Roasted Tomato Salsa

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Hey, hey, it’s my birthdaaaaaay!

And I am ready to party!

Actually, this whole past weekend has felt like one big party.  One of my dear friends had her wedding reception on Friday night (soooo fun!), then my parents came to town to do birthday brunch together with Barclay and his folks (absolutely lovely), after which we all came back to my place and made homemade salsas all afternoon (yessss), followed by a birthday dinner with B at this new ramen place I’ve been wanting to try (pretty good!), then we partied it up at another wedding on Sunday (where we totally waited in line to have this done at the reception)…and, well, I think it’s safe to say that 32 ended on a high note.

And I’m feeling extra-thankful for this life, and for all of these special people I’m lucky to have in mine, and for all of these wild and wonderful moments we keep getting to share together.

I am indeed a very lucky 33-year-old duck.

So to celebrate, I’m having everyone over to mi casa tonight for my idea of a perfectly well-balanced meal after work — a chips-and-salsa-a-thon!  I’ve whipped up a bunch of my favorite homemade salsas, and then picked up some of my favorites from restaurants around town, and then my awesome friends are bringing a bunch of their favs to share as well.  And I can’t wait.  Oh, and Barclay’s getting off work a little early to come and help me juice a few dozen limes to make an epic batch of homemade margaritas, so we’ll have the fruit side of the food pyramid covered too.  ;)

So it only seemed natural to share one of my favorite salsa recipes with you, which will be making an appearance tonight.  It’s super quick and easy to make (under 20 minutes!), it’s chocked full of fresh tomatoes and veggies that have been roasted to perfection, and it’s always a hit at every party.  It’s this yummy roasted tomato salsa recipe!

Believe it or not, this salsa was actually one of the first 10 recipes I ever posted on Gimme Some Oven, way back in 2009.  And I think it’s safe to say it was probably one of the first 10 or so recipes I ever learned to make period.  Because salsa and I go way back.  And roasted salsa and I go way back, once a local Mexican restaurant owner in college tipped me off on how much extra flavor you can add by popping the main ingredients under a broiler.

That’s right, you don’t even have to let these slow roast for half an hour.  Just pop your veggies (skin-side-up) on a baking sheet under the broiler for about 6-8 minutes until they’re nice and blistered and blackened, blitz them in a blender or food processor, and dive in.  Preferably with your favorite salty tortilla chips.  YUM.

A few quick tips though:

  • In-season ripe tomatoes make this salsa.  If you happen to come across this recipe in the dead of winter when those watery, flavorless, sad little Romas are the only thing available at the grocery store, I’d actually probably refer you to using fire-roasted canned tomatoes in this salsa recipe instead.  Canned tomatoes are usually packaged at their peak of freshness, and will probably be more flavorful.  But if it’s summertime and the in-season-tomato-buyin’ is easy, then turn on that broiler and get ready for that classic sweet and smoky depth of flavor you can’t get from just blending everything up fresh.  You won’t regret it.
  • Don’t get scared by the blackened char marks.  You want them to look burnt, so leave those tomatoes and veggies under the broiler (keeping a close eye on them) until they’re nice and deeply blistered.  The more marks, the more flavorful.
  • If you’re feeling patient, let the roasted tomatoes and veggies cool before mixing them with the remaining ingredients.  This way, the cilantro will stay fresh and greener longer.  But if you’re feeling hungry or impatient, do what I do and just immediately toss everything in the food processor and enjoy that roasted salsa nice and warm.  It’s just as good.  ;)
  • If you’d like this to be even smokier, add in a chipotle chile and a teaspoon of adobo sauce.  Or feel free to blister up and add in any of your other favorite chiles to the mix instead.  And of course, if you’d like a spicier salsa, just add in another jalapeno with its seeds.


Roasted Tomato Salsa

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x



  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 large jalapeño, cored* and halved
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes (skin side up), garlic cloves, onion and jalapeño (skin side up) in an even layer on a large baking sheet.  Broil for 6-8 minutes, or until the tomatoes and jalapeños have blistered and blackened pretty thoroughly on top.
  3. Remove pan from the oven, and peel and discard the skin from the garlic cloves.  Transfer the tomatoes, garlic, onion and jalapeño to the bowl of a food processor or blender.  At this point (if you’re feeling impatient and hungry), you can either go ahead and add in the remaining ingredients and puree the salsa until it’s smooth while it’s warm.  Or you can transfer the roasted veggies to the refrigerator and let them chill until cooled, then proceed with adding in the remaining ingredients and pureeing the salsa until smooth.
  4. Taste, and season with extra salt or lime juice if needed.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


Jalapeño notes: I recommend 1 large (or 2 small) jalapeños for this recipe, but feel free to add extras (or leave the seeds in) for extra heat, or omit the jalapeño entirely if you prefer an even milder salsa.

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77 comments on “Roasted Tomato Salsa”

  1. Your photography is looking great! The first image for this recipe has beautiful composition and lighting! :)

  2. Sounds delicious! I love the layout of your posts, looks great and makes it really easy to read! :)

  3. Followed your recipie and must say it was deeeelicious! Isn’t cumin the greatest spice ever?!? Thank you.

  4. Those char marks! <3 This sounds absolutely perfect for Thursday! Homemade salsa is so much better than store-bought – I can't wait to try this!

  5. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! 

  6. Pingback: Roasted Tomato Salsa -

  7. Happy Birthday!!!! This sounds amazing and the pics are beautiful,gonna try it❤️ Enjoy your day

  8. Happy birthday, sweet birthday girl! So glad we brought you up right to love chips and salsa for your birthday dinner. And margaritas.

