Roasted Tomato Salsa

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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.

Bowl of roasted tomato salsa on a plate with chips.

This bright and spicy roasted tomato salsa recipe is a longtime favorite of mine. It is very different from most salsa recipes, which are typically made using raw or canned tomatoes. Roasting the vegetables in a high-heat oven intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes, mellows the onions and garlic, and adds a touch of smokiness. (I use the same roasting method to make my favorite salsa verde, replacing the tomatoes with tomatillos.) The recipe is 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 Roasted Tomato 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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

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

Roasted Tomato Salsa

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 2½ cups
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 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)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime


  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. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
  4. Make-Ahead Instructions: The salsa will last nicely for up to a week; store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  5. Note: This recipe is not meant for canning.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Serving size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 69
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 173 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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:


  • This is our all time favorite and we’re surrounded by Tex-Mex so that says a lot. Last night we took it to a New Year’s party and I overheard someone saying “you have to try that salsa it’s the best salsa I’ve ever had.”

    • — Sharon on January 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Any chance you can use regular jalapeños? If so would I use sane amount?
    Thanks, Staci

    • — Staci on November 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Staci, Yes, you can use jalapeños — I’d recommend 1 or 2 depending on how much heat you want. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2023
      • Reply
  • This salsa is amazing. I sautéed mushrooms and eggplant then spoon this salsa on top. Amazing. So many ways to eat this salsa. I don’t actually eat it with chips but add it as a topping to other dishes. (eggs, etc)
    Request: it would be awesome if the recipe noted the approx weight of tomatoes vs. “4 vine ripened”. I use home grown heirloom tomatoes that are wildly different in size and weight so it would really help with how to proportion the rest of the ingredients if the 4 tomatoes were given an approx weight. Thanks!

    • — Jackie Stamps on October 8, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it! I’d estimate the weight of tomatoes would be about 1.5 pounds.

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen
    Just picked the last of my tiny tomatoes (cherry like). Could I use that for the salsa or would there be too much skin from so many tomatoes. If yes how many would I need?

    • — Janis on October 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • My instinct would say that there would be too many skins but a few readers have commented that they’ve used cherry tomtatoes and have been happy with the results. If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think!

      • — Jenn on October 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • Wow! Finally a great recipe for using all my extra garden tomatoes. Used a combination of Better boy and Brandywine tomatoes. One of the best salsas I’ve tasted. Restaurant quality.

    • — Brian B on September 7, 2023
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  • What would you say the quantity of the tomatoes and onions in the recipe would be by weight?

    • — Teri on August 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Teri, I’d guesstimate you’d need about 24 ounces of tomatoes and about 8 ounces of onion.

      • — Jenn on August 17, 2023
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  • I’ve been using Jenn’s recipes for some time now, and they always hit the mark. No disappointment here. Excellent final product. I also made the roasted green salsa recipe and it was equally amazing. Thank you so much, Jenn!

    • — Sabina on July 26, 2023
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  • Oh my goodness this is such a great recipe! Easy and so delicious! I didn’t change a thing and it was perfect. A great way to use the abundance of peppers and tomatoes from our garden.

    • — Nancy on July 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this salsa last summer. The effort definitely paid off. Everyone raved over it. My son-in-law who is a salsa lover absolutely it.

    • — Valerie on July 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • WOW!! What a wonderful recipe. Fast and delicious. Very easy to make, and a wonderful I use of fresh vegetables.

    • — Laura Jo Shelton on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe, as is, numerous times with great success. Today I made the roasted salsa using mango, pineapple and papaya (instead of tomatoes). Outside of using less salt, I followed the remainder of the instructions. The fruit required an extra 5 minutes under the broiler. Amazingly, the salsa turned out delicious with roasted tropical fruit!

    • — May on April 16, 2023
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  • Made this two times so far. Served on two occasions. Upped the peppers as it was too mild for folks in Louisiana.

    Other wise, rave comments. Flavor is incredible.

