Applebee’s Spicy Chipotle Lime Salsa Recipe

Applebee’s Spicy Chipotle Lime Salsa Recipe

Creating a homemade version of Applebee’s Spicy Chipotle Lime Salsa brings a touch of smoky heat and zesty lime to your table. This recipe is inspired by the bold flavors and freshness that Applebee’s is known for, incorporating chipotle peppers and lime juice for a salsa that’s both spicy and refreshing. Perfect for serving with tortilla chips, as a topping for grilled meats, or even as a vibrant addition to tacos, this salsa is versatile and packed with flavor.


  • 2 cups diced tomatoes: Fresh or canned tomatoes work well. If using fresh, Roma tomatoes are a good choice for their firmness and flavor.
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped: Adds a sharp depth to the salsa.
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped: Start with one pepper and adjust according to your heat preference. The adobo sauce adds a smoky depth.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice: Brightens up the salsa with a tangy zest.
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped: Introduces a fresh, herbal note that’s essential in many salsas.
  • 1 garlic clove, minced: For a punch of sharp, aromatic flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest: Enhances the lime flavor, making it more pronounced.
  • Salt to taste: Balances and enhances all the flavors.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional): Just a touch can help balance the acidity of the tomatoes and lime.


Prepare the Base:

  1. Mix Tomatoes and Onions: In a medium bowl, combine the diced tomatoes and chopped red onions. This forms the base of your salsa, providing texture and a fresh backdrop for the bold flavors to come.

Add Flavor:

  1. Incorporate Chipotle and Garlic: Add the minced chipotle peppers and garlic to the tomato mixture. If you’re sensitive to heat, start with one chipotle pepper and add more to taste.

Brighten with Lime:

  1. Lime Juice and Zest: Stir in the fresh lime juice and lime zest. These citrus elements will introduce a refreshing tang that balances the smoky heat of the chipotle.

Finish with Cilantro:

  1. Cilantro and Season: Fold in the chopped cilantro, then season the salsa with salt to taste. If you find the salsa too acidic, a teaspoon of sugar can be added to round out the flavors.

Chill and Serve:

  1. Chill Before Serving: Allow the salsa to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This resting period lets the flavors meld and intensify.

Serving Suggestions:

  • With Chips: Serve this Spicy Chipotle Lime Salsa with a bowl of crispy tortilla chips for a classic snack or appetizer.
  • Over Grilled Foods: Use it as a vibrant topping for grilled chicken, steak, or fish, adding a refreshing kick.
  • In Tacos or Burritos: Elevate your tacos or burritos by spooning this salsa over your favorite fillings.

Pro Tips:

  • Adjusting Heat: The heat level of chipotle peppers can vary. Add them gradually to achieve your desired spice level.
  • Storage: This salsa keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits.

This recipe captures the essence of Applebee’s Spicy Chipotle Lime Salsa, with its harmonious blend of smoky, spicy, and tangy flavors. It’s a versatile condiment that can add a lively burst of flavor to a wide range of dishes.

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