Quick Restaurant-Style Salsa

Nothing tastes better than fresh homemade salsa! This restaurant style salsa is SO easy to make, much less expensive than buying it in the store and customizable to suit your exact tastes. Get this BEST EVER salsa recipe right now, grab your ingredients (likely already in your pantry) and serve it up with your favorite chips or tacos.

Easy Restaurant Style Salsa

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and been served salsa and chips and realize, just as your meal is coming, you aren’t hungry anymore because you’ve devoured so much of the them? Same. And same thing will happen at home with this delicious restaurant-style salsa! It’s delicious and fresh tasting (all while using mostly pantry staples) and a CINCH to put together. Seriously it takes like 5 minutes from start to finish. Serve as is, or pair with your favorite taco recipe (we’ve got a few you might like).

Ingredients Needed for Salsa

  • Canned Diced Tomato (this is essential for that restaurant style taste)
  • Canned Green Chiles
  • Garlic Clove
  • White Vinegar
  • Tomato Paste
  • Red Onion
  • Diced or Grape Tomatoes (you can omit if you don’t have them, but this gives the salsa a bit of a fresh feeling!)
  • Salt

How to Make Salsa in a Blender

This explanation is going to be short and sweet because all you need to do to make restaurant style salsa in the blender is place all of the ingredients in the blender and give it a few pulses! That’s it. Depending on what type of blender to use, just start off with two pulses and then check to see the consistency. Keep pulsing with the blender until it is the right consistency for you. I found 3 pulses were enough to blend my salsa! This can also be done in a food processor.

Do I need to use fresh tomatoes for salsa?

NO! While you definitely can, we made a version that comes together so quickly, doesn’t require fresh tomatoes, and tastes just like the restaurant salsa you know and love!

Customize your Salsa

This recipe is pretty basic. Feel free to add in some other flavors or ingredients to customize it the way you want. Here are some ideas:

  • You can use fresh tomatoes if you have an abundance on hand: now, it will taste less like restaurant style salsa, but can be pretty darned delicious.
  • Add in fresh herbs: grab some fresh cilantro!
  • Add in some spices: have some fun with some smokey flavor with either smoked chipotle peppers or even smoked paprika. Other spices? Cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and garlic powder!
  • Want a kick? Add fresh jalapeño! Remember, the seeds are the spiciest part. Know your audience, too.
  • Make it different: add in roasted red peppers for a unique twist.
  • Add in some bonus items: you can add fruit, such as pineapple or mango for a tropical twist.
  • Brighten it up: once you make it, taste and if you want a little something extra, add a little fresh lime juice.

How long will homemade salsa last?

It should last for roughly one week in the fridge in a sealed container!

Serving salsa:

It goes great with so many things, like our Homemade Guacamole, 15-Minute Chicken TacosTwo-Ingredient Salsa Chicken (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker), and as dressing on our Taco Salad!

If you like this salsa dip recipe, check out these other appetizer dips we love:

Restaurant-Style Blender Salsa
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 23 oz. jar diced tomatoes
  2. 1 4 oz. can green chiles
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. 1 tbsp vinegar
  5. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  6. 2 tbsp chopped white onion
  7. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  8. Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  9. Red pepper flakes, to taste
  10. Garnish with diced red onion
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to your blendtec blender
  2. Pulse until salsa has reached your desired consistency*
  3. Add salt and himalayan sea salt to your liking
  4. Serve with homemade crackers, plantain chips, and veggies!
Notes
  1. *If you like your salsa more chunky, pulse for a shorter amount of time
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Sweet Potato Chili

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili [vegetarian, dairy-free, paleo-friendly]| Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This easy-to-make Sweet Potato Chili is the perfect option for meatless Monday or a family-friendly weeknight dinner win. With sweet potatoes, beans and tomatoes, it is hearty vegetarian comfort food. It’s made easily in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and easily customizable by adding on all your favorite toppings.

Vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes in a bowl.Sweet Potato Chili Recipe

This is my classic go-to vegetarian chili recipe to make all fall and winter long. I call it healthy comfort food in a bowl because it’s hearty and satisfying for all of those chilly days. It is perfect for a big gathering, football Sunday festivities, or for a good weekly meal prep option since there are tons of leftovers! Make it in your slow cooker or your Instant Pot pressure cooker for easy hands-off cooking! And don’t forget about the best part about chili: all the toppings! I’ve got a list of my favorites below.

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients

  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Veggie Broth
  • Spices
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Diced Tomatoes

Sweet potato chili in the Instant Pot.

How to Make It

We’ve got options for making this in both the slow cooker and the pressure cooker. The slow cooker is a great option for making this if you want to prepare it in the morning before leaving for work and have it ready in the evening when you return home.

