Copycat Chili’s Salsa

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.

Copycat Chili's salsa and tortilla chips on a platter.


This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.  

Ingredients

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
  • Sugar

You can also add lime juice and cilantro for additional flavor if you’d like, though they’re optional.

Copycat Chili's salsa ingredients in bowls.

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:

  1. Add jalapenos and diced onion to the food processor and process for a few seconds.
  2. Toss in the tomatoes, spices, and sugar. If using, add the lime juice and cilantro.
  3. Process again until well-blended, but not so much that it’s pureed. 
Collage of making copycat Chili's salsa.
  1. 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! 

Copycat Chili's salsa and corn tortilla chips on a platter.

Recipe Variations

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.

A bowl of copycat Chili's salsa and tortilla chips on a platter.

More Chili’s Copycat Recipes

Favorite Mexican Dips

Be sure to check out more of my easy dip recipes and the best restaurant copycat recipes here on CopyKat.com!

A bowl of copycat Chili's salsa and tortilla chips on a platter.

Copycat Chili’s Salsa

You can recreate Chilis Salsa in no time at all with this easy copycat recipe. An easy blender recipe with canned tomatoes and chilies. 
5 from 40 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chilis Salsa, Salsa
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 20kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 10.1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Anne

    5 stars
    I made the recipe exactly as directed. My son and husband loved it as is. They have asked me to spice it up a bit, as they enjoy quite spicy foods, just as a second type of homemade salsa. Thanks for the recipe. Definitely a keeper.

  2. Rochelle

    I was thinking maybe Campbell’s condensed tomato soup ! Or mayby the sell a different brand of condensed soup?

  3. Colleen B

    5 stars
    I just spent hours making salsa. Yes, I did can it. Then I remembered how much I love Chili’s salsa. I looked it up and there was the recipe. So simple and so easy to make. Thank you for the recipe. I just had chips and salsa last week at Chili’s. So very good. And since you can take an extra bag home with salsa, found me munching on them at 11:00 at night.

  4. Jim The Vaping Chef

    The secret in my opinion was adding a half cup of dill pickle juice to the mix as well as lime and cilantro. I coukd see vinegar doing similar but the dill is most likely part of Chilis spice pack. After 40 years cooking I can safely say I taste dill pickle flavor in Chilis salsa. My wife swears not only is mine like Chilis it’s a bit better.

    • KG

      5 stars
      Thanks for the tip! I’ve tried many Chili’s salsa copycat recipes and adding a little dill pickle juice is definitely what it needed. This is better than any salsa I’ve ever had and Chili’s has always been my favorite.

    • Heather

      This is because chili’s uses pickled jalapeños in their salsa and on their nachos. So adding that dash of pickle juice mimics that. Worked there for 5 years and their salsa is still my fav.

    • Nash

      For a summer dip add a few dices pineapples and finely chopped mint leaves to your salsa, that adds a tropical summer flavour which tastes divine

  5. Stanley Gee

    I make this base recipe ….a lot and in huge batches because when I take it people cant get enough. but I tweak it!
    I use a lot of extra sugar and a lot of cilantro. I add pickled jalapeños to taste. its a sweet hot flavor..
    Use the force Luke….. ( don’t measure anything)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2023

REVEALED:

Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.

FREE EMAIL BONUS