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Roasted Red Salsa

For the past several weeks, I have been on a salsa making frenzy. I was jarring it up and giving it to neighbors, and pretty much eating a variety of salsa with pretty much anything around me. I had thought I had mastered my red salsa until I tweaked a few ingredients, added a bit more salt, and some water into the mixture, and like magic, the salsa I had been waiting for suddenly arrived.

If you are like me, I often times judge a Mexican restaurant by their table sauce. Whether it be green, or red, or somewhere in between, I am always investigating and dissecting the flavors. Some of my favorite sauce around town has got to be the red sauce from Conejito’s Place, and the green sauce from El Rey. It is that red sauce that I had to master, and I think this is the one, hence why I want to share with all of you.

Roasted Red Salsa

This one is simply coined my red, and it is one that will knock your socks off in heat and flavor.


  • 4 large roma tomatoes, whole
  • 5 serrano chilies, stem removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, whole, skin on
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 tomatillos, whole
  • 2 additional cloves of garlic, raw
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of water

That’s it.

Begin by adding everything but the cilantro, salt, two cloves of garlic, and water to a large cast iron skillet. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, add everything to a large baking sheet.

The goal is to roast all of your ingredients until the skins are charred. The serrano chilies and the garlic will be the quickest to roast, and once blackened, can be removed from the skillet. The garlic can be set aside to cool, while the blackened serrano peppers can go straight into a blender or food processor.

Roasted Red Salsa

Continue roasting the tomatoes and onions until they get that great char.

Once everything has charred, add everything into the blender or food processor. If you are using a blender, remember you are dealing with hot stuff here and you will want to place the cover on the blender, and a towel, along with your pressure on the top of the cover so it will not explode.

Your blender should now include everything, including the water, cilantro, salt, vinegar, and two cloves of raw garlic.

Pulse about 7-10 times or until your desired consistency.

Pour the salsa into a storage container and let it come to room temperature before serving.

Serve with anything and everything. Something about the heat and garlic really make this salsa stand out from the rest. Hope you enjoy.


  • Sonia A.

    WOW – This is soooo GREAT! I could eat the whole jar by myself! I love chile salsa, my friends ALWAYS make me bring the salsa to our parties, I always bring green salsa but tomorrow I am bringing this one!!
    I did have to add 3 additional serrano to give it more of a kick, other than that it was perfect!!!
    One question- was I suppose to leave the skin on the roasted garlic? I took it off when I put them in the blender….

  • Lizz Campos

    I have now made this salsa twice and I love it!! It’s pretty spicy, so I tried using jalapeno for the second one (which was still pretty spicy). I ended up watering this batch down a lot. My suggestion would be to put fresh, un-processed cilantro and some tomato into the salsa after putting it in the food processor. Next time I’ll try fewer jalapenos.

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