Doesn’t a smoky, zesty Charred Tomato Salsa sound amazing? This sauce takes ancient traditions and makes them modern. It features charred tomatoes, spicy jalapeno, zesty garlic and onions, and a little sprinkle of salt.

Ready to learn the secrets of the art of charring and how to make your very own Charred Tomato Salsa recipe? Let’s jump in!

charred tomatoes, onions and jalapeno in a pan

Why this Recipe Works:

  • That Distinct Charred Flavor: Charring your tomatoes give this salsa a deep smoky flavor that just can’t be replicated with spices. It also takes the sting out of the acidity of the tomatoes. 
  • Complex Flavors That Just Mesh Well: The char of the tomatoes mixed with zesty garlic, fresh cilantro, and hint of lime will make your taste buds do the happy dance. It just works!
  • It Pairs Well with So Much: This Charred Tomato Salsa enhances so many other meals, whether you’re putting it on grilled meats, spicing up breakfast omelets, or stirring it into grain bowls, you’re gonna love it! 

From Xitomatl to Salsa Roja:

Charred Tomato Salsa, or “Salsa Roja”, is a beloved part of modern Mexican cuisine. But did you know that its history stretches back to ancient times? The Aztecs’ vast empire was located in what is now Mexico, and they were some of the first to experiment with tomatoes, which they called “xitomatl” (shee-TO-matl). At the time, tomatoes were small and yellow and had a tangy flavor.

The Aztecs combined tomatoes with chili peppers, ground squash seeds, and salt to create a simple but boldly flavored sauce. After the Spanish-Aztec war in the 16th century, the tomato plant was introduced to Europe, and then it quickly spread across the continent.

In Mexico, tomatoes began to evolve from being small and yellow to the red and plump tomatoes we know today, and they became a popular addition to Mexican cuisine. The charring or roasting of tomatoes and chili peppers was also adopted around this time, which adds a beautiful smoky depth to the flavor of salsa.

Overhead shot of charring tomatoes, jalapenos, onions

Lime Juice Makes Your Salsa Pop:

Lime juice is a big part of our Charred Tomato Salsa because it gives it a burst of freshness and zing that brightens the entire sauce. Lime juice’s tangy acidity also perfectly complements the smoky flavors of the charred tomatoes and jalapeno. It’s a balancing act that just works!

Not only does lime juice enhance the flavor of the salsa, but it also acts as a natural preservative, so your salsa can stay fresher for longer!

The Biggest Mistake People Make When Charring:

One of the biggest mistakes people make making this salse is over-charring the tomatoes and peppers. A slight char adds depth and smokiness, but too much charring will just leave you with a burnt, bitter taste and unpleasant texture.

To avoid this, watch those tomatoes!! We recommend charring in a pan on your stove, but you can also use your grill. Only char until your tomatoes are lightly blackened but still have their juiciness and sweetness.

Note: For a milder version of our Charred Tomato Salsa, you can remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapenos before adding them in. This will tone down the heat significantly, but still give you that smoky taste.

charred tomato salsa ingredients in blender

Charred Tomato Salsa Buddha Bowl

This salsa makes a great addition to our Buddha Bowl formula!. Here’s how:

  • Base: Start with a bed of cooked quinoa or brown rice as the base of your Buddha Bowl.
  • Protein: Add your choice of protein. It can be grilled chicken, black beans, or sautéed tofu. Whatever you feel in the moment!
  • Roasted Veggies: Roast some colorful veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes to add to the texture and bulk up your meal with healthy greens.
  • Avocado: Slice up some avocado and add it to the top of the bowl to incorporate some healthy fats and to add a creamy, buttery taste.
  • Charred Tomato Salsa: Now, spoon on a generous amount of that smoky Charred Tomato Salsa for a burst of flavor!
  • Garnish: Finish it all off with fresh cilantro, some lime wedges, and a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese and you’ve got yourself an amazing Buddha Bowl!

Wanna learn more about healthy, time-saving (and money-saving, too!) Buddha Bowls? Check it out here!.

Salad chicken bowl with charred tomato salsa in red bowl

Ingredients To Make This Charred Tomato Salsa Recipe

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno
  • ¼ large red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lime
  • Freshly ground black pepper

collage of charred tomato salsa ingredients

How To Make this Charred Tomato Salsa 

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat add oil, whole tomatoes, whole jalapeno, onion, and garlic cloves. 
  2. Rotate the vegetables until blistered and charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn the cloves (remove them).
  3. Add all charred ingredients, plus the rest of the ingredients to a blender.
  4. Pulse until desired consistency.
  5. Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper.

Enjoy your homemade Charred Tomato Salsa! 

 

Check Out More of Our Salsa Recipes Here:

Charred Tomato Salsa Recipe1

Charred Tomato Salsa Recipe

This delicious salsa is made by charring fresh tomatoes over an open flame, giving them a smoky flavor. Combined with onions, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro, it creates a zesty and vibrant salsa that pairs perfectly with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos and grilled meats. Get ready to enjoy a burst of flavors in every bite!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course dressing, lunch, sauce
Calories 317 kcal

Ingredients
  

Charred Tomato Salsa : Yields 1 ½ cups

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno
  • ¼ large red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lime
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large saute pan over medium heat add oil, whole tomatoes, whole jalapeno, onion, and garlic cloves.
  • Rotate the vegetables until blistered and charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn the cloves (remove them).
  • Add all charred ingredients, plus the rest of the ingredients to a blender.
  • Pulse until desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper and top with a squeeze of lime.

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 3gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gSodium: 2342mgPotassium: 698mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 2353IUVitamin C: 55mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
Keyword buddha bowl, buddhabowl, charred tomato salsa, signature buddha bowl, tomato salsa sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!