Healthy Sugar-Free Salsa Recipe (Easy + Vegan)

white table homemade sugar free salsa or pico de gallo in a large and a small bowl

Easy homemade condiments are life. They add a punch of flavor and nutrients to any old veggie dish and allow us to never get bored of our plant-based bowls! This healthy sugar-free salsa recipe is no exception.

Ready in under 10 minutes without any special equipment needed, this bowl of Mexican flavor is bursting with fresh veggies and essential nutrients.

Neither too bland nor too spicy, our sugar-free salsa is fully whole food plant-based and so easy to make at home, you’ll never go back to store-bought!

Whether you’re into chunky tomato salsa or a more saucy and smooth vegan salsa, our simple recipe is totally adjustable to your preferences.

Especially if you’re looking to healthify your diet, adding some low-calorie and veggie-rich condiments like a homemade sugar-free salsa encourages you to eat more plant-based foods while adding a bunch of essential nutrients!

You can make this recipe using fresh cherry tomatoes (or any variety for that matter) as well as canned tomatoes which are really budget-friendly and can be kept in your pantry forever — obviously, they will create different textures of your sugar-free salsa.

If you’re looking for a really spicy salsa, ramp up the hot sauce or add some additional cayenne pepper!

We love that it’s a naturally low-fat condiment and so easy to make completely sugar-free — we all know that this sneaky stuff is hidden in enough places already.

It’s a classic dip that brings all kinds of people together no matter their dietary preferences, making it one of our favorite healthy crowd-pleasers.

woman in apron mixing homemade vegan red salsa with a fork and spoon

Is All Salsa Healthy and Vegan?

There are many traditional types of salsa, from verde to ciolla or roja — our version comes closest to uncooked pico de gallo. Pretty much all of them are vegan (we’ve never found salsa at the store that isn’t vegan) and often don’t have any added oil, which is definitely a plus!

Only two things can take away from this delicious condiment’s healthfulness: added salt and sugar.

While fresh tomatoes, which are high in potassium and folate as well as vitamins A, C and K, naturally taste sweet and salty, many store-bought or restaurant salsas come with a good amount of added salt and sugar, which is something to be mindful of.

As with all condiments, salsa doesn’t make or break a healthy diet, and since it’s high in fresh veggies, it ends up being pretty much one of the healthiest add-ons you can prepare alongside your meals — especially when making a sugar-free salsa like ours!

When going to any Mexican restaurant, salsa is one of the most-likely-to-be-vegan choices — along with rice, beans, guacamole, chips and tacos (no promises, though.) 

Don’t be afraid to ask for plain beans if the menu only offers beans of the refried variety — refried beans can contain animal products, while plain black beans are one of our long-time favorites.

Full Vegan Nutrition Guide
close up of glass jar with homemade fresh pico de gallo (sugar free tomato salsa)

The Best Sugar-Free Salsa

Now, if you’re wondering about that last point, let us explain! This sugar-free salsa works with less-than-fresh vegetables when made at home, especially if you’re making the smoother blender version.

With all of the food unfortunately and unnecessarily being wasted each year, we thought we’d mention that you can just create dips or soups out of your extra produce instead of throwing it in the bin!

white table with green onion, red onion, tomatoes, carrots, lime and green chiles

Ingredients for This Sugar-Free Salsa

  • Fresh Tomatoes — for the full-blown taste of summer! If you don’t have any on hand, simply swap for canned diced or fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Red Bell Pepper — added texture & nutrients for your sugar-free salsa!
  • Carrot — same as above but carrots can also be swapped for bell pepper or tomatoes.
  • Onion — red, white, green — doesn’t matter! We’re going to add a truckload to this salsa.
  • Jalapeño Pepper — either with or without seeds depending on your preferred spiciness.
  • Cilantro — since this classic Mexican herb is super controversial, you either add a whole bunch or skip it altogether. We’re ok with both.
  • Lime Juice — adds some more authentic flavor but can be replaced with lemon juice.
  • Salt, Cumin & Hot Sauce — adjust to your taste preferences and dietary needs!

Pretty approachable, right? Now, let’s see how to quickly prepare your homemade sugar-free salsa in just one bowl.

Top Vegan Staple Foods
woman holding large white bowl containing chopped herbs, tomatoes, onion and carrots to make sugar free salsa at home

How to Make Fresh Sugar-Free Salsa From Scratch

Making a homemade sugar-free tomato salsa is mostly just about chopping your fresh ingredients, combining them in a large bowl with all of the herbs and spices and then placing your salsa in the fridge to let the flavors develop.

