Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe

Tested & Perfected Recipes

The vegetables in this salsa recipe are roasted, intensifying the flavor of the tomatoes, mellowing the onions and garlic, and adding a touch of smokiness.

Utterly addictive, this bright and spicy restaurant-style salsa recipe combines blistered vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic and chiles with fresh cilantro and lime. It is unique from most salsas, which are either raw or made from canned tomatoes. Roasting intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes, mellows the onions and garlic, and adds a touch of smokiness.

This is the only salsa recipe I make other than my salsa verde, which is almost identical (only tomatillos replace the tomatoes). It’s easy to make and, if you’re having a party, you can prepare it a few days ahead of time. 

What You’ll Need To Make Restaurant-Style Salsa

Ingredients for salsa recipe

As you can see, this salsa recipe calls for three serrano peppers. Serrano peppers are similar to jalapeño peppers in taste and appearance but they are smaller and hotter. Feel free to substitute jalapeño peppers, if you like, but keep in mind that you’ll only need one or two, depending on how spicy you like your salsa.

How To Make Restaurant-Style Salsa

tossing vegetables with oil on baking sheet

Begin by tossing the quartered tomatoes (I don’t even bother coring them), onion wedges, garlic and whole  peppers with the vegetable oil directly on a baking sheet. Broil the vegetables until blistered and slightly charred, 10-15 minutes.

blistered and charred vegetables on baking sheet

Transfer the vegetables to a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and add the salt and cumin. (Note: This is a spicy salsa — you may want to start with one pepper in the food processor, and then blend the other(s) in if you want more heat.)

roasted vegetables in food processor ready to blend

Process until slightly chunky. Taste and add the remaining chili pepper(s), if desired.

slightly chunky salsa with cilantro and lime in food processor

Add the cilantro leaves and lime juice and pulse a few times until the cilantro is finely chopped.

blended salsa in food processor

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe

How To Serve Restaurant-Style Salsa

Salsa goes with so many recipes! Try pairing it with:

Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe

The vegetables in this salsa recipe are roasted, intensifying the flavor of the tomatoes, mellowing the onions and garlic, and adding a touch of smokiness.

Servings: Makes 2-1/2 cups
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 serrano chili peppers, stemmed (use less for a milder salsa)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more if needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler and set an oven rack about 5 inches beneath the heating element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, whole serrano chile peppers and vegetable oil directly on the prepared baking sheet and toss with your hands. Broil until softened and charred, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the vegetables and juices to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. (Note: This is a spicy salsa recipe. If you are concerned about the level of heat, add only one Serrano pepper at this point. You can always blend the others in to taste.) Add the salt and cumin and pulse until just slightly chunky. (If you left out some of the chili peppers, now's the time to taste and add more.) Add the cilantro and fresh lime juice, and pulse until the cilantro is chopped. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and more lime juice if necessary. Be sure to add enough salt and lime to bring out all the flavors. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
  4. Make-Ahead Instructions: The salsa can be made two days ahead of time; store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  5. Note: This recipe is not meant for canning.

Pair with

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • So easy and so delicious! This has become a favorite immediately! Now everyone wants me to bring to every gathering. Also easy to adjust, impossible to ruin.

    • — Kathy on November 24, 2019
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  • Can I freeze this salsa? So very delicious 😋!

    • — Gina on September 22, 2019
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    • Glad you like it, Gina! I haven’t frozen it myself but I think it should freeze very well for up to a couple of months. Some of the liquid may separate out when it’s defrosted, or it might get a bit watery, but you can correct that by reheating it.

      • — Jenn on September 22, 2019
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      • This salsa is amazing! Start with one teaspoon of salt initially…I found the two teaspoons of salt to be adequate for double the amount of tomatoes, etc. would have been way too salty had I started with the full recommended amount.

        • — Charlynne Bowsher on October 6, 2019
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  • Hi there – this is a fantastic salsa, really loved it! Any chance you have a weight for the tomatoes (and maybe even an estimate for the onion)? There is so much judgement involved due to variability with these veggies in particular it be great to have weights to keep proportions right. Thank you!

    • — Mike B on August 9, 2019
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    • Hi Mike, I’m guessing the tomatoes are about 1-1/3 lbs (600 g). The onions would be about 3/4 lb (340 g). Hope that helps and glad you enjoyed!

      • — Jenn on August 11, 2019
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  • Just made this! Oh so delicious. I used two roasted jalapeños and a little extra cilantro. Not sure why I don’t make more often – so simple. Will be serving with chicken tacos later. Thank you!

    • — Kaye on July 27, 2019
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  • My family and I loved this. Best salsa recipie I’ve found. Thank you for posting.

    • — Marina on June 22, 2019
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  • I’ve made this salsa recipe as written dozens of times. It will impress all who try it. Numerous friends have asked for the recipe and that’s when I refer them to your site and share that a wonderful cookbook is also available. I simply LOVE every recipe I have tried!

    • — Kathy M. on April 11, 2019
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  • I thought this was the best tasting salsa I have EVER had. I do like spicy so I added all 3 peppers but it’s was super spicy! I’m wondering if stemmed meant more than cutting off the stems? Was I suppsoed to keep the whole, seeds and all? Haha, or do I just need to add less peppers next time? Thanks so much!

    • — Angela on March 28, 2019
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    • Hi Angela, Glad you liked this! Regarding the peppers, you handled them correctly by just cutting off the stem and using the remainder. If you make it again, you can tone it down by using just one or two peppers. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2019
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  • Tried this last night, my husband & I loved it. Such great taste & so easy. This is a keeper for sure !!

    • — Brenda on March 19, 2019
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  • Much thanks to you for the recipe! The taste is great. Is this salsa supposed to be very thick?

