New salsa recipe! (HBP002)

Hey there! Steven here. Long time no HBP. Haven’t helped Linda out on one of these in a while. I’m here mostly to write about salsa. But I’m also going to talk about motivation.

First of all, have you ever tried, “Mitchell’s Fresh” salsa? (Link Here:

This is hands down Linda’s favorite salsa right now. It’s just so delicious. Unfortunately, (like basically all things that are exceptional) it’s not cheap. Especially not in the quantities we could be eating it. I mean, I put it on my breakfast anytime I have hash browns and eggs. We dip tortilla chips in it. I scoop it into our meal-prepped frozen sweet potato wraps. Also, I put it on Triscuts. We make nacho plates with it. A container isn’t that expensive, but at $5 a tub it adds up. Especially if you could go through two containers in a week.

So from very early on I really wanted to DIY this salsa. I’ve never really been afraid of the kitchen but I spend much more time playing Halo 5, or rock climbing these days. I’ve always wanted to try and replicate something that I loved so much based off of the ingredients list on the side of the container.

So, we eventually went to the grocery store with the intention of actually trying. Months passed between the time I said, “I want to make the salsa ourselves,” and the first time we bought the required grocery items and actually followed through. Two times, we bought jalapenos and they went bad without me ever trying to use them for their intended purpose.

Despite how it may sound, I was so excited to do this. There are several things that can be significant motivators for me.

  • Anytime someone, friend or foe speculates that I can’t do something
  • Curiosity
  • A burning desire to prove someone/something wrong, this pretty much links with the first one (including, but certainly not limited to myself)
  • Financial gains (saving money, or making extra)
  • Self Improvement

For me, making this salsa came down to several of these different motivators. I’m pretty sure at one point in time Linda said, “You definitely can’t make it as good as they do!” Also, I wanted to do it save money on our weekly grocery trips and have more salsa! I was also insatiably curious — Can I do it? Can I recreate the salsa with nothing but the ingredients (i.e. no proportions)? (p.s. I’ve never made salsa before!)

Linda here – I need to clarify that I said I don’t think he can make it for less money than what they charge in the store. haha 🙂

With that being said, you may or may not already know this. And it may or may not be true. But, I once read on the internet, or heard from someone who I don’t actually know that the ingredients on the sides of the container are listed in a particular order that is indicative of how much it was used relative to other ingredients! So if you’re reading the ingredients of the thing you’re snacking on right now, and sugar is the first ingredient… That means there is more sugar in that food, than any of the other individual ingredients. So, assuming that is actually true, (I have for years now) I went ahead with a bit of a logical process to try and develop, Knockoff Salsa 001.

With my daughter by my side in the kitchen, we started with precision slicing and dicing of tomatoes, furious chopping of leafy cilantro, and careful measuring and debate over how many chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to use.

Linda really likes salsa that brings the heat. On the other hand, sometimes my face melts when I eat a pepperoni. I try to deal with it and just eat anyway. I’ve had a previous experience with some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce so I knew how spicy they are to me and I was worried! I also know how the taste and relative spice level of the Mitchell’s Fresh Chipotle salsa so I didn’t want to over do it!

After much mixing, teaching, and lots of speculating, we had the first Knockoff Salsa batch!! This photo above is after teaching Lily how to waft! Hopefully she’ll remember for chemistry!!

Obviously at this point you must be wondering “OHMYGOSH HOW WAS IT!?” — The first batch of salsa was pretty tasty. But, we definitely had too many adobo peppers. First of all it was super spicy. Second of all, they had a way too powerful taste. Thankfully, for every ingredient I put in the salsa, I carefully documented the amounts I was using so that I could look at the ingredients when making batch number two and alter whatever I needed.

A few weeks later, we made batch number two and three! (Knockoff Salsa 002 & 003 respectively) There are no pictures of it, but it happened. We cut down the number of adobo peppers and had a wildly accurate reproduction of the Mitchell’s Fresh salsa! I was so excited!

I think Linda’s exact words afterwards were, “I’ve never been so impressed by you in the kitchen!” (I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited in the kitchen!!)

Leave some comments if you want pictures/screen shot of the actual salsa recipe and/or directions as well! I should add, I’m terribly slow at getting around to helping Linda with blog content, so please expect a slow turn around on more salsa info if you happen to request it!

Thanks! You can also comment any questions, suggestions, corrections, or your own salsa recipes below!

haha, gotchu!! You thought I was going to type out all of that and then completely leave you hanging without the actual recipe? Nah, that would totally be clickbait!! Below, I’ve copied the recipe directly out of my Notes app on the iphone. I’ve left their original quantities from recipe attempt number 1 in the list. But, if you read the additional notes the modifications to the most recent iteration of salsa are all documented there!!

  1. Knockoff Salsa
  2. 3/4 C tomato
  3. 1/3 (ish) C white onion
  4. 1/3 C apple cider vinegar
  5. Jalapeño sauce
  6. 1 medium jalapeño half seeds removed
  7. 1/8 C distilled white vinegar
  8. 1 T corn starch
  9. A “touch” of water
  10. A few grinds from the salt shaker
  11. Chipotle peppers” approx. 1/8C or less
  12. Three peppers from a “chipotle peppers w/ adobo sauce” can plus a little bit of extra sauce from the jar
  13. 1T liquid smoke
  14. Cilantro 1 big T
  15. Garlic 3 cloves
  16. Salt 3 grinds on shaker
  17. Pepper approx. 5 shakes

(additional notes) On the second go I used 1/2 a teaspoon of liquid smoke but contemplated only doing two adobo peppers as these are a dominant taste (too dominant?) in the salsa!!

(additional notes) Take three. Still 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke, dropped down to two adobo peppers and a little extra sauce. Jalapeño sauce and adobo peppers all made together this time.

Ingredients 2-4 are all put in a food processor together. Process to desired consistency, but buy a thing of Mitchell’s Fresh so you can get an idea of what it should be like first!

Ingredients 7-11 are all made together. I dice the jalapeno to my personal desired size.

Ingredients 13-18 Are all processed together.

After the three separate mixtures are processed, they all get combined together and mixed with a wooden spoon, or device of your choosing. It probably just shouldn’t be your food processor as everything should be processed enough already! Now you may enjoy!

Questions, comments, concerns, thoughts?
Ask me anything in the comments!!

Thanks for reading!

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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

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