Making it in the Instant Pot is great because it builds flavor quickly without much hands on time. The vegetarian chili is under pressure for 5 minutes, with a 10 minute pressure release. However, don’t forget to account for the prep time (gathering up your ingredients and dicing some up), the saute of the veggies and the time it takes to come up to pressure. It will take at most about an hour to cook this in the Instant Pot. But it’s mostly hands-off cooking time and it adds a ton of flavor.

To Make on the Stove Top

We didn’t include instructions for cooking this on the stove top in the recipe, but you could. To make on the stove top:

  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Once hot add peppers, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very softened, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, beans, broth, all spices, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir together. Bring up to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Cook until the sauce has thickened and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Serve with desired garnishes.

Chili Toppings

  • Scallions
  • Avocado Slices
  • Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Diced or Marinated Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Sour Cream

Bowl of sweet potato chili.

If you like this chili recipe, check out these others:

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 8 hr Total Time 8:10

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place chopped vegetables into the crock-pot
  2. Add in beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, and spices
  3. Mix well to combine
  4. Set on low for 8 hours
  5. After 7 hours, taste and adjust spices to your liking (i.e. add additional salt, cayenne, or red pepper flakes)
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Easy Taco Soup

With all the classic flavor of a taco, this easy-to-make soup is a family-friendly weeknight dinner win. Customize your soup by adding on all your favorite toppings! It’s made in about 30 minutes, and is also gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.

Taco Soup Recipe

Taco Soup Recipe

Taco night can’t come easier when traditional ground beef tacos are turned into taco soup! This easy and healthy Taco soup recipe is most definitely going to be a crowd favorite. It’s delicious, so customizable and best of all easy-breezy to make! We take the classic flavor of a ground beef taco, plus a few hidden veggies, seasoned it and quickly cook it all together. Top it with your favorite taco toppings and dinner is ready in just about 30 minutes. This also works equally as well for lunch meal prep for the week!

Taco soup in a ladle.

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Beef
  • Spices
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bell Pepper
  • Zucchini 
  • Olive Oil
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Black Beans (optional, omit for Whole30 and Paleo) 
  • Beef Broth

Customize it with your favorite taco toppings. We love to top it with fresh tomato, pickled jalepeno, tortilla chips, cheese and avocado!

How to Make Taco Soup

This soup is pretty simple to make as-is on the stove top. We chose not to give Instant Pot directions because likely it would take the same amount of time because of the time it takes for the Instant Pot to heat up. 

  1. Cook ground beef and cook until no pink remains. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook until beginning to soften. Add in zucchini and all spices and stir together and cook until the spices are fragrant.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
  3. Taste and adjust spices as desired. Top with optional garnishes!

Easy taco soup recipe.

If you like this healthy soup recipe, check out these others:

30-Minute Taco Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  2. 1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  3. 1 onion, diced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (code LEXI for 10% off)
  6. 1 green pepper, diced
  7. 1 medium zucchini, diced
  8. optional: 1 can black beans
Taco seasoning
  1. 1 tbsp chili powder
  2. 1 tsp garlic granules
  3. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  4. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  5. 1 tsp paprika
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 2 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt
  8. 1 tsp black pepper
Toppings
  1. Shredded Cheese
  2. Avocado
  3. Scallions
  4. White Onion
  5. Non-GMO Tortilla Chips
  6. Diced Tomatoes
  7. Shredded Lettuce
  8. Jalapeno
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven heat oil and sauté garlic
  2. Add in diced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often
  3. Add in zucchini and green pepper and let cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring often
  4. Add in ground beef and cook until brown
  5. In a bowl combine taco seasoning spices
  6. Mix in taco seasoning mix
  7. Add in stewed tomatoes
  8. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes
  9. Taste and adjust spices as desired
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Hearty, warm and inviting, this Instant Pot Lentil Soup is the absolute perfect winter meal. This vegetarian soup is flavored with tomatoes, fresh herbs and a hint of spice that make this soup not only feel-good-food but just plain delicious. It’s made easily in the Instant Pot (or in your Slow Cooker) for a hands-off meal destined to make whoever it is served so happy.

vegetarian Instant Pot lentil soup in a bowlInstant Pot Lentil Soup

When the weather is chilly outside, and your body just needs to feel warmed from the inside out, this Lentil Soup is JUST what you need. This hearty soup is packed with lentils, veggies, fresh herbs and spices. It has a deep flavor but is pretty simple to make, especially since we’re using the Instant Pot! But don’t worry, we’ve included instructions for the slow cooker as well. This vegan soup is pure comfort food in a bowl.

Ingredients Needed

  • Lentils (Green or Brown)
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Coconut Aminos (this is optional but nice because it adds depth of flavor)
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • Veggie Broth
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Bay Leaves
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Instant pot lentil soup being partially pureed with a hand blender

How to Make Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

We love being able to make this in the Instant Pot! It truly makes this an easy one pot meal that you don’t have to worry about checking on!

