Homemade Roasted Red Salsa

BY : PUBLISHED : March 8th, 2022 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

Making your own Mexican-inspired sauce at home cannot be easier with this Homemade Roasted Red Salsa recipe! Made using only a few veggies and pantry staples, this mouthwatering salsa is a fiesta of savory, fiery, sweet, and tangy flavors. Get those tortilla chips ready because this from-scratch salsa will blow you away with its yumminess!

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completed Homemade Roasted Red Salsa in a white bowl against a white background with chips an jalapeños in the background

Called Salsa Roja by locals, this type of Mexican sauce or dip is traditionally made with tomatoes, chilies, onions, garlic, and cilantro. We added a dash of sugar and a splash of vinegar to give more flavor dimension, then roasted them in the oven, and it is absolutely fantastic! This type of salsa is usually served with crunchy tortilla chips as a snack or appetizer, but it is also perfect drizzled or topped over vegan tacosburritos, enchiladas, and fajitas.

Why Make Homemade Roasted Red Salsa?

If you are planning your next Mexican-themed dinner or party, DO NOT buy those bottled red salsa! We urge you to try this gluten-free, all-natural recipe and make it yourself instead. Here are reasons why:

  • It will only take you 25 minutes to prep your vegetables and throw them in the oven until perfectly roasted. Then, just toss everything in a food processor and blend away!
  • You will be saving yourself some bucks too. The ingredients used to make this salsa are fairly cheap, so it is definitely more affordable to make it versus buying them in groceries or restaurants.
  • Aside from the assurance that you are eating a wholesome, preservative-free salsa, you also have control over how spicy, sweet and tangy you want it to be.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Yellow onion - There is nothing like roasted, caramelized onions to add a savory and sweet flavor to the salsa.
  • Roma tomatoes - These are perfect when making salsa because they are tender and plump with less water content than most tomatoes! If you do not have this, you can use any type of big red tomatoes you can find. If they are too juicy, just press and drain them a bit before roasting.
  • Jalapeno peppers - These will give your salsa a zesty punch! If you like less spicy salsa, you can de-seed it first or use poblano peppers instead.
  • Garlic - You can never go wrong with a little bit of garlic in your salsa!
  • Brown sugar - For a touch of sweetness! You can also use agave or maple syrup as substitutes.
  • Salt - To enhance the flavors all together.
  • Apple cider vinegar - A splash of acidity that cuts through all the savory and spicy flavors and balances the flavors perfectly. White vinegar or lime juice are great alternatives. 
  • Cilantro - Adds a touch of freshness.

ingredients for Homemade Roasted Red Salsa on a white marble surface

How to Make Homemade Roasted Red Salsa

Preparations:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
  • Slice your veggies into quarters/halves.

Steps:

1) Roast the veggies. Place all the sliced veggies in your prepared baking pan in a single layer. Place the pan in the oven and roast the veggies undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes until they start to turn a light golden brown.

post cutting of vegetables for Homemade Roasted Red Salsa on baking tray process of roasting vegetables in a baking tray

2) Blend. Turn the oven off and remove the veggies from the heat. Allow them to cook in the pan for 2 t0 3 minutes, then place them into the food processor bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until you are satisfied with the consistency of your salsa.

process of adding Homemade Roasted Red Salsa ingredients in blender ingredients for Homemade Roasted Red Salsa in a blender before being blended

3) Rest. Season to taste and chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Tips:

