Making this authentic Mexican salsa recipe with fresh tomatoes has been on my list forever. I adore Mexican food, and nothing goes better with it than real authentic salsa roja.
You will find many different types of salsas in Mexican cooking, but this is the simple recipe you will find in almost every authentic Mexican restaurant as well as Mexican homes. It's a bit spicy, but I've given you ways to easily lessen the heat if you need to. I like it spicy!
I had some of the best Mexican food while I staying at Villa Del Palmar Loreto last year, and eating nachos on the beach was pretty fun! The food was also great at Pueblo Bonito, a Cabo San Lucas all-inclusive.
Both were great vacations! Loreto is a little more laid back, where Cabo is more crowded but there's more nightlife.
Try this salsa with the recent recipe I shared for quinoa tacos! It's the perfect pairing!
Using fresh veggies is the key to making the best salsa.
Tomatoes: The first ingredient of any red salsa recipe, we used Roma tomatoes, but feel free to use the freshest tomatoes of any variety you can find.
Onions: I try to always buy Vidalia or sweet onions, but again, any white onion, scallion, or even spring onions will work.
Garlic: For the freshest salsa, chop your own garlic cloves. Yes, I'll admit to having a jar of garlic in my fridge at all times, but there are times I want to use everything fresh, and this is definitely that time!
Serrano Peppers: Similar to jalapeño, serrano chili peppers are smaller and can be yellow, orange, red, or green, depending on how ripe they are when you buy them. These peppers are hotter than jalapeño peppers. For medium heat, use less or use jalapeños or Anaheim peppers. For mild, use less jalapeños or a sweeter pepper. (Check out this quick lesson on the pepper heat scale.)
Olive Oil: This is usually my go-to oil, but you could also use healthy coconut oil. Above all, make sure your oil is not older than a year or so as it will go rancid.
Oregano: We used dried oregano for this recipe, but you could use fresh, too. I'm growing oregano in my Aerogarden so I might try it next time. Use one tablespoon of fresh to one teaspoon dried.
Salt: I usually use kosher salt when cooking and Maldon salt when adding salt after things are cooked, but for this recipe, we used pink Himalayan salt. It has just a slight touch of sweetness which balances the spice nicely.
Pepper: Fresh ground is best whenever possible.
Wash and dry all your ingredients. Note: We are not chopping anything! For this authentic Mexican salsa recipe with tomatoes, will be adding the whole tomatoes, halved peppers, and quartered onion to the pan.
You may think it's awkward to cook the whole vegetable the first time you make this, but it turns out so delicious, is a super easy recipe, and it doesn't take a long time to make.
Cut chilies in half and remove the seeds and stems.
Remove the first layer of the onion, cut it in quarters, and remove the root.
Remove the outer skin of the garlic.
Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat.
Add olive oil.
Add the raw tomatoes to the frying pan followed by the chilies, garlic, and onion.
Pan fry all the ingredients until they soften and char a little for the best flavor. Note: We are only charring only the outer layer of the ingredients.
You could go ahead and grind your salt and pepper at this point, but keep an eye on your veggies.
Once each ingredient's outer layer is charred and soft, transfer them into a blender or a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients of salt, pepper, and oregano.
Blend the salsa in a food processor until all the ingredients are mixed well. (For a chunky salsa, loosely chop about one-third of the tomatoes and add them back in after blending them.)
Taste test the salsa and adjust the flavor by adding more salt & pepper. You could add herbs like fresh cilantro or a squeeze of lime juice to brighten the flavor even more.
Place the sauce into a bowl or jars.
We often add this mango slaw recipe to our tacos, too. It's delicious as a side with chicken or seafood, too.
You can use canned tomatoes, but fresh is definitely better. Go with the San Marzano brand if you can find it. For readers who are making this as one of the Daniel Fast recipes, note these tomatoes don't have added sugar as many do.
This authentic Mexican salsa can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week after making it. We do not recommend freezing it. If you're making a large batch from your garden, it's best to can it. Check out this beginner's guide for more information.
More to Read about Mexico
Authentic Mexican Salsa Recipe with Fresh Tomatoes
- 4 Roma Tomatoes Medium size
- 1 Onion Medium size
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 Serrano chilies Medium size
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Wash and dry properly all your ingredients. Note: We are not chopping anything!
- Remove the seeds and stems from the chilies.
- Remove the first layer of the onion, cut it in quarters, and remove the root.
- Remove the outer skin of the garlic.
- Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat.
- Add a olive oil
- Add the tomatoes to the frying pan followed by the chilies, garlic, and onion.
- Pan fry all the ingredients until they soften and char a little. Note: We are only charring only the outer layer of the ingredients.
- Once each ingredient's outer layer is charred and soft, transfer them into a blender or a food processor.
- Add salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Blend the salsa until all the ingredients are mixed well. Taste and adjust the flavor by adding more salt & pepper, and spices.
- Place the sauce into a bowl or jars.