This easy homemade Roasted Salsa Roja is such a treat, and takes just a few minutes to roast the vegetables and put together! Leave it coarse or blend it to a smooth consistency, whichever way you like it! I like to finish my salsa in a cast iron skillet for an amazing flavor boost to this better than restaurant quality salsa!
Roasted Salsa Roja Recipe
I have one person in the household that prefers the smooth option for salsas over a nice chunky salsa, either way, it will still be absolutely tasty! Make this easy restaurant quality salsa chunky or smooth, based upon your preferences.
I’ve included multiple options below for how to get your salsa vegetables roasted. Note that you can also combine the raw ingredients, blend until chunky or smooth, and roast them in a skillet.
How To Make Roasted Salsa Roja (including variations)
Oven Roasting Your Vegetables
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the sliced vegetable skin side up on it. Slice vegetables so that they are roughly the same size to roast them evenly, and leave the garlic cloves unpeeled.
Set your oven to broil (on high, if you have that option) and set your oven rack so that it is approximately 8 inches from the broiler. Broil the salsa roja vegetables for about 6 – 8 minutes. Turn the vegetables and broil another 6 – 8 minutes.
The vegetables should have a nice charred and blistered appearance when ready to remove from the oven. Remove vegetables that are done before the others, if necessary.
Grilling Your Vegetables
If you already have the grill out, this is a great way to get that roasted flavor! Using your grill adds an amazing amount of flavor, and is my first choice during summer months.
Use a grill pan or aluminum foil to set the vegetables on. Turn your vegetables at the 3 – 4 minute mark to get an even dark browned appearance. Grill for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until they are nicely charred. *You may need to work in batches to get all of your vegetables ready.
Or, if you have a smoker, place your vegetables on a piece of aluminum foil or in a baking dish. Let the vegetables smoke at medium heat for about three hours.
Please note, that if you use this option your onion will have a more subtle flavor in the roasted salsa roja. I suggest using a whole onion to smoke. Then begin with half an onion, adding more of your smoked onion to the salsa as needed.
Using a Food Processor or Blender
Peel the roasted garlic cloves and combine all of the ingredients in your food processor or blender, blitz until rough chopped or blend until smooth, depending on your preferences.
Using a Mortar and Pestle
Peel your garlic cloves and tomatoes. Place the coarse salt, vegetables, and cilantro in the bowl of your mortar. Grind the ingredients to your desired consistency, then add lime juice.
Stovetop or Pan Roasted Salsa Roja
If you want to skip roasting the salsa ingredients, combine using the food processor or blender instructions above and transfer to a large skillet or frying pan. *A cast iron skillet is recommended, but not necessary!
Toast over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 -10 minutes. You should see the salsa deepen in color, especially if using raw ingredients. Your roasted, grilled, or smoked salsa ingredients can also be finished off in a skillet!
Any which way you make this salsa roja recipe, taste and add more lime juice or salt, if needed. Refrigerate the salsa, or serve immediately. Enjoy!
Roasted Salsa Roja
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1/2 sweet pepper (yellow, orange, or red bell pepper - or use 1/2 a serrano pepper)
- 2 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
- 1/4 onion (more, to taste, if roasted or smoked)
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper (take out seeds to reduce the heat, if desired)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 pinch salt (coarse salt is recommended)
- Roast your vegetables in the oven by broiling 8 inches below the broiler: layer your vegetables evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, including cut tomatoes (in half, so that they are arranged skin side up), sweet bell pepper (or serrano pepper), unpeeled garlic cloves, onion, and jalapeno pepper.
- Broil on high setting (if available) for about 6-8 minutes, turn and broil another 6-8 minutes or until your vegetables get a nice, charred appearance. Remove vegetables that are charred faster than the others, if necessary. Broil until all vegetables are slightly charred and blistered. *Alternate roasting methods are noted above in the post.
- You can combine all of the ingredients in a food processor (after peeling the garlic) and give it a few quick blitzes to leave it rough chopped, or combine until smooth (if desired). If using a mortar and pestle, combine the roasted vegetables after peeling the skin off of the tomatoes and garlic. Grind the vegetables together with the coarse salt, then add rough chopped cilantro and lime juice.
- If using a mortar and pestle, combine the roasted vegetables after peeling the skin off of the tomatoes and garlic. Grind the vegetables together with the coarse salt, then add rough chopped cilantro and lime juice.
- Either way, taste and add more lime juice or salt as needed.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma’s kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!