This easy homemade charred salsa recipe is the perfect way to add some bold and smoky flavors to your favorite dishes! Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This salsa is super fresh and flavorful.
- You are given four different methods for charring the ingredients needed for this recipe, making it easy to find something that works.
- Charring some of the ingredients adds depth of flavor and subtle smokiness to this salsa recipe.
- This charred salsa is naturally plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.
🍅 Ingredients and Substitutes
Tomatoes: Standard globe tomatoes, plum tomatoes, or Roma tomatoes work well in this recipe. You can even use grape or cherry tomatoes if that is what you have on hand (just use about 16 of them instead of 4). Leave them unpeeled.
Red onion: Red onion adds some spice and sweetness that differs slightly from yellow and white onions when charred, but use what you have.
Garlic: You can char the garlic cloves with papery skins on or off. Just be certain to remove them before blending.
Jalapeño peppers: These mild green chiles grow even more complex in flavor when charred, their grassy notes morphing into something almost fruity and smoky. While it adds some heat, this charred salsa isn’t super spicy. Feel free the adjust the amount or even the types of peppers to suit your own palate.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro helps balance the smokier elements of this salsa, but if you are not a fan of cilantro, feel free to give another green herb like parsley a spin, or simply omit it altogether.
Lime juice: A touch of lime juice adds necessary acidity.
Agave nectar: A touch of sweetness adds some balance to this salsa recipe. You can use maple syrup, honey, or sugar instead if you prefer.
Salt: Like most recipes, salt brings out all the flavors in this vibrant salsa. I find one teaspoon of sea salt to be about perfect but feel free to adjust the amount to taste.
Oregano: Dried oregano adds a delightful subtle hit of flavor.
🔥 How to Make Charred Tomato Salsa
- Start by charring the salsa ingredients using one of the three methods provided in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Combine the charred ingredients with the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Pulse or blend until your desired consistency is achieved.
🌮 Serving Ideas
- Serve with quesadillas, burritos and tacos.
- Drizzle over roasted vegetables.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
- Top off a baked potato.
- Serve with rice bowls.
- Top off eggs.
💭 Top Tips
- Make this charred tomato salsa recipe your own by creating the consistency you most like. You can pulse, blend or even hand-chop the ingredients if you prefer.
- For a more traditional preparation, use a molcajete (mortar and pestle) to prepare this salsa tatemade (charred salsa).
- Adjust the heat level of this salsa recipe by using the peppers you most prefer.
A traditional Mexican molcajete.
🌶️ More Delicious Salsa Recipes
- 4 fresh tomatoes halved
- 3 jalapeno peppers halved
- 1 red onion quartered
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro packed, stems removed
- 3 tablespoons lime juice fresh or bottled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar/any sweetener of choice
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Kitchen Torch Method
- Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic on a heat-safe baking sheet or pan.
- Using a kitchen torch, carefully char each ingredient using the flame of the torch, until everything has some black blistery parts.
Gas Burner Method
- Carefully hold the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic over the open flame of a gas burner using heat-safe kitchen tongs, until everything has some black blistery parts.
Oven Broiler Method
- Place an over rack on the top tier of the oven.
- Turn the broiler on.
- Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic on a baking sheet.
- Place the sheet on the top rack of the oven and allow the ingredients to broil until everything has some black blistery parts.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat.
- Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic into the hot skillet.
- Allow the ingredients to develop some black blistery parts, while flipping and stirring frequently.
After Charring, Let's Make Salsa!
- Once the tomatoes, peppers, onion and garlic have been charred using one of the methods above, place the charred ingredients into a blender or food process along with the cilantro, lime juice, salt, sweetener and oregano.
- Gently pulse for a chunkier salsa or blend on high for a smooth salsa.