This fresh and deeply flavored Homemade Roasted Tomato Salsa is amazing in a taco, on a burrito, on top of nachos, or simply served with tortilla chips! Roasting the tomatoes retains their freshness, while gaining flavor intensity and sweetness. The resulting dip creates a way better-than-store-bought salsa, and one of the tastiest Mexican-inspired recipes you’ll ever try.
This oven roasted tomato salsa is super easy to make and totally adaptable to your taste whether you like it mild, medium, or hot. And, if you like it chunky or smooth.
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Just in time for summer! The tomatoes are starting to ripen in the garden & what better way to use them than this vegetarian Roasted Tomato Salsa!
This Vegan salsa recipe was originally posted on Life Currents, way back in 2010. And I think it’s safe to say it still my favorite salsa recipes, and I have quite a few. Be sure to check out my other favorites, easy restaurant style salsa, which uses canned tomatoes and roasted tomatillo salsa for a beautiful green salsa verde.
Mexican food has always been my favorite. Who can resist that basket of chips with salsa? And I’ll give you a hint, you get so much extra flavor by popping the ingredients under a broiler and giving some a quick char in a hot cast iron skillet.
This delicious roast tomato salsa only has 5 ingredients, plus salt. Since it’s so simple, please make sure you use the best ingredients you can. Let’s take a look at what we’re using here.
What are the best tomatoes for salsa?
Make sure you have good yummy fresh tomatoes in this recipe, especially those beautiful summer tomatoes. If you come across this recipe in winter, I’d suggest you hop over to my traditional tomato salsa using canned tomatoes recipe. Canned tomatoes will be way more flavorful than those dreadful store-bought winter tomatoes.
In my opinion, nice juicy beefsteak tomatoes are the best for this.
If you don’t grow your own, buy some nice ripe ones from a farmer’s market.
Or, try the heirloom varieties if your grocery store carries those.
I’ve used regular store-bought tomatoes in a pinch, but they just don’t come close to being as good.
Do you peel tomatoes before roasting?
No, you don’t have to peel those little red orbs of nightshade goodness before you roast them.
Those skins slide right off after they come out of the oven. It’s so easy to remove them. That being said, you definitely want to remove the skins after the tomatoes are roasted.
Can you leave the skins on tomatoes when making salsa?
This one’s a big no. Make sure you remove the skins prior to blending the tomatoes, otherwise you’ll end up tough, unpleasant pieces of peel that are hard to eat and bitter throughout your salsa. But, the nice thing about roasting tomatoes is that the skins peel right off.
Should you cook tomatoes before making salsa?
Yes! You absolutely should cook the tomatoes before making salsa. Broiling them intensifies their flavor, bringing out the sweetness, and it helps to evaporate a little bit of their juice which helps to make a thicker salsa.
My recipe calls for 2 jalapeño peppers. Jalapenos are a medium heat level chili pepper. I like to remove the seeds and the membranes of the jalapenos for a nice mild salsa. You could also leave the membranes and seeds in, making more of a medium heat salsa.
The chile peppers that you use in this recipe are very flexible. I’ve varied the peppers quite a bit with as many times as I’ve made this salsa, and please feel free to do so.
Jalapenos are nice medium heat chilies – I suggest starting with jalapenos, as they’ll give a good flavor without being overpowering.
For Mother’s Day, I often use poblano peppers – a mild chile, so that it’s nice and mild for my mom.
I often make a spicy version of this salsa, using two Serrano Chilies; Use Anaheim Chilies for a little less heat. I love to use a red chile pepper- it gives a great color and the flavor of a red chile is a little sweet.
I like white onion in salsa, it has a nice clean mild and tangy flavor that goes well in Mexican dishes.
However, I’ve used red and yellow onions before with good results.
Cilantro, salt, and garlic
Cilantro can be added according to your taste – if you like lots, add more.
If you think cilantro tastes like soap, feel free to leave it out. Or, try using Mexican oregano or basil for a little twist.
Always taste the salsa at the end to check for salt. Check it with the chips that you’re going to eat it with to see if the amount of salt is good, or if you need more.
As for the garlic, it adds flavor so don’t leave it out, but you can play with the amounts as well – start with 3 and see if it works for you. Maybe you like lots of garlic? Try doubling the amount of garlic cloves for a real breath killer of a dip.
How do you make roasted salsa from scratch?
How to roast tomatoes for salsa
This recipe is super easy to make. Simply broil the fresh tomatoes until they are blackened and charred. Roasting tomatoes for salsa is so easy and makes the salsa so much more flavorful.
Allow them to cool a bit after roasting so you can remove the skins. I like to cut out the core at this point as well.
You don’t need to oil the tomatoes either, they just go under the broiler for a total of 20-35 minutes until the skins get black and blistered looking.
How to char the garlic and peppers
Heat a dry cast iron skillet, again, there’s no need for oil in salsa. Pop the peppers and garlic on the hot skillet and cook about 15 minutes until they are also blackened and charred. Again, don’t be afraid if they look like they have burn marks, those marks are flavor.
Pulse the ingredients in the food processor
I like to blend the ingredients so that each is the right size, you don’t want large chunks of garlic in the salsa. So, I blend in stages. Peppers, garlic, and salt first so they are distributed throughout the salsa. Add in the onion next, so you get some larger pieces in your dip. Followed up with the soft tomatoes and their juices.
You can taste the salsa at this point and add a squeeze of lime or a splash of apple cider vinegar or more salt if desired. Also, this is a great time to add a little water if you’d like a thinner salsa. This salsa will thicken as it sits in the fridge.
And, now’s the time to pop it in the fridge so it’s chilled, and the flavors develop a little bit more.
How do I store salsa?
This salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
This recipe is not intended for canning. If you are interested in canning salsa, there are some great canning resources: please follow the instructions from the USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation or the official site from the makers of Ball jars.
How can I use this Homemade Roasted Tomato Salsa?
Besides serving this with some tortilla chips, try it in so many Mexican-inspired dishes. Of course, it’s great in tacos, burritos, nachos, or as a dollop on any Mexican flavored dish. Be sure to try it in my Easy Black Bean Enchiladas, Weeknight Mexican Eggs, and Slow Cooker Creamy Tortilla Soup.
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Homemade Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe
Roasted Tomato Salsa
- 1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes
- 2 large fresh jalapeno peppers
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to season if desired
- ½ small white onion cut into quarters
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
- Heat the broiler (450° if you can set the temp on your broiler), and arrange the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil tomatoes 4 inches from the heat until they blister, darken, and soften on one side, about 10-15 minutes; turn them over and broil the other side until blistered and darkened, about another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a dry cast-iron skillet or griddle over high heat, and add the peppers and garlic. Shake the skillet occasionally until the skins are soft and charred, about 10 minutes for the peppers, and 15 minutes for the garlic.
- Let tomatoes, garlic and peppers cool. The tomato skins will be easy to remove at this point, peel tomatoes, and cut the tomato core out, reserving the juices. Pull the stems off the jalapenos (and, if you want less heat remove all the seeds and membranes from inside the peppers).
- Place the peppers and garlic in a food processor with ½ teaspoon of salt, and process until finely chopped.
- Add the onion and pulse a few times until you have a coarse chop. Add the tomatoes along with the reserved juices and pulse again until you have a coarse textured puree. Stir in the cilantro and pulse one or two more times.
- Add 2 to 4 tablespoons water, if desired, to reach a smoother salsa. Taste and season with salt. Lime or a dash of cider vinegar could be added as well at this point, if desired.
- Serve with chips as an appetizer, or with tacos fixings for a summery dinner.