This delicious authentic Mexican salsa recipe is super easy, makes a large batch for a crowd, and gets better each day the flavors marinate in the fridge. It’s a chunky salsa and can be made as spicy or as mild as you want, but either way, I think you will love the flavors!
Where did this authentic Mexican salsa recipe come from?
When I was young (like 5 years young!), we lived in Arizona for a few years. During that time, my mom gathered tons of delicious recipes for authentic Mexican dishes from her friends. My mom and I still make many of them today. One of our favorite recipes is Barb’s Hot Salsa, which tastes to me like a true authentic Mexican salsa.
We called it Barb’s Hot Salsa because we had a dear family friend named Barb who shared the recipe with us. After we moved from Arizona, we lost touch with Barb. However, I think of her every time my mom or I make her salsa recipe.
A recipe for a crowd
During my childhood, we had tons of parties and get-togethers. My mom would make all of the food for these events.
Most of the dishes my mom would make were things that served a large crowd. I remember Barb’s Hot Salsa being one of those dishes we often had. It is so easy to make, it makes plenty for a crowd, and she was able to make it a couple of days ahead of time. In fact, this authentic Mexican salsa is even better after it sits for a day or two in the fridge.
If you love dishes that make enough for a crowd and can be made ahead, check out these recipes:
What is in Barb’s Hot Salsa?
This recipe is truly so easy and packed full of authentic Mexican flavors. It’s also more of a chunky salsa. The ingredients include:
- Canned stewed, peeled tomatoes
- Canned diced green chilies
- Green onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Hot taco sauce
All of the ingredients, except the green onions, are straight from the pantry. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dish full of so many flavors that was mainly from my pantry.
The great thing about this authentic Mexican salsa is all you have to do is chop the tomatoes and onions, add the other ingredients, then mix everything in a bowl.
My trick to quickly chop the peeled tomatoes—use kitchen scissors to cut them into small pieces! The original directions say to use your hands to crush the tomatoes, but the kitchen scissors are less messy.
Substituting or modifying the ingredients
You can add as much or as little cumin, green chilies, green onions, and hot taco sauce as you want. If you’re feeding a group of hungry children at a birthday party, you may want to use less of the hot taco sauce. The hot taco sauce could even be replaced with mild taco sauce. Of course, if you want really spicy salsa, go ahead and add a jalapeño or habanero sauce!
My favorite hot taco sauce is Siete traditional hot sauce, because this hot sauce has all-natural ingredients and does not have any added sugars. We use Siete products for the majority of our Mexican dishes, because all of their products are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegan, and use wholesome ingredients.
Another way to make your salsa more mild is to use less of the green chilies. Green chilies usually aren’t super spicy to begin with, but some people find them to be strong when there are too many in a dish. You can also add more to add that extra spice.
Cumin really gives this authentic Mexican salsa it’s “authentic” taste. Cumin is frequently used to season Mexican dishes. However, if you use too much, it can give the dish a somewhat bitter taste. My suggestion would be to add a small amount, do a taste test, and add more if needed. I typically start with one tablespoon, then add more as needed.
As far as the green onions, the recipe calls for two bunches, chopped. I find this to be plenty, but feel free to add more if you love the flavor of green onions.
How to serve your chunky salsa
Most everyone eats salsa with tortilla chips. As I mentioned above, our favorite brand is Siete. I also like to use plantain chips to dip in salsa. Since this is a chunky salsa, it’s easy to dip using tortilla chips or plantain chips.
Need a quick weeknight meal? Add salsa with chicken breast and cook it in the Instant Pot for chicken tacos. I will also use salsa in place of enchilada sauce when I make enchiladas, if that’s what I have on hand.
This authentic Mexican salsa recipe makes such a large amount, it’s perfect for a party. It also keeps very well in the fridge for two–three weeks. Since it stays good for a while, you can add it to your tacos on Taco Tuesday for several weeks!
Authentic Mexican salsa is our favorite
This authentic Mexican salsa recipe (AKA “Barb’s Hot Salsa”) is our favorite salsa and gets rave reviews when I make it for a crowd. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Easy Authentic Mexican Salsa
- 4 28 oz. cans whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
- 2 bunches green onions (Can add more if you wish.)
- 4 4 oz. cans chopped, green chilies (Can add more if you wish.)
- 1 small bottle of hot taco sauce (Start with half the bottle and add more as necessary for spice level. You can use jalapeño or habanero taco sauce for added spice.)
- ground Cumin to taste (Start with 1 Tbsp. and add more for taste. I generally use about 3 Tbsp.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crush tomatoes with hands, or chop with kitchen scissors until chunky.
- Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Can serve immediately, but the flavors get better the longer it sits in the fridge.
- Store in fridge for 2 – 3 weeks.
Truly one of my favorite recipes! So happy you are still making this after all these years! Here’s to our dear friend Barb….the salsa brings back wonderful memories! Thank you Molly for sharing for all to enjoy!
This recipe looks perfect! I love a good chunky salsa. Will definitely try your tip about the kitchen scissors instead of crushing by hand. 😊