Simple Summer Salsa

So here's the thing. I HATE mushrooms and I HATE fresh tomatoes. I know, I know. How am I even a vegan if I can't get a big veggie sandwich with juicy tomato slices and order a portobello burger at the steak joint? I manage quite nicely, actually. But oh the shock and awe when I tell people I don't like either of those things! And the immediate response: "How are you a vegan?!" I get it though, both tomatoes and mushrooms are absolutely staples within a vegan, plant based diet, but like I said I manage and there are SOME exceptions to this rule. One delicious exception being salsa. Because what is life without salsa? Well there's guacamole--but that's another post!

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Can I tell you another secret? I don't like chunky salsa! And it seems like that's all you can find nowadays and it's plastered on all the lables: CHUNKY, THE CHUNKIEST, REALLY BIG CHUNKS. No thank you. Can you even REALLY distinguish between those chunks? I bet you can't. However, In college I found a salsa that was labeled "smooth" and I knew I found my salsa soulmate for life. I quickly learned there were not many of my kind around as it was discontinued after only a few months. Cue the tiny violin. 

Now I do finally have a staple that I've found to replace my beloved smooth salsa and that's a smooth-ish salsa from Trader Joe's so YAY for Trader Joe's! Seriously it's my favorite place. But anyways, in the summertime when the weather is hot (you sang that didn't you?) fresh salsa is where it's at. Now you're probably thinking, "Ummm you just said you don't like fresh tomatoes!" And you're right but remember I also said there are exceptions to this rule! If said fresh tomatoes are mixed and mingled and blended with some other ingredients then I'll dig right in. 

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This fresh salsa recipe is inspired by my dad and the salsa that he has made since as far back as I can remember. It is the only "chunky" salsa that I will ever scoop my chip into. My dad is an amazing cook and most of his creations are noteworthy but he hardly ever uses recipes so that's why I say "inspired by" because his instructions to me would likely be something like "a handful of this, a pinch of that, a couple spoonfuls this way...yadayadayada". Now I can get down with that because I like to cook that way sometimes too...but I am a bit Type A so I have actually measured and written out the recipe for me AND for you, friends. You're welcome! (If you have children, you likely sang that too...ahem, Moana). 

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Seriously though, with just a few ingredients this is a really easy recipe to throw together and would be perfect for a light appetizer, to bring to a barbecue, or just for everyday snackin'! Throw a Mexican themed dinner party and set this out with your favorite tortilla chips, OR spoon over some homemade nachos. Honestly it is so versatile you could do lots of yummy things with it! You could also change things up to your liking. You want some extra heat? Leave the seeds and ribs in your jalapeno or add another spicy pepper altogether...I like spicy but I can't do anything more than a jalapeno! 

Once you've got everything roughly chopped, it all goes in your food processor and is pulsed to perfection and ready for dipping! I've gotten some great reviews for this one guys so if you try it out let me know! Tag me on social media, #plantbasedplanner so I can see your salsa! 

Please excuse my dirty fingernail. 

Please excuse my dirty fingernail. 

Note: There are NO exceptions to my disgust for mushrooms. They are gross and spongy and fungus-y and no, never, not happening. 



  • About 30 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 4-5 large tomatoes roughly chopped)
  • 1 Jalapeno, roughly chopped (or more according to your liking. I left the seeds and stem in mine for extra spice!)
  • 1/2 Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 large handful of cilantro



1. Make sure all of your ingredients are chopped to about the same size. Pulse in food processor until well combined. I only pulse a few times just to get everything small enough but not totally blended. Taste and adjust seasonings!