Homemade Salsa {On The Border Salsa Copycat Recipe}

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This homemade salsa, made right in the blender, tastes just like the salsa that On the Border restaurant serves! You’re never going to want to buy jarred salsa again once you learn how to make homemade salsa.

closeup of homemade salsa with tortilla chips stuck in

On the Border Copycat Salsa

Everyone knows it’s hard to show restraint when there’s a serving of chips and salsa in front of you. Once I learned how to make salsa at home, I can treat myself to chips and salsa whenever the craving hits.

If you’ve been to On the Border, you know how good their salsa is (& their tortilla soup!). This copycat recipe tastes just like it and is so easy to make at home, right in your blender.

salsa ingredients prepped on a cutting board

Ingredients for Homemade Salsa

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Roma Tomatoes – You’ll want two large roma tomatoes, chopped.
  • Diced Tomatoes – You’ll also need two cans of plain, diced tomatoes.
  • Jalapeños – Jalapeños hold their heat in the seeds so leave as many, or as few, as you want for this recipe. I seed mine.
  • Lime Juice – Squeeze a fresh lime for the best taste.
  • Cumin – Rich & earthy cumin adds depth to the salsa.
  • Minced Garlic – I always take a shortcut here and use minced garlic in olive oil. Fresh works as well.
  • White Onion – You’ll want to use a white onion for its sharp taste.
  • Salt – Of course.
  • Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes – I always opt for red pepper flakes. Use as much, or as little, as you like for heat.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro, chopped. You can get a bundle for a quarter. It’s cheap and flavorful.

overhead shot of salsa ingredients in blender

How to Make Salsa in the Blender

You’re not going to believe how easy this salsa is to make.

  1. First, you’ll add all the ingredients to a blender, in the order listed.
  2. Then, blend until you get a consistency that you like. Chop for chunkier salsa, blend for smoother.
  3. Third, taste it. Decide if it needs more salt or heat and adjust accordingly.
  4. Finally, let it sit. Cover it & put it in the fridge for the flavors to really come together. You can eat it immediately, but it gets better the longer it sits. You’ll also notice the color darkens as it sets.

That’s it! Now you know how to make homemade salsa!

homemade salsa ingredients in a blender

How long does salsa last?

Homemade, fresh salsa is good for about a week when it’s stored covered in the fridge. Let’s be real though, it never lasts more than a couple days because we eat it all. It does lose its heat the longer it sits in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze salsa?

Yes, you can freeze salsa. This recipe does make quite a bit so if you want to freeze small portions, it should keep for at least a month in the freezer.

overhead shot of fresh salsa in a bowl surrounded by chips

Is salsa keto?

Yes, this homemade salsa is keto friendly. It also happens to be vegan, refined sugar free, nut free, and gluten free so it’s basically safe for everyone!

Is salsa healthy?

Homemade salsa is healthy! It is full of Vitamin C, is plant based, so there’s no cholesterol, and it’s low in calories but full of flavor. Just watch how many tortilla chips you eat in a sitting 🙂

What can I do with this salsa?

Because this homemade salsa makes a big batch, I like to use it in several dishes, besides just chips & dip. Here are some ideas:

Equipment you’ll need

  • Blender – You’ll need a decent blender to get the consistency you want out of this salsa.
  • Santoku Knife – You just need to roughly chop the vegetables for this salsa, since they’re going in the blender anyway, but having a quality kitchen knife makes cooking so much more enjoyable!
  • Cutting Board – I’m a big fan of this chop & scoop one, especially for pouring straight into the blender.
  • Storage Container – This recipe makes about 6 cups so you’ll want a glass storage container with a lid to store the extras.
on the border copycat salsa in a bowl

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closeup of homemade salsa with tortilla chips stuck in

Homemade Salsa (On The Border Salsa Copycat)

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Super simple homemade salsa recipe that tastes just like On the Border's!
4.59 from 62 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 cups
Calories 25 kcal


  • 2 large roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans plain diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium jalapeños seeded & chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • cup fresh cilantro chopped


  • Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed.
  • Blend until all the ingredients are well mixed and salsa has a consistent texture. "Chop" for chunky salsa, "blend" for a smooth consistency.
  • Taste and add more salt or heat (red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper), if needed.
  • Chill in the fridge for a least 30 minutes to let flavors come together.
  • Serve & enjoy!


Start small with the heat and salt and adjust as you blend. 
This recipe makes approximately 6 cups. Store, covered, in the fridge for approximately a week. Longer than that, freeze small portions for up to a month.


Serving: 1gCalories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 783mgPotassium: 126mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 345IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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Originally published January 7, 2013

copycat on the border salsa and tortilla chips
On the Border Copycat Salsa

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  1. Annie-Savor This Moment says

    Yum! Definitely pinning this one! We can eat salsa every day. Stopped by from Couponing & Cooking!

    • Freddie Slaughter says

      5 stars
      Try this hot salsa recipe
      This is a sinus-clearing big, bold spicy-salsa and is so much more than a restaurant or jar salsa.

