Today, we are taking a simple Keto Salsa Recipe and spicing it up (pun intended). The technique of roasting the tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno brings out amazing flavors that make this salsa a real crowd-pleaser.
The flavor combination in this fresh salsa recipe will make everyone think that you spent hours preparing it when it is actually very simple.
We suggest doubling the recipe to make sure there are plenty of leftovers for you to enjoy. This keto salsa recipe can be made a day or two ahead of time, allowing for the flavors to continue to enhance while being stored in the refrigerator.
- 2 cups Cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro ((larger stems removed))
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Adjust the top rack in the oven to the highest level and set the oven to broil.
- Add a layer of parchment paper to the cookie sheet/roasting tray.
- Prep the ingredients for roasting.
- Roughly chop half of the red onion.
- Rinse tomatoes and jalapeno in water and pat dry with a paper towel
- Place tomatoes, jalapeno, and chopped onions on top of parchment paper on the roasting tray.
- Make sure to read the notes above to adjust the spiciness of the salsa.
- Coat ingredients with olive oil.
- Place the tray in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.
- Remove large cilantro stems (small stems are okay) and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Check the ingredients in the oven.
- After 10 minutes, if the tomatoes and jalapeno skins are blistered and beginning to bubble under the skin and the onions are turning a light brown, stir the ingredients and place them back under the broiler for an additional 5 minutes. Continue to check ingredients to avoid burning. Add more time under the broiler as needed.
- Remove the tray and ingredients from the oven. Place jalapeno on the cutting board.
- Remove stem from jalapeno
- If you desire medium spiced salsa, remove the seed and ribs from the jalapeno.
- Gently slice the jalapeno open lengthwise ( from stem to bottom).
- Use a spoon to gently scrape the seeds out.
- Use the sharp end of the knife and gently remove the ribs inside. This can be done by gently slicing under each rib lengthwise and while pulling the rib.
- The seeds and ribs carry the heat so make sure to wash your hands well with soap and warm water. You can also use disposable rubber gloves to remove seeds and ribs. This will ensure that the heat does not transfer to your hands.
- Place the roasted tomatoes, red onions, and jalapeno in the blender/food processor.
- Add the chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt to the blender.
- Blend ingredients on medium-high for 30 seconds.
- Pour salsa into a serving dish or storage container.
- Salsa will be warm and delicious.
- If you prefer to have cold salsa, just place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Ingredients Substitution and omission options
- Fresh Cherry Tomatoes - 1 14 oz. can of roasted tomatoes can be substituted for fresh roasted cherry tomatoes. You do not need to roast the canned tomatoes. Just add the contents of the can to the blender.
- Fresh Lime Juice - You can substitute bottled store-bought lime juice. We suggest increasing the amount to 1 ½ tablespoon of lime juice.
- Jalapeno Pepper - If you don’t like spicy salsa, we recommend roasting half of a red bell pepper. This will give the salsa the flavor of pepper without the heat.
- Cilantro - If you do not have fresh cilantro, you can substitute dried cilantro, also called coriander. You will need to decrease the amount of dried cilantro to 2 tablespoons.
Benefits of roasting tomatoes
Not only does roasting the tomatoes bring out incredible flavors, this simple step actually enhances the nutritional value. The roasted tomatoes become more heart-healthy and have cancer-fighting benefits.
The Jalapeno Pepper
Jalapenos are used around the world to add spice and a rich flavor to various foods. The Scoville heat units measured in a jalapeno can vary from pepper to pepper. The Scoville heat unit is what brings the warm heat to a dish enhancing the flavor. The seeds and ribs inside the jalapeno can increase the Scoville heat units. The ribs inside the jalapeno are the white parts inside the jalapeno that run lengthwise (top to bottom). The seeds inside the jalapeno are attached to the ribs. By removing the seeds, you can decrease some of the Scoville heat units of pepper. Leaving the ribs inside allows the jalapeno to still provide a nice amount of heat to the dish.
Spicy or Note?
If you prefer spicy keto salsa, we suggest roasting the entire jalapeno, adding it to the blender without removing seeds or ribs. This gives a great flavor and will definitely warm your insides.
