What Are the Best Tomatoes For Homemade Salsa?

Restaurant Style Salsa image

Looking for the best tomatoes for your next batch of salsa? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know: 

Best Tomatoes For Salsa

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Roma tomatoes Getty 6/11/20

When choosing tomatoes for salsa, opt for paste tomatoes. Paste tomatoes are fleshy and have less juice and fewer seeds than other types of tomatoes, which makes them the ideal choice for this particular endeavor. 

Because they’re not very juicy, they also cook down quickly—this obviously isn’t important for salsa making, but it can be handy knowledge for the next time you’re preparing a tomato sauce.   

Here are some of the most popular types of tomatoes for salsa: 

  • Roma tomatoes: Roma is a type of plum tomato. Small, slender, and firm, they contain few seeds and are easy to cut without making a mess. 
  • Little or Big Mama tomatoes: Little Mama tomatoes are miniature Roma tomatoes. Big Mama tomatoes, meanwhile, are some of the biggest paste tomatoes available. Both varieties are meaty and easy to work with. 
  • Amish Paste tomatoes: Amish Paste tomatoes are similar to Roma tomatoes, but they have a slightly sweeter flavor. 

No matter which type you choose, always look for fruits that look ripe and healthy—pass on the ones with bruising or browning.  

Related: How to Make the Best Salsa of Your Life 

Tomatoes to Avoid

Heirloom Tomatoes Getty 6/11/20

Some types of tomatoes are better enjoyed sliced on a sandwich than in salsa. For instance, many varieties of large heirloom tomatoes are high in moisture and have lots of seeds. While those qualities certainly make for a tasty tomato, they’re not ideal for salsa-making. 

That said, the actual best tomatoes for salsa are the ones you have on hand. If the only tomatoes in your kitchen are watery and seedy, you can totally work with that. Just slice them and scoop out the juice and seeds with a spoon or your fingers, chop the rest, then drain in a colander. 

Related: End-of-Summer Tomato Salsa

Can You Use Canned Tomatoes For Salsa? 

Sure. While salsa made from canned tomatoes may not be quite impressive, nuanced, or healthy as tomatoes made from fresh tomatoes, it’s still salsa (and there’s something to be said for convenience). If this is the route you take, opt for a can of the fire-roasted stuff and make sure to drain it really well before proceeding with your recipe. 

Related: How to Make Canned Tomatoes Taste Fresh

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