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Cook the onion, carrots, celery using the saute mode until very softened.
  2. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and coconut aminos and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, lentils, broth. Tie the thyme sprigs and bay leaves together with kitchen twine (so they can easily be removed later) then add to the Instant Pot.
  3. Cover and set the steam valve to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the timer has gone off, allow the pressure to release for 15 minutes, and then release any remaining pressure.
  4. Open the lid and remove thyme and bay leaf. If desired, puree 1 cup of the soup to create a thicker texture. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Instructions

Don’t have an Instant Pot? This works well in the slow cooker as well!

  1. Create an herb bundle by tying up the fresh herb with butchers twine so it can easily be removed from the soup.
  2. Place the herb bundle and all ingredients except the apple cider vinegar inside a large slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the lentils are tender. 
  4. Puree 1 cup of the soup to create a thicker texture, if desired. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lentil Soup made in the instant pot in a bowl

If you like this soup recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video:


Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:35 Inactive Time 00:10 Total Time 00:50 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Using the saute function on a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, heat the oil. Add onion, carrots, celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until very softened, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and coconut aminos and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, lentils, broth. Tie the thyme sprigs and bay leaves together with kitchen twine and add to the Instant Pot.
  3. Cover and set the steam valve to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Once done, allow the pressure to release for 15 minutes, and then release any remaining pressure.
  4. Open lid, remove thyme and bay leaf. If desired, puree 1 cup of the soup to create a thicker texture. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

  1. See body of the post for slow cooker directions.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Instant Pot Chicken Parm Soup

If you love chicken parmesan, you are going to love this Instant Pot Chicken Parm Soup. This soup is made easy in the Instant Pot with our favorite chicken, a flavorful tomato broth and topped with all the classic chicken parm flavors. Made in partnership with my friends at Farmer Focus!

Chicken parmesan soupInstant Pot Chicken Parmesan Soup

This Instant Pot Chicken Parm Soup takes all the classic flavors of chicken parmesan but cooked up conveniently in soup form, without much work. It is pure comfort food in a bowl, but this version is lightened up compared to the classic. This dish starts off by cooking up chicken in a flavorful broth, quickly, in the Instant Pot. Then some pasta is cooked right in the broth, though this step is optional if you want to keep it low-carb. We then top the soup with parmesan cheese and my favorite gluten-free breadcrumb alternative: pecan breadcrumbs! I really love how special these nut breadcrumbs make the dish. They are naturally gluten-free and really give you that breadcrumb flavor, in a nutrient dense form.

Why Cooking Dinner in the Instant Pot is the Best

We could sing praises all day about about why we love the Instant Pot, especially for easy dinners! This appliance isn’t just for making quick work of typically long braised dishes like beef barbacoa or pork carnitas. It’s also great for quick weeknight dinners that don’t actually require much hands-on cooking. This Instant Pot Chicken Parm soup is great for all of that. The recipe doesn’t require very much prep work aside from gathering some ingredients. All that means an easy delicious meal without much effort.

Ingredients for chicken Parm soupChicken Parm Soup Ingredients

  • Farmer Focus Chicken Breast
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato Paste
  • Diced Tomato
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Dried Oregano
  • Chicken Broth
  • Penne Pasta
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pecan “Breadcrumbs”

A Note about Cooking Pasta in Soup

We call for cooking the pasta directly inside the tomato broth for this soup. But a word of caution, only do this if you plan to consume immediately. As with any soup recipe, if you cook the pasta directly in the soup, the longer it sits the more broth the pasta will soak up. Eventually the pasta will become water logged if stored, and can disintegrate. So if you want to make this soup as a make-ahead lunch or dinner, cook the pasta and store the pasta separately and only add it when you are ready to eat.

Instant pot chicken parm soup with a ladleWhy we Choose Farmer Focus to Raise the Chicken We Buy

I am so happy to continue my partnership with my friends at Farmer Focus to bring you today’s easy Instant Pot chicken recipe! Farmer Focus has been my go-to, trusted chicken for years now, because they pride themselves in producing the highest quality meat grown on family-owned farms. I love being able to grab up a package of Farmer Focus chicken at the grocery store and not having to question whether it is truly coming from meat raised in a humane way.

Farmer Focus is building partnerships with growers through their innovative Farmer Focus Business Model

Farmer Focus is a company that supports their farmer partners and that is working hard to do things right and truly raise and produce the highest quality chicken! Every Farmer Focus product includes a 4-letter farm I.D. that traces your chicken to the farm that raised it. Buying meat from Farmer Focus also gives me peace of mind that I am supporting hard working family farmers.

