will need to put some old metal canning rings or something similar in the bottom of your roaster and put your jars of salsa on top the rings. The jars should not be sitting directly in the roaster as with direct exposure to heat of your cooktop, they could crack. Cover with either the roaster lid or foil that you crimp around the sides and then follow the procedure above.

    The nice thing about an “official” canner is it comes with a metal rack that you put your jars in. The rack separates the jars so they dont rattle against one another and the rack also prevents the jars from being directly exposed to the heat of your cooking surface.

  5. Katie

    Has anyone tried canning this recipe? I have a huge bag of ‘seconds’ tomatoes from the farmers’ market, and am looking for a salsa recipe that wouldn’t mind a hot-process canner. The herbs would be more cooked than they are here, but I don’t think anything else would change radically. Thoughts?

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