Salsa Roja – Authentic Homemade Salsa

Traditional homemade salsa
Growing up no matter if was Sunday at 4:00pm or Tuesday at 11:00, anytime you opened the fridge there was homemade salsa ready. Making salsa was part of the housekeeping routine- like sweeping your front steps or making a huge pitcher of iced tea. It was a ritual. Until the day I was grown and left my house, the salsa was always there. Because I’m accustomed to having homemade salsa regularly, now my kids now expect it too. I make a big batch at the beginning of the week and it’s my go to for easy entertaining. Who doesn’t like authentic Mexican salsa?!

Dry Roasting Tomatoes
My favorite salsas start with roasted roma tomatoes. There are various methods to making authentic salsa but my favorite is to roast and blacken the tomatoes on each side. Dry roasting the tomatoes adds a depth of flavor that is sweet, smoky and combines perfectly with the jalapeño kick. There are two ways to dry roast tomatoes for homemade salsa. ONE time is all you need to try this salsa. It will quickly become a family favorite! And because salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and jalapeños, It’s a healthy snack you can enjoy with zero guilt.

Let’s make authentic homemade salsa!
First you want to dry roast tomatoes, chiles, onion and garlic. When vegetables are blistered and blackened, let cool and place in your blender. Include the peels, this is meant to be easy! If you’re a texture person and don’t prefer peels in your salsa, remove tomato peels before blending. For me personally, I don’t mind them so I just place my whole roasted tomato into the blender with the other veggies. Add cilantro and salt into your blender and pulse until desired consistency. The beauty of this salsa is that you can customize any element!

How to Enjoy spicy Mexican salsa
This traditional Mexican salsa is also known as “Salsa de Mesa” table salsa. Meaning, every day, multi-use salsa. Growing up we used it on all our grilled meats, with totopos (
tortilla chips) . You can use it on huevos rancheros; I’m telling you, this salsa is delicious on tacos, chips tostadas and more.

Salsa Roja - Authentic Homemade Salsa

The beauty of this salsa is that you can customize it with any element!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 38 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6


  • 4-5 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenoes (deseed for less spice)
  • 1 handful of cilantro


  • Cast iron pan: If you are dry roasting on a cast iron, As your tomatoes blacken, lift up some of the blackened bits with a spatula- (that's what smokes the kitchen when dry roasting). Place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos and garlic (skin on) on the lined pan (or cast iron) and dry roast on med-high heat. Rotate until all sides of tomatoes are blackened.
    salsa roja authentic homemade salsa tomoato on pan
  • Broiling: On a baking sheet, place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos to dry roast.Place baking sheet under broiler for about 7 minutes and rotate with tongs. Keep an eye on them. Set timer for another 7 minutes. On this round, add the garlic, skin on. When everything is charred on all sides, set aside to cool.
    salsa roja authentic homemade salsa tomoato ingredient
  • After it cools, place everything in blender and cilantro. (Tomatoes keep their skin, unless they're slippery, don't worry too much about the skin).
    salsa roja authentic homemade salsa tomoato blender with cilantro
  • Pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
  • In a skillet, heat a tbsp of olive oil (don’t let it get toohot) a couple minutes is all it takes.
    salsa roja authentic homemade salsa adding oil
  • When the oil Is hot, pour blender contents and flash fry for about 3 minutes.
  • At this point, I like to add a splash of water to the blender and make sure I get all the bits of flavor that were left behind and add it to the hot pan while heat is still on.
    salsa roja authentic homemade salsa blend
  • All the flavors will marry and the salsa will be a unified consistency. Add salt to taste and serve in your favorite Mexican bowl!
    salsa roja authentic homemade salsa frying step
Keyword homemade salsa

Pro Tip

Put a little water in the blender to shake up the remaining bits and pour into salsa while the pan is still on burner.



Growing Up Sarita Amazon Shop

Come check out my Amazon shop to utilize the items and ingredients I recommend with my recipes.

Amazon Affiliate Notice: Buying items through some of these links, Growing Up Sarita may get a small percentage of the sale.

Chef Bio


Hi! My name is Sarah. My family in Mexico calls me Sarita. I love cooking and sharing the homemade meals my mom prepared for me when I was a child. At Casa Sarita, if there’s food, there’s a fiesta! I’m so glad you are here!

Latest Recipes

Latest Video


Subscribe Now!

Download My 3 Ways to Use Roma Tomatoes