Easy Homemade Salsa Roja - 'Til it tastes good

Easy Homemade Salsa Roja - 'Til it tastes good

Mar 17, 2022Maggie Eubank

I have a confession; I LOVE condiments. Like, really love them. Dips, sauces, whatever - I love having lots of options. My favorite condiment is, without a doubt, salsa. Salsa verde, salsa roja; any