    Next time, will put the tomatoes on a wire rack so the juice can fall to the sheet pan.

    • — Frank Rozzelle on February 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Great salsa recipe. Made this first time, delicious. Question, how do I control consistency if thick? Afraid adding water reduces flavor. Is this just a tomato variety thing? I used Roma’s. Thank you, David K

    • — David Kushner on January 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi David, you can just blitz it a little more in the food processor. Another option is to add a little tomato juice (and glad you like it)!

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • This recipe was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Jenn.
    It is perfect in taste and I like a bit of chunkiness in my salsa, so I processed it with my stick blender, till it was just right. Damn good!!

    • — Mary on January 19, 2023
    • Reply
    I am a loyal follower. I have made so many of your dishes, and I’m going to keep trying more.

    • — Cindy L on September 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn I have a couple of questions. I’ve made this recipe now a couple of times and love it and now I’m making more. First question is why is it only good for two days in the fridge? Does it go bad after that? And second question can you freeze it? The reason I ask that is everywhere I read about making salsa they don’t recommend freezing it and then defrosting it because it becomes runny and watery. Although I met a lady today who says she does it in mason jars and just keeps it in her cold room. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • — Judy on August 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, so glad you like the salsa! I think when I originally developed this recipe, I was being ultra-conservative and think it would last nicely for up to a week. I’ve changed that in the recipe. Regarding freezing it, I haven’t tried it 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. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much Jennifer for your advice. I really love your recipes and tips. You rock! :0))))

        • — Judy on September 3, 2022
        • Reply
        • 💗

          • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
          • Reply
      • Because there are only two of us, I have always frozen half of the recipe. I defrost in the fridge, stir and serve, and we think it’s just as yummy!

        • — Another Judy on June 6, 2023
        • Reply
  • Great recipe for a delicious but healthy and easy salsa that goes well on everything. We made ours with just a dash of olive oil and it was still fantastic. Adding this to the regular rotation and will try making a double batch for freezing next time, thanks Jenn!

    • — Mel on August 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • I just made this using 5 Serrano peppers. AWESOME! We have several salsa recipes and this one shot to the top of our favorites list! Kudos Jenn! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • — Jimmy Kay on August 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can this recipe be canned?

    • — Jill Carver on August 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jill, I didn’t design this recipe with canning in mind, so I’m not sure that it would be safe — sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is an absolutely outstanding salsa recipe. I have made many and most are just mediocre. This one is the only recipe that my husband asks me to make every week.

    • — Melissa Post on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • A friend gave me a bag of tomatoes she had frozen. They’re now in my freezer. Could I use these? Thaw first or roast frozen? Thanks.

    • — Bonnie on August 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Bonnie. I’d thaw them first.

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • seed the peppers?

    • — Carol J Winkelman on August 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, It depends. If you want the salsa to be spicy, you can leave the seeds. If you prefer it mild, definitely seed the peppers. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • OMG so good! I was secretly eating it out of the processor and almost couldn’t stop lol. One jalapeño was good for me. I did cook two so I’m not sure what to do with the second one at this point. Any tips? I can’t wait to eat more but I want leave it to sit to let the flavours really blend. And I even added half the amount of the cilantro because I think cilantro is really important in salsa. And it wasn’t that bad. Yum! Far superior to any store bought ever.

    • — Judy on July 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it (and I won’t tell anyone you were eating it straight from the food processor)! 🙂
      Here are a number of ideas for using leftover jalapenos.

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn I was planning on trying to make my own salsa and found your recipe. And I usually like all of your recipes so I have no doubt this will be just as good. However we’re not big fans of cilantro. Do we have to use it?

    • — Judy on July 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Nope – perfectly fine to leave it out 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • This recipe did not disappoint. It was so good we could have eaten with a spoon! I will never make salsa any other way and am looking forward to making this for my friends and family. Love it, thanks Jenn for another 5 star recipe!!

    • — Peggy on July 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,

    Can I use Roma tomatoes and, if yes, how many would you suggest?

