This Salsa Roja is fresh and flavorful, with a great kick of heat. Made with fresh roasted vegetables and aromatic spices, this salsa tastes delicious with all your favorite dishes.
This Salsa Roja may very well be one of the best you've ever had. That's because I have tweaked this recipe until the flavors and texture are just right. Unlike traditional salsa recipes, this Salsa Roja is made by roasting the tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, and onions. Doing this brings out their natural sweetness and gives the salsa a better texture overall. Roasted fresh vegetables are much richer in flavor, so this salsa is really going to wow you.
This Salsa Roja recipe also uses fragrant and complementary spices that really enhance the sweet heat of the other ingredients, and ends with a tang of lime juice. You can use it as a dip for your favorite chips, on tacos or quesadillas, or with any of your preferred dishes. I love how this Salsa Roja comes out and how well it pairs with other flavors. Let's talk about what goes into making it.
What you'll need
- Tomatoes. I think Roma tomatoes are best for this recipe because of their natural sweetness.
- Jalapeno Peppers. These peppers add heat. Reduce the quantity if you'd like your salsa to be on the mild side. If you use 3 like I did, it'll be moderately spicy. If you don't want the heat at all, remove the seeds from the jalapenos so you get the flavor without the spice.
- Lime Juice. Lime juice is better, but you can substitute it for lemon juice if that's all you have on hand.
- Spices. Salt and cumin.
- Onion. I used a yellow onion, but any color will work.
- Garlic. Fresh cloves are best.
- Cilantro. Use fresh herbs for the right flavor.
How to make it
1. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic onto a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400°F for about 40-45 minutes. Let them cool.
2. Place all of the roasted veggies into a food processor and add cumin powder, salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Process for about 20-30 seconds depending on your desired consistency. Serve.
Adjust the heat. Depending on how much spicy heat you want in your salsa, you can adjust it with your jalapenos. I used 3, but if you prefer a hotter salsa, you can add another. If you prefer it mild, then use less. Or, for no spice, remove the seeds from the jalapenos so you get the flavor without it being spicy.
Use ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes are really important for Salsa Roja, so make sure the ones you use are really ripe. Ripe tomatoes have the most sweetness, and since we are roasting these to draw out that sweet flavor, picking ripe tomatoes is super important.
How to store Salsa Roja
To store your salsa, you can place it in a container with a tight lid and leave it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If you would like to keep it longer, you can store it in a ziplock freezer bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you are ready to serve it, let it defrost in the fridge. There may be some excess liquid, but otherwise it is still fresh and delicious.
What to serve with
Salsa Roja tastes great on so many different dishes and ingredients. Here are some suggestions:
- With chips. Use this salsa as a dip and appetizer.
- Atop tacos. Or with burritos, quesadillas, and tostadas.
- With rice and beans. This salsa gives a real flavor boost to a bowl of rice and beans.
- With other grains, starches, and pasta. With penne, corn, quinoa, etc.
- Toss with tofu. This salsa is also tasty and filling with tofu. Dip this Fried Tofu in it!
This delicious Salsa Roja is the best, and so easy to make. You'll enjoy the aroma and flavor of this recipe as it roasts in the oven and is then processed to the perfect consistency. Spicy or mild, it is bursting with flavor and is perfect on your buffet table, on a breakfast quesadilla, or with rice and beans. I hope you'll love how versatile and yummy this salsa is as much as I do.
More tasty vegan recipes with Mexican flavors:
- 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 jalapeno peppers (see note below)
- 4 garlic cloves, pelled
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic onto a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400°F for about 40-45 minutes. Let them cool.
- Place all of the roasted veggies into a food processor and add cumin powder, salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Process for about 20-30 seconds depending on your desired consistency. Serve.