One chip-filled bite of this spicy padron pepper salsa fresco and you want more! Summer is the perfect time for making homemade salsa. Tomatoes and peppers are at their ripest peak. You can make this delicious salsa from scratch in about 10 minutes!

The top view of a bowl of padron pepper salsa.

If you remember my post all about padron peppers, I said they aren’t that spicy. Well, the last container of padron peppers I bought are so spicy! I am totally eating my words. I feel like these peppers are too spicy for some of my recipes, but they are absolutely perfect for making hot pepper salsa!

Grab some chips and some juicy ripe tomatoes. You are going to love the flavor of this homemade salsa fresco. The flavors blend and merge even more, when you store this salsa in your refrigerator overnight! I think padron peppers could possibly be the best pepper for salsa now!

If you are a fan of Padron peppers, try my Padron Pepper Chili recipe.

Allergen Information:

This homemade spicy salsa recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, and oat-free.

Padron pepper salsa ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Padron peppers – If you can’t find Padron, feel free to substitute shishito peppers. Feel free to use both the red Padron peppers and the green Padron peppers! (They tend to get red when they sit on the vine longer.)
  • Tomatoes – Use heirlooms if you have them otherwise, regular tomato varieties are fine.
  • Cilantro – Use fresh, not jarred cilantro.
  • Oil – I recommend olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Onion – Any type will taste delicious.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Salsa ingredients in the food processor.

You will love how easy this pepper garden salsa is to make!! Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or Vitamix blender.

Blend on high until you have the desired texture you like.

Puree everything on high. Keep an eye on the texture.

HINT: If you like thick, chunky salsa, like a pico de gallo, puree it for a shorter time. If you like a thin salsa, puree until it is almost liquified.

You may also love this Mango Habanero Salsa recipe.

Salsa in a quart sized mason jar.


Store your hot pepper salsa in a mason jar or an air-tight container in your refrigerator. This recipe makes enough padron pepper salsa to fill a quart-sized jar.

If you are a pepper fanatic like me, I have tons of delicious Shishito Pepper Recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What peppers can you use if you can’t find Padron peppers?

If you are having a hard time finding padron peppers, you can use shishito peppers. They have a milder flavor, so if you like spicy salsa, you would need to add in some fresh jalapeño peppers, too.

What is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?

Pico de gallo is referred to as a chunky fresh salsa. It is not cooked. The chunks of vegetables are larger than in a salsa.

Is store-bought salsa gluten free?

Store-bought salsa should be gluten free, but it is important to read the label. Processed salsas may have ingredients added that could contain gluten. My favorite gluten free store-bought salsa brands include Trader Joe’s Roasted Salsa, Herdez, Pace, On The Border, Frontera, and Casa Sanchez (in the refrigerated section at the grocery store.)

Is salsa cooked or raw?

Salsa has so many variations; it can be made cooked or raw! Both are considered salsa.

How long will fresh salsa last?

Salsa can last a little longer because it is acidic from tomatoes. This salsa will keep fresh for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container.

What kind of tomatoes are best for making salsa?

You can use any type of fresh tomato to make salsa. I prefer heirlooms, but the most important part is to be sure the tomatoes are very ripe so their sweetness can help flavor the salsa.

Serve this salsa with my homemade Stuffed White Queso for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

A chip full of salsa.

More Gluten Free Pepper Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

The top view of a bowl of padron pepper salsa. There are tortilla chips around the bowl.

Padron Pepper Salsa

Sandi Gaertner
A fresh spicy homemade salsa with delicious ripe tomatoes and padron peppers.
5 from 3 votes
dairy free allergen icon
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
A vegan icon.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Gluten Free Appetizer Recipes, Gluten Free Sauces and Marinades
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people
Calories 30 kcal


  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes ripe
  • ¼ cup onion diced
  • ¼ cup padron peppers * see note
  • 1 clove garlic large or two small cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice feel free to add more if you like
  • cup cilantro fresh


  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Be sure to read notes about padron peppers below so you know the level of spiciness.
  • Blend the ingredients until you have the desired texture. For pico de gallo, blend a much shorter time for the big chunks.


  1. Padron peppers can be hot, but it varies widely. I recommend tasting one (a tiny bit to your tongue) so you know the level of heat your peppers have. This way you can adjust and use the number of peppers by how hot you like your salsa.
  2. If you can’t find padron peppers, use shishito or bell peppers and add jalapeño for the spice.
  3. Store your salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to use quart-sized mason jars.
  4. This salsa will keep fresh up to 1 week in the refrigerator.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 30kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 76mgPotassium: 157mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 530IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! I wasn’t familiar with padron peppers before. Thanks for linking to our mango habanero salsa recipe!