Easy to make salsa to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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In America, Cinco de Mayo (which just means May 5th in Spanish) has come to mean a big party. Which is why we’re creating some easy to make salsa today to help with your celebrations–at home! But, the holiday started very differently.

One of the major misconceptions is that Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican Independence Day–it doesn’t. That’s on September 16th. What it does celebrate is the victory of the Mexican army over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

As a holiday, it is much more celebrated in America than in Mexico. And originally started with Mexican-Americans in California in 1863 when they heard the Mexicans won the battle. It didn’t become popular in the rest of the United States until around the 1940s. Now it is a celebration Mexican-American culture and heritage.

The point of Cinco de Mayo is to understand Mexican culture better and celebrate what we have in common and what we have shared with each other. One of my favorite things Mexican culture has shared is its delicious food.

In our house Mexican food is one of our favorites that we could literally eat every day. Sometimes we do ; ) And no dish is complete without the salsa (sauce). When it comes to making food, I prefer recipes that are simple and require only a few ingredients. That’s why these easy to make salsas are on the top of my favorites list.

Since Salsa means sauce in Spanish, it can take many forms. One of my favorites is a pico de gallo, which is sometimes called salsa fresca (fresh sauce) because the ingredients are simple and it’s so fresh. It literally means beak of a rooster, which makes no sense, so we’ll stick with the Spanish pronunciation, pee-ko duh guy-yo.

All you need are fresh tomatoes, lime juice, salt, cilantro, pepper and onion. Everything is chopped finely and mixed together. I don’t like raw onion, so I don’t use much and make sure it’s chopped very fine.

Pico de Gallo

Start with fresh ingredients. They’ll make your salsa not only delicious, but more nutritious too!

easy to make salsa ingredients

The tomatoes should be firm and plump. Chop them in a small dice–the smaller the better because you’ll be able to get a better flavor profile and get more on your chip later!

finely chopped tomatoes for easy to make salsa

Chop the remaining ingredients finely as well. Kids can help with this using the knife skills they worked on making the Nicoise Salad. This will help it mix better and taste better!

finely chopped jalepeno for easy to make salsa

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and let sit 5-10 minutes for the flavors to combine

pico de gallo easy to make salsa

Variation: Blended Salsa

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, one of my other favorites uses a can of diced tomatoes. It’s smooth and not chunky like pico de gallo, but has a delicious flavor.

ingredients for easy to make salsa blended

The steps couldn’t be easier–even young kids can make this one nearly by themselves. They might just need help with the can opener and slicing the pepper. You simply add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Let it sit about 15 minutes and it’s ready to enjoy.

easy to make salsa blended

SImple BLended Salsa


2.5 cups

Prep time


Cooking time


Now all you need are tortilla chips or tacos or your favorite Mexican food to enjoy these easy to make salsas!


  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup whole cilantro

  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice

  • 1/2-1 tsp salt

  • 1/2-1 jalepeno, with ribs and seeds removed


  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  • Blend 10-15 seconds, until smooth
  • Let sit 15 minutes to settle. Taste and adjust salt or lime juice according to taste preference.
  • Serve with corn chips or with your favorite Mexican foods.

Pico de gallo

Recipe by Kirsten ReederCourse: Lunch, Dinner, SnacksCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

Pico de gallo is a fast and easy to make salsa using only a few fresh ingredients–tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime and salt–and comes together quickly and easily.


  • 2-3 large red tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1 serrano or jalepeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped

  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped, about 1/4-1/2 cup

  • 1/2-1 tsp salt, to taste


  • In a medium non-metallic bowl combine the onion, tomatoes, jalepeno, and cilantro.
  • Add the lime juice and salt to taste and stir to combine
  • Let sit 15 minutes and then taste again and adjust accordingly
  • Serve as a dip for chips, or serve with a slotted spoon to avoid too much juice from transferring to other foods.

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #vibrantmomsociety

Pin for later:

pinterest pin easy to make pico de gallo


  1. Cindy | 4th May 20

    I always find homemade to be so much better. This looks so yummy!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 4th May 20

      It so true. I don’t know why I don’t do it ALL the time…it really is like 5 minutes and tastes way better than most store bought ones. =)

  2. AMak | 4th May 20

    This looks so good! I love me a good salsa but those container ones just never taste right to me. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 4th May 20

      Thanks! I know, I totally hear you on that one. They have something just not right. I forget sometimes that making it myself is super fast and way cheaper too!

