Chunky Tomato Salsa (vegan, gluten-free)

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I have to start off by apologizing for not posting this recipe sooner, since so many of you have for it in the past. Here it is just in time for Cinco de Mayo – my Mom’s Famous Chunky Tomato Salsa!  Also, especially for Cinco de Mayo, I’ve prepared two menus for you at the end of the post, complete with appetizers and desserts. One of these menus is also vegan and gluten-free.

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To this day, whenever there’s Mexican food around, you can guarantee a huge bowl of my Mom’s delicious home-made chunky red salsa to compliment the other dishes! For any family/friend potluck, there is always a request for this salsa.

When I first moved for college, I remember asking my mom for the recipe to make this salsa for friends, but it wasn’t until I moved down to San Diego and that I started making this salsa for dinners and parties.  Similar to my mom, my friends always requested it and made sure I made extra to go. It has also been a staple appetizers kids’ birthday parties.

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This recipe is very simple to make and gets its flavor from fresh ingredients. For best results, I would recommend making this salsa ahead of time and storing in the fridge.  It will not only chill the salsa, but also thickens it. I just recently served this salsa alongside my Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and Black Bean Tacos for a dinner party we hosted.  Let me say one thing… there were no leftovers (even though I made plenty of food)! =)

Cino de Mayo Menu 1

Appetizer Fresh Jalapeno Poppers (gf), Santa Fe Salad (gf)
Main Entree – Poblano Cream Sauce Enchiladas (gf), Cilantro Rice (gf, v)
Dessert – Coconut Chia Pudding w/Fresh Fruit (gf, v)

Cino de Mayo Menu 2 (vegan, gluten-free)

Appetizer – Tortilla Soup (gf, v)
Main Entree – Taco Salad w/Fire Roasted Black Beans (v, gf option) **
Dessert – Creme Brulee (gf, v)

** For the gluten-free option, use grilled corn tortillas instead of taco salad bowls

And of course, every Cinco de Mayo party needs some tortilla chips and fresh salsa – Roasted Tomatillo Salsa & Chunky Red Salsa!

Chunky Tomato Salsa (vegan, gluten-free)


  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3-4 deli sliced jalapenos, from a jar
  • 1/4 teasp garlic powder
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, stem removed, de-seeded, and finely diced (or more to make it spicier)
  • 1/8-1/4 teasp salt


  1. Completely puree the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup cilantro, and deli sliced jalapenos in a blender.
  2. Remove the contents of the blender into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add the chopped green onions, red onion, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, and fresh jalapenos.
  4. Add the garlic powder and mix with a spoon until all the ingredients are combined.
  5. Season with salt as needed.
  6. For best results, chill in the fridge for a few hours prior to serving. The salsa will thicken up while in the fridge. Enjoy!

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