When it comes to flavor, fruits and vegetables coming straight from the garden to your table are the best. Gardening provides the freshest produce you’ll eat. Plus, you’ll feel (and taste) a sense of accomplishment.

Planting a recipe-specific garden—like a salsa garden—is an easy and fun way to get started. Each ingredient can be grown in its own container on a windowsill, balcony or patio. They will also thrive planted together in a raised bed if you have the room.

Plant what you think will make your salsa taste best. Start with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro. If you like it spicy, add a jalapeño, Anaheim or poblano chili pepper plant.

Consider the healthy benefits your salsa garden will bring:

  • Healthy heart Cilantro is rich in natural antioxidants called flavonoids. These are good for your heart.1
  • Cancer protection The flavonoids in onions and garlic can help lower your cancer risk and protect against diabetes and heart disease.1
  • Visual health Peppers contain anthocyanins that are important for maintaining good vision.2 They also contain vitamin C and fiber.
  • Manage cholesterol Raw tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which can help lower your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.3

Enjoy your homegrown veggies with this delicious salsa.

Vegetable salsa

A bowl of garden fresh vegetable salsa served with tortilla chips
With zero fat and much lower sodium than commercially prepared salsa, this is also a great way to get kids to eat their veggies.4 If you like it spicier, add more jalapeño to your taste.

Makes 16 servings

Prep: 30 min


  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeño (optional)


  • Wash vegetables and prepare as described.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss gently to mix.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.


(serving size: ½ cup)

Calories: 16; total fat: 0g; saturated fat: 0g; sodium: 19 mg; cholesterol: 0 mg; total carbs: 4g; fiber: 1g; sugars: 2g; protein: 1g; potassium: 108 mg

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Now that you’ve got the salsa, let’s work on some quick and healthy meals for the grill.

Published March 13, 2024


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