Chipotle Salsa!


So … I am a HUGE salsa fan. I like it HOT. (Can you imagine?)

I started making salsa years ago and when I started I did things the “purist” way … even fire-roasted tomatoes! Well, five children later, I’ve graduated to canned tomatoes and I have to say that they taste every bit as good because all the other ingredients really “make” the salsa!

Here’s my recipe for my favorite salsa, and a few tips for those of you with more “mild” tastes:

  1. If you don’t like SPICY salsa, you can cut down on the heat by taking out the seeds in the jalapenos and all the white membrane that holds the seeds. **word to the wise** Be careful with jalapenos! I’m here to tell ya, I made the mistake one time of taking out my contacts with jalepeno still on my hands.  It.Wasn’t.Pleasant.  WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after handling jalapeno peppers.
  2. Chipotle peppers are just smoked jalapeno peppers in yummy sauce. They can be hot. If you want a more mild recipe, simply cut the amount of chipotle pepper but don’t cut it out entirely. That yummy smoked flavor is AMAZING in salsa.
  3. Use fresh ground pepper if you can. It’s the best. :)

So without further adieu, here’s my secret recipe! Enjoy!

1 large white onion
1 red pepper
2 cans diced tomatoes – drained
3 jalapenos – seed them to remove the “heat” (I like mine HOT)
4 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro (yes the whole bunch)
1 or 2 canned chipotle peppers
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 T white vinegar
1 T lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Adding these first helps keep the tomatoes from becoming “soupy”

Add these to your food processor and blend FIRST.

  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeno

Add the tomatoes last and pulse your food processor. The trick is to get it the consistency that you like it. It might take a few tries but keep at it. It’s worth it!


After you have blended those, add your liquid smoke (Optional if you don’t have it. Don’t run out to the store, just buy it for next time.), vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper & chipotle pepper.


Blend. Add the drained cans of diced tomatoes LAST. Taste for salt and pepper. Remember to PULSE your food processor. You want salsa, not soup. :)

This will make a whole lotta salsa! Enough to feed a crowd. Maybe it’s time to have some friends over… !


Put the red pepper, chipotle peppers, garlic cloves, salt and pepper in at the same time.


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Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John

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108 Responses to Chipotle Salsa!

  1. Shannon says:

    Sounds yummy!! It can always be Mexican night at my house or salsa anytime!!!!

  2. Ule Logue says:

    This sounds so yummy! I know my recently returned soldier would love!

  3. Stef Layton says:

    yes ma’am – love salsa! (surprisingly another thing in common *giggle)

  4. Melissa Buchanan says:

    This looks so yummy!

  5. Stephanie says:

    That looks so yummy! I’ve never thought about putting a red bell pepper in my salsa before. I’m going to have to try it. :)

  6. kristen andrew says:

    Looks like my moms recipe except the chipotle and that addition sounds amazing!

  7. Vicki says:

    Just in time for Cinco de Mayo!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Oh that looks delicious! We go through TONS of salsa at my house, but I have never tried to make my own. I am definitely going to have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Tiffany DeOs says:

    That looks so amazing!!! We love spicy salsa at our house. I’m going to have to pin this recipe. :)

  10. Jennifer Hall says:

    I love homemade salsa! This looks amazing and super easy! Thanks for sharing your ‘secret’ recipe.

  11. VM says:

    It has more ingredients than I am used to but I will try it.

  12. Kim Jobe says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen canned fire-roasted tomatoes somewhere!

    • heidistjohn says:

      Yes, they have those 😉 I’ve used them but haven’t found much difference. You’ll have to tell me what you think if you try both kinds of tomatoes. Have fun!

  13. Dee says:

    I love this!! Fresh salsa is amazing and one of my all time favs.

  14. Angie says:

    I love salsa and will have to try this recipe once I go shopping and get all the ingredients :)

  15. Sean Hall says:

    What is liquid smoke?

  16. Ma Peterson says:

    Mmmmm! Salsa is my favorite! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  17. Vera says:

    Thanks for sharing, Heidi! I’ve always wanted to make my own salsa. If it makes a lot, do you know if you can freeze it? Just wondering…

    • heidistjohn says:

      You know, I have never tried freezing it. I am not sure it would freeze well. My hunch is that it wouldn’t. But if you hear differently I’d love to know!

  18. Lisa Chandler says:

    Yum! I’m gonna have to try that one! My hubby likes HOT stuff.

  19. Sarah says:

    Mmm I love making my own salsa but being in the UK I’m not sure we’d find anything like liquid smoke. May have to have an internet search, methinks.

