No matter what you’re making for Cinco de Mayo, you won’t want to miss out on salsa. But we’re not talking about the watery, bland jarred stuff. Some fresh produce and 30 minutes in the kitchen are all it takes to make these three easy salsa recipes fit for any party (even a solo quarantine shindig): avocado pico de gallo, mango salsa, and tomatillo guacamole. They’re great as appetizers and condiments for the main course…and as snacks for the next couple days too.
I’m not a multitasker. Ordinarily, I never attempt more than two recipes at a time (structure and planning just aren’t my strong suits). I spent 2013 cooking my way through most of Jamie Oliver’s “30-Minute Meals“—almost all of them took me 1 1/2 hours. The only exception to my two-recipe rule is salsas. I have three go-to salsa recipes, all different: avocado pico de gallo, mango salsa, and tomatillo guacamole. I make all three at the same time, production-line style—it’s as organized as I ever get in the kitchen. Friends now expect my salsa trio to show up at just about every event. Everybody has favorites.
I cut down on the chiles once, thinking people would be happier with less heat. A friend’s girlfriend had heard about my salsas. She came up to me during the party.
“Your salsa is too mild.”
“Yeah, I thought more people would be into it that way.”
She told me to always make things the way I like, and to hell with what people think. I listened to her advice, which is a roundabout way of explaining that these recipes are hot. Cut down on the serrano peppers if you like milder salsas.
Related Reading: You’ll Put This Carrot-Ginger Hot Sauce on Everything
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make all three salsas:
- 2 pounds tomatillos
- 2 extra-large mangoes
- 10 serrano peppers
- 1 pound tomatoes
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 large white or yellow onion
- 3 avocados
- 3 medium limes, plus 1 more to taste
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
This yields about 3 cups each, or about 9 cups total salsa—perfect for a party. Once you have all your ingredients, follow these step-by-step photo instructions on first doing the batch prep, then making all three individual salsas. Ready? Go! See you with the chips in 30.
Prepworks by Progressive Salsa Bowl with Spoon, $9.99 on Amazon
The perfect vessel for serving spicy salsa, complete with a lid to keep it fresh.
You can also jump right to each recipe if you want to play favorites.
Your classic fresh tomato-onion salsa with creamy avocado turning it into something special. Scoop it up with tortillas or spoon it on tacos. Get our Avocado Pico de Gallo Salsa recipe.
This is a blended salsa that works equally well as a dip and a burger condiment. If you don’t want to broil the tomatillos and the grill’s already going, char them on the grate instead (just make sure it’s oiled so they don’t stick). Get our Tomatillo Guacamole Salsa recipe.
This post was originally published in 2014. It has been updated with new formatting and additional images, links, and text.
Photos by Chris Rochelle