    • — Rex on February 11, 2019
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    • Hi Rex, I wouldn’t call the texture of the salsa thick, but it’s definitely not watery; it has the texture of puréed vegetables if that makes sense.

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2019
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  • Great easy recipe. I doubled it for use with tamales and chips

    • — Nancy Burroughs on December 27, 2018
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  • Best salsa recipe ever!!!

    • — Skye on December 2, 2018
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  • We very much enjoyed this salsa. Just perfect!

    • — LisaR on November 24, 2018
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  • This is my go-to salsa recipe. I make it at the request of my family weekly. We eat it with chips during football and on our eggs for breakfast.

    • — Marla on October 4, 2018
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  • Can this be canned?

    • — Kyle on September 10, 2018
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    • Hi Kyle, this recipe wasn’t designed with canning in mind, so I wouldn’t recommend it – sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 11, 2018
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      • Why isn’t this able to be canned? Do the ingredients have to be different in order to can salsa? Thank you!

        • — George on October 14, 2019
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        • Hi George, I didn’t create this recipe with canning in mind, so I don’t know whether or not it’s safe – sorry!

          • — Jenn on October 15, 2019
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  • WOW!!! This is the 2nd recipe I’ve tried on your site!! The Guinness Lamb Stew is also amazing, people!! Look that one up too. Onto my review, I made this with home grown, bright orange and bright yellow tomatoes. I only put 1/2 Serrano because my daughter doesn’t like spicy. It turned out mild spicy (yum!). This is both smoky and fruity (using the tomatoes that I used). Just perfect, perfect, perfect! Thank you so much for all of your fabulous recipes!

    • — Beth on September 7, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn!
    Do you think this would work with chipotle pepper(s)?
    Thanks,
    Flo

    • — Flo on September 7, 2018
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    • Hi Flo, I’ve never made them with chipotle peppers, but I suspect it should work. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2018
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      • Could you freeze this salsa in freezer bags?

        • — Jen on September 10, 2019
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        • I don’t see why not, Jen. Some of the liquid may separate out when it’s defrosted, or it might get a bit watery, but you can correct that by reheating it. Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on September 11, 2019
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  • Damn! Jenn, girl, you are a SUPERSTAR for making ME look like one. This is the finest salsa I ever did make. I am now making another 10 batches with the beautiful late-summer tomatoes we’ve got going on now. So easy, so vibrant, so umami, so perfect. Thank you once again for another beautiful recipe. LOVE YOU.

    • — Linda on August 28, 2018
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    • Did you freeze all that salsa?

      • — Emily on May 4, 2019
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  • Wow – this did not disappoint! I had been searching for an easy salsa recipes to use up the plethora of tomatoes from our garden. This recipe was so easy to put together and was absolutely packed with flavor. I ended up only using two Serrano peppers. It provided just the right amount of heat without losing flavor. I instantly passed this recipe on to all of my neighbor friends and will continue to make this salsa!

    • — Jill Kalstabakken on August 24, 2018
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  • Hi Jenn
    How long will this keep in refrigerator after making? It is amazing! Best salsa ever!

    • — Melissa on June 14, 2018
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    • Glad you like it! It should keep well for up to a week in the fridge.

      • — Jenn on June 14, 2018
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  • This really tastes great. I even use it as a kind of sandwich spread on my toast, topped with a few slices of fresh tomato and/or avocado. Can it get any healthier?

    • — Anja on June 6, 2018
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  • Made this for a get together and had 4 people ask me for the recipe! The roasted nature gives the best flavor to all of the veggies used in this salsa. I love it!!

    • — Alyssa Graves on April 12, 2018
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  • What’s the best way to roast them without a broiler? Would baking work? Sounds delicious!

    • — Ashley on March 31, 2018
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    • Hi Ashley, I would roast them at 450°F/230ºC on the center rack in your oven 30 to 35 minutes until the onions are browned on top and the tomatoes are golden and caramelized on the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 1, 2018
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  • I have made this recipe twice, and it is a big hit. I make a good salsa, but love this one.

    Since it is just the two of us, I let it sit a day to blend flavors and then put half in a glass jar with lid and freeze, it does not change the flavor or texture at all. GREAT RECIPE, thank you for sharing.

    • — Gilda on March 13, 2018
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  • This salsa has changed my life. Really. I spent about fifteen years experimenting with salsa recipes, but never produced anything that met my approval. Jenn Segal’s recipe changed all that.

    The most important aspect of her recipe is the method. I have tried many variants so far as the ingredients are concerned, and even now have several quarts of salsa in my freezer labeled “Kitchen sink salsa” because I harvested ALL the peppers and tomatoes and tomatillos in my garden (just before the freeze) and made a couple of gallons of salsa.

    Being originally from Texas, I find Jenn’s approach shockingly mild. So I use probably ten times more peppers (mainly jalapenos, some serranos) than tomatoes. Subsitute tomatillos to make salsa verde. My salsa is NOT for the faint of tongue!

    I make large batches and freeze them. If you’re going to freeze, it may be a good idea not to add the cilantro; because it remains uncooked, there’s the possibility of its going a bit bad. (I don’t KNOW that, it’s just a guess. Alas, since my wife is a “taster,” I can’t add cilantro.)

    I’ve found through long practice that the salsa can be thawed and refrozen with little problem. I freeze it in 8-ounce yogurt containers, taking one out when I’m having Mexican fare. If there’s very much left over, I just put it back into the freezer. I haven’t noticed any serious degradation of taste after even three cycles of freezing–although it usually disappears much more quickly than that.

    • — Brian Mustain on March 1, 2018
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  • Delicious! My favourite salsa recipe!

