Chili’s Copycat Salsa Recipe

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We love Chili’s salsa in this family.  Our mom got us hooked at a young age.  We order take out, but only for the salsa!  After a lot of trial and error, we think we are pretty close to the real thing!

(And yes, my mom and sisters ate this in one sitting!)

 Chili’s Copycat Salsa Recipe:


2 cans (14.5 oz each) whole tomatoes, drained
3-4 canned, whole jalapenos (not pickled)
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
Place all of the ingredients together into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.

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  1. Jana Standiford says

    I just made this and used the 14.5 oz. cans of tomatoes… problem is that I misread the amount of salt to add. I used 1 1/2 tsp. The recipe says 1/2 – 1 tsp. Had I used the right amount of salt, the 14.5 oz. cans would have been perfect. Oh well!

  2. says

    Just made this. Didn’t have whole tomatoes, so used two cans of diced. It turned out pretty good, except toooo many jalapeños!! Lol i used a whole small can of diced, next time I might leave out a scoop. I started with 1/2t of salt, and ended up added a pinch more at the end. Great recipe thanks !! Oh I believe the sized can i used was 15oz?? It’s the regular size

  3. says

    I just made this! Turned out pretty good. I have been trying different recipes of salsa, trying to find one I like best.

    For anyone who may want to know, these are my details:
    Instead of 2 cans of whole tomatoes (14.5 oz) I used one can of 28oz whole tomatoes…mine had tomato sauce in the can, dont suggest using the sauce. I just picked the tomatoes out. Also, my jar of jalapenos was 13oz, and I only pulled out maybe 3. Salsa turned out plenty spicy. I adjusted amounts of salt and lime until it tasted right to me. I also probably used more like, 1/2 cup of onions vs. the 1/4 cup.

    Overall, pretty good! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Stephanie says

    I’m excited to try this! I have another Chilis-copy salsa recipe which worked fairly well (I don’t think it was blended finely enough to rival the Chilis salsa’s smoothness) so I will need to compare and try this out.

    Miche, I don’t think Chilis uses much cilantro (if any) in their salsa. It’s one of the reasons I love it so much. I can’t stand how overpowering cilantro is (tastes nasty to me) and it’s is in most salsas at restaurants. I could practically drink Chilis salsa by itself and I don’t recall EVER tasting a hint of cilantro. If it is in there, well, kudos to Chilis for hiding the flavor.

  5. says

    Thank you so much for everyone’s help! The sister that made this has been moving and feels bad that she couldn’t answer your questions. I added the can sizes that she used to the recipe. Miche, the recipe we use doesn’t call for cilantro, but it would probably be a yummy addition!

    • lyndsay says

      yeah no one was bragging at all they were just helping out. and why would it be a big deal if they are proud that they did work there? that job might have gotten them through college or at least they had a job and weren’t living off welfare!

  6. Lacey says

    Just made the salsa. I love some spicy food but 4-5 whole jalapenos is too much heat for me to enjoy this recipe. I have to drink a sip of water after every bite and in 4 bites, I’m stuffed. I would recommend either seeding the jalapenos or using 2 or 3.

  7. says

    I made this salsa tonight and although I forgot the jalapenos, it was very delicious! It actually doesn’t remind me chili’s salsa but I think it tastes exactly like On The Border’s salsa, which is 10x better in my opinion! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be making it again!

  8. says

    i made this and it was great. but i made it in the blender and the color turned a little brown (im thinking the red tomatoes plus green jalapenos) would using a food processor help avoid the color change?

  9. says

    I just made this last night. I didn’t want too much spice (hubby’s kinds picky) so I only used two jalepenos. But doing that made the cumin stand out a LOT. This morning I added more jap’s and they added a lot of heat, but definitely countered the taste of the cumin. Now, I can’t stop eating it, even though I need a glass of milk by my side, lol!

    **To that end, I’d recommend that if you don’t want to use 4 jalepenos, then cut down on the cumin accordingly by quarter-teaspoons (1/4 tsp for every jalepeno).**

    I’m definitely going to make this again. I forgot how much I like smooth/paste-like salsa. You get ALL the flavors in EVERY bite. Chunky looks nice and pretty, but blended up tastes way better :-)

  10. says

    found this on pinterest! yay :) just ran to the store and got everything to make this! It is very good..simple and easy! I have never had Chili’s salsa (ugh..and feeling like the left out girl) but I’m sure it compares.
    I used 1 jalapeno pepper from the farmer’s market (those ones are the hottest) after cutting it..and the tears stopped..I’m glad I only used 1.
    Also I used a 28oz can of whole toe’maters because my store doesn’t carry 15 oz whole ones, ain’t small towns grand!

