Roasted Restaurant-Style Salsa

If you’ve ever had the salsa at a Mexican restaurant, you know the it’s MUCH better than anything you’ll find in a can. All you need to make some of that fresh chunky restaurant style salsa is some freshly charred veggies and a blender.

Have you perfected your recipe for the most popular condiment in America? Yes, you read that right. Salsa, the Spanish word for sauce, officially accounts for about half of the sauces sold in America. With such a popular item, you might think you have the general recipe down and ready to go but is it your best work? Salsa can make or break the appetizer table at your party and I’m here to refresh your salsa-making skills. This recipe is perfect for serving with your favorite tortilla chips or incorporated into a delicious Mexican recipe. Save this must-have recipe for future snacktime or party prep!

what is salsa?

Everyone’s heard of salsa before and tried it at a Mexican restaurant served with chips as an appetizer, but what is salsa? Salsa usually has a tomato base comprised of other fresh ingredients and spicy seasoning. This well-known recipe can be manipulated to include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables but a traditional salsa is comprised of tomatoes, water, chili peppers, vinegar, onions, garlic, black pepper, cilantro, cumin, and oregano.

The origins of salsa have been in Mexico for thousands of years, The ingredients have traces of Aztec, Spanish, French, Italian, and Austrian influences. Most of the ingredients can be linked back to Spain’s influence on Mexico as the ingredients began in places such as India and other Eastern countries where Spain acquired them from.

what you need to make homemade salsa

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 medium white onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 bell pepper, cut into chunks (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Why do Mexican Restaurants serve chips and salsa for free?

Mexican cuisine is known for taking a while to make from scratch. The food is a complex and make with many spices, fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients that call for longer preparation times. That’s why similar to the way Indian restaurant serve papad, Mexican restaurants serves chips and salsa. To keep customers engages, Mexican restaurants in America often offer their guests free chips and salsa to satisfy their customers who may be waiting longer than 15 minutes for their order to arrive. This helps with their overall customer satisfaction and can avoid any frustrations.

how to char the veggies

Charring your food slightly can add a touch of tanginess and texture to your food that will completely change its flavor for the better. This specific flavor cannot be achieved by other cooking methods which is why learning to char your vegetables is such an important skill to have. The trick is to char them over the hottest flames first to get that charred skin. Then, use a lower flame or the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking roasting and cooking the vegetables.

tips for success
  1. If it’s summertime and you have access to tomatoes at the peak of their freshness, gather them up and get ready for some smoky goodness. These are the best kinds of tomatoes for this recipe!
  2. It may freak you out to see the dark char marks all over your food, but trust me when I say IT’S OKAY! This will add so much flavor to your salsa! You have to let them bister nicely, the more marks, the better.
  3. If you have time, let the roasted veggies cool for a bit before you mix them in with the rest of the ingredients. This will allow the cilantro to stay fresh longer. If you don’t have time for this, it’s completely fine, your salsa will still taste AMAZING!
  4. If you’re a fan of the smokiness and want to add a bit more, take your favorite peppers and char those up to add in as well!
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How to Make Restaurant Style Salsa

  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 4


Making homemade restaurant style salsa is super simple and so much better than any Walmart salsa! All you need to do is char some fresh veggies and throw it in the blender.


  • 6 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 medium white onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 whole poblano pepper
  • 1 Chipotle pepper, from a can
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Small bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Charring via Oven : Place the tomatoes, onion, whole poblano pepper and chipotle pepper on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Airfry or Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400F, flipping halfway through. Continue baking until the veggies are visibly charred.
  3. Remove the veggies from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Peel the skin off the poblano pepper and remove the stem.
  4. Toss the veggies into the food processor or blender with the salt, cilantro and lime juice. If you have a molcajete, you can definitely use that to make it by hand.
  5. Pulse until the desired consistency is reached. For a chunky salsa, a few pulses should be enough. For a smoother salsa, it will take longer. A blender will give you a much smoother salsa than a food processor and a molcajete will give you the maximum released flavor.

Tag me @eatsbyramya to be featured on the page!!

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 4

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  1. Aditi Sinha says:

    I never thought making a roasted salsa at home would be this easy and so worth it. It came together in minutes and was a total game changer. I was amazed by the simple recipe and the spectacular taste. Thank you Ramya. Mine looks more red because of different tomato variety though.

  2. This homemade salsa recipe can’t get any easier and tastier! The charred veggies bring out an explosion of flavors that you don’t want to miss out on. Mexican night just got even more delicious with this salsa. It’s a must try and a keeper for sure! Chips and salsa on the house anytime, any day. Thank you so much!