Roasted-Tomato Salsa Recipe

Roasted plum tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and garlic are blended with lime juice and cilantro for salsa with depth and extra tomato flavor.

Overhead view of a hand dipping a chip in salsa

Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Why This Recipe Works

  • Roasting the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapeños under a broiler concentrates and mellows their flavors.
  • The charred edges of the roasted ingredients add a welcome note of complexity and depth to the finished salsa.

Until Frontera salsas hit grocery shelves near me—I have a soft spot for the habanero variety—I had almost completely ditched jarred salsas altogether. Why go jarred when you can put together a fresher, more flavorful salsa in mere minutes, and often cheaper as well? Put some tomatoes, onion, cilantro, hot pepper, and lime juice in a blender and you'll have something that will outdo the jarred stuff anyday.

Of course, making it at home also gives you the control to take salsa even further, but that doesn't mean you have to go crazy with ingredients either. For this salsa, I just took a standard set of ingredients and roasted them first, which resulted in a different flavor profile in the end.

I roasted the tomatoes—coated with salt to help draw out some moisture—jalapeño, garlic, and onion in the broiler until they all started to blacken. Then into the blender they went and out came a salsa that only needed some cilantro and lime juice to make it whole.

Sure this added about 20 minutes to the salsa-making process, but it was all for good. The fresh flavors of homemade salsa are all there, but with a little more tomato intensity. The salsa was still spicy, but roasting added sweetness and took the edge off of the jalapeño, which melded seamlessly into the salsa.

Double the recipe for a Cinco de Mayo shindig; this stuff will disappear.

May 2012

Recipe Details

Roasted-Tomato Salsa Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 70 mins
Serves 12 servings
Makes 1 1/2 cups

Roasted plum tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and garlic are blended with lime juice and cilantro for salsa with depth and extra tomato flavor.


  • 1 pound roma tomatoes, halved

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper

  • 2 medium cloves garlic

  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and quartered

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)

  • Sugar, to taste


  1. Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt. Add jalapeño, garlic, and onion to baking sheet. Place baking sheet in broiler and cook until tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, and onion have slightly blackened, about 20 minutes, flipping jalapeño and garlic halfway through. Remove from broiler and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

    Roasted tomatos and onions on a baking sheet

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  2. Stem and seed jalapeño and peel garlic. Transfer tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, and onion to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped.

    Roasted veggies process in a food processor

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  3. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and sugar to taste. Let rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container up to a week.

    Overhead view of a spoon in a glass bowl of salsa with a squeezed lime next to it.

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Special Equipment

Food processor

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
11 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 11
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 133mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 107mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)