Roasted Green and Red Salsas


On my last post I announced that this month’s Homemade challenge was salsas. There are many kinds of different salsas in Mexico, but the most popular ones are red salsa made with dried chiles and tomatoes and green salsa made with fresh chiles and tomatillos. When you eat at traditional Mexican restaurants, taquerias, torterias, fair booths or any other place tha serves authentic Mexican food, you are always able to choose between the two (plus any other specialty of the house). At my parents’ fonda part of the morning prep was to make a big batch of each salsa for the day. Two bowls of salsa (one of each) were served for every table, according to the traditional Mexican way.


Roasting these salsa ingredients before blending them will enhance the flavor significantly. But you can also used them raw to give the salsa a taste of freshness. Here are the recipes for these two salsas:


Salsa Verde

The ingredients:

  • 1lb tomatillos
  • 2 jalapeno chiles
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • handful cilantro
  • salt

The how-to:

  1. On the grill or a iron cast skillet over medium high heat roast tomatillos, chiles and garlic. Turn ingredients a couple of times to roast them evenly.
  2. Blend with the rest of the ingredients for 1-2 minutes and cool down before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Salsa Roja

The ingredients:

  • 2-3 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • dried chile (the amount will depend of the kind of pepper you are using and how spicy you want your salsa to be. For this salsa I used ghost peppers that I received from Marx Foods. They are very hot so I only used one. Be sure to know how hot the peppers you are getting are and be very careful when handling them)
  • 2 TBSP vinegar
  • salt

The how-to:

  1. In an iron-cast skillet over medium-high heat roast garlic and dried pepper (make sure your kitchen is well ventilated before this step)
  2. Cut tomatos in quarters and blend with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

All homemade salsa recipes, no matter how mild or hot, are welcomed this month that we are celebrating Mexican cuisine. Also remember that heidileon is having a Mexican Fiesta on her blog for the same reason so you can send your Mexican food creations over to her.

¡Buen provecho!


  • I love salsas! They are so versatile; whether eaten with chips, rubbed on griled meats, thrown in stews at the last minute…so many possibilities. Thanks for sharing these recipes…I am especially excited about the green salsa. Yummy!

  • That's what I miss the most from my country: the salsas! I can imagine the huge amounts of salsa you were used to make at your parents Fonda (otra belleza que merece un post aparte), and I also like the fact that you mention how important is for us at any real Mexican restaurants that salsas are complimentary. You don't have idea how many so called Mex Rest I ask for more salsa only to find out the will bring it to the table with a surcharge. (no, no!).

  • Both salsas look superb! I'm not sure if I can find tomatillos here, but I'll definitely try the second one. I just wonder how long I can keep them in refrigerator?

  • In my house they don't last long, LOL, but I would suggest less than a week. At my parents' restaurant they only kept them (when there were leftovers) for a couple of days. I am not sure if they can be frozen, but I'll experiment with that in the future.

  • I must say that your still life photography is one of the best that i 've ever sen keep up with the excellent work. By the way, great recipe! I tried it on london broil steak and was so delicious!

  • you make me want to go back to Mexico, asap. I love your people, your country and your food! se ve super fresco y delicioso. me'ncanta los colores. espero que estes bien. abarazos.

  • Homemade salsa sounds totally great right now. Makes a nice gift all bottled up like that.

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