Paleo and Whole30-friendly Cheater’s Salsa puts fire-roasted canned tomatoes to perfect use, combining them with fresh onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro for an easy sauce similar to restaurant-style salsa that comes together in mere minutes.
The past three times I’ve gone to Wegmans I’ve seen a homemade guacamole and fresh salsa display front and center in their produce area. They have all the fixings you need to make your own (tomato, avocado, lime, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro), and there are also tubs of store-made guac and fresh salsa. The last time I saw that display I couldn’t resist anymore (I guess that’s the ingenious power of suggestive marketing, right?).
I’m a regular guacamole-maker, but as far as pico de gallo goes, I’m a little less seasoned, so to speak, having only made it a handful of times. I love how fresh and bright-flavored it is though, which is something I crave especially in the cold, dreary winter months. I decided to make something like it, but with a little twist using canned fire-roasted tomatoes for equal parts depth of flavor (complex smokiness) and ease of use (instead of having to fire-roast the tomatoes myself!). Thanks to the use of canned tomato, this salsa is ready in less than 10 minutes from start-to-finish and I guess I could have just as easily called it Lazy Salsa, lol.
Now, this isn’t really a pico de gallo (also called salsa fresco or fresh salsa) because as far as I know, the tomato in pico de gallo should be raw (as opposed to fire-roasted canned tomatoes, which is what I use here). This recipe is similar to restaurant-style salsa, which is, truth be told, a bit on the liquidy side (but I thoroughly enjoy!). It’s fairly uniform in texture, without big chunks of veggies (although of course you can leave it on the chunkier side if that’s your preference), and is perfect or dipping chips in or spooning onto just about anything (hello tacos, enchiladas, grilled meat, salad, soup, fried eggs, etc.).
Here are a few more delicious-looking salsa inspiration from around the internet:
- Lazy Salsa from Rick Bayless (He roasts the tomatoes and other veggies over a charcoal fire.)
- Roasted Tomato Salsa from Harvest & Honey (She serves this salsa with chilaquiles and pickled red onions.)
- Salsa Fresca from Recipe Girl (Classically delicious version of fresh salsa.)
- Salsa Morita from Hola Jalapeño (The way she describes morita chiles, I am dying to try this salsa.)
What’s your favorite kind of salsa to make?
- 1 small sweet onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
- 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeds removed (use about ½ jalapeno for “mild” heat level)
- 1 (14.5 oz/411 g) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- A handful of fresh cilantro
- Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno to a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes, lime juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper and pulse a few times until it looks like salsa. Add the fresh cilantro and pulse to combine. Taste and add additional salt, black pepper, jalapeno peppers, or lime juice as desired.
- Serve, or for best flavor, refrigerate an hour before serving.