    • heidistjohn says:

      Sarah, I made my last batch without it because I ran out… the chipotle peppers really do add a lot of flavor. I took some of the sauce and put it in the salsa instead of the Liquid Smoke. It was yummy! This is a great recipe to mix-n-match what you ilke. Have fun!

  20. Nicole Smith says:

    Yum. Nothing better than a fresh-made-in-the-processor recipe. It’s like magic. :)

  21. Brooke Havens says:

    This sounds like the perfect recipe! I LOVE HOT salsa! Thanks so much! Looking forward to making this!

  22. Heather Austin says:

    This sounds wonderful, can’t wait to try it out:)

  23. Lis says:

    oh, this looks yummy~ Are canned chipotle peppers easily found? (I guess I’ve never looked for them~ but I buy green chiles regularly)

  24. Candice says:

    Definitely making it this weekend! I’ve been craving salsa lately and this one looks like it has a nice kick to it. Thanks for sharing! 😀

  25. Chris says:

    My husband loves my homemade salsa. I can’t buy the bottled anymore!! We are more on the mild side though. I haven’t tried the chipotle peppers, might have to use a small amount and see how it works. Thanks for the recipe.

  26. Kimberly says:

    Wow….I never thought of adding liquid smoke to salsa….I am going to have to try that!!!!!
    I put in a couple of Serrano peppers in mine, for good measure. They add a nice flavor and add some additional heat! (I like it hot too!) :)

  27. Robin says:

    Yum! Thanks for the recipe! :) Looks delicious!

  28. Robyn habegger says:

    Love this! Can’t wait to try it!

  29. Laura Mahung says:

    These recipes sound delicious, fresh and different than the usual. Thanks for sharing them! Looking forward to trying them too!

    I like your site!

  30. Michelle says:

    Sounds yummy!!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  31. Linda says:

    Looks delicious!!

  32. Demetria says:

    Looks tasty! Thanks for sharing :)

  33. Robin says:

    Made this salsa today and it was amazing!! And the recipe makes a TON! Heidi — when you put in the cilantro, do you de-stem it first?

    • heidistjohn says:

      Awesome, Robin! I rinse the cilantro very well and then cut it off as a bunch, just after the leafy part. Does that make sense? So glad you liked it, and yes, it does make a lot 😉 I feed a CREW over here so I’m usually making big batches of something… :) Thanks for the note!

  34. Robin says:

    Heidi – you’ll find this funny – after I made your salsa I came back here to post the above note — and then I started skimming the other comments. That’s when I saw you mention that one can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce will last through five batches of salsa! I did a double take — and sure enough — the recipe had called for “one or two canned chipotle peppers”… I had misread it as “one or two cans of chipotle peppers”.. LOL .. I put in an entire can!! It was still delish though! Very spicy but we like it pretty hot :)

  35. Christina Fischer says:

    The recipes sound yummy!

  36. Kathy says:

    Just bought ingredients from the local farmer’s market. I was looking for a recipe to refer to!! Thanks!

  37. melissa says:

    Sounds delish

  38. Melissa C says:

    Looks and sounds delish!! Can’t wait to try this one!!

  39. Lorie Bell says:

    Will be making this tomorrow!! Thanks for sharing!!

  40. Suzanne Bennett says:

    Yum. Thanks so much for sharing! :) In His Joy~Suzanne

  41. April cummings says:

    I’m excited to try this! We love salsa at our house. :)

  42. heather ewing says:

    Love homemade salsa, I had to share this post w/ a friend who always makes it

  43. Christa F says:

    Ok this looks like a keeper! My processor died, so I needed an excuse to beg hubby for a new one hahahah! Thanks for posting!

  44. Dana says:

    I love fresh salsa!

  45. Kim Blanchard says:

    Totally making this! Looks delicious!

  46. Amy P. says:

    Looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks!! :)

  47. Alana S. says:

    Salsa is one of my favorite things! Great recipe ideas! Going to try these soon! Thanks!

  48. Nikki says:

    I just discovered your blog this week & I love it. Thanks for your encouraging words & thought provoking topics. The salsa looks yummy.

  49. Kiley says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks!

  50. HeidiR says:

    This looks amazing!! How hard would it be to make without a food processor?

  51. Erin R says:

    Looks yummy!

  52. Kristina Armstrong says:

    Can’t wait to try this! I’ve been looking for a good recipe

  53. Shay says:

    Sounds really good! :)

  54. Heidi Vance says:

    Looks fantastic! With baby #4 on the way, I am craving all things Mexican. This will definitely hit the spot!

  55. Cindy says:

    I love the fresh salsa idea. I don’t have a food processor. Can a blender be used if we make small parts of the recipe at a time. I’d live to try this! We buy cheap bottled stuff for our family of 8.