      – 2 or 3 serrano peppers, 2 or 3 jalapeno peppers, 2 or 3 Habanero peppers and 2 or 3 Red peppers
      – 1 medium white onion
      – 1 handful of cilantro
      – 5 or 6 Roma tomatoes
      – 1 lime juice
      – 1 head of garlic
      – 1 tsp salt
      – 1 tsp black pepper

      Soak your cilantro in water, soaking takes out that cilantro bitterness. Give your cilantro a good squeeze.
      Peel your garlic and chop your onion, remove pepper stems, slice peppers and tomatoes into half, roll the lime for maximum juice. When working with peppers be sure to wear rubber gloves, as the oil from the peppers is very irritating to skin and eyes.
      Add all ingredients in your food processor or blender. Pulse until desired consistency. Stop, taste-test, and tweak seasonings and ingredients based on your own personal preferences. Store in a glass jar in your fridge, it will be much better the second or third day.
      This recipe can be very hot. To make less hot make without pepper seeds and veins.

  2. Amber says

    Mmm, this looks delicious!

  3. Jessica Eustace says

    I will have to make this for Super Bowl! I’ve never been a fan of commercial salsa! Thank you for the recipe! Stopping by from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.

  4. TheTastyFork says

    5 stars
    This is my new go to blender salsa recipe! I love it, Melissa! I like a lot of spice so I kept in the seeds & ribs of the jalapeno in it. My husband LOVED it, too!!

  5. Tina says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and YUM! So easy and quick, I was surprised. I halved the recipe and filled a container I have to the brim. I left all the seeds in my jalapeno and used cayenne; next time I’ll omit the cayenne (didn’t make much of a difference to me) and just do another whole jalapeno for extra spice. My boyfriend came home and devoured nearly all of it with the enchiladas I made for dinner…so it must have been good! 🙂

    • Melissa {Persnickety Plates} says

      Yay I’m glad to hear you guys liked it! I have half a batch sitting in my fridge right now, too. It won’t last much longer =)

  6. Mary Ann says

    5 stars
    I have tried to make homemade salsa and it never turned out well. I followed the recipe for this salsa (even though I don’t measure anything ever) and it came out restaurant quality. I have since made a few more batches. This is THE BEST salsa I have made. It’s easy and goes fast. I use it n everything! My bf and family love it! Going to the store now for more ingredients! Thank you for this recipe!

  7. jessica says

    5 stars
    What do you mean in the jpdate by omitting the sweet onion tomato?? I was confused…see i made this salsa crom pinterest and its pretty close to OTB but somethings off so ive been searching for other recipes and came across this one…the same i used. I noticed your update improved the taste but didnt know what you meant. Thanks 🙂

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Jessica,
      The first time I made it, I mistakenly picked up sweet onion diced tomatoes. Every time that I’ve made it since (which is a lot of times), I used regular diced tomatoes (with no extra seasoning). Hope that helps =)

  8. Angie says

    Would you recommend making this and canning it? I love their salsa and I love to can!!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I know nothing about canning, except that it can be tricky. Sorry I’m no help!

    • Angie Bowen says

      Ha! Thanks! Canning is easy. Just not sure if it would can well without vinegar. Thank you for replying 🙂

    • Calisa says

      Hi there! I have not (yet) canned this exact recipe, but I usually make a very similar recipe and can it, using our homegrown tomatoes and peppers and store-bought extra ingredients. I find that it tends to keep nicely after the water-bath method. I just add granular citric acid to each jar (1/4 teaspoon per pint and 1/2 tsp per quart). I can then reduce or eliminate lemon or lime juice. It makes great holiday gifts. Hope this helps!

  9. Tiff says

    Is this similar to the restaurant OTB salsa or the jarred grocery store OTB salsa? I love one and can’t pallet the other. Thank you!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’ve never had the jarred version. Which one don’t you like?

    • Tiff says

      I can’t seem to enjoy the jarred version. It tastes like sugar and preservatives (and I’m not a health nut by the any stretch, but it’s simply NOT the same salsa). Very disappointing each time. Even gross, I’d say (sorry to be so rude). So I’m VERY excited to try your recipe! I love the freshness and spice of the restaurant version! Thank you!

    • Melissa Williams says

      The only jarred version I’m ok with is Herdez but this home made version is way better. And easy! Let me know how you like it 🙂

  10. Melissa Williams says

    Well, mine is bright red (as you can see in the pics). Sounds like you did something wrong.

  11. William Van vugt says

    5 stars
    Lovely flavor, but how do you get that nice red color? Mine was sort of pinkish, maybe too much cilantro?? Please let me know!

    • Melissa Williams says

      The color usually deepens as it sets. Mine comes out slightly pink straight from the blender, too 🙂

  12. Jo says

    So a quick question…do you have to use roma and canned? Can’t i just use regular tomatoes from my garden? I have so many and don’t want to waste them.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sure. Flavors will be slightly different, but it’ll be delicious 🙂

  13. Alicia says

    4 stars
    OTB is our favorite restaurant salsa, so I definitely wanted to make this. Followed the recipe exactly, and while we don’t really think it’s an OTB copycat, it’s super delish! I loved how easy it was too!

  14. Matt says

    5 stars
    Amazing!!!!! This the first salsa I ever tried to make and it turned out so good! I love OTB salsa and this turned out even better!!!! So fresh, so balanced, well done! Thank you!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay, thanks Matt! Happy to hear that 🙂

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