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Oven Roasted Restaurant Style Red Salsa

A simple and easy roasted red salsa that’s perfect for Taco Tuesday, and some tips to help you make the best homemade salsa ever!

roasted red salsa in a white bowl

Y’all, I have to hang my (former) Texan head in shame. I’ve been running this blog for almost 3 years and haven’t put a red salsa on it yet. I’ve even made a queso and a salsa verde (both absolutely amazing) and have not put up a classic red.

But I’m remedying that today. This recipe is adapted from one shared by Pappasitos, a Houston based chain found across Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, New Mexico, Georgia and Alabama.

Do you love Pappasitos? I made the garlic butter they serve with their fajitas!

roasted red salsa in a bowl with a chip scooping some out to eat

Now this recipe is pretty easy and relatively simple – roast it, blend it, eat it. But there are a few things I think you should know.

Some helpful tips:

In-season tomatoes are going to be far, far better than those out of season. Summer is peak omg-amazing tomato time, but if you’re wanting some winter salsa action (me, all the time), consider some other options.

Option 1) Cherry tomatoes

Yeah, I know that might seem odd, but the general rule is that you’ll have better luck with smaller tomatoes out of season. Due to their size, they have a more concentrated flavor vs. the bland, watery tomatoes sitting in stores right now.

Option 2) Canned tomatoes

Yes, gasp, I am actually suggesting you use a canned ingredient. Tomatoes are one of the few exceptions to the “no cans” rule in my house. Canned tomatoes are packed at their peak freshness and (usually) only have salt added. If you use canned tomatoes, taste the salsa before adding salt. You may not need the full amount.

Some brands sell a “fire roasted” variety. I say approach these tentatively. If you’ve used those style of tomatoes before, it’s a safe bet. Otherwise, opt for the whole canned tomatoes and drain the excess juice. One 14.5 oz can equals about 1lb of fresh tomatoes (you’ll need 2 for this recipe).

And since tomatoes make up the bulk of this salsa, a mediocre out-of-season watery mess will only leave you disappointed. If you choose roma, on the vine, beefsteak, or other fresh tomatoes for this recipe, just bear that in mind.

If your salsa is pink and sad, simmer it.

This sometimes happens with over-mixing. Blended salsas can create tiny air pockets, which give it that pink/pale red color. To get a deeper red, simmer your salsa on the stove for about 20 minutes, or until the pink turns to red.

And, as with most salsas, I find that this tastes better on the second day. Give it some time for the flavors to develop for a more full bodied salsa.

roasted red salsa in a bowl on a table

I personally find this salsa pretty mild, but as everyone’s taste buds are different, feel free to use a whole serrano or add another jalapeno for more spice.

What do you think? Give me a shout – I want to see your awesome homemade salsas!

Until next time. X

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Roasted Restaurant Style Red Salsa

roasted red salsa with a chip sticking out the top

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roasted red salsa in a bowl with a chip scooping some out to eat

Roasted Restaurant Style Red Salsa

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A simple and easy roasted red salsa that’s perfect for Taco Tuesday, and some tips to help you make the best homemade salsa ever!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


  • 2 lbs tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion, cut in half
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeño, stem removed
  • 1/2 serrano pepper
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper


  1. Set the oven to broil.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil and place (whole) the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno and serrano pepper.
  3. Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until the tops are nicely charred.
  4. Remove from the oven and place in a blender or food processor and add the cilantro, salt and pepper. Blend to your desired consistency – 15-30 seconds or so.
  5. Serve warm and store chilled in an airtight container.



  • sheet pan
  • foil
  • blender or food processor

See post for tips on choosing tomatoes and more.

  • Author: Sarah | AwayFromTheBox
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegan

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