  56. Kathy says:

    Love homemade salsa! Will have to try this one as my hubbie loves salsa so, but I don’t have a great salsa recipe.

  57. Natasha says:

    This looks delicious! I’ll be making this soon. Thanks for the recipe and I want to enter the drawing for your book! :)

  58. Robin says:

    Yummy way to eat some fresh veggies. Gonna try this soon.

  59. Jodi says:

    This looks so good! I’ll be trying it out very soon.

  60. Heather Thomas says:

    I want in the book drawing!! 😉

  61. Annette says:

    This sounds great. I can’t wait to try it this week when I fix Mexican. My kids love salsa, great way for them to enjoy some vegetables an not even think about it

  62. Donna says:

    I will try this. Yummy! I always make homemade salsa& my family loves it.

  63. Emily says:

    Sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try out this recipe after we take out trip to the local U-pick tomatoe farm!

  64. Jennifer Brees says:

    Ooo I love fresh salsa and cannot wait to try this! I’ve always wondered if canned tomatoes would work. My husband might even eat this and I’ll make a milder version for the kids. Thank you!

  65. susan says:

    that sounds yummy! thanks for sharing.

  66. Laurie E says:

    Never thought of Liquid Smoke? But we LOVE salsa too! Will try it! Thanks!

  67. Trina says:

    This is so cool! I just discovered you today. I do the “virtual” online public homeschool thing. This is my second year and I’m having a blast. Love this!!!!!

  68. Sherrie says:

    We love salsa and this mom loves easy! Yummy!!!

  69. April Powell says:

    I just had our 3 baby May 4th and I am happy to be home with her tonight. I saw this post and look forward to trying it out. Maybe Aurellia and the others will like it too. We love our mexican :)

  70. Anna in UK says:

    Hi, Wow this sounds goooodd! Thanks also for taking the time to write this blog I really feel encouraged to keep on keeping on! One of my favourite Heidi quote…’If you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot, and hang on!’ xx

  71. Susan Moxley says:

    Looks good

  72. Kelly says:

    In the summer after all my tomatoes have ripened, I can LOTS of salsa. I love the thought of adding some liquid smoke to it. Definately going to try that!!

  73. Mari says:

    Homemade Salsa beats any store brand

  74. Joann Marchand says:

    Cannot wait to try this. Listened to my ‘first ever’ webcast last week. I was GREATLY encouraged and enjoyed it completely. Promptly ordered a book….but should I win…I know several more Mom’s that would be blessed by the gift! Thank you for all you do to encourage Wives and Mothers!

  75. Vickie says:

    That looks yummy. Might have to try it.

  76. Kaye says:

    I’ve always wanted to try to make some salsa! Can’t wait!!

  77. Heather says:

    Yum…now I am hungry! Thanks for posting!

  78. Linda says:

    It’s Monday!! Fingers crossed and praying excitedly :)

    • heidistjohn says:



      Please send your complete mailing address to along with the subject line “Blog Book Winner”

      Keep checking back —more contests and fun to come!

    • heidistjohn says:

      Looks like you’re the winner, Linda! Congratulations :)

      • Linda says:

        Oh my!!!!!!!!!!!!Speechless!!!!!!! Thank you thank you…….Was so excited about this draw but didn’t really want to check the result as I was thinking, ‘what are the chances seriously…..’. Am super excited :)

  79. Angie says:

    I make a homemade salsa with rotel, cilantro, onions, lime and fresh garlic, which is delicious but I am definitely going to have to try your recipe now! Sounds delicious! I hope I am not too late for the book drawing!

  80. Judy Dudich says:

    YUM! Looks wonderful! Can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

  81. Callie says:

    I don’t know if it’s more funny that I’m a native Oregonian as well… or that you were just in NM – but I didn’t even know what a chile was until I left for college. And now they are staples of our diet. Green (anaheim) chiles are the best! This looks fantastic.

  82. I just made some salsa tonight. We were out and I happened to fresh tomatoes straight from the garden.

  83. Carrie West says:

    we make a salsa verde with all fresh veggies and no cooking! Love it and like the sweet and vinegary taste.

  84. My kids would drink salsa if I let them. I will have to try your recipe!

  85. Lori Snyder says:

    Anybody have a great way of making fresh chips? I want nice light and crunchy ones, mine come out too thick.

  86. Ok, that was some seriously good salsa my friend! I am sitting here, having eaten some just 6 hours ago having serious cravings! I’m making some tomorrow :) Thanks for the food tonight and for sharing this super yummy recipe!

  87. yummy i live off of salsa :)

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