Roasted Tomato Salsa (Salsa Tatemada)

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Prepare for the best salsa of your life! This roasted tomato salsa is the best combination of smoky, sweet, and spicy! You’ll be hooked after one dip.

There’s nothing I love snacking on more than chips and dip. And out of the bunch, salsa and guacamole are easily my favorites! Once you try this roasted tomato salsa, you’ve got to try out my classic guacamole, slow cooker salsa, and peach salsa too!

Closeup of a chip being dipped in roasted tomato salsa.

Salsa Tatemada Recipe

I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that this is the BEST salsa that I have ever tried. This roasted tomato salsa recipe is inspired by the salsa tatemada made fresh at Flora Farms in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. My team and I had the pleasure of visiting Flora Farms and learning all of the best techniques for making some truly knockout salsa! I’m going to share all of the best tips and tricks with you today! I know you’ll love the salsa you create just as much as we did! You really can’t go wrong with the smoky-sweet flavor of roasted tomato combined with onions, garlic, and jalapeno.

Now, if you really want the full experience here you’re going to want to invest in a molcajete if you don’t already have one. A molcajete is a Mexican version of a mortar and pestle that is a game-changer for making salsa and guacamole. It’s made of volcanic rock which adds the best hint of earthy flavor to anything you make with it! If you don’t have a molcajete, you can also use a blender or food processor to make your roasted tomato salsa. But if you really want the best salsa on the block, using a molcajete is key.

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato Salsa

The chefs at Flora Farms used garden-fresh veggies to make this salsa taste as amazing as possible. So if you have any fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, or garlic on hand, now’s the time to use them! The natural flavor of this salsa is what makes it so delicious. No need for a long list of seasonings and spices! If you’re looking for measurements, they can all be found in the recipe card at the end of the post!

  • Whole Tomatoes: I used Roma tomatoes here! They have a bright and tangy flavor that’s perfect in salsa.
  • White Onion: Adds a sweet but savory flavor to the salsa tatemada.
  • Garlic Cloves: You’ll want these to be whole and peeled. Garlic makes everything better! No salsa is complete without that strong, savory flavor.
  • Jalapeño: One whole jalapeño gets added to the salsa for (in my opinion) the perfect level of spice. If you want your salsa to be mild, make sure to omit the jalapeno seeds before adding the pepper to your molcajete. If you want more spice, see my tips section below on how to kick up the heat!
  • Cilantro: For fresh, minty flavor, adding chopped cilantro to your salsa is a must!
  • Salt and Pepper: Add both to taste. Taste testing is the best part about making homemade salsa!

How to Cure Your Molcajete

Before you use your molcajete, you need to cure it. This process can also be called “seasoning.” I like to use rice to cure mine! First, wash your molcajete out with water only. Then, add a handful of rice and grind into a paste or powder-like texture. Discard the rice and repeat this step as needed until there’s no grit in your rice powder. Rince again and allow your molcajete to dry. It’s now ready to use!

*Note: You never want to use soap with your molcajete, since it’s porous. The little holes in the volcanic rock will trap the taste of soap which you don’t want in your roasted tomato salsa!

How to Make Roasted Tomato Salsa

Roasted tomato salsa is so easy to make, anyone can do it! It’s so fun to be able to customize the flavor of your salsa. You’re going to want to put it on everything! Try it on these tacos, tostadas, or drizzled on a burrito bowl! Honestly, though, my favorite way to enjoy this salsa tatemada is just with some homemade tortilla chips! It’s so addictive!

  1. Roast Vegetables: Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place the whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeño on the hot grill. Turn frequently for 7-10 minutes until charred and softened.
  2. Cool: Remove the ingredients from the grill and allow to cool before making your salsa.
  3. Flavor Molcajete: Add the roasted onion and garlic to the cured molcajete first, and mash until smooth.
  4. Mash Vegetables: Next, remove the stem and deseed the jalapeño. Feel free to leave seeds if you like it on the spicy side. Add the jalapeño and roasted tomatoes and mash to your preferred texture. You can make it however chunky or smooth you like it. This process can also be done by pulsing in a blender until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Season: After mashing, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the chopped cilantro.
  6. Serve: This salsa is best served after it sits for a while so the flavors can marry, but you can enjoy it right away if you want!
6-photo collage of vegetables being roasted then mashed in a molcajete.

Tips and Variations

Here are a few extra tips and tricks to get you making salsa tatemada like a pro! This has quickly become one of my family’s favorite snacks, and I know you and yours will love it too!

  • Add More Spice: The spice level of this salsa is totally customizable! If you want a little more spice, try adding a serrano pepper in addition to your jalapeno. If you want even more spice, add a habanero pepper!
  • The More Char, the Better: Don’t be afraid of char marks on your veggies! This will make them more flavorful.
  • Chopping Cilantro: When chopping your fresh cilantro, I like to roll it up like a little burrito and then dice. This way, you have more uniform pieces.
  • Extra Flavors: You can never go wrong with a little citrus! Adding fresh lime juice is a great addition to the flavor of this salsa.
Closeup of salsa tatemada.

Storing Leftovers

Salsa tatemada is great for storing and enjoying later with your favorite chips! Here’s how to keep it tasting fresh and full of roasted tomato-y goodness!

  • In the Refrigerator: Store leftover salsa in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • In the Freezer: Store your salsa in a freezer bag for 3-4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to enjoy it!
Roasted tomato salsa, garnished with chopped cilantro, in a molcajete.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

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Prepare for the best salsa of your life! This roasted tomato salsa is the best combination of smoky, sweet, and spicy! You’ll be hooked after one dip.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large roma tomatoes, whole
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 whole jalapeño
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat a grill to medium high heat. Place the whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeño on the hot grill. Turn frequently for 7-10 minutes until charred and softened.
  • Remove the ingredients from the grill and allow to cool before making your salsa.
  • Add the roasted onion and garlic to the molcajete first, and mash until smooth.
  • Next, remove the stem and deseed the jalapeño. Feel free to leave seeds if you like it on the spicy side. Add the jalapeño and roasted tomatoes and mash to your preferred texture. You can make it however chunky or smooth you like it. This process can also be done by pulsing in a blender.
  • After mashing, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the chopped cilantro.
  • This salsa is best served after it sits for a while so the flavors can marry, but you can enjoy it right away if you want!


Nutrition

Serves: 4

Calories18kcal (1%)Carbohydrates4g (1%)Protein1g (2%)Fat0.1gSaturated Fat0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat0.1gMonounsaturated Fat0.02gSodium4mgPotassium177mg (5%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A609IU (12%)Vitamin C10mg (12%)Calcium11mg (1%)Iron0.2mg (1%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword 15 minute, easy
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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