  11. says

    This salsa is amazing! My husband and I (and everyone else we share it with) can’t get enough of it! I’m hoping to make a bunch and can it to have all winter. I’ve been using fresh tomatoes (about 4 cups chopped), jalapeños, and onions from our farmer’s market and the results have been fantastic. This is the yummiest and easiest recipe to follow. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. says

    I used diced tomatoes instead of whole and left about 1/3 can in mixed so I could have a bit of chunk in it. I am used to cilantro in my salsa in the Mexican resturants in my town, so I could add that next time. I used 3 whole jalapeños and it’s just the right amount of kick.

  13. says

    I’m dieting and the chips are a high calorie thing I don’t want to indulge in so I use cucumber slices, iceberg lettuce leaves, radishes and celery. I even brought my iceberg lettuce to the restaurant with me when we went out for Mexican the other night. :) I’ve lost 44 lbs. and I’m feeling great!

  14. says

    I tried this today and it was pretty good. I also ended up adding a touch more salt and some fresh cilantro. I can’t imagine my salsa without it. :) I’m curious to try it again in a few hours after the ingredients have had a chance to mingle and party together. Thanks for the recipe! Definitely a good one that you can easily adjust to your taste. :)

  15. says

    Does anybody know if this would freeze okay? I have a ton of fresh tomatoes and don’t want them to spoil. I’d love to make salsa with them but don’t want to “can” them with a pressure cooker and all. Thoughts?

  16. says

    May I ask why my comment has been removed? I made the recipe and I said how it came out (which wasn’t a “copycat” in my opinion) and said what I thought would work more. But I guess only comments that praise the recipe are allowed? Wow. If that is the attitude, I won’t be using this website again.

  17. says

    I don’t like too much spice (like, at all, haha) so I only used 1 smaller jalapeno and I think the other woman was right that the cumin then stands out a little too much with less peppers? I’m going to let it marinate in the fridge overnight, then might go back and pick up another pepper to toss in there and see if it balances things out…

  18. says

    Just made this last night and it was awesome! I used three jalapenos with seeds and stems removed and one with the seeds. It tastes really close to chili’s, my favorite! I’ve actually never made salsa before and this one is so easy I can’t imagine buying store-made again unless I’m really in a pinch.

    Note on the chips: I love how thin chili’s chips are and the closest I’ve found in a store is the Xochitl (pronounced so-CHEEL) brand. They’re not everywhere, but Whole Foods and some other random grocery stores carry them.

  19. Kelli says

    I made this last night and have to say was highly disappointed. It was good, don’t get me wrong but when I spent all day thinking I was going to have salsa that tasted like Chilis and then it tasted nothing like it, it was a big let down! I will be keeping this recipe because it was quick and easy and tasty I will just call it something else!

  20. chad lorenz says

    I agree with several of the posts. This is great salsa, but tastes nothing like chilis. There are tons of copy cat recipes listed for this, and I have tried them all. None are right. I have been eating this salsa every week for years and would know. I bribed our waitress tonight, and she was able to confirm ingredients, but not amounts. The one ingredient missing from every recipe post is vinegar.

  21. Tracie says

    Like other commenters, I am having trouble finding canned jalapenos that are not pickled. Can I get a hint as to the brand that you use so that I can find a comparable one. I made it with the only whole canned jalapeños I could find, but when I opened the can they were pickled. Thanks in advance!

  22. Shannon Kingston says

    I’m not trying to be rude at all, but this did not taste like Chili’s at all to me. I wish I would have read the comments first. 3 jalapeños are way too much. I can’t handle spicy and that’s why I love Chili’s. Any suggestions from those that felt it was like Chili’s to make it taste better? I hate to throw it all away.

  23. Jill Geiger says

    I made this salsa yesterday, and it has a gelatin look and texture to it. What did I do wrong? I used fresh tomatoes, blanched them and peeled them, and fresh jalapenos. I followed the recipe but don’t know why it has a strange texture.

    • Cyd says

      We don’t use fresh tomatoes with this particular recipe. You used canned tomatoes. We have a ton of salsa recipes on our sister site – Type in Salsa in the search bar and a ton of recipes will come up! Hope this helps!

      • Julie says

        I used two whole fresh jalapeños (seeds and all) an it was WAY hotter than the restaurant version. I’d cut back to one or seed them. I am going to double the rest of the recipe & leave out the peppers and mix together. We like cilantro, so added some. I gotta say… the taste is spot on! My guy is gonna be so happy!

  24. meagan says

    this tasted great until…..I put it in the fridge to let the flavors blend, and 2 hours later it looked like gel. Jello like. It wasn’t a liquid at all. I followed the recipe exactly, so I am not sure what I did. Any ideas?

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