    Thank you.

    • — Debbie on June 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, It’s fine to use Roma tomatoes. I’d guesstimate you’ll need about 7 or 8. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • Easy and delicious! You can’t beat homemade salsa!

  • Is there any ingredient that can be used in place of the vegetable oil that isn’t an oil?

    • Hi Heather, you can use olive oil here; it will just alter the taste a bit but will still be good. Hope you enjoy!

  • What a simple yet delicious recipe! I made it last night for a Mexican themed dinner party and it went down a storm. I reckon be brave and put all the recommended chill’s in, gives it a great kick and leave fairly chunky when blending for a lovely bit of texture. I made sure the veg was nice and charred (under the grill worked fine) and used good quality tomatoes. Will become a household staple I’m sure!

  • Unfortunately, this salsa turned into a charred garlic soup for us. Way too liquid, and the flavour of the burned garlic cloves was overpowering.

    • Make sure NOT to peel them, then only the peel will blacken.

      • — Christy on September 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is the best salsa! I make it every week. I think the serrano peppers (as opposed to jalapeno) really make a difference.

  • I’ve used SO MANY of your recipes since I found your site, and every single one has been excellent! So much so, that I purchased your cookbook, which I rarely do anymore since pretty much any recipe can be found on the internet. Once again, you’ve provided a fabulous recipe!!! The only changes I made was to grill the veggies and used one large jalapeno since we’re kind of spice wimps 🙂 I was really only making this for my husband, because I’m not really a fan of salsa, but after trying it to check the seasonings found that I love this one.

    • Delicious! Thank you

      • — Kathy on July 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I just picked a ton of tomatoes from the garden and was thinking of making this recipe. Is it a good recipe for canning also? I bought the small red Thai peppers. Would those work ok?

    Love your recipes abs cookbooks! Gratitude to you


    • Hi Carly, I didn’t design this recipe with canning in mine so not sure it would be safe for that. You can freeze it though if you’d like. Regarding the peppers, those should be fine; just add more or less depending upon the amount of heat you want. And so glad to hear you like the recipes/cookbook!

    • Carly, I LOVE this salsa and happened to see your question. I compared this recipe with one of the recipes in the Ball Cookbook for canning and preserving and the ingredients are the same. Since Ball gives instructions for canning, I went ahead and canned this one. It worked just fine. Just remember to use the lime juice for the acidity… Good luck!

  • Ummm-umm!!! This is an amazing recipe! The charring really brought out garden tomato flavor in a big way; we can’t stop eating it! We plan to follow another reviewer’s great suggestion and freeze some to enjoy this winter. Thank you so much for sharing your superior recipes, Jenn!

    • — Barbara Flanagan
    • Reply
  • Fantastic salsa! I made it with Hatch chilies and it is perfect spiciness for me. Definitely will make again.

  • Great flavor and super easy! Tastes like the real deal- will make again🍅

  • So good! Not knowing what my guests liked, I used 1 1/2 pepper and the kick was just perfect. Great recipe and definitely what I’d expect from a restaurant.

  • Love this! I started adding a can of Chile in adobo sauce and it gives an amazing smoky flavor! I make it weekly (double batch) and the family gobbles it up. They won’t even eat jar or grocery store salsa anymore.

    • — Jennifer Ringler
    • Reply
  • Hi Chef Jenn,
    We loved this ‘Salsa Rojo’!
    Paired so well with the ‘Carne Asada’ recipe and alongside your ‘Guacamole recipe. It was so perfectly spicy and bursting with authentic flavors.
    Thank you!

  • Hi Jen, we love this salsa, so good! We want to make it for someone with a cilantro/coriander allergy would subbing Italian parsley for the cilantro work? Would it change the flavor too much? Thanks!

    • Hi Bry, So glad you like it. Yes, Italian parsley will work; it will have a slightly different flavor but will still be good!

  • Delicious and flavourful! Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Lorraine Rossi Marier
    • Reply

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