If you prefer medium keto salsa, we suggest roasting the entire jalapeno, then removing the seeds and ribs prior to adding it to the blender. Roasting the whole jalapeno prior to removing the seeds and ribs adds some heat without the lip burning you will get when adding the ribs and seeds.
If you prefer a mild keto salsa, we suggest slicing the jalapeno in half to remove the seeds and ribs inside, prior to roasting the ingredients. You can also roast half of a red bell pepper instead of the jalapeno pepper. This will add the flavor of pepper without the heat.
Blending vs. Chopping
We suggest blending the ingredients for the keto salsa recipe. When you blend all of the ingredients together, you make sure that you get the perfect combination of flavors in every bite.
Just chopping the ingredients and mixing, you might not get the perfect mix of ingredients for each bite. Blending the ingredients means minimal chopping, making this recipe one step easier for your enjoyment.
If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can chop the ingredients. We suggest that you finely chop the ingredients and mix all ingredients well.
- Cookie sheet/Baking sheet pan – We prefer a half sheet rectangular shaped baking sheet with one inch raised sides to prevent drips or spills.
- Parchment paper – We add a layer of parchment paper between the baking sheet and salsa ingredients. This keeps the tomatoes and onions from sticking to the tray. It is also great for easy cleanup.
- Cutting board – a cutting board is a standard item in any kitchen. It is a great place to slice ingredients without dulling your knife or scratching your countertop.
- Knife – We prefer a 10-inch chef knife in our kitchen. It is a great all-around knife for this and any recipe.
- Blender or Food Processor – In our test kitchen, we used the Vitamix Professional 750 Blender. We prefer the lower profile 64 oz. container for this recipe. Having a wider and shorter container allows for an easy pour of the salsa into your serving dish or storage container. This model has a self-cleaning setting as well. Just add a drop of dish soap and about a cup of warm water and it will clean itself in about a minute. A food processor will blend the salsa ingredients as well. Make sure to pulse at the lowest speed and check the consistency every few seconds.
Tortilla chips sound like the most obvious choice for salsa, but if you are following Keto, tortilla chips have too many carbohydrates. Here are some lower-carb options to enjoy this keto salsa.
- Non-starchy vegetables – You still enjoy the crunch you would get with the chip but without the unnecessary carbohydrates.
- Carrots – Not only are carrots tasty with a great crunch, but they are also highly nutritious. They are packed with beta carotene and fiber.
- Celery – Did you know that celery is a negative-calorie food? Celery actually contains fewer calories than our body burns to digest celery. Not to mention, celery is high in fiber and great for your digestion.
- Cucumber – Cucumbers can help prevent dehydration. Cucumbers contain so much water and electrolytes, you stay hydrated just by eating them. What a great benefit!
- Bell peppers – Bell peppers are packed with vitamins A and vitamin C. They are also low in calories. Which color should you choose? It is really up to your taste preference. Green peppers are harvested before they change color to yellow, orange, or red. Red peppers are left on the vine the longest and contain more beta carotene and vitamin C.
- Cauliflower – One of our favorite vegetables to dip is cauliflower. Just a cup of raw cauliflower can provide over 75% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Cauliflower is high in fiber as well as being a great choice for a keto lifestyle.
- Keto “chips” – We love the crunch of Quest Tortilla Style Protein Chips. The Loaded Taco flavor is delicious and when you add a scoop of our salsa, you forget that you aren’t eating a real tortilla chip. We buy these in a 12 pack because you can’t share a bag!
- Pork Rinds – A great alternative to tortilla chips are pork rinds. The crunch and saltiness of a pork rind can fool you into thinking you are actually eating tortilla chips.
- Parm crisps – This alternative gives not only the crunch of a chip but a little extra flavor to the keto salsa. There are a variety of flavors, but to make sure you get the entire flavor of the keto salsa, we recommend the original flavor of Parm Crisps.
You May Also Like: Amazing Keto Tortilla Recipe – Keto Tortillas Made Easy
Do you have to dip?
Salsa is not just for dipping. Just by adding this keto salsa to a recipe, you increase the flavors and enjoyment of your favorite Mexican dish.
