SALSA CASERA (Simmered Fresh Tomato Salsa)

This image courtesy of Maren Caruso

Quick to make and infinitely useful, this very typical salsa is made in every home in every region of Mexico in some form or another. You can use salsa casera as an all-purpose table salsa, and it is ideal for all kinds of basic, home-style cooking (see Serving Ideas). I consider this a very mild salsa, but to throttle back the heat even more, substitute chiles such as Anaheim and dried guajillo for the jalapeño and chile de arbol. Conversely, double the chiles for more kick.

NotesServing Ideas: Use this salsa to make chilaquiles or a version of enchiladas called entomatadas. A dash adds flavor to homemade chicken soup or fried or scrambled eggs. Stir it into cooked beans, or sauté it with onions as a flavoring for rice. Pour it over a burrito, mix it into cooked diced nopales with a little cotija cheese, or simmer it with shredded beef and diced onions.



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCocktail Party, Family Get-together, game day

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, savory


  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 medium tomatillos, husked and washed
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes
  • 1?2 white onion, diced
  • 1 whole clove (optional)
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed
  • 1 chile de arbol, stemmed
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)


  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the water, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, clove, garlic, and chiles. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the tomatillos are just softened. Be careful not to boil vigorously, or the ingredients may fall apart. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a food processor, draining well. Discard the cooking liquid. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and pulse the salsa until it is very smooth, with specks of chile de arbol. Cool completely. Stir in the cilantro, then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.


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