Restaurant-Style Roasted Salsa Roja

July 1, 2011.   4 Comments.   Categories Appetizers, Light / Healthy, Southwestern / Mexican, Vegetarian.   Tags , , , , , , .

In our house, we eat a lot of salsa. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fresh chopped Pico de Gallo, red, green or tomatillo… we enjoy it all. My husband prefers his to be somewhat nuclear on the heat scale. I’m more of a “medium” heat girl. This is the best restaurant-style salsa roja recipe because it is very simple, has great texture and uses roasted vegetables. Whenever you roast anything it magnifies the flavors. It isn’t too chunky and isn’t too runny. This is the ideal salsa to dip into freshly made tortilla chips. But a warning…. as written, this recipe is hot. It’s very spicy. That said, the heat can really vary depending upon your chiles. If you would prefer a mild or medium salsa, simply reduce the number of Serrano peppers. The first time you make this, I recommend you roast all the chiles then slowly blend them in one at a time until you find your brand of hot!

Homemade Roasted Salsa Roja – Ingredients

  • 10 Roma Tomatoes, halved and seeds/liquid removed
  • 8 Serrano peppers, stemmed
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-2 white or yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 “bunch” of cilantro leaves, plus some for garnish
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 chipotle chile
  • 2 TBSP adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place tomatoes, garlic, onions and serrano peppers on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until onions are translucent and all vegetables are roasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Place all remaining ingredients and roasted vegetables in a food processor or blender (I used our Vitamix) and pulse until blended to the desired consistency. Season to taste and add more or fewer peppers to obtain desired heat.

Cook’s note: If you like some fresh chunky vegetables in your salsa, simply chop some additional veggies (not roasted) and stir into salsa. Another great addition is corn kernels off grilled corn on the cob or black beans – sky is the limit on variations!


  1. Oh my goodness, this salsa is FANTASTIC!! I made a batch of this for my family tonight using all fresh ingredients from my garden. It hasn’t even cooled down and it almost gone! 🙂 Do you think I could make an enormous batch of this and freeze it?

    • I don’t see why not, Debbie. It may not be as pungent as it is when it’s fresh, but I am sure it will still be enjoyed during the winter months. I bet it was delicious with the veggies from your garden! It is great salsa…but only as good as the ingredients you use. 😉

    • Debbie- you can always roast your veggies and then freeze them and then when you want the salsa you can thaw and blend…… just a thought! 🙂

  2. I eat a lot of salsa as well. I sometimes even leave out the tortilla chips and just eat it with a spoon (like gazpacho). I’ll definitely give this recipe a try. After all, one can never have too many salsa recipes 😉

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