    • — Celine on February 11, 2018
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  • This came out good. I had problems with my food processor, so I had to use my old Black & Decker chopper. Pain in the neck, but it did the job. Everyone loved it! Will make it often. Thanks.

    • — Carol on February 4, 2018
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  • This salsa is fantastic! I have been looking for the perfect recipe for some time now and this is it. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you Jenn!

    • — Karin on February 3, 2018
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  • This is very good. I’m a bit confused by the claimed yield, though: four tomatoes alone is a lot more than two and a half cups, unless they’re REALLY tiny tomatoes. When I made this with four decent-sized but not huge tomatoes, it made six cups.

    It was also on the spicy side, despite only putting in one jalapeno (milder than a Serrano, right?) with the seeds and membranes removed. We wound up adding a couple more tomatoes.

    Oh, and I’m always conservative with salt: half the recommended salt was about right (until I added more tomatoes, at which point it needed a bit more, though not a whole teaspoon).

    • — Phil Smith III on February 3, 2018
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    • Hi Phil, I’m baffled how you ended up with so much salsa! I just made this last week for my new Stacked Beef Enchiladas and I measured the amount to be about 2-3/4 cups.

      • — Jenn on February 3, 2018
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    • Love this salsa.
      Agree it only needs 1 tsp Of salt! Delicious! Going to try freezing it per the other reviews.

      • — Emily Sudermann on August 12, 2018
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  • Fantastic served warm or cold. Another outstanding recipe, Jenn. This is a real crowd pleaser!!

    • — Mary M on January 9, 2018
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  • first time making roasted in the broiler salsa. perfect for my tostadas…
    so simple and delicious!

    • — Jenny on December 22, 2017
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  • I’m crazy about this salsa. I’ve made it so much that I’ve now got the recipe memorized. We eat with chips (of course), put it on eggs, and even top grilled meats with it. I find it a bit too salty for my liking though, so I cut the salt in 1/2.

  • Why is this recipe not meant for canning?

    • Hi Lenora, I didn’t develop this recipe with canning in mind (and I know very little about canning), so while I don’t know for sure that it’s unsafe for canning, I don’t feel confident telling you that it would be safe. Sorry!

  • The best salsa I have ever had. Flavors on point as always! You are my go to for all recipes!

  • Loved this salsa. Roasting the veggies and tomatoes brings out their flavor plus adding that little something extra. I cut back on the heat, but still utterly delicious.

  • Very good and easy. I added more lime juice and added an jalapeño.

  • Do you remove the seeds from the serrano peppers? Thank you!

    • Hi, much of the heat comes from the seeds, so If you’re sensitive to heat, you may want to remove them. But if you like spicy food, feel free to use some or all of them.

  • I tried numerous salsa recipes before finding this fabulous recipe. I usually make this twice a week. Everyone loves it. The recipe is absolutely perfect. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • W.O.W. My only suggestion. Double. Triple. Quadruple. It’s that good. What a great recipe especially for end of the year tomatoes that are splitting and have a few spots. A winner. I was so excited to taste, i forgot the cumin and it was fine but better with. Thanks so much!!

  • I’ve had many requests for this recipe…So delicious and easy to make….I can affirm that whether the salsa is fresh or defrosted, it tastes the same! I also used it as a dip for veggies….

    • — Wendy Schoenburg
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  • This recipe is absolutely phenomenal when using home grown tomatoes and peppers. I use the juice of 2 limes and added black pepper as well as the cumin. We made some big batches and canned many pint jars to have on hand. Best salsa in the world.

    • Please share your canning method. Thank you.

      • — Anna VALDEZ-Willie
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    • Did you just can as normal ??

      • — Melanie on October 10, 2018
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  • I love, love this salsa. Thank you for sharing.
    Have you ever made a roasted tomato sauce with this method? I bet it would be great…I just wouldn’t know how much of each vegetable I would need to use?!?

  • I have been wanting to make salsa lately (something I love to do, but life, you know?), and I have been making roasted vegetable fajitas, so then I scoured the web for a roasted pepper salsa. I made this and it was just delicious. I like things quite spicy, so I added jalapeños and habaneros (two of each type of pepper, so six peppers in total). I also added just a touch of sugar (like 1/2 tsp ). Super good and super spicy. The chunkiness is particularly nice — it isn’t smooth and also isn’t too undulated.

    • Did you take out the seeds or include them?

      • — Monica Krajewski
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  • I made this recipe today. I didn’t add peppers as I am very sensitive to spicy food. I loved it. Then had my husband try it. He also thought it was good. I will also use this recipe for the sauce to go over my enchiladas.

  • I left out jalapeños and white pepper and this still turned out great!

  • Do you put the oil on the baking sheet or apply to the veggies?

    • Begin by tossing the veggies with the vegetable oil directly on a baking sheet. Enjoy!

  • Wonderful! Excellent recipe exactly as written.

  • I cut back on the salt a little, but this was so good. Roasting the garlic and onions brings out the sweetness in them.

  • How far ahead can i make the roasted tomato salsa?

    • Hi Michelle, It keeps well in the fridge for about a week, and it can also be frozen. Enjoy!

    • I still have about a gallon of my very hot roasted tomato salsa (in many small yogurt containers) that I made two summers ago. Still tastes fine to me. In fact, since I tend to forget it’s in the fridge, I historically have left it too long and it has spoiled. So now I refreeze the salsa after each use. Have refrozen it as many as three times, and it still tastes OK.

  • My entire family loves this salsa! So easy and delicious took about 20 minutes total from start to finish. Used 2 chili’s instead of 3 because we had 2 and I wasn’t going to the supermarket for 1 chili. Turned out perfect for wife and 8 year old who enjoys spicy food.

