The Ultimate Salsa Fresca

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"Salsa fresca is a generic term for any salsa that isn't cooked. There's no right or wrong way to do it - everyone does their own thing. This recipe is my take on what my mom used to make, but I think it's exceptional. (Pat on back, LOL!) Measurements are loose, but the key is the olive oil and mexican oregano. Prep time includes 15 minutes of standing time."

Original is 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (107.2 g)
  • Calories 37.6
  • Total Fat - 1.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 5.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.1 g
  • Sugars - 3.3 g
  • Protein - 1.2 g
  • Calcium - 14.4 mg
  • Iron - 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin C - 23.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

In a non-reactive bowl, combine first six ingredients.

Step 2

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3

Add the minced serrano chiles, a little at a time, tasting for "heat" until you reach the level you can stand.

Step 4

Let stand for fifteen minutes to let the flavors meld. A small squeeze of lime juice is also good.

Step 5

Refrigerate until ready to use. Will NOT keep overnight.

NOTE: this is such a versatile salsa. Try it in scrambled eggs, then rolled in a flour tortilla (breakfast burrito). Yum!


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • For the tomatoes, choose ripe red tomatoes for the best flavor.
  • Mexican oregano has a more intense flavor than regular oregano, so be sure to use the correct type.

  • Instead of red ripe tomatoes, use canned diced tomatoes. The benefit of this substitution is that it eliminates the need to dice the tomatoes, thus saving time in the preparation process. Additionally, canned tomatoes are usually more consistent in terms of flavor and texture than fresh tomatoes, which can vary greatly depending on the season.
  • Instead of serrano chilies, use jalapeño peppers. The benefit of this substitution is that jalapeño peppers are milder than serrano chilies, so they won't make the salsa too spicy. This also makes the salsa more accessible to people who don't like spicy food. Additionally, jalapeños are easier to find in most grocery stores than serrano chilies, so it can be a more convenient option.

Mango Salsa Fresca Replace the tomatoes with one large, ripe mango, diced. Reduce the olive oil to 1 teaspoon, and omit the serrano chilies. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice and 1 tablespoon of honey.

Mango and Peach Salsa Fresca Replace the tomatoes with one large, ripe mango, diced. Replace the olive oil with 1 teaspoon of orange juice. Omit the serrano chilies. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 cup of diced, ripe peaches.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Salsa Fresca - This dish is a great way to enjoy the Ultimate Salsa Fresca. The mild flavor of the fish, combined with the bright and zesty salsa, is a perfect combination that will have your guests asking for more!

Mexican Street Corn Salad: This flavorful side dish is the perfect accompaniment to the Grilled Fish Tacos with Salsa Fresca. The creamy, cheesy corn salad is a great contrast to the bright and zesty salsa, and the sweet corn adds a nice sweetness. It's a great way to add some extra flavor and texture to the meal!


Q: Is this recipe spicy?

A: Yes, this recipe includes serrano chilies, which can be very spicy. However, you can adjust the amount of chilies to your desired level of spiciness.

Q: Does this dish require any special ingredients?

A: No, all the ingredients needed for this dish can be found in any grocery store.

3 Reviews


Mexican oregano makes such a difference in this, quite the best salsa I have had. We used it on tacos and in scrambled eggs straight to my best of file


review by:
(23 Jul 2021)

Daily Inspiration

Awesome! I loved using all of the fresh veggies and the taste is really delicious. The only change I made was to use chopped green onion vs. regular. Can't wait to serve it with your Pollo Asado today.


(2 May 2021)


This is a very tasty Salsa recipe we really enjoyed. I only used one serrano pepper and used dried cilantro as the fresh cilantro is not in season here. The note in recipe directions mentions that it will not keep overnight but we did not eat it all in one sitting so I chanced it and kept the leftovers for the next day, it was a bit wet so I poured out the liquid and it tasted wonderful!!


review by:
(25 Jan 2017)

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Fun facts:

The use of serrano chilies in this recipe is a nod to the traditional Mexican cuisine, which often includes hot peppers. The famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo often included serrano chilies in her dishes, as she was a fan of spicy food.

The olive oil and Mexican oregano used in this recipe are both ingredients that were popular during the time of the Aztecs. The Aztecs used these ingredients in many of their dishes, and they are still used today in Mexican cuisine.