  9. I’m so glad you posted this! We just had the most amazing roasted salsa at Veracruz All Natural in Austin- and I was about to start researching some recipes. They chop up bits of avocado in theirs- which is something I’ve NEVER seen before (and totally amazing). Can’t wait to give this a try. Happy Birthday!

  10. Oh my word, I HAVE to make this…it looks amazing! You had me at “Roasted Tomato!” :)

  11. Yum! This looks so much better than the jarred stuff at the store!

  12. Long time fan first time commenter.  I love a good salsa recipe and this is the first one I’ve seen that uses fresh tomatoes, and then roasts them with a broiler to get that amazing flavor.  So simple yet genius!  I am totally making this when I see that first batch of pretty tomatoes at the store or farmer’s market.  Does it have to be roma tomatoes or can other varieties be used?  Happy birthday Ali!

    • Hi Rachel! Thanks for taking the time to comment! We prefer roma/plum tomatoes for this — we hope you enjoy! :D

  13. Happy Birthday Ali! I’ve been following your blog for a while and absolutely love not just your recipes but the stories you share as well :) I’d love to try this salsa. Do you think it will work if I omit the cilantro? I am just not a very big fan of it

    • Thanks Mia, we’re happy you’re here! :) And yes, you can most definitely omit the cilantro! We hope you enjoy!

  14. My hubbys favorite recipe. But ingredients seems little different. Will get you my review back soon. Thanks for sharing an awesome recipe??

  15. CAN these be done slow-roasted, though? I just found out recently that, for some reason, my broiler doesn’t work. 

  16. Just made this! I doubled the recipe but only used one pepper for all (I am a weenie lol) It is faboo!! Ty for sharing !

  17. My boyfriend is from San Antonio and any salsa we get in a restaurant here in Kansas City is straight from a jar. He hates it! This recipe is legit though!

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  20. This is, hands down, the best salsa I have ever made! I made a batch so I could give some away as a birthday gift to the man who gave me the tomatoes, but now I’m sad I have to part with even one jar of it. This recipe is going in my keeper file and will be made often!

    • Wow, what a wonderful compliment Mary — thank you! We’re so glad this was a hit! :)

  21. I made this with tomatillos and it is DELICIOUS!!  Thank you for posting this recipe. I’m going to rock the next taco bar potluck!

    • Thanks for sharing Lia — we’re so glad you enjoyed it and we hope it’s a hit at your taco bar potluck (how fun)! :)

  22. Can this be canned? I would love to make more with all of the tomatoes that I have.

  23. Do you add more lime juice to can your salsa?

    • Hi Donna! We don’t have a lot of experience canning and we actually haven’t tried canning this salsa before (but we know if you follow the regular canning procedure, you can). Therefore, we’re not sure about adding more lime juice. If you think you should, then we say go for it! :)

    • A quick comment on canning. Do NOT use fresh lime juice! Use bottled. I read on a couple of the canning sites that the PH level isn’t consistent enough from lime to lime to be adequate for canning whereas bottled juice is monitored for the proper level.

  24. Ok. Thank you. We love this recipe.

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  26. Just made it. Tastes so good. Can I freeze the sauce? And for how long?

    • We’re happy to hear you liked it, Ann! It’s not totally ideal to freeze this (it can get a bit watery and lose some of its flavor), but you certainly can. We wouldn’t freeze it for longer than a week though. We hope this helps! :)

  27. Thank you for the answer. Can i add an eggplant to this recipe?

    • Hi Ann — we haven’t tried adding eggplant to this, but if you’d like to, we say go for it! :)

  28. Hi! I’m excited to make this. Can I freeze it?

    • Hi Carmen! Technically you could, but we wouldn’t recommend it, as it will be pretty watery.

  29. Delicious. This is a very easy recipe to follow and it tastes awesome!!

  30. I made this a bit ago, mine turned out green, not red, but super tasty! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’ll post a photo and tag you on Instagram. 

    • That’s strange, did you use green tomatoes? Otherwise we’re not really sure how it could have turned out green. We’re happy you enjoyed it though! :)

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  35. Tried this recipe tonight – so glad I did! It’s wonderful! We’ll be making it all summer long, or until my tomato plants stop bearing fruit.

  36. 5 stars
    Can you freeze this salsa for later use

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  39. 5 stars
    Just made this and am waiting for the batch I made to completely cool in the fridge. Was good at let the roasted veggies cool down before processing them into salsa.

    I recommend chopping up the cilantro a bit before putting it in the prcoessor or at least pull the leaves off of the stems. The stems are edible but its hard to pulse them into pieces.

    Had a taste and it was superb! Can’t wait for dinner tonight!

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  41. 5 stars
    Perfect salsa, my boyfriend said this was better than any store bought salsa we could buy. I took it to work and my coworkers loved it!

  42. 4 stars
    Delicious! I’m not sure it will make it into a container, we are currently eating it directly out of the food processor! I only used half an onion because we aren’t fans of them, and could easily use 2-3 jalapenos though I just did the 1 this time.

  43. 5 stars
    Loved the basic recipe,but I changed it up 2 jalapenos no seeds and tomorrow I will serve it to all my Mexican friends.I will definitely get a thumbs up.Sincerely a happy Gringo

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  45. When you say 4-6 servings, about how much is that exactly? I’m looking to make and package up salsa as Christmas gifts and I want to plan how to batch this. Thanks! Looks tasty.

  46. Wow! I just made this — the flavors are so nicely balanced. It’s REALLY GOOD warm. No doubt I’ll be making this again. Oh, I used serrano chile instead of jalapeno. :)

  47. Salsa turned out great. Never considered adding Cumin before it’s really good! Yummy

  48. Salsa looks yummy I will certainly prepare it. Thank You

  49. Outstanding. I’m one of those who couldn’t wait for it to cool off, lol. I didn’t change a thing. It’s my new go-to salsa recipe.