  • A very tasty salsa that really needs to be doubled or tripled! I can’t wait to try the recipe with homegrown tomatoes. Because of the saltiness of the chip I would recommend starting with 1 tsp. salt and add more if desired.

  • This is very tasty! I would make it again.

  • Jenn, would leaving the seeds of the peppers out work and if so, should I still start with one pepper? Thanks, Carol

    • Hi Carol, If you’re really sensitive to heat, you may want to cut back on the peppers in addition to removing the seeds. It may take a bit of trial and error, but you can always make it a bit spicier next time if you want more of a kick.

  • This was simple and easy to make. I used a jalapeño pepper as that is what I had on hand. It was tasty warm with the chips slightly warmed also. A big hit as I have made this not just once!

  • Another delicious recipe! I just used one jalapeño that I had on hand because I didn’t want to leave the house. It was spicy enough for me, but next time I will follow the recipe exactly since I like Serrano peppers for salsa.

  • My fiance and I LOVE this salsa recipe! I make it exactly as-is except that I only use 1-2 Serranos because I’m a bit of a spice-wuss. We love this salsa both warm and cold. I have made a bunch of times and it always comes out great!

  • Hi Jenn,

    I am sitting here with a ton of lemons and no limes. What do you think….will lemon juice work in place of the lime juice?
    Thanks.

    • Yes Sue, I think you could definitely get away with that.

  • Delicious – I can’t stop eating it! It was plenty hot with one serrano pepper; thanks for the tip about trying it with one first. I cut down on the salt because I am sensitive to it, and because we had salty chips. So, so tasty – better than the one at our favorite restaurant. Another winner!

    • — Vicki Frederick
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  • This was fantastic! I used yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden and two jalapenos since that’s what I had on hand. I also had two tomatillos in the fridge so I tossed those in as well. It created a wonderful flavor, and I liked that it was the more liquidy kind of salsa (seen it called cantina style in stores). I never knew salsa could be so easy!

  • Made this today and it came out fantastic. Can it be frozen? Thanks.

    • Glad you like it! I haven’t frozen it myself but I think it should freeze very well for up to a couple of months. Some of the liquid may separate out when it’s defrosted, or it might get a bit watery, but you can correct that by reheating it.

  • I made this last night and it was AMAZING! I made it with 6 serrano chiles, my boyfriend loves it super spicy. As soon as the chiles, garlic, tomatoes, and onion were out of the broiler….I hear him run to the kitchen and say what’s the amazing smell and I pointed out what I was making. He was very happy and thank you so much for sharing this!

  • I made this salsa over the weekend and canned it. Didn’t see the last sentence on the recipe that said not to can. What should I do with all the salsa that is now in ball jars? Do I need to throw it all out? It has been sitting out for two days.

    • Hi Diane, I’ve never tested this recipe for canning purposes, so while I don’t know for sure it’s not suited for it, I’d be reluctant to say it’s still safe to eat– sorry!!

      • My mother used to make this salsa, and she canned it all the time. It makes a great chili also.

        • — Marquita Hammeken
        • Reply
  • Great salsa!

  • Hi Jen,

    Love the look of this recipe. Does the variety of tomato matter much? I have some wonderful heirloom taxis that I would like to use up. Do you think they would work well here?

    Thanks!

    • I think this would be delicious with heirloom tomatoes!

  • I made this with jalapeño peppers instead of Serrano, and used minced garlic from a jar since that’s what I had on hand and extra cilantro. I had olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Despite the changes, this salsa turned out delicious! Roasting the veggies was an awesome idea. I love the flavor from it. This is a great recipe, my dad is picky and he loved it! I will save it for later 🙂

    • I made this for a picnic and everyone wanted to know who brought it–because it was soooo good. Thank you for posting you used olive oil and it turned out good. I cannot have vegetable or canola oils and was skeptical to use olive oil. Now I have a lot of salsa to make!

  • This is a wonderful restaurant-style salsa! It’s identical to a local burrito joint who keeps it in a pot and serves it warm. Fresh is always best, but I wanted to add a note and let everyone know that this salsa freezes very well. I use 1 cup containers and when it’s needed, I pop one out, heat and serve. Thanks so much for sharing this one. It’s a keeper.

  • This is the best salsa recipe on the planet. The key to the great flavor is roasting the vegetables. I have made it for parties many times and am always asked for the recipe. I think the secret is out! The Thank you so much!

  • I like this salsa A LOT! I think next time though I’ll skip the cumin and use a smoky pepper and a little extra cilantro.

  • Doesn’t the garlic become bitter when broiling it?

    This sounds very much like the salsa being served at the taco truck outside our office (which is amazing). I’ve tries many times to replicate it but your recipe might get me closer. There has always been something in there I couldn’t define that was a little bit creamy… another customer told me confidentially once that the creamyness is coming from roasted peanuts that they grind up in the salsa. I had been thinking a little Masa flour, but the peanuts might make sense… ever heard of such a thing?

    • Hi John, I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe. The garlic doesn’t turn bitter — everything just gets a nice smokey flavor. I haven’t heard of peanuts in salsa but sounds interesting!

    • I live in Mexico and Peanuts are a very common thing in a certain types of really hot & oily Salsa but I don’t think this type would work.

  • Awesome salsa. Used 2 Serrano peppers only. This was spicy enough. Thanks.

  • I like this version of salas a lot. I like to roast fast and hot so that there are actually some bits not cooked at all. I also add a clove of garlic because … garlic! I love garlic.

    • Margot C – what do you mean by roasting fast and hot?

      • — Mike B on August 9, 2019
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  • I love how easy this salsa is, and delicious!

