My Authentic “On The Border” Salsa Recipe (Just like the Restaraunt)

On_the_Border_Recipe Not For Itching EarsThis is my authentic “On The Border” restaurant Salsa recipe.

Disclaimer:  (I did not break into official headquarters at night and “borrow” this recipe.  I did it in broad daylight, because that is how I roll!)  

It all started with Kolten, (thanks Kolten)  one of my sons friends.  While visiting our home one day, he made a great salsa.  I couldn’t believe  how easy it was to make!  I thought “with a little tinkering, this could taste like my favorite “On The Border” salsa recipe.”  (Of course my favorite salsa recipe is El Tarasco’s in Manhattan Beach, California.  Only the most blessed people on earth know what that tastes like!)

So the tinkering began.  After months of trial and error, the following recipe is what I think comes closest.  Everyone loves it.  Try it, but beware, you never make enough!

This post is a very large departure from our typical posts, but I thought I would share something from my kitchen instead of my library today. 

Santiago “The Gringos”  Famous South of the Border Salsa Recipe


2 -Large Roma tomatoes, chopped

2-14.5 oz cans of plain diced tomatoes with no seasonings

2- Jalapeños seeded and chopped

2- Tablespoons fresh lime juice.  You can also use lemon juice or Red Wine vinegar, whichever you have on hand.  Lime Juice is best, but they all work.

1- Tablespoon Cumin

4- Garlic Cloves, minced

1- large white or brown onion, chopped

1-2 teaspoon salt  (more or less, your choice)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (too much will give the salsa a leafy taste.  So less, is better than more.)  But this is one of the key pieces!


Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed.  Blend until all the ingredients are well mixed and salsa has a consistent texture.  You can eat it immediately but it will taste even better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.  You can make this spicier by adding hotter jalapeños or by using more.   Serve with chips, lots and lots of chips!  Let us know what you think at

Try this with chips and our Easy Homemade Lemonade recipe


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If you liked this recipe, check out this one:  Jim’s Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

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About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on February 4, 2011, in Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. I’ve tried this, it is the best! Hope he makes it for us this Sunday!



    Yes thanks Pastor Jim, my brother, it sounds great but i dont have a blender (is in my storage) unfortunately..
    I made the greatest chicken enchiladas with green sauce tonight for tomorrow..wish you all were here to enjoy them!!
    Have fun… Go Packers! and Go Steelers! One has to cheer them both even if they are not our teams because they made it to the end, they are the best teams of the two leagues in the USA…
    My prediction: the Steelers will take the title, but I could be wrong, of course!
    I was watching on tv the greates super bowl commercials of all times a 2 hour program very fun…
    Cheers to superbowl tomorrow


  3. Can you put this recipe into cans? Or do you have to add some kind of preservative?


  4. Amazing Salsa! Thanks for the recipe…


  5. This salsa was AMAZING!!! almost takes the same!! Still so good!!! LOVE IT!! THANKS for sharing 🙂


  6. I wonder if you could freeze it for longer periods of time? I am going to give it a try. Wish me luck!!! I have so many tomatoes and peppers that I will have a lifetime supply of salsa.


  7. Omg this salsa is the best


  8. You are not lying! El Tarasco’s Salsa is my favorite salsa!


  9. This was a great recipe! I used my food processor since It was not going to fit in my blender. My family enjoyed this especially my daughter.


  10. This is amazing! My husband and I grew up in Arizona, and now live in NYC. We can’t get any good salsa here, and I’m so glad I found this recipe!


    • Hi Natasha,

      I am glad you like it! I’m from California where they KNOW how to make Mexican food. I went to a place in Florida that the locals were raving about when I lived there. It was pathetic! I don’t know why you can’t find good Mexican on the East Coast. Bring this salsa to your next party and your friends will love it. Just tell them it is a secret recipe handed down from generation to generation….


  11. Great salsa! We uses one can of tomatoes with green chili’s cause that’s what we had. We already ate most of it! Outstanding!


  12. Jim, can you share other Mexican recipes, please ???


  13. Thank you for this- I just made it (randomly googled it…) and it is absolutely delicious!


  14. Great Salsa! Easy to make, took it to a party and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing.


  15. Oh wow, this is FANTASTIC salsa! I made it with fresh tomatoes from my garden. 🙂 And I LOVE your blog, btw! Praise Jesus!


  16. Do you really advocate putting a whole TABLEspoon of cumin in this recipe? How the heck can you taste anything else in the salsa?


  17. I LOVE this recipe. Thanks for sharing. I blogged it, too 🙂


  18. Very good. On canning – if someone is planning on canning salsa the should do some reading. Jellies/jams have a pectin and the fruit to provide acid. With salsa, my understanding is that you have to be careful to use a recipe that has been tested for acidity. There has to be the right balance. I don’t think you can even alter ingredients in a correct recipe for canning without chancing a health hazard. Don’t take my word – but do the research first!

    Also – love the website! Thanks.


  19. Great Salsa. Thank you, for sharing. I fix it very often, doubling the recipe. LOL


  20. Salsa was great. Made a gallon and its going fast, only thing I would tweak was the amount of onion, I think the jumbo onions I picked out were too large.
    On another note if you like the salsa chunk free use the ninja blender, worked fantastic


  21. We live in Northern CA now (but are from the L.A. area) and I was looking for a recipe for salsa like that found in SoCal restaurants. I used to work a few blocks from the El Tarasco’s in El Segundo, and now, thanks to your shout-out to the place, I’m totally jonesing for some of their food. Thanks a lot! haha


  22. Thanks so much!!! I love on the border’s salsa more than any other and this is just like it.
    10/10 sir thank you!


  23.! This is the OTB recipe I’ve been looking for. Sooooo good!


  24. Lemonade beat out Lipton Ice Tea with Lemon at our Salad Feast I added pureed fresh strawberries/sugar sweeten 16 1/4 cup sugar and put whole lemon in blender, mixed together with lemonade. WOW!! WOW!!!! DELICIOUS!! AND REFRESHING


  25. I know first hand they use canned jalapenos also in their recipe. It will change the flavor profile slightly.


  26. OMG…this is the best n closest recipe to OTB salsa..Thankyou..i have been trying for months..u nailed it..i added 1/2 TSP ground up coriander seeds too..and since we like it hot..did not deseed jalapenos. The best recipe ever..ever grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi brother in Christ. While I really like the salsa, I don’t really think that On the Border uses fresh tomatoes in theirs. My impression is it is all pasteurized (cooked) and that it is a fairly rich italian tomato (possibly with the thick juice). Good though and am sharing it with the neighbors.


    • Hi Trudy, thanks for the comment! You are probably right. They make it in such vast quantities that it would be easier to do it that way. My advice is to tweak this recipe anyway you want and make it your own! I am constantly changing it myself.


  28. you use all fresh tomatoes in this? I have tons of them and looking to use them up. Wondering if it would change the recipe to use no canned ones.


  29. I have made this several times now and LOVE IT. The ONLY thing a did a little differently was add a Shallot to it (in addition to the other ingredients). It gave it a little extra kick and tasted just like the restaurant hotter version of the salsa. I just happened to think to use the Shallot bc I only had a half an onion and 3 cloves of garlic the first day I made it… but it was GREAT!! Thank you for posting this. I travel during the week and I have been making a batch of this JUST for me on the weekends when I am home. lol.


  30. I cannot wait to try this. On the Border is by far my favorite salsa but because we live over an hour away from the closest location, we only get to go a few times a year. Thanks for sharing this!


  31. Tried the recipe but with tomatoes from the garden! Very yummy; way better than in restaurant! I will be adding this to my list of recipe favorites!


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