Abuelita’s Homemade Salsa

Grandpa Chuck and Abuelita

Doris Molina McDaniel is my husband’s grandmother and she is originally from Nicaragua.   We call her Abuelita which translates in English to Little Grandma.  Her 4 foot 10 inch frame barely clears the pots on the stove but her dishes are among the best I’ve ever had.  I wouldn’t say she cooks authentically Nicaragüense; she left Nicaragua when she was only 15.  However, she married at 19 and started cooking straight-away.  Because she had to work to support her 4 young children, Latin American nannies  helped around the house and taught her a variety of Mexican cooking techniques. The rest she learned on her own.  A lot of her recipe instructions include adding ingredients to taste and her taste is always spot on!

Abuelita’s homemade salsa is a family favorite.  Her daughter, Lisa, is one of my very best friends and I learned to make it from her.  You’ve got to love recipes that get handed down from generation to generation, right?  I hope you enjoy it!

Abuelita’s Homemade Salsa

Roma Tomatoes and Jalapenos after cooking in the microwave for 10 minutes.

Roma Tomatoes and Jalapenos after cooking in the microwave for 10 minutes.

1. Place 12-15 Roma Tomatoes, rinsed, in a microwaveable dish along with 1 or 2 jalapenos.  Cover and cook for 7 minutes.  Remove lid and check tomatoes, pressing the juice from and removing those that are nicely soft and cracked open.  Continue cooking with the lid on until all tomatoes are cooked, pressed and placed in a blender.

2. Cut off the stems of the jalapenos and add to the blender.  I recommend that you add only half a jalapeno at the beginning and then continue to add for more spice later.  I normally use two jalapenos but this time one jalapeno was almost too spicy!

Don't leave out the cilantro--It's the best part of the salsa!

Don’t leave out the cilantro–It’s the best part of the salsa!

3.  Add a handful of washed and dried cilantro leaves.

Add salt to the mix.

Add salt to the mix.

4.  Add 1.5 tsp of salt.

5.  Blend the salsa until mixed, it won’t take long.



6. Taste!  The most important step, taste and add more salt and jalapeno if needed.  Remember, the salsa is warm and your tongue will perceive the salt and the jalapeno differently than when the salsa is cooled off.  I find that seasoning it to just a smidge under the levels you want it at makes for a perfect salsa after it has been refrigerated.  You can adjust for your tastebuds.

That’s it!  4 ingredients, minimal time and effort, and a delicious salsa!  It is important to cool the salsa quickly and not let it sit out on the counter.  I cooled ours in the snow since the fridge was pretty full.

Abuelita's Salsa cooling in the snow.

Abuelita’s Salsa cooling in the snow.

Abuelita's Homemade Salsa
Prep time
Total time
A simple 4 ingredient salsa that everyone will love.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Spanish
  • 12-15 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1-2 Jalapenos
  • 1 Handful of Cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp of salt
  1. Rinse the tomatoes and jalapenos.
  2. Place them in a microwavable dish with a lid.
  3. Cover and cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Remove tomatoes that appear cracked and softened, letting juices remain.
  5. Place tomatoes in a blender or Vitamix.
  6. Remove stems from Jalapenos and place half of one in blender or Vitamix.
  7. Rinse and dry a large handful of cilantro leaves.
  8. Place cilantro in blender or Vitamix.
  9. Add 1.5 tsp of salt.
  10. Pulse the blender or Vitamix until just mixed.
  11. Season to taste with more salt and jalapenos.
  12. Refrigerate immediately.

Flavors seem to get a little more intense as the salsa cools so be careful of overseasoning.



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