  • Is it possible to “process” this salsa in pint jars in a water bath canner? YUMMY! Gr8 recipe…thank you!

    • I wish it were possible, Jeani, but unfortunately the recipe is not safe for canning. Sorry!

  • Your basic method for making salsa has become a permanent part of our cuisine. Even though I use vastly different ingredients sometimes, the essential approach is yours. I just made a big batch of salsa verde, completely winging it on the ingredients, but it’s wonderful! Used 2.5 lb tomatillos, 1.75 lb onions, 1.25 lb jalapenos, 13 cloves garlic, a T each of cumin and lime juice, 1 t each of salt and pepper. THANK YOU for introducing me to roasted veggie salsa!

    • Love the idea of roasted salsa verde, Brian. I plan on trying that!

  • I recently discovered this recipe for roasted tomato salsa. It is everything you want in a recipe; it is delicious, easy to make and you can freeze it too!Adjust the heat by the number and or kind of peppers that you use. I use a combination of jalapeno and serrano peppers.

  • Was in the middle of making roasted salsa ala JoAnn…when I decided to google it…I already had the tomatoes, onion, garlic and a drizzele of olive oil roasting on roast convection 375 so continued down that path. Let everything roast together for about 20 minutes then poured a can of green chilis in with the mix and continued roasting for another 20 minutes. Didn’t broil, but may try that next time…this worked perfectly to my taste and since I don’t like hot and didn’t have any hot peppers, I opened the green chilis instead and it actually worked well. When done, I poured veggies into my Vitamix (best appliance on the planet), added 1 tsp cumin, 1 TBSP lime juice and 2 tsps salt…big mistake on the salt….way too much….next time, I’ll try adding 1/2 tsp and then taste and add more. Processed all of that together in the Vitamix, then added 1/4 cup cilantro leaves….this was hands down delicious salsa! I was trying to replicate the salsa from Fresh Market in the jar which is killer salsa, but I think this was better…minus the salt!! Its a learning process…but this was delicious. Thanks for giving me the cumin and cilantro amounts to add…it was perfection!!! Will definitely keep perfecting this salsa to my liking!!! Much better than anything I’ve had raw….love it!!

  • Absolutely fantastic flavor, and so easy to make. I halved and seeded my serranos to make them less hot, but I did use all three. I also used slightly less cumin because I was worried it might overpower the wonderful roasty flavor of the vegetables. This will be my salsa de casa from now on. Thanks!

  • Can this roasted tomato salsa be processed and canned?

    • Unfortunately it can’t — sorry!

  • Can this salsa be frozen? If so, for how long? How long will it keep in the refrigerator?

    • Hi Judy, I’d say it keeps well in the fridge for about a week, and it can also be frozen.

      • I froze about a gallon of the salsa last fall, mostly in small 8-ounce plastic Benecol containers. We’re still using it, and it tastes fine.

  • Really liked it! So easy to make, my 1 year old ended up eating a lot of it! – I put very little of the jalapeno in it.

  • Can I use frozen tomatoes? I have lots of tomatoes in my garden and I am freezing them for later use during winter.

    • Hi Nathalie, Since the salsa is cooked, I think it should work. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

  • This was pretty good. It wasn’t a huge difference from some of the better refrigerated salsa brands. But this recipe does produce a fresher tasting salsa. I would make it again. I added a pinch of sugar as my supermarket tomatoes didn’t have much flavor.

  • I made this dip the first time I saw it and really liked it….but….it seemed a bit too loose for my taste. The second time, I didn’t add the roasting ‘juices’ until I saw the consistency after pulsing a couple of times. This time it was perfect without adding the juices and everyone loved it and it literally disappeared almost instantly!! I almost had to whip up a second batch right there on the spot!! It’s a rich and wonderful salsa with! YOU HAVE TO TRY IT!!!

    • — Corinne Murphy
    • Reply
  • My family loves this salsa. Roasting the veggies brings a wonderful sweetness that balances nicely with the heat. As a side note – I have found big differences in the heat of peppers – sometimes 1 is enough; other times it takes all 3. I usually substitute jalapenos for the serranos, but I always start with one pepper & test for heat before adding more.

  • I like the ease of this recipe. I was out of cilantro so I used parsley instead. The taste was good but cilantro is definitely an important ingredient. Will be making it again soon! Thank you

  • We made this last weekend with some of our crop of summer tomatoes and it was fabulous. We’re having a half-marathon party next month and my husband has requested that this be used instead of Tostitos salsa. I followed the recipe exactly and it was a hit.

  • This recipe couldn’t be easier and my family thought I spent hours making it. After being given a large amount of garden fresh tomatoes I immediately thought salsa. It came together so quickly and without a big mess. I used an immersion blender which worked great. The only change I would make next time is to use two peppers instead of one. My family ate this salsa on chips and in Mexican dishes. Since it is cooked, it keeps longer than fresh salsa. It is definitely a recipe I would make again.

  • BEST SALSA EVER! Roasting indredients is the key!

  • Great recipe! I did add just a little cinnamon tho. 🙂 Tasty and the kids LOVED it.

    • — Tammy Woodfield
    • Reply
  • I have made this Roasted Tomato Salsa at least 20 times, and every time a friend has asked me for this recipe. It is delicious but also so easy to prepare and the roasting of the tomatoes, onions and pepper highlight the flavors.

  • My picky family absolutely loves this salsa! I make a batch almost weekly. Thank you!

  • This is by far the tastiest and easiest (2 of my favorite ingredients in a recipe) salsa I’ve ever made. From the moment you smell the vegetables roasting in the oven, you know the yum will come. The cumin, sea salt, lime and cilantro are a brilliant combo. If the serranos are ripe, they give quite a spicy kick. We love, love, love this salsa, and with Packer season right around the corner, it’s absolutely perfect! Thanks Jen 🙂

  • It was so easy! I always have these vegetables on hand and it couldn’t be easier to throw this together for some unexpected guests.