  • Choose tomatoes of the same size as much as possible and slice them into equal proportions, so they roast evenly in the oven.
  • You can make your salsa chunky by reducing the blending time, or you can make it very smooth by blitzing the veggies longer.
  • We like to add in a bit of chipotle pepper or smoked paprika for some smokey flavor. You can also roast them longer until you see some blistered, charred spots to add a natural smokey taste.
  • You can also add some fruit to brighten it up. Mango and pineapple are both great. Simply cut them up and roast them with the veggies. However, if you are adding these to your salsa, omit the sugar to keep it from becoming overly sweet.
  • Letting your salsa rest and chill is important to allow all the flavors to mesh together properly.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is it different from Pico de Gallo? While both are made primarily from tomatoes, onions, chilies, and cilantro, Pico de Gallo, also called salsa cruda, is served chopped and raw. While salsa can either be cooked or not cooked, it is blended together to make a thick sauce.
  2. Can I grill the veggies instead of using the oven? Absolutely! Place all the veggies in the grill rack and cook until they are browned. A few charred spots are okay and will add a smokey flavor to your salsa.
  3. Do I need to de-seed the tomatoes before roasting them? Yes, you can, but it is not a necessary step unless your tomatoes are extra watery.
  4. Why is my salsa watery? It can be because the tomatoes you used are the juicy variety, or maybe you added to much vinegar into it. If this happens, adding a bit of cornstarch will help thicken it.

completed Homemade Roasted Red Salsa in a white bowl against a white background with chips in the background

Storing Homemade Roasted Red Salsa

Place your salsa in a sealed jar or container and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Do not leave it unrefrigerated for long to keep it from spoiling longer. If your homemade salsa starts to smell funky and shows some discoloration, do not use it anymore. To keep it longer, you can also freeze it for a month or two.

You can also try these other Salsa Variations:

  • Creamy Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Verde - You will get all the goodness of classic salsa you love but with added flavors, color, and texture from the tomatillos and avocados made in less than 15 minutes.
  • Five Minute Fresh Summer Salsa - Sometimes, you just need a fresh salsa on the table fast. Using a few basic ingredients and a blender or food processor, you can be dipping into this or drizzling over tacos or burritos in no time.
  • Mango – Cucumber Salsa - A quick, cooling salsa to enjoy on these warm summer days.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Homemade Roasted Red Salsa in a white bowl against a white background with chips an jalapeños in the background

Homemade Roasted Red Salsa

Renee Press
Homemade salsa really is as simple as it gets. Quarter your vegetables and throw them on the grill or in the oven until roasted (10-15 min). Toss everything in a food processor and blend away! 
5 from 40 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Refrigerate 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 18 kcal
METHOD Oven
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • ½ medium yellow onion cut into quarters
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes halved
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved (seeds removed if you like a mild salsa)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ Tablespoon of brown sugar (or agave or maple syrup)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar or lime juice)
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro coarsely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
  • Lay all of the vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking tray and bake undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes until veggies are starting to brown.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Add all veggies and remaining ingredients to the bowl of the food processor and process until you reach ideal salsa consistency (some like it chunkier than others). Season to taste and chill for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Choose tomatoes of the same size as much as possible and slice them into equal proportions, so they roast evenly in the oven.
  • You can make your salsa chunky by reducing the blending time, or you can make it very smooth by blitzing the veggies longer.
  • We like to add in a bit of chipotle pepper or smoked paprika for some smokey flavor. You can also roast them longer until you see some blistered, charred spots to add a natural smokey taste.
  • You can also add some fruit to brighten it up. Mango and pineapple are both great. Simply cut them up and roast them with the veggies. However, if you are adding these to your salsa, omit the sugar to keep it from becoming overly sweet.
  • Letting your salsa rest and chill is important to allow all the flavors to mesh together properly.

Nutrition

Calories: 18kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 197mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 415IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

 

About Renee Press

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

View all posts by Renee Press

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jay says

    Looks so amazing!

  2. Michelle Cehn says

    This is SOOOO good with chips!

    • Andrea White says

      Such a yummy snack!

  3. Teodora Grujic says

    Perfect for a party table! Thanks!

    • Andrea White says

      Yessss! Always a hit!

  4. Gina House says

    Such a delicious salsa! Freshly homemade just tastes 1000 times better 🙂

    • Andrea White says

      Nothing like a homemade recipe with no preservatives!

  5. Amanda Meth says

    Yay for homemade salsa!

    • Andrea White says

      Nothing like it!

  6. Tina G says

    Nothing beats some homemade salsa. Love how easy this recipe is!

    • Andrea White says

      Seriously! So good!

  7. Andrea White says

    So tasty and full of yummy flavor!

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