Appetizer/ Recipe

Homemade Salsa with Charred Tomatoes

June 20, 2019 (Last Updated: September 24, 2020)

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Salsa Salsa Salsa – Fresh homemade salsa made with charred tomatoes! Making this tasty salsa is easy and packed full of flavor. The tomatoes, onions and jalapenos are given a quick cook on a hot pan to give a bit of a smoky cooked flavor to the salsa. 

A white bowl full of homemade salsa surrounded by corn chips.

This recipe was originally published in February 2015. The pictures and recipe have been updated. 

Fresh homemade salsa is the best no matter what the season. It’s just as delicious in the summer as it is in the middle of the winter when you just can’t find garden fresh tomatoes. However, all the required ingredients can be bought from any local grocery store in the produce department year round. This Homemade Salsa with Charred Tomatoes is amazing!

A tortilla chip topped with homemade charred tomato salsa.

Why charred tomatoes in salsa?

Charring the tomatoes adds a delicious, slightly smoky flavor to the salsa. I also char the onions and jalapenos! 

How do you char tomatoes?

To char your tomatoes, onions, and peppers, use a cast iron pan.  Anything cast iron will work, and in a pinch, you can use a non-stick pan too. For the jalapeno, you can seed first then char, or char first then seed. Really it’s up to you, but unless you like really spicy you will want to remove the seeds.

Place all ingredients on a hot ungreased pan. Allow veggies to become just slightly black, but not burned. Turn veggies until charred on all sides. 

Charring Veggies for Homemade Salsa


What type of tomatoes should I use?

Roma tomatoes are nice and meaty and are perfect for this salsa and are my first choice. When using other tomatoes besides Romas, I often slice them after charring and remove most of the seeds and liquid pulp. This helps prevent a runny salsa. 

Fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro and lime juice arranged together on a white board.

How do I make homemade salsa?

  • Char the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno on an ungreased cast iron pan

Tomatoes blackened by a cast iron pan.

  • Slice tomatoes and onion into chunks
  • Add to food processor

Fresh tomatoes, onions and jalapenos in a food processor.

  • Pulse until coarse
  • Add salt and cilantro

Chunky salsa in a food processor with fresh cilantro on top.

  • Pulse until combined
  • Put salsa into a bowl
  • Add chopped green onions and fresh squeezed lime juice

Fresh tomato salsa topped with chopped green onions.

  • Garnish with additional cilantro and serve

Salsa topped with sliced onions and fresh cilantro.

How spicy is this salsa?

The spiciness in any salsa is all up to you. I use jalapenos in this salsa. You could also use anaheim peppers which are a bit milder. When using any chili pepper, I remove the seeds and the inner membrane of the peppers. These two areas contain most of the heat.

To adjust the spiciness of the salsa you can also add just a small amount of the jalapeno, instead of a whole pepper. Keep in mind the heat will intensify the longer the salsa sits. 

Do I need to add fresh lime juice?

Yes! Fresh lime juice is key to making this salsa extra delicious! Don’t be tempted to use bottled lime juice. It’s just not the same. 

Chips and Limes

Can you make salsa without tomatoes?

Yes, you can make salsa without tomatoes. Check out my Peach Salsa  and Pineapple Salsa and this salsa verde. These salsa are perfect for serving with chips or topped on grilled meats. 

What if I don’t like cilantro?

I love cilantro, but many people do not. They claim it has a soapy taste. If you don’t like cilantro, don’t use it in this salsa. Instead add extra green onions after you’ve pureed the salsa. Use the green parts of the green onions in addition to the white parts. The taste won’t be the same, but if you don’t like cilantro, you will like this better! 

How long does homemade salsa last?

I like to eat homemade salsa within 3-5 days of making the salsa. Any longer and the salsa becomes too watery and soft. 

What dishes go well with salsa?

Don’t forget to PIN for later! A bowl filled with tomato salsa topped with fresh cilantro leaves.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my amazing recipes!

Salsa topped with sliced onions and fresh cilantro.

Homemade Salsa with charred tomatoes

Tomato salsa with an added flavor and smokiness of charred tomatoes.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 people
Calories 4 kcal


  • 5 whole Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 - 2 whole Jalapeño Peppers - depending on size and your taste.
  • 1/2 Onion - Yellow or White
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro (Chopped)
  • 1/2 Lime (Juiced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 Green Scallions (Chopped)


  • Place tomatoes, jalapeños, and 1/2 onion on hot cast iron pan. Turn ingredients so you achieve a nice char on all sides.
  • When jalapeño is nicely blackened, place on a cutting board and cut off top and remove seeds.
  • Place charred items in the food processor. Puree everything until no large pieces remain.
  • Add cilantro. Pulse just until mixed.
  • Transfer to mixing bowl.
  • Stir in salt, juice of lime, and chopped green scallions.
  • Taste and add additional salt if needed.



Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 4kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 98mgPotassium: 20mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 70IUVitamin C: 2.5mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword restaurant style salsa, salsa with charred tomatoes, tomato salsa
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.




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  • Reply
    Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
    June 22, 2019 at 5:30 am

    5 stars
    Can only imagine that charring the tomatoes would add the most delicious flavour to this salsa. Divine, Kathy!

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