  • Can this be frozen or canned?

    • Hi Lida, It can be frozen but not canned.

  • Excellent recipe. Just tried it today, it totally makes me never want to buy mass produced jar variety ever. Thank you.

    • — Reggie Riggins
    • Reply
  • Delicious! My son declared it the best he’s ever tasted!

  • Great recipe! Finally, someone else knows that you need to char the pepper/tomatoes/onions!
    I would also recommend extra virgin olive oil over regular vegetable oil as an option for a little more flavor.

  • I have loved every recipe I’ve tried from this site, but for some reason this salsa leaves a bitter, slightly metallic taste in my mouth. I’m not sure what the problem could be. I love cilantro, so it’s not that. I wonder if I just got some bad produce. 🙁

    • Hi Kristen, Hmmm…that’s strange. Did the garlic burn? That would cause an unpleasant taste.

  • My mother in-law makes a Roasted Tomato Salsa, but I have to admit that it doesn’t compare to this one in how it looks upon completion! Can’t wait to surprise my husband with this one.

  • this was really easy to make. I switched the oil for fry light which worked just aswell.

  • This salsa is AMAZING. I made this for a party and everyone devoured it. It’s very easy to make. I left the tomatoes in the broiler a couple minutes longer because eveything else cooked faster than them and I was worried about the garlic burning. I used one serrano pepper and poured some of the finished salsa into a small bowl and added half of a pepper to make a spicy version as well. Definitely making this again!

  • Question,
    I saw that the salsa could be frozen, but has anyone tried canning?

  • This was delicious! I followed the recipe, but left out the oil. You can roast your veggies without it! Make your own chips by using corn tortillas (check your ingredients.. find ones that are made of only corn, water, lime and salt), bake them at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, and you have a healthful delicious snack. Thank you!!

  • Most of the heat in a pepper is in the seeds. Remove the seeds before cooking and you’ll have all the flavor with half the heat.

    • Actually, most of the heat of a pepper comes from the pith where the capsaicin is concentrated. The seeds get their heat from being in contact with the pith.

  • Oh my gosh! I’m normally modest (read, critical) about my own food, but this may be the best salsa I’ve ever tasted, let alone made myself! Definitely worth the effort of roasting the veggies. My daughter’s “piquant”-averse so I skipped the chilies but I did include a seeded jalapeno in the roasting mix, which was just perfect. It was great atop my chicken and black bean nachos. Thanks for this!

  • You may roast garlic in its skin! It will protect it. Remove the skin before processing of course

    • Thanks for the tip! Worked great =)

  • I want to try this, but wouldn’t the garlic burn under the broiler? How do you prevent that since I think burned garlic tastes terrible.

    • Hi Steve, All of the vegetables get slightly charred but not burnt, and the garlic cloves are left whole so they really don’t burn quickly. But if you’re concerned, just keep an eye on everything and pull the garlic cloves out early if they are getting too dark.

  • Would this still be good without the cilantro? I am one of those unfortunate souls whose tastebuds just aren’t wired for cilantro. I may be able to handle a small amount if it blends into the salsa and is a bit undetectable but I’m wondering if this recipe really loses something without it.

    • Hi Stevus, It will still be absolutely delicious without the cilantro.

  • Delicious!!!! I used bell peppers, garlic, Serrano and jalapeños with the rest. Best. Salsa. Ever.

  • Absolutely delicious! I had to stop myself from eating this salsa by the spoonful.

  • I tried this recipe the first time and followed it to the letter and had great success. I asked my two neighbors to taste the salsa and they liked it. So I tried a little different technique and roasted the the tomatoes, onions, garlic and serrano’s on the BBQ for five minutes, on the cookie sheet. I added hickory chips to the charcoal for a robust smoky flavor. I then moved them to the broiler and finished broiling the veggies before following the recipe to its finish. Everyone loved it even more. I give this a five star even before the BBQ was added but you should try it both ways. I think you’ll love it.

    • — Chris McCollum
    • Reply
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been trying different salsa recipes for something like 15 years, and FINALLY found this one that is fabulous. I love it! So does my wife, who the other day nearly consumed (with chips) an entire 8-oz. container by herself. I admit I use completely different proportions of ingredients–appx. equal volumes of jalapenos and tomatoes. But the basic approach–broiling in oil, etc.–is yours. It’s highly addictive!

    Major question: I’ve been freezing this salsa in small containers. Do you have any idea how long it will last in the freezer? This is my third time to make it–the garden tomatoes and peppers are incredibly abundant. As I type, I’m making a batch using over 7 pounds of tomatoes and over 4 pounds of jalapenos. I desperately hope it will last in the freezer, because this is a major stockpiling of salsa! Please advise.

    • Hi Brian, So glad you and your wife enjoyed the salsa! I haven’t tried freezing if myself but since it’s a cooked salsa, rather than fresh, I think it should freeze very well for at least a few months. Some of the liquid may separate out when you defrost, or it might get a little watery, but you can correct that by reheating.

      • Regarding freezing: I have frozen at least a gallon of this salsa (I use a lot more peppers than you, mostly jalapenos, with seeds) since last summer, mostly in 8-ounce containers. It’s still quite good, and we haven’t needed to reheat it after thawing it. So far EVERYONE who has tasted it has loved it.

  • This is just so delicious. It is THE BEST way to use up an over abundance of delicious organic tomatoes from my CSA. I used avocado oil fromBJs instead of veg oil, and in a smaller amount than you advised and it was still awesome. So many go to recipes on this site. Can’t wait for fall recipes.

