3 Salsa Recipes to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

This year celebrating Cinco de Mayo will be different compared to other years. We are not living under normal circumstances to celebrate with many people, but we can still do so at home, and cook some of our favorite dishes.

As a Mexican family, something that we always have at home is salsa! Even the two-year-old loves salsa (with little to no spice), and we prepare homemade salsas every week.

I want to share three of my favorite recipes with you, but before I start, please know that you can control spiciness by the number of chiles that you add. For these recipes, I’m using chile piquín, serrano pepper, and habaneros. I prefer to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones, but before starting any of these recipes, please make sure your ingredients are properly washed and disinfected.

I’m using a molcajete to mix two of these salsas, but if you don’t have one, you can always use a food processor.

Enjoy the salsas and have a spicy Cinco de Mayo!



  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • Chile piquín (can be replaced with jalapeño or serrano cut in small pieces)
  • Salt, to taste.


  • Finely chop the onion and garlic (if you are using serrano or jalapeño pepper, make sure to also chop them in here).
  • Chop the Roma tomatoes into small pieces to facilitate mashing them on the molcajete. The finer you chop the ingredients before mixing them, the smoother your salsa will be.
  • Add the ingredients to the molcajete in small batches and start mashing the food to break it down. Add more until all ingredients are fully incorporated and blended to the desired texture. (The idea of this salsa is to make it in the molcajete but if you don’t have one and you are using a food processor, make sure to not make this salsa a puree and I would recommend using only the ‘low’ speed)
  • I add the salt at the end, start with a pinch of salt and if necessary, I keep adding more to taste.

This is the type of salsa I do when I want something fast and fresh. I like to eat it raw, but you can also heat it in a skillet and enjoy it with your favorite dish, like huevos rancheros.



  • 1 ½ pounds of tomatillos (about 12, medium)
  • ½ onion
  • Cilantro
  • Serrano pepper (I regularly use 2, but you can use one, half or more, it all depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, to taste.


  • Cut the onion in big pieces.
  • Put water to boil and once boiling, add the tomatillos, onion and serrano pepper. Boil onions and tomatillos for about 15 minutes or until soft.
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until the mixture is smooth with no big chunks of tomatillo.
  • Enjoy the salsa hot or put it in the fridge. It will thicken up after a few hours in the refrigerator.

I couldn’t find cilantro when I was doing this salsa, that’s why you don’t see it in the picture, but adding cilantro will give it a unique taste. You can pair the salsa pretty much with everything: meat, eggs, enchiladas verdes or even chilaquiles!

HABANERO SALSA (Warning – super spicy)


  • Juice of ½ orange
  • Juice of ½ grapefruit
  • 1 habanero pepper (one is enough to make it spicy, but you could add more if you want it super-hot)
  • Juice of 3-4 limes
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt to taste


  • Roast the habanero peppers and garlic in a heated griddle or cast-iron pan.
  • Squeeze juice of ½ orange, ½ grapefruit, and 3-4 limes.
  • Add the habanero and garlic to the molcajete and mash the food to break it down.
  • Add the citrus juice little by little and keep pressing the molcajete until all ingredients are fully incorporated and blended to the desired texture. (If you are using a food processor, I would recommend using only the ‘low’ option when mixing).
  • Add a pinch of salt and mix just one more time.

As I said before, this salsa is super spicy, and you need to be careful eating it. The salsa goes well with seafood, but you can also pair it with different meats.

Born and raised in the north part of Mexico, Aidée is a mom of two boys who considers San Antonio a great place to raise kids, even though all her family lives on the other side of the border. She speaks only Español at home and tries to teach her boys about their heritage, learning as well about American traditions and having fun adapting to both cultures. Favorite Restaurant: Palenque Grill Favorite Landmark: Mission San Jose Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Rodeo