Farmer Focus chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet free from animal byproducts, pesticides, and antibiotics. On their website you can see where all of the farms are located, so you know just where your chicken was raised! How awesome is that?!

You can also use their easy store locator to find where you can get this amazing quality chicken near you.

Sprinkling Parm on chicken Parm soupSwaps for this Chicken Parmesan Soup

Want to make this dairy-free? Simply leave out the cheese on the top! Of course, part of the flavor profile on chicken Parm, is well, the Parm! But this soup is flavorful enough that it won’t be missed too much.

Want to make this nut-free? Go ahead and leave out the pecan breadcrumbs. If you wanted to substitute them with regular or gluten-free breadcrumbs, that works too!

Don’t have an Instant Pot?

You can make this soup in the stove top too!

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add in diced tomato, chicken breasts and broth and stir together. Lower heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken, dice and set aside
  2. Add in 1 cup of water and bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the breadcrumbs: Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add pecans, italian seasoning and garlic powder. Cook stirring occasionally until the pecans smell toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Once the pasta has finished cooking, place the diced chicken back in the pot. If needed, add remaining cup of water to thin out the soup.
  5. Serve the soup with a garnish of parmesan cheese, “breadcrumbs” and parsley.

Chicken Parmesan soup in a bowl

If you like this soup recipe, check out these others:

If you like this Instant Pot Chicken recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video: 


Instant Pot Chicken Parm Soup

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:20 Inactive Time 00:10 Total Time 00:35 Yields 4

Ingredients

For Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-28 ounce can diced tomato
  • 1-½ pounds Farmer Focus boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water, or more if needed
  • 4 ounces penne pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Parsley, for garnish

For Pecan “Breadcrumbs”:

Directions

  1. Press the saute function in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and add olive oil. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add in diced tomato, chicken breasts and broth and stir together. Shut off the saute function.
  2. Close the lid and set the pressure-release valve to sealing. Cook soup on manual high pressure for 9 minutes with a quick release. Remove chicken, dice to bite-sized pieces and cover to keep warm while the pasta cooks.
  3. Press the saute function on the Instant Pot and add in 1 cup of water. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the breadcrumbs: Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add pecans, italian seasoning and garlic powder. Cook stirring occasionally until the pecans smell toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Once the pasta has finished cooking, place the diced chicken back in the pot. If needed, add remaining cup of water to thin out the soup.
  6. Serve the soup with a garnish of parmesan cheese, “breadcrumbs” and parsley.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by Farmer Focus! All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

One Pan Moroccan Fish

This One Pan Moroccan Fish is a super flavorful and easy-to-prepare weeknight dish! It’s got a nice hint of heat and is loaded with hearty veggies! Made in under 30 minutes, this Paleo and Whole30 friendly dish is your ticket to healthy and comforting dinner.


One Pan Moroccan Fish

I love getting inspired by other cuisines. I am always impressed with the different combinations of various spices and how they come together to bring delicious warm flavors. This one pan Moroccan fish recipe is just that: it’s loaded with flavor and packed with veggies. It’s also an elegant looking dinner that nobody would guess was super easy to prepare. It takes less than 30 minutes and requires only ONE pan.

This spiced Moroccan Fish recipe is so hearty and comforting. You start off by sautéing some veggies in a pan and then keep building the flavor up from there with warms spices and tomatoes. Next, you nestle in the halibut for a quick 7 minute cook time. It is filling all on it’s own, but certainly can be served with some rice or even some light beans, like chickpeas!

How can you tell when fish is cooked through?

Fish cooks quickly and becomes more “fishy” if it’s overcooked so it’s important to cook it correctly! There are a few ways to tell when a fish is done. A fish is cooked through when it is opaque and flakey on the outside. To ensure it’s cooked through in the middle you can stick a thin butter knife into the center of the fish. If the fish gives any resistance, then it’s still needs a bit more cooking time. If the butter knife is inserted easily inside the fish without any resistance the fish is done. Remove it from the heat immediately.

Alternatively you can take the fish temperature with an instant read thermometer. Properly cooked fish can be taken off of the heat at 140ºF, and it will continue to cook for another minute or two off of the heat naturally and will bring it up to the proper temperature of 145ºF.

If you like this Moroccan inspired recipe, check out these others:

If you like this fish recipe, check out these others:

One Pan Moroccan Fish

Prep Time 7 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 0:17

Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat oil and garlic in a pan
  • Add in zucchini, onion, carrots, and garlic and sauté until veggies are soft
  • Add in whole peeled tomatoes, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  • Bring to a boil then reduce and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes
  • Spread a space slightly for the fish
  • Salt the fish lightly
  • Place fish in the sauce, cover, and let cook until the fish is opaque (about 7 or so minutes)
  • Add capers and serve!
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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!