  • Seriously the best salsa recipe I have ever made. Can’t get enough of it. I cut the salt in half because I was serving with salted tortilla chips and that worked out just fine for my taste. I would would serve this over red snapper fillets and be in heaven. Gonna try that later!
    Thank you!

  • Addictive is right! Used tomatoes and peppers from my garden. Beautiful combination of flavors..added a bit more cilantro, because i can’t get enough. Will be serving this for a poolside get together and then giving to friends in jars, as another cook recommended!

  • I don’t own a food processor can I use a blender or Nutrabullet ?

    • Sure, Don, either would work fine; just be sure not to over-process as the salsa should be slightly chunky.

  • I was wandering if adding chili pepper would enhance the flavor or would it be overpowering.

    • Hi Ryan, What type of chili pepper did you have in mind?

      • I was actually thinking of chili powder.

        • Ahh, ok. You could add some chili powder along with the cumin — the flavor would be nice. Just go easy at first; you can always add more to taste at the end.

  • I served this at a dinner party recently….to someone who lives in Mexico for most of the year. As I was bringing it outside, I thought: What am I doing?!! He gave it great reviews, and so did the rest of the group! Excellent smokey, charred taste with a little kick. I did throw in a little extra cilantro.

  • This is what you make when your tomato harvest is more plentiful then planned. Everything about this recipe was so simple. I used only two of the serranos, and it gave plenty of kick to the salsa. Also, I used the juice of a whole lime. This morning my husband took the salsa into work. His coworkers raved over how delicious it was, and what a keeper I am. Thank you so much Once Upon a Chef for elevating the status of this newlywed bride. Your site is my go to for no fail recipes.

    • — Juliane McDavid
    • Reply
  • I love making my own salsa and this recipe is excellent. I happened to have some avocado oil from a warehouse club, and it has a high smoke point so I used it on vegetables. Another 5 star recipe.

  • I have made this several times to try to replicate our favorite restaurant’s smoked salsa–it doesn’t just replicate it, it’s better! We love this recipe exactly as written, maybe with little extra lime at the end.

  • Can the salsa recipe be prepared using tomatoes that are whole in the freezer?

    • Hi Lynne, Yes that should work fine. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Can this be canned?

    • Hi Jennifer, The recipe hasn’t been tested for canning, so not sure it would be safe. Sorry!

  • I have made batches and batches of this salsa. I can’t bring myself to buy store bought and I was relieved to see how easy it is. Most of the time I do not modify this recipe. However, my father is an avid gardener and loves to grow spicy peppers in a dozen different varieties. He convinced me to put about half of one of his smoked habaneros in a batch and it was amazing! For me the smokiness really brought out the sweetness of the roasted veggies. This one is definitely a winner.

  • Love this recipe. My family is not onion-friendly, so I was nervous about this, but it worked well. Served it with blue corn chips. Very pretty.

  • Why would this recipe not work for canning? I have an abundance of grape tomatoes that I will use for this recipe. I have another recipe for zesty salsa that I can can using a hot water bath. Wondering about doing it for this recipe or if I should just freeze this salsa in pint ball jars. Thanks for sharing!

  • Excellent! Really impressed my guests! I don’t have a broiler so simply roasted in oven at high heat and it was still great. I had a little left over eggplant that I threw in which also worked well and added a little thickness I’m assuming! A friend suggested I add a fruit such as mango- maybe next time!

  • Hi Jenn, this was SOOOOO good!!! I can eat it just by itself! After trying a number of (mostly fresh) salsa recipes, I finally found the one. This will be my go to salsa from now on. Thank you so much!!!

    • So glad you liked it, Kim…it’s my favorite too 🙂

  • OH MY GOSH, this is so good, This is now my salsa of choice. I make it all the time and keep in a mason jar. I also have given it as a gift in a mason jar. I also put more Cilantro in for me, because I love Cilantro.

    • — patricia Barna
    • Reply
  • Jenn, this salsa was fabulous! It actually reminded me a bit of the Tortilla Factory salsa – a good Reston memory 🙂 Thanks!

  • does this taste good without the hot peppers? this looks amazing but i dont like really spicy foods

    • Hi Eliana, I’d still use at least one pepper, but you can remove the seeds to get rid of most of the heat. Hope that helps

  • I made this recipe when I found myself with a massive amount of tomatoes from my garden. I doubled the amount of tomatoes and used 2 jalapenos and it tasted great! My husband said that it’s the best salsa I’ve ever made…I can live with that!

  • I loved this salsa, paired it with beef tacos. The best homemade salsa I’ve made thus far. I added some extra garlic but otherwise followed the recipe. My wife found it spicy but delicious, whereas I could have stood some extra heat.

  • This can be done stove top several ways as well. In a deep pot all the same ingredients then blend. Also roared stove top on a cast-iron flat griddle. 🙂 family methods passed on generations! 🙂

  • Thank you for this recipe. I have been looking for this recipe for a while now since my brother started making me homemade salsa. I have tried to make my own but it never seems to turn out like I want it. I love the way this is so simple and easy to prepare and I can’t wait to try it because it looks delicious! My husband and I like it hot but if you don’t use all the roasted peppers you can save them for another recipe. It looks perfect!

  • Oh my, I have been looking for a salsa recipe since my brother started making me homemade salsa but the few I have tried just didn’t turn out right. This looks so simple and easy and delicious! Can’t wait to try it. I love the way you made it so easy to prepare. Yaynesss, we will never be without to die for roasted salsa again. My husband and I practically drink it according to my brother. HaHa

  • I loved this using fresh tomatoes and I used sea salt and garlic powder sprinkled over vegetables before going in to the oven. Great for chips and dip and also topping for any mexican dish.

