I thought I would share my keto-friendly salsa recipe, because doing a low carb diet, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh salsa.
For the record, you should know, that prior to going keto, chips and salsa was my favorite go-to appetizer. So the thought of never having salsa again, let’s just say, would have been too painful.
Thankfully, fresh homemade salsa can be keto-friendly. Since you can control exactly what goes into the recipe you can certainly make a low carb salsa. It’s the bottled stuff that has loads of carbs from added sugar. That’s the kind you need to stay clear from when doing a low carb diet.
What’s more fresh salsa is way more flavorful, so a little goes a long way. Do you know what else is great about homemade salsa? That with only a few basic ingredients you can enjoy a keto-friendly salsa easily.
My recipe for keto salsa is our family’s recipe for Guatamalen chirmol. It’s one I am confident you will make often because it’s not only delicious, it’s also easy to customize. Once you try homemade salsa I promise you’ll never want the bottled stuff again.
My mother-in-love used to make the best authentic Guatamalen salsa on the planet. Ok, maybe not the planet but in my book no one could hold a candle to her recipe.
The first time I tried her salsa, I had just started dating Randy. Just one spoonful of her salsa pretty much convinced me I had chosen wisely. LOL, I figured that if this was the food her son grew up on, it was a good indication that her boy would make a great catch.
Well, that and the fact that he grew up in a very loving, supportive, Christian family. Randy did quickly swoon me off my feet with his big ole heart. But in the wee days of our relationship, his mom’s cooking drew me into the family.
Looking back Elizabeth, (nena-face) like I affectionally called her, wisely knew how to keep her family together with her cooking. And her homemade keto-friendly salsa played a role in doing just that.
Randy was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States when he was only 5 years old but his family did a great job in keeping his roots alive.
I’ll admit that his culture was quite different from the Cuban/Dominican household I grew up in. We were more let’s say, boisterous compared to the mild temperament of the Guatemalan people. But if there was one thing we had in common was the love of good food and the desire to share it with our loved ones.
Elizabeth called her salsa chirmol and so I learned to call it the same. Chirmol is Mayan for “running nose”. Yup, this salsa can be spicy but that really depends on who’s making it. Her chirmol ranged from quite mild to very spicy depending on how many jalapeños made it to the salsa bowl.
In Guatemala, chirmol is commonly served with carne asada, steak that’s cooked on a grill. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have this keto-friendly salsa on just about anything. Because it accompanies chicken, fish, and eggs beautifully too.
Low Carb Salsa
I spent hours watching her make her low carb salsa before I finally got enough courage to make it myself. But once I did, this girl made her recipe often.
Elizabeth graduated to heaven several years ago, but not a day goes by that I don’t remember her fondly. Whether it’s recalling a funny memory, her wise words, or the way she always brought the family together around her cooking.
Today, Iris who’s Randy’s sister in law and Bessie her daughter continue to make her salsa recipe. I mean even our children have learned to make her salsa!
We all make her chirmol salsa a little different from one another. Which frankly is a sign that it’s a well-loved recipe. Some put all the ingredients in a blender for a smoother sauce while others like their salsa more on the chunky side.
Still, others add another ingredient or two to make it their own. But all of us would agree that what we really would prefer is to sit at her kitchen table and taste the version she made lovingly for us countless times.
How To Make Keto-friendly Salsa (Chirmol)
I may shock you with this, but I make my salsa with canned tomatoes. To be honest it’s what I saw Elizabeth do and if it was good enough for her, it’s certainly good enough for me.
Let’s face it, you can make a keto-friendly salsa with fresh plum tomatoes. However, that would require quite a bit more prep work. You would have to blanch, peel, core, and deseed the tomatoes before you can finally slice them.
If you have that kind of time and energy to do so, go ahead you have my blessing. But if you’re like me and time is a luxury, use the canned tomatoes. Trust me no one will be the wiser.
I will say that the quality of your canned tomatoes can make a difference in the final outcome of your salsa, so pick wisely.
Customize Your Homemade Salsa Easily
You can easily customize the level of spice of your homemade low carb salsa depending on your personal preference to heat.
