Frugal Friday: Salsa

Sam and I have always enjoyed making our own food and whatever sauces we can at home. We aren’t big fans of buying stuff in store that we can make ourselves. Lately, we’ve taken it beyond BBQ and pasta sauce and started to be more adventurous.

This week we made our own salsa. If you actually think about it, salsa is very simple. It’s a bunch of ingredients thrown together and macerated. It couldn’t be that hard, right?

Well, we were right. It was simple. And delicious. The only problem being Sam likes her salsa chunky and I like my salsa runnier. We both are fans of a little spice so that wasn’t an issue.

Here’s our recipe (makes about 4-5L and takes about 30 minutes):

10 large tomatoes

2 medium onions

3 jalapeños

4 cloves garlic

1 heaping tsp cumin

1 heaping tsp black pepper

1 heaping tbsp salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

16 oz. tomato sauce

24 oz. tomato paste


Preheat oven to 450C.

Halve tomatoes and onions, toss in olive oil, put on a baking sheet and place in oven and remove once onions start to brown.

Cut tops off jalapeños and halve them. Mince garlic. Chop cilantro. (Do this while tomatoes and onion are in oven.)

Once tomatoes and onion are out of the oven, add all the ingredients to a large pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

After 10 minutes, add contents from the pot to a blender. Blend to your likeness.

Let cool and enjoy!

Here are some modifications you can make depending on what you like:

Chunky salsa – dice onion, tomato and jalapeños before adding to pot. Do not blend at all once pot is done simmering.

Less spicy – use fewer jalapeños and/or remove seeds.

Thicker – if you like your salsa really chunky with little liquid (almost like a pico) you have a few options here: deseed and skin the tomatoes, don’t use tomato sauce and/or tomato paste or add more tomato paste/don’t add tomato sauce.

Thinner: double amount of tomato sauce/don’t use tomato paste.

You can also can this salsa. To do so, add salsa to jars and place sealed jars in a water bath for about 15 minutes to seal the jars.

All in all, this salsa costs us about $20 when buying the produce from our local produce store. If you were to buy the same amount from a grocery store it would cost you about $30. For about 30 minutes of your time you save $10. We made this salsa on Monday and have eaten some each night and haven’t gone through a whole jar yet.

Let us know how it turns out for you if you try it or what modifications you made to yours.

Coming up we will share our recipes for pizza sauce, hummus and other yummy things we like to make ourselves.

Never stop adventuring!