A familiar favorite from trips to the casual Southwestern-inspired spot, Chili’s salsa is easy and quick to make at home with this copycat recipe. Made mainly from flavor-packed canned ingredients and everyday seasonings, it’s a reliable favorite for parties, watching the game, or enhancing other recipes.
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Chili’s Famous Salsa
A meal at Chili’s is a great choice, whether out with the family or enjoying a casual date night. There’s something for everyone on the Southwestern-inspired menu, whether you’re craving Tex-Mex favorites like tacos and fajitas or American classics like baby back ribs or burgers.
But one thing just about every diner can agree on is an order of the iconic Chili’s chips and salsa, with thin, crispy fried tortilla chips paired with a flavor-packed, medium-heat red salsa for dipping.
What makes Chili’s Salsa so good?
An incredible amount of flavor is packed into the few ingredients required to make this mouthwatering salsa. Rich, savory tomatoes complement perfectly preserved jalapenos and other green chiles for heat, balanced by yellow onion.
Bursts of tart lime juice and herby cilantro complete the authentic Mexican flavor profile, making it easy to polish off an entire bowl with chips in just minutes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
One of the most significant advantages of this method for how to make Chili’s salsa is its incredible simplicity. Beyond dicing an onion, there’s nothing more complicated than opening cans, measuring spices, and working a food processor.
Plus, since it uses almost all canned ingredients, you can enjoy the same reliable results any time of year, not just when you can find quality tomatoes. It’s also easy to tweak the spice level and flavor to your particular needs.
Here’s what you’ll need to bring this tasty salsa together:
- Canned whole peeled tomatoes (with juice)
- Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
- Canned diced jalapeño chiles
- Yellow onion
- Garlic salt
- Ground cumin
You can also add lime juice and cilantro for additional flavor if you’d like, though they’re optional.
How to Make Chili’s Salsa
There are no complicated techniques required for this copycat Chili’s salsa recipe. All you’ll need is a food processor and your ingredients:
- Add jalapenos and diced onion to the food processor and process for a few seconds.
- Toss in the tomatoes, spices, and sugar. If using, add the lime juice and cilantro.
- Process again until well-blended, but not so much that it’s pureed.
- Place the salsa into an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator. Allow a few hours for the flavors to meld, if you can.
As you can see, the salsa comes together in practically no time. You’ll likely spend more time assembling and prepping your ingredients than actually creating the dish itself!
Fresh garlic can be a great flavor boost on top of the pungent garlic salt. Just chop up a clove or two and process with the jalapenos and onion in the initial step.
While canned jalapenos are ideal for this recipe due to their more consistent flavor and level of heat (not to mention the simple prep), you can also use diced fresh jalapenos instead. Meanwhile, spice lovers can even swap out jalapenos for serranos or other hot peppers for an extra zing.
Chili’s Chips and Salsa at Home
Enjoy the copycat salsa with a basket of your favorite thin corn tortilla chips for the most classic, authentic Chili’s experience. Store-bought versions work fine, though it’s simple enough for more adventurous cooks to fry them at home. Slightly warming the chips before enjoying them is also a good idea.
More Ways to Use Copycat Chili’s Salsa
Don’t limit yourself just to chips and salsa. This recipe also pairs well with plenty of other types of food:
- Give your eggs a Southwestern kick by spooning some salsa on top.
- Use it as a key part of Instant Pot Salsa Chicken.
- Serve it with your favorite taco salad.
- Drizzle a spoonful over grilled meat or fish.
- Or just pair it with cheese, beans, lettuce, pickled jalapenos, or other toppings on top of chips for a delicious serving of nachos.
Naturally, this Chili’s Salsa copycat recipe will work in any recipe that calls for tomato-based salsa as an ingredient, as well.
How to Store Homemade Salsa
Keep your batch of homemade salsa stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A mason jar is great for storing salsa.
How long does Chili’s Salsa last in the fridge?
When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this copycat Chili’s Salsa will keep for three to five days. However, you’ll likely end up worrying less about when it goes bad and more about running out because it’s so tasty!
Can you freeze salsa?
If you’ve got some salsa leftover or prefer to make it in big batches, it’s easy to preserve it for the long term in the freezer. When stored in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag, it can be frozen for up to four months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before enjoying it.
Can you can this salsa recipe?
Canning is a common way to preserve homemade salsa. However, a critical part of canning recipes involves ensuring an adequate acidity level required within the salsa to make it safe for hot water bath preservation. Currently, this Chili’s salsa copycat recipe isn’t approved for canning, and those looking to preserve it should freeze the salsa instead.
More Chili’s Copycat Recipes
Favorite Mexican Dips
- Best Queso Blanco Recipe
- Copycat Chipotle Guacamole Recipe
- Jalapeno Ranch Dip
- Mexican Green Sauce
- Mexican White Cheese Dip
- Pappasito’s Queso
- Rotel Dip with Ground Beef
- Sausage Cream Cheese Rotel Dip
Copycat Chili’s Salsa
- 4 teaspoons canned diced jalapeño chiles
- 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
- 14.5 ounces whole peeled tomatoes with juice
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime juice optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro optional
- Place the jalapeños and onions in a food processor. Process for just a few seconds.
- Add both cans of tomatoes, garlic salt, cumin, and sugar. Process until everything is well blended, but do not puree.
- Place in a container, cover, and chill well before serving.