Our favorite way to enjoy the keto salsa is to add it to a taco salad. A taco salad is a great keto dinner choice that will please everyone. Start with a base of greens, romaine is our favorite because of the crunch. Next, add the meat of your choice. Shredded chicken, flavored ground beef, carnitas (shredded pork), or carne asada (grilled steak) are some options. Add some shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, sliced avocado, and top it all with a generous scoop of our keto salsa.
The addition of the keto salsa brings all the flavors in the taco salad together for a memorable and enjoyable meal that you’ll keep on a weekly meal rotation. We suggest that you keep the keto salsa and all the toppings the same, just change the meat of choice and enjoy.
Try adding our salsa to any of the following:
- Eggs – However you prefer your eggs, add a little keto salsa and sliced avocado to the plate and enjoy!
- Soup – Add a scoop of keto salsa to your favorite chicken vegetable soup to spice it up.
- Cream Cheese – Mix in a scoop or two of keto salsa to whipped cream cheese for another great keto dip that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
- Cauliflower Rice – Add a scoop of keto salsa to cooked cauliflower rice to add some pizzazz. We often add this spiced-up cauliflower rice to our taco salads.
- Steak – Adding just a little keto salsa to a bite of steak will send your taste buds through the roof. The combination of flavors is incredible.
Does salsa go bad?
The keto salsa will go bad after a week. That is why we suggest consuming keto salsa within a week. We suggest checking the smell of the keto salsa if it has been in the refrigerator for a few days. We have not had an issue with the keto salsa going bad, though. It is so delicious that we have more of an issue with it lasting one or two sittings. It is that good.
How long does salsa last?
If you keep your keto salsa covered in the refrigerator between uses, it will last 4 – 6 days. We suggest storing your keto salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Is salsa keto?
Good news! Salsa is keto-friendly. The majority of the carbohydrates found in salsa come from tomatoes. The amount of carbohydrates in tomatoes is minimal and tomatoes have 1-2 grams of fiber per serving. This keeps the carb count low and is a perfect addition to any Mexican meal.
No worries when serving this keto salsa recipe to a crowd. This keto salsa is also gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, and Whole30 compliant. The only thing you might need to adjust is the heat. It is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Homemade vs. Store Bought Salsa
Fresh is best. Of course, store-bought salsa might seem easier, but when you compare the flavor profile of this homemade keto salsa, fresh take the lead. The flavors of the lime juice and fresh cilantro are something a jar of store-bought salsa cannot compete with.
In addition to the flavor difference, salsa manufacturers often add sugar to their jarred salsa. The added sugar increases the carbohydrates.
Why do manufacturers add sugar to salsa?
If you look at the most manufactured foods ingredients list, you will find added sugar. Why do manufacturers add sugar? Does adding sugar add to the flavor? Some might say that sugar balances the acidity of tomatoes. Our take is that it is not needed. The flavor of the keto salsa does not need anything to balance out the flavors. Try it and see, sugar is not needed at all.
Is salsa good for you?
Salsa is GREAT for you.
- Tomatoes are nutrient-dense, heart-healthy, and rich in antioxidants.
- Red onions are full of vitamins and minerals. The sulfur compounds found in red onion can help protect you from ulcers.
- Jalapenos contain capsaicin. The capsaicin found in jalapenos can boost your metabolism thus promoting weight loss.
How do you store the Keto Salsa?
We suggest storing your keto salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If the container is not airtight, the circulation of air in the refrigerator can remove some of the moisture in the keto salsa. It can also interfere with the flavor. There are other items in the refrigerator that can add odors to the salsa and even the slight odor or change in taste is not good. We choose to store our salsa in a pyrex glass food storage container. Remove the salsa from the refrigerator, take off the lid, and whalaaa, you have your serving dish.
We are excited for you to try this fresh Keto Salsa recipe. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The simple step of roasting the tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno is sure to impress the most sophisticated pallets. We suggest doubling the recipe to make sure you have plenty of leftovers to enjoy after the crowd is gone. We encourage you to be creative with the keto-friendly dipping options for the keto salsa. When you want to spice up your favorite dish, try adding some keto salsa. You’ll be amazed at the result! Whether you eat the keto salsa as a dip or add it to a dish, it is sure to excite all that dig in.