Fire Roasted Salsa | Chris Cooks

June 5, 2022

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Salsa has been tricky for me, which sounds silly. I’ve made several versions, and historically the best ones I’ve made have used canned tomatoes. As someone who is trying to move to “fresh” as much as I can, that’s been frustrating. But it makes sense, because canned tomatoes usually contain additional things that make the flavor more consistent.

Copper Pots | Plate

Fresh tomatoes are hit and miss, especially buying from a grocery store out of season. But I think I’ve finally figured out the trick, thanks to my brother-in-law who is a Monterrey, Mexico native – you gotta grill the stuff!

Grilling the vegetables is a way to cook the ingredients, while still maintaining freshness. Fire roasting tenderizes the vegetables, takes out some intensity and deepens the flavor. Manage the spice level by adding as many arbol chilis as you want (even if it’s zero), and keep a jar on hand because this salsa is so tasty.

Fire Roasted Salsa
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Fire Roasted Salsa

Fire is a flavor, which is especially true in parts of northern Mexico where nearly everything is cooked over coals. This is a great salsa with fresh flavors that can be adjusted to your preferred spice level.
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: 10 minute dishes, salsa, side dishes, spicy


  • 6 oz tomatillos plus or minus 1.5 oz
  • 1 lb Roma tomatoes plus or minus 3 oz
  • 6 oz white onion plus or minus 1.5 oz
  • 0-5 dried arbor chilis dried - 2 is a decent medium salsa
  • 1 tsp Badia brand Adobo seasoning the version with pepper preferred
  • 1/4-1/3 cup rough chopped cilantro loosely packed


  • Peel the tomatillos, trim the ends from the white onion and peel the papery outer layer, and wash the tomatillos, tomatoes, and onion. Grill over coals or on high heat until char forms all around the outside.
  • As the tomato, tomatillos and onion finish cooking, add them to a blender. Quickly char the arbol chilis. Remove the stems, shake out the seeds inside as much as you can and add the chilis to the blender as well.
  • Blend the ingredients together to your preferred consistency. Add more adobo seasoning if desired, stir and transfer to a jar. Enjoy warm, or allow to chill overnight for the full flavor to develop.

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What do you think?

  1. Angelie says:

    5 stars
    Wow wow wow! This recipe is inspired! I’ve been wanting a roasted fresh salsa recipe. This is it. Built a fire outside today (90 degrees, nbd) and roasted the things. The flavors here are incredible. Well done!

  2. RC says:

    Chris Cooks stan here. Your 5min hummus and Thai beef salad are the TRUTH, staples in my house.

    We’re a huge salsa family and can’t get excited about fresh tom versions unless they are charred. Canned ftw, no shame. Also: smoke the damb jalapeños. Once that is done, nothing else will do.

  3. Christie says:

    Hello, so if I don’t want spicy do I leave out anything ? Thank you.

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