For a mild keto salsa, add just one jalapeño pepper and be sure to deseed it. If you want a medium level of spice, add two to three jalapeños and also make sure you remove the seeds.
But if you like your salsa hot like our family does, then add as many as four jalapeños and if you’re really bold, leave the seeds in. It’s what we do!
Elizabeth made her chirmol with just five basic ingredients; canned tomatoes, fresh cilantro, white onions, jalapenos, lime juice, and some salt.
Plus, she didn’t always roast her jalapeños for her salsa. However, after seeing her roast her peppers once, I was hooked. Because frankly, it made her great salsa even tastier.
Over the years I adapted her amazing recipe by adding roasted tomatillos to the mix. It’s an addition I know she would have approved of.
Tomatillos are small, green, tomato-like fruits that are common to Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. It’s the primary ingredient in green salsa.
If you are adding tomatillos to your keto salsa make sure you pick ones that fresh and that you peel the husk before you roast them since the husk is inedible.
Regardless of what ingredients I have available at the time, making her homemade salsa will always remind me of her.
How To Roast Your Vegetables For Keto Salsa
Although you can make this keto-friendly salsa without roasting your vegetables, it’s so worth the extra step. You’ll just have to trust me on this.
Probably the easiest way to roast your tomatillos and jalapeños is on a BBQ grill outside. So if you’re planning to use your keto salsa for your grilled meats take advantage of the outdoor grill. This makes the process less messy and you avoid the smoke in your kitchen.
But if I am not outdoors grilling, I will roast my vegetables in a comal or dry cast-iron skillet on my stovetop. I happen to have a gas stove but it can be done on an electric stove top as well.
Just be sure to turn on the exhaust fan to high because the charred pepper fumes can be quite intense indoors. You can also roast your vegetables in a broiler. The top broiler of your oven set to high works equally well and makes clean up easier. You’ll be dry roasting your vegetables so there is no need to add any oil while roasting them.
The key is to keep moving them around as you roast them so that the skin is evenly browned on every side.
You’ll notice that when I make my keto salsa I don’t peel off the charred skin. Frankly, leaving the skin on gives the salsa a smokey taste that takes this recipe to another level.
What To Serve With Low Carb Salsa
I serve our homemade keto salsa as a condiment and so it goes well with a number of things. The following are just a few of our favorites:
- With Poultry, Fish, or Meat.
- Over Scrambled Or Fried Eggs.
- As A Dressing For A Tex-Mex Salad
- With Pork Rinds
- Ketologic Keto Crisps
I do my best to honor Elizabeth’s memory by living in such a way that would make her proud, and of course by making recipes like this salsa a staple in our family.
I sure hope you will give this keto-friendly salsa recipe a try. Once you do, make sure you remember to tag us on Instagram and Facebook. It’s what keeps this girl encouraged to keep sharing and perfecting her recipes for you.
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- 1 large white onion chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1-4 roasted jalapeños (to taste)
- 2 medium roasted tomatillos (1 cup)
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro (1/2 cup)
- 28 ounces of canned diced tomatoes
- fresh lime juice (1 ounce about 2 limes)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Wash and dry your jalapeños and tomatillos. Before you roast your tomatillos make sure you remove the husk which is inedible. Note that tomatillos tend to be a little sticky once you remove the husk. Do not peel the tomatillos leave them whole before roasting.
- Roast on high heat the jalapeños and tomatillos. You can roast them on a open grill outdoors, on the stove using a dry comal, cast-iron skillet or in the oven using the broiler at the highest setting. Do not add any oil to your vegetables when roasting. You will be roasting them dry.
- Once the jalapeños are roasted slice lengthwise to deseed and devein. For spicer salsa skip this step.
- Slice your jalapeños coarsely and set aside.
- Chop your roasted tomatillos and set aside.
- Chop your white onion and cilantro and set aside.
- Squeeze the juice of two limes (for a total of one ounce of juice) Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the canned diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
- Serveyour keto salsa immediately or refrigerate for up to 7 days.
Recipe makes enough for ten 1/2 cup servings of keto-friendly salsa. This recipe doubles easily and keeps in the refrigerator well for up to 7 days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 4.4gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 2.5gProtein: 0.9g