Chunky Avocado Salsa with Cotija cheese is a delicious twist on the classic Mexican dip. This unique combination of tangy Cotija cheese, creamy avocado, cilantro lime, and ripe tomatoes is the perfect gluten free snack or appetizer for your next gathering.
Sometimes, all you really need is a bag of tortilla chips and a bowl of your favourite dip or salsa. Dip away to your heart’s content in a bowl of Creamy Tex Mex Corn Dip featuring fresh sweet corn. Or whip up this light and fruity Grape and Blueberry Fruit Salsa. It’s one of my all-time favourite salsa recipes.
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Chunky Avocado Salsa with Cotija Cheese
This avocado salsa recipe is for all the Mexican and Tex-Mex food lovers! Think chunky Guacamole meets Pico de Gallo salsa with Cotija cheese and you’ll immediately know how delicious this dip is! Honestly, it’s that simple.
Fresh is king when it comes to salsa and this chunky salsa recipe is full of fresh ingredients celebrating the flavours of summer… and Mexico! Creamy avocado mixes perfectly with ripe fresh tomatoes and aromatics like vibrant green cilantro, garlic, and red onions.
The acidity from fresh lime juice and apple cider vinegar mingles with the rich avocado and the salty Cotija cheese. It’s the perfect union of flavours in one restaurant style salsa.
Fair warning: You’re going to need some sturdy tortilla chips to scoop up this amazing homemade chunky salsa. Oh, and you’re probably going to want to double the batch. The portion size for this dip is one cup per person but once you start scooping, it’s hard to stop.
What is Chunky Avocado Salsa?
You may think you know salsa, but did you know salsa literally means ‘sauce’? This beloved Mexican or Latin American condiment has been popular in Central and South American cuisine since the days of the Aztecs!
The main purpose of salsa is to provide another layer of heat or flavour to food. Salsas can contain fresh or roasted vegetables. They are typically categorized as either salsa roja (red) or salsa verde (green).
Additionally, there are an incredible amount of salsa varieties and textures. These includes fresh or roasted, smooth to coarsely textured or chunky salsas, with thick or thin consistencies and mild to incredibly hot spice level.
Unlike a thin fresh tomato salsa that’s made in a food processor, this homemade chunky avocado salsa contains vegetables sliced by hand. So, sharpen those knives and let’s get chopping!
Avocado Salsa Ingredients
The great thing about this easy salsa recipe is that there are no hard-to-find ingredients or special appliances. All you need is a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a bowl. Throw in some crunchy tortilla chips and you’ll be enjoying this fresh chunky salsa in under 15 minutes.
- Red Onion
- Cotija Cheese
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The key to a tasty fresh salsa is… fresh ingredients! Choose a firm, ripe fleshy tomato such as Roma or any other ‘paste-style’ tomato. Fresh cilantro, chopped garlic cloves (not powder!), and fresh lime juice are also a must for this recipe.
What is Cotija cheese? Cotija cheese is a young, crumbly white cheese with a briny flavour. It’s the Mexican equivalent of Feta cheese made from cow’s milk! If you can’t find Cotija cheese, feel free to use Feta cheese instead.
Most recipes that include olive oil as a flavouring (not for cooking) specify Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or EVOO, is the highest quality most flavourful olive oil you can buy. This superior flavour comes from the mechanical pressing or crushing of olives without the use of heat or chemicals.
How to Choose the Perfect Avocado
We all know that finding the perfect, unblemished avocado is like finding a needle in a haystack. Here are a few tricks to increase your odds of selecting the perfect ripe avocado for this recipe.
- Firmness. A ripe avocado will yield to slight pressure when you hold it in your hand and squeeze gently. If there is no give, it is not ready to eat quite yet. However, if it is mushy, it is over-ripe. You might be able to use it for guacamole so don’t give up!
- Colour. Avocados with a bright green colour will ripen in 4-5 days. Those with a mixture of black and dark green unblemished skin ripen in 1-2 days. For a perfectly ripe avocado, choose one that is completely black (yet still smooth with no indentations or wrinkles) and store it in the fridge. Consume within 1-2 days. Note that colour does not always indicate ripeness so check the firmness of the avocado as well.
Place unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with a ripe banana or apple to speed up the ripening process. Store them on the counter at room temperature. To keep an avocado from ripening too quickly, store them in the fridge.
How to Make Chunky Avocado Salsa
Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to chop the fresh vegetables and cilantro, saving the avocado for last. Place them in a medium bowl and set aside.
Juice the lime, then drizzle it over the avocado. Add the Cotija cheese to the bowl.
Next, drizzle the olive oil and apple cider vinegar over the salsa. Season with salt and mix gently.
Garnish the top with cilantro leaves and/or green onions and more crumbled Cotija cheese, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips for dipping. Or, serve this homemade salsa on top of grilled chicken, pork, or fish for a delicious flavour boost.
This mild homemade chunky salsa is full of flavour but does not contain any hot peppers. If you want to spice it up a bit, add finely diced jalapeños. If you want to spice it up a lot use habaneros, scotch bonnets, or chilies.
You can also add a diced yellow, orange, or red pepper or replace the tomato salsa with mango salsa and make it a mango avocado salsa instead.
Other great ways to flavour this salsa include a half teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder, or lime powder. If you find it too acidic, add a small amount of sugar to sweeten the tomatoes before adding them to the bowl.
This chunky salsa is best eaten the day it is made. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge but note that the avocados will start to oxidize and turn brown almost immediately.
Hi! I’m Bernice Hill and I’ve been the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen for the past eleven years. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.
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- 3 medium Roma tomatoes; seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup red onion; finely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- 2 Avocados; pitted, fleshed, and diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
- lime; juiced
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to chop the fresh vegetables and cilantro, saving the avocado for last. Place them in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Juice the lime, then drizzle it over the avocado. Add the Cotija cheese to the bowl.
- Next, drizzle the olive oil and apple cider vinegar over the salsa. Season with salt and mix gently.
- Garnish the top with cilantro leaves and crumbled Cotija cheese, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips for dipping.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 8gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.