Fiery Homemade Sugar Free Salsa Recipe

Sugar free fiery salsa that actually tastes good! Even my husband, who isn’t usually a fan of sugar free food said it tasted good.

Sustainable gift wrap course

You might be thinking that salsa doesn’t contain sugar normally anyway, so what’s the big deal. However, looking at salsa products available in major supermarket online every single one of them contained sugar. It is low down the ingredient list which means there isn’t large quantities of sugar but it is still there. 

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not very confident when it comes to chillis.  This recipe though needs you to throw caution to the wind and use a whole red chilli. My worry usually is that the kids wont like it and that I will make our food too spicy. However, the secret to this salsa tasting good without sugar is the added chilli and garlic. This gives it all the flavour!  

I used a recipe from a Mexican cookery book that I have – Mexican Cooking (Foods of the World) that the author calls ‘Country-Style Tomato Salsa’, but to me it is fiery salsa! She uses even more chilli than me! You may well want to, but for me it was spicy enough…  I also doubled her recipe, so that I had enough left over to freeze for another day.  

This is my version (already doubled) below:


  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 2 small onions (or one large one) I used red onions that we picked at the end of September at a local farm Roundstone Farm. There were dried and stored outside in our garden in a cold frame.
  • 4 garlic cloves. My husband grew ours in our garden with bulbs we bought at Seedy Sunday, which is coming up again soon! They were stored in our kitchen having been plaited and hung off a cupboard door – see more here
  • The original recipe calls for 4 jalapeno chillies. I actually used 1 dried red chilli – and it was spicy enough for us.
  • A sprinkling of dried oregano. Bought locally from an independent shop which sells herbs in much larger bags than supermarkets at much cheaper comparative prices. (See here how much money I saved on cumin in that shop)
  • A drizzle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. I use sea salt in preference to table salt
  • 4 tbps water 
  • Not in the original recipe, but I also added a squeeze of tomato puree and a sprinkling of paprika. I added both of these to make the salsa look a bit redder as it was looking quite pale.


1.Put the tomatoes in a saucepan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and heat for a few minutes until the skin starts to peel away easily. It helps if you make crosses at the bottom of the tomatoes when testing if the skin will peel

2. Peel the tomato skins off

3. Finley chop the tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillis

4. Mix all the ingredients together in a non-reactive saucepan and keep stirring every so often until cooked

5. Optional – blend all the ingredients together (I used a hand held blender)

This salsa is great with tortillas and brown rice.

If you are reading this thinking good for you having hand picked/ home grown/ locally bought food, well it’s achievable for you too.  It doesn’t take long does it take to plant a few chilli seeds and water them as they grow. Or chuck a few garlic cloves in the ground if you have a garden.

For us it’s a fun day out with the kids to go fruit and veg picking as well as practical. By picking onions at the end of the season they are cheap to eat throughout the rest of the year.

You might find that your local shops are more accessible than the supermarkets, with shorter queues and friendlier staff. Plus, if you find the right shop you could save money on herbs and spices. Failing that why not grow your own herbs?