Start by finely chopping your tomatoes, bell pepper, carrot, onion and jalapeño pepper. Mix them with a spoon, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix again.

If you’re sensitive to hot sauce, definitely start with only one teaspoon and work your way up! You can also replace this component with cayenne pepper or chili flakes.

This easy sugar-free salsa is definitely on the chunkier side. So, if you’re looking for a saucier and smoother version, you can instead add half of all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until you create a simple sauce.

Add any remaining chopped veggies (if any) and then place covered or in a sealed container in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to combine and develop.

woman filling fresh tomato salsa in a glass jar with a spoon

Tips for the Best Vegan Salsa

While our sugar-free salsa is made with lots of fresh vegetables, it’s not the perfect meal prep-friendly recipe as it doesn’t keep well long-term — that said, it is advisable to make your salsa at least a few hours before you intend to serve it!

Here are some more tips around this recipe.

Replacements & Flavor Variations

Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can use canned tomatoes or even fire-roasted tomatoes for a deeper and smokier flavor. This will create a much saucier vegan salsa, though.

We also occasionally like to add fresh fruit like peach or mango to our sugar-free tomato salsa for some added sweetness!

Feel free to add some fresh or powdered garlic for added spiciness or use a pinch of cayenne pepper. If you don’t remove the seeds from your jalapeño pepper,  you’ll end up with spicier sugar-free salsa, too.

Should you not have or want any carrots and bell pepper in your homemade salsa, replace them with more tomatoes!

While we would highly recommend using lime juice for this salsa recipe, you can replace it with lemon juice or even a spritz of vinegar.

And if you don’t like cilantro, simply skip it! We won’t tell. The same is true if you need a pinch of sugar to round out your vegan salsa — this won’t suddenly make it an unhealthy condiment.

five homemade buffalo cauliflower tacos being drizzled with vegan ranch

What to Eat With Sugar-Free Salsa

You can use this homemade sugar-free salsa as a dip for crackers, tortilla chips or veggies — you can even add some avocado or guacamole for a creamy and delicious Mexican experience!

Sugar-free salsa also makes a great addition to many salads, grain bowls, baked potatoes and even soups.

We like to serve it over a Mexican rice and bean bowl or add it to vegan tacos. Plus, tomato salsa is an important addition to any seven-layer bean dip, which can totally be made vegan!

Pretty much any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal can be spiced up with some sugar-free salsa.

Easy Homemade Bean Burritos

More Sugar-Free Vegan Dips

Whole food plant-based condiments are totally our jam! Feel free to browse our blog for some more goodness, starting with the following recipes:

Did you try our sugar-free salsa? Let us know how you liked it and what you used it for in the comments below. You can also rate our recipe as well as Pin it for later and tag us on Instagram if you made it – we’d love to see your creations!

woman filling fresh tomato salsa in a glass jar with a spoon

Healthy Sugar-Free Salsa Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

This simple fresh tomato salsa is bursting with flavor, veggies and nutrients! Easy to make at home in just a few minutes, our sugar-free salsa is a healthy dip that can be used for tortillas, tacos, salad bowls, rice and beans.

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, cut into small cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, with or without seeds*
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Prepare all of your fresh ingredients by washing and chopping them finely, then add them all into a large bowl.
  2. Season with lime juice, salt, cumin and some hot sauce, then mix well. Adjust to taste and cover your bowl or transfer your homemade salsa to a sealed container and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to combine.
  3. Serve as a healthy dip with tortillas, in tacos or to dress up your plant-based bowl!
  4. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. When using canned instead of fresh tomatoes, it keeps well for longer and can even be frozen!

Notes

  • *removing the seeds makes your salsa less spicy.
  • Feel free to omit the carrots and bell pepper and for tomato-forward salsa.
  • White onion may be used in place of the red and green varieties.
  • For a deeper flavor, you can add some fresh or powdered garlic to the salsa!
  • While lime juice would be preferable, you can totally swap it for some lemon juice or even a spritz of vinegar.
  • You can also add cayenne pepper or chili flakes for more hotness or to replace the hot sauce.
  • For a saucier tomato salsa, add half of the fresh tomatoes, cilantro and green onion to a food processor and pulse until broken down, then add the rest of the chopped ingredients. 
  • You may also use canned diced or even fire-roasted tomatoes instead of fresh for a slightly different flavor and texture for your sugar-free salsa.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 41Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 458mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.
dark grey spotted bowl with a variety of vegetables next to small bottle of green smoothie isolated on light background

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