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How to Make Salsa: Homemade Recipe for Salsa Roja

Making salsa truly brings joy to my life. Whenever people ask me what my favorite food is, I immediately say, "chips and salsa".

I'm the type of person that will un-shamefully order my own bowl of salsa at a restaurant because it is that good to me. I also size up a Mexican restaurant based on their salsa, meaning if I don't like your salsa, I won't be returning because it's that important to me.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click a link then I might receive a small commission at no cost to you.

I think my passion for salsa began when I lived in California for college. there were so many amazing taquerias near my house that I would venture out looking for the best salsa in town. I quickly learned that they would not give me a recipe after I began to guess the ingredients to the cashier at El Frijolito. Silly me!

So, if I couldn't ask for the salsa recipe, I had to experiment with trial and error to find the recipe. This was before Pinterest and any other types of social media where you could quickly find the recipe.

I found myself buying a lot of tomatoes, a cooking comal, and a blender so that I could crack the code, you know the recipe for salsa roja.

Turns out, it's not that complicated... if you have the right ingredients and the correct cooking method.

To me, you can have the correct ingredients, but the wrong cooking method, and then the salsa will not turn out so good. So if you can get both processes right, then you will have created the perfect homemade salsa!

Let's begin...

salsa and gorditas
Homemade Chicken Gorditas with Salsa Roja

What is salsa made of?

Well, this depends on what type of salsa you are making. This homemade salsa recipe

will be a recipe for salsa roja or red salsa. So if you are making salsa roja, then these are the typical ingredients:

  • Roma tomatoes

  • white onion

  • jalapeno peppers

  • garlic

  • cilantro

  • salt

These are the basic ingredients for the recipe for salsa roja. You can also jazz up the salsa and add different peppers like serrano and habanero. Habanero is on the very spicy side so don't add as many to the recipe.

Pro Tip: Wash your hands with soap after handling peppers.

What type of cooking supplies do I need?

You don't need a lot of supplies to cook homemade salsa in the kitchen. You probably have most on hand but here are a few of my recommended supplies.

  • Pot - for boiling ingredients

  • Cutting Board - for cutting ingredients

  • Knife - for cutting ingredients

  • Blender - for blending ingredients

  • Bowl - to serve the salsa roja

Recipe for Salsa Roja

  1. First, wash 5 Roma tomatoes and place them in a pot.

  2. Cut a quarter-size piece of white onion and place it in a pot alongside the tomatoes.

  3. Wash 3-5 jalapenos and place in a pot with the onion and tomatoes.

  4. Add 2 cloves of garlic

  5. Add water to the pot so that it barely covers the ingredients.

  6. Boil ingredients till the tomatoes and jalapenos are soft to the touch. You know it's ready when the tomato skin breaks, although I like to remove the pot from the heat before the skin breaks.

  7. Drain the water and add the boiled ingredients to a blender. Let cool for a few minutes while it rests in the blender.

  8. Add salt and cilantro to the blender.

  9. Blend on medium for a few seconds until everything is well blended to your liking. I prefer my salsa blended and less chunky so I blend the ingredients a little longer

This recipe for salsa roja can be served warm or cold. I prefer to serve my salsa roja with tortilla chips.

However, you can use this recipe for salsa roja for taco Tuesday nights, taco salads, nachos, or anything else that needs a little spice!

I hope you enjoyed this easy homemade recipe for salsa roja!

Read more articles from Florida Family + Lifestyle:


Hello! I'm Tiffany, a creative travel writer, mother to three awesome kids, and Floridian. We like to visit beautiful Florida resorts and beaches, Florida State Parks, and explore destinations by boat. I like to write about our travel adventures and provide Florida lifestyle tips to other families traveling or relocating to the Sunshine State.


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