No Onion Salsa Recipe

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no onion salsa

Salsa has too long been a bastion for the onion, but it’s totally unnecessary. Unless you want your salsa to taste like armpit, toss out the onion and go back to the core elements that make a salsa great.

If you’re really not into the DIY thing, there is one commercially available salsa with no onions, and it’s excellent. I’ve posted a review here: Salsa With No Onions

What does salsa absolutely have to have for it to be valid? Chili peppers. You need other stuff too, but that is the only ingredient I’m calling non-negotiable. One of the things to think about before you begin is appearance. If you mix red ingredients and green, you end up with brown salsa; not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you are big on appearances, either pick one or the other, or keep the chunks big. I’ll put up a list of things I’ve found to be good salsa ingredients. Pick and choose what you like or have on hand. I’d recommend at least one item from each section:

Chilies (mandatory):

  • Habanero. Great flavor, but deadly hot (orange).
  • Fresno peppers: Excellent and quite hot (red).
  • Jalepeno: Boring, but easily available, hot (green).
  • Poblano and Anaheim: Mild, and they taste pretty green (green).
  • Bell Peppers: Mild, but they make a decent base for those who can’t handle any heat.


  • Tomatoes: Highly recommended, any variety will do.
  • Tomatillos: Those little green paper lantern looking things.
  • Mild Peppers.
  • Corn.
  • Mangoes.

Herb and Spice:

  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Cumin
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Vinegar

Preparation: In a pinch, you can just cut things up by hand or use a blender, but I prefer to use either my magic bullet or an auger style juicer. The magic bullet stops everything from just bouncing up and dwn above the blender blades, and I run the juicer with the sorbet attachment that is standard on such machines. It essentially just crushes all of the ingredients rather than chopping them, and I use the mesh catch to separate the excess liquid from the salsa as I make it. I save this liquid for other cooking. It makes a great addition to taco meat while it cooks, or for soup stock.

This is one of the easiest foods ever to make, just guess how much of everything you need, throw it in a blender-like appliance, blend to desired consistency, taste it, and make any adjustments. I recommend you make it too hot to eat. You aren’t likely to just eat it plain, so it will be toned down by the food, sour cream, etc. If you use cumin, it’s best if you toast it up a bit first; it makes it taste less green. Go light on vinegar if you use it, it doesn’t take much. If you want to go the extra mile, roast or smoke the peppers.

8 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. stanza

    Glad to see you posting again. I will be soon too…

    However, today I am making my guests a prepackaged salad. Perhaps I could write about the salad dressing, but I suspect I will go very simple.

  2. admin

    Simple salad dressings are no less in demand than the complicated ones. I haven’t found a store bought one I approve of, so I always make my own. Maybe I’ll post the recipe one of these days.

  3. Cinco

    There’s another salsa with no onions– I order it in large quantities once or twice a year. Hooray!

  4. admin

    Thanks Cinco, that is awesome! I’m going to have to order some of those. Your link was much appreciated. I’ll update my posts accordingly.

  5. Yaz

    You’re my hero. Sitting here with some amazing hot salsa, my boyfriend and I are basically duking it out over who gets the tomatoes and peppers and who gets stuck with the onions. There’s essentially a huge nasty pile in our unfortunately delicious and locally made salsa.

    Guess who is booking it to the supermarket to make this ASAP?

    My addition will be avocado. I love throwing some chunks of it into freshly made salsa. Mango and pineapple are super amazing too though.

  6. Marie T.

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m going to making home made salsa for the first time in a few days and I 100% hate onions. Your recipe has giving me lots of ideas in putting it all together. I was thinking of using some marinara sauce as a base along with tomatoes and peppers to give it that juicy look.

  7. Steel

    I’ve done that, and it works well. I’ve also been liking a bit of canned chipotle in it lately if I don’t have a lot of fresh ingredients.

  8. Julie Myers

    Omg!! Thank you. I am allergic to onions and it impossible to find food that doesn’t have them. I have looked for years for a salsa recipe onion-free and you just made my existence better!!!

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