  3. Pam | 4th May 20

    Yum! I make tons of homemade salsa in the summer when the tomatoes are fresh. I’ll have to try the canned tomato version when I can’t get the summer tomatoes.

    • Kirsten Reeder | 4th May 20

      oh yeah, me too. Do you ever can it for later? The canned version is really yummy too, just a different texture, obviously. That’s when I make it most–when fresh tomatoes aren’t as good.

  4. Beth Shields | 4th May 20

    Love both of these and pretty much have them in my fridge all the time. Use them on almost anything. thanks for sharing your recipes. Homemade they taste so fresh.

    • Kirsten Reeder | 4th May 20

      That’s great Beth! They really are good on so many things!

  5. Erin | 4th May 20

    Looks so fresh and yummy! Will be making this for tomorrow night!!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 4th May 20

      Yay! Happy Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday!

  6. Erin | 4th May 20

    This looks so easy! Why haven’t I made it before? Think this might be a staple in the summer with fresh tomatoes.

    • Kirsten Reeder | 4th May 20

      It really is! I don’t know!?!?!?! But you totally should. =) I forget that it’s fast and easy too sometimes and just do the store bought kind, then regret it immediately.

  7. Brenna | 4th May 20

    So simple and always tastes better homemade!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Definitely agree!

  8. Adrienne | 4th May 20

    That looks so fresh and delicious! I’m going to whip some of this up, my kids will love it too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      That sounds like a great idea, I’m sure they will love it–mine scooped it all up in like 2 minutes =)

  9. Casandra | 4th May 20

    We eat a lot of salsa in our household. Our kids love it so I’l have to get them to make the blended version. They would love to be able to do it themselves!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Oh yeah, they can do the whole thing by themselves for sure. Especially if you have the pop top can =)

  10. Eva Keller | 4th May 20

    Great recipe recommendations. Since moving to California I’ve realized how popular cilantro is and I just cannot eat it. I grew up in Ohio and Florida and I think the only time cilantro was in anything was the salsa they bring out at Mexican restaurants. My husband is 1/4th Mexican and loves it though so I still let him indulge in all things cilantro whenever he wants.

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Thank you! Oh yeah, cilantro is ALL over California. It’s practically the state herb =) I have a friend who can’t stand it either…it’s an actual thing, it tastes like dirt to some people. You can leave it out if you want, and it’ll just taste a bit different. You may be able to do cumin. It’s the cilantro seed, with a different flavor, so maybe that’ll taste ok. Or make some for you, then add the cilantro to the rest for your husband =)

  11. Jessica M. | 4th May 20

    Can’t wait to try this!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Let me know what you think!

  12. Chantelle | 4th May 20

    A perfect Pico to add to dinner tomorrow!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Yes!!!!! Happy Taco Tuesday/Cinco de Mayo

  13. Rachel | 4th May 20

    Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed reading your explanation prior to the recipes. Can I just say that pico is really pretty? Very colorful and fresh! 🙂

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It really is a pretty food for sure. =)

  14. Tara | Travel | 5th May 20

    I LOVE having fresh Pico de Gallo on hand! This looks like a great recipe; thank you for sharing!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      I do to, but somehow forget to make it very often =) Thank you!

  15. Emily Ackerman | 5th May 20

    I love good pico de gallo!! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Barbara | 5th May 20

    We are definitely a salsa family! Great recipe! Thanks!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Oh cool! We should definitely be friends then. =) Hope you enjoy.

  17. Elaina | 5th May 20

    Love, love, love fresh salsa! This is such a great recipe to keep on hand all summer.

    • Kirsten Reeder | 5th May 20

      Thanks! Yes, it’s great for summer!

  18. Tammica | 5th May 20

    I love fresh and simple recipes for my 10-year olds to make. They are much more willing to try foods that they prepare. Will be adding this one to the kid-friendly recipe list!

    • Kirsten Reeder | 7th May 20

      That is what I’ve found to be true too Tammica. Kids do like to try food they’ve made more! =)

  19. windsofjane | 12th May 20

    I’m going to comment on this post because I love salsa and there’s nothing like making a fresh one. For me, cilantro is what gives it a kick. Now, I have to make one for dinner 🙂

    • Kirsten Reeder | 12th May 20

      Totally agree! Cilantro is necessary. Have a great dinner!

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