Appetizer/ Fast and Easy/ Recipe

Homemade Salsa with Charred Tomatoes

June 20, 2019 (Last Updated: June 28, 2019)

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Salsa Salsa Salsa – Fresh Homemade salsa made with charred tomatoes!

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.

What ingredients do I need to make this salsa?

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Jalapenos
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Fresh squeeze lime juice
  • Salt

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. 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. 

Don’t forget to PIN for later! A bowlful of homemade salsa topped with cilantro.

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

5 from 6 votes
Salsa topped with sliced onions and fresh cilantro.
Homemade Salsa with charred tomatoes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Tomato salsa with an added flavor and smokiness of charred tomatoes.

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: restaurant style salsa, salsa with charred tomatoes, tomato salsa
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 4 kcal
Author: Kathy
  • 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
  1. Place tomatoes, jalapeños, and 1/2 onion on hot cast iron pan. Turn ingredients so you achieve a nice char on all sides.
  2. When jalapeño is nicely blackened, place on a cutting board and cut off top and remove seeds.
  3. Place charred items in the food processor. Puree everything until no large pieces remain.
  4. Add cilantro. Pulse just until mixed.
  5. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  6. Stir in salt, juice of lime, and chopped green scallions.
  7. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Salsa with charred tomatoes
Amount Per Serving (0.25 cup)
Calories 4 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 98mg4%
Potassium 20mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 70IU1%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.




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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!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2019 at 12:08 am

    5 stars
    I absolutely love that smoky flavor from charring the tomatoes. This screams summer. I need a bag of chips and this ASAP! 🙂 ~Valentina

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    June 20, 2019 at 10:22 am

    5 stars
    Nothing better than homemade salsa with summer tomatoes Kathy! This looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    June 20, 2019 at 9:52 am

    5 stars
    What a fun idea! I’ve made grilled guacamole before, but I’ve never done a grilled/charred salsa. It’s amazing how much flavor that added to the guac, so I totally want to try out your salsa now. This looks delicious! Now I just need to make sure I have enough tortilla chips. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    June 20, 2019 at 7:23 am

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely scrumptious, Kathy! Love salsa, especially if it’s homemade. Bet the charred tomatoes really adds something special. Now, please pass the chips 😉

  • Reply
    Veronika Sykorova
    March 20, 2017 at 1:59 am

    This looks awesome! I can’t wait for summer when tomatoes will be in season to make this for our summer grilled dinners outside!

    • Reply
      March 20, 2017 at 4:42 am

      This salsa is wonderful on grilled foods! I hope you give it a try!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Love the idea of charring the vegetables before adding them to the salsa – Totally going to try it out!

  • Reply
    Sue Ringsdorf
    March 15, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    5 stars
    I love salsa and never considering charring the veggies first. Must try it!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    March 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I’ll take some salsa any way I can get it. This charred version you’ve got going on here sounds fantastic!

  • Reply
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout
    February 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    This looks so great! I love roasting or charring veggies for salsa, it really brings out the flavors 🙂

    • Reply
      February 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Medha!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I craved the bright flavors of summer and will admit to recently buying out-of-season, hot house grown tomatoes. They really are not the same as summer tomatoes, but still. The wonderful salsa recipe would be a wonderful way to enjoy their flavor!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2015 at 8:45 am

      I agree…out-of-season tomatoes just don’t stack up to fresh, vine-ripened!

  • Reply
    Alyssa @ My Sequined Life
    February 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Ooh what a great idea about charring the veggies! I bet that adds such a delicious flavor. Love this!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2015 at 5:07 am

      Thanks Alyssa. The charring does add great flavor!

  • Reply
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
    February 27, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Charring is a great idea, Kathy. Winter tomatoes are so bland but charring would perk them right up! I usually make a chunky salsa – but your recipe looks like the kind you get in a good mexican recipe. Definitely trying this!

    • Reply
      February 27, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks Geraldine. This would probably work with chunking everything up too rather than putting through the processor. Let me know if you try it that way.

  • Reply
    Ali @ Whisk and Repeat
    February 27, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Oh man! This salsa looks just like my favorite restaurant salsa. I’m going to have to try this out.

    • Reply
      February 27, 2015 at 6:21 am

      I hope you give it a try! Let me know how it turns out for you! Thanks!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Charring the veggies first? How brilliant! I really need to try this. And your photos are beautiful Kathy!

    • Reply
      February 27, 2015 at 5:08 am

      Thanks Rachelle!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 6:23 am

    I’ve never thought to char the veggies before making salsa, what a great idea! My girls are only 3 and 5 and prefer a more mild taste to food (at least for now). I could eat salsa for dinner but of course, it adds so much dimension to so many dishes! Looks delish.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2015 at 6:35 am

      The charring really adds an extra element. Thanks Laura!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Omg! This recipe is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! You took amazing pictures!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2015 at 6:34 am

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    John@Kitchen Riffs
    February 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    I love making my own salsa! I can spice it just as I like it. Don’t often char the ingredients, though — I should do that. Good stuff — thanks.

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks John. I often make two dishes…one for my husband with extra spice and one for my kids that’s pretty mild…I usually mix the two for a medium one just for me!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    My mouth is watering!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg
    February 25, 2015 at 8:18 am

    A nice charred salsa is always a treat. Using fresh vegetables to make salsas and pickles is my favorite activity come summer! I can’t wait to try this.

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      If only summer would come a bit sooner!

  • Reply
    Lori from LL Farm
    February 25, 2015 at 6:49 am

    This looks delicious! Although I canned salsa last year, I still prefer the freshly made salsa taste.

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      I can a lot of things, but I’ve never canned salsa! Need to give it a go this summer!

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