Homemade Garden Salsa

glass bowl of tomato salsa with blue corn chips

By Renee Adam

One of my favorite treats is to enjoy a homegrown tomato right after I’ve picked it, when it’s fallen into my hand at the slightest touch and is still warm from the sun. Sometimes I end up sprinkling slices with kosher salt, or adding it to a salad with fresh basil and balsamic dressing, or simply eating it while standing right next to the vine. Each way offers a unique flavor, and I couldn’t pick a favorite if I tried!

two of the author's daughters eating salsa and chips

Salsa first, homework second!

That’s why I was so delighted when, during a recent family vacation, my sister-in-law, Fearn (pronounced Fee-in), introduced me to another delectable tomato dish: homemade salsa. I love eating salsa with chips (who doesn’t?), but have always been content with the store-bought kind—until now. Not only was Fearn’s homemade version much tastier, but it also seemed easier to make than I’d ever imagined.

So when I returned home and saw the loads of ripe grape, plum, beefsteak, and other tomatoes in my garden, I knew I had to make some for myself and my family.

It turns out that homemade salsa is a perfect afternoon snack! My daughters enjoy eating it as much as I do, and reach for it as soon as they get home from school. We’ve gotten creative, too, adding new ingredients like corn and black beans each time we make it.

Here’s the basic recipe. Give it a try for yourself—and enjoy!

fresh salsa ingredients

Just about everything you need to make this delicious salsa can be picked fresh from the garden.

Savory Homemade Salsa

2 cups diced vine-ripe tomatoes (any variety; use your sweetest ones to avoid adding extra sugar)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons diced purple onion
1 tablespoon diced Vidalia (or other sweet) onion
Juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of sugar (optional)


Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, adding extra lime, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, then store the leftovers (if there are any!) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.