  • I made this salsa last Friday night. It vanished. I made this salsa again on Wednesday night. Gone. Going back to the store today for more ingredients. Best salsa ever!!! Super easy to make and the flavor is phenomenal.

  • Hi Jen, love your recipes and willo make this one. but can you tell me how to print out ONLY the recips. This one took 16 pages to print. Is there a version that prints the recipe only. Thanks Nancyh

    • — Nancy Biltekoff
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, Oh my goodness, 16 pages! Yes, there is definitely a way to print out the recipes only…Right under the recipe title (at the bottom of the post), there is a red button that says “printable recipe.” Click that and it will take you to the recipe only page. Let me know if you have any problems. Thanks!

  • Without a doubt the best salsa I have ever made. I used the tomatoes that I grew from seed, which started to go bad, along with my hot peppers and everyone wanted to know MY recipe. Thanks for sharing this..

  • Hi Jenn – First let me say I so enjoy reading your blog! I made your salsa today and it turned out fantastic! I used jalapeños instead of the serranos and it was perfect heat for me. I am new to the GF world and so appreciate all the delicious recipes you post. I plan on making your gf stuffing for thanksgiving. Cheers!

  • Hi Jenn,
    This was fabulous. Made it without planning, so I needed to add a few shallots to supplement the garlic, and didn’t have serrano peppers, so added a bit of chipotle chili powder. Tasted great just after pulsing, even better after the salt (only used 1 1/3 Tbsp for low sodium) and even better after the cilantro and lime. It was fabulous as a topping on baked chicken, also on couscous, then just straight up. How many days do you think this could stay in the fridge (if one had any leftovers!). Thanks for a great dinner!

    • So glad you enjoyed! It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.

  • Made this today and it was sooo good! I used 1 jalapeño and one hot banana pepper and it had just enough kick to it. Thanks for a great easy recipe!

  • So I made this. I just drizzled oil on instead of measuring out the whole amount. I have to tell you I only used three peepers and it came out way to hot. It smells so good, was easy to make with ingredients I grabbed at the farmers market and out of the garden, but way to hot for me.

    • So sorry you found it too spicy. As mentioned in the comments above, there can be a lot of variation in heat in peppers of the same variety. The best way to go is to roast 3 peppers and blend them in one at a time until you are happy with the heat.

  • Hi, This looks very yummy and mouth watering. definitely i will try and let u know. you have described it really good anyone can follow it . thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  • Can you use olive oil rather than vegetable oil or is there a reason?

    • Hi Celia, Olive oil has a lower smoking point than vegetable oil and may burn under the broiler.

  • Can the salsa be canned?

    • Hi Cathy, Sorry, this recipe is not for canning.

  • OMG, I love salsa and chips! I am going to make it for one of my pot lucks.
    Thanks Jenn

  • It’s under the broiler now! Will bring to my book club meeting tonight. Smells delicious. Thanks, Jenn!

  • I don’t normally make salsa. But this sounds particularly good and pack with wonderful flavors. 🙂 I will give this a try soon.

  • I have been wanting to try making fresh salsa for a while now. I think I’ll give this recipe a whirl!

  • Love making fresh salsa! Looks great!

  • Sounds delicious! Can I roast this in the oven as opposed to placing under a broiler?

    • Hi Mimi, I suppose it would work at a very high temp (475), but not sure you’d get the same nice char on the tomatoes.

  • Do you skin the tomatoes after roasting? and if not, will it leave a shriveled skin in the salsa?

    • Hi Jennell, No need to skin the tomatoes…once you puree it the skins just blend into the salsa. It’s actually important to leave them on as the char from broiling contributes great flavor.

  • Sounds so good. It will be on my menu this weekend.

  • Can this salsa be frozen?

    • Hi Jerrie, I don’t see why not…since it’s cooked and pureed, you don’t have to worry about any fresh cut vegetables getting mushy.

  • Sounds super easy and so delectable. I am always impressed with your recipes. I have never been dissappointed…ever! Thank you!!!

  • Whoa..3-4 serrano peppers….this must be pretty hot…..I’m going to make it, but will definitely tone it down. It looks delicious!

    • Hi Susan, I typically use 3 Serrano peppers…it’s spicy but not crazy hot.

    • In my experience, any style of peppers will have more or less heat, even of the same variety. As I also don’t like stuff “nuclear” hot, I slice the peppers, remove ( & set aside) the veins and seeds. Process as directed, leaving it slightly chunkier than normal. Sample, and then add veins & seeds as needed to your liking. Works with other recipes also, as the heat is typically in those veins and seeds.

      • Thanks, Norm. I agree, sometimes peppers of the same variety really vary in terms of heat. For anyone concerned about the heat level, I’d add that you can always roast 3 or 4 peppers, but only puree one or two into the salsa. When it’s very chunky, taste it — if it needs more heat, you can always blend in the others.

      • Chilies add more than heat. They add flavour, too. I always remove seeds and veins from chilies because they add a disagreeable bitter taste.

        I made this recipe last night and it was excellent — thanks! The one substitution i made was instead of serranos, we used chipotles en adobo. It added a bit more smokiness to the salsa. Wonderful!

    • Forgot to mention……use latex gloves when seeding peppers, or wash your hands well after doing so. DON’T rub your eyes until the hands are well washed. The capsacin (sp?) is where the heat is, and will definitely irritate tender skin.

  • What a small world!!! Having guests this weekend so I just made another container of your Italian dressing. and about to make my salsa. I’ll use your recipe instead.

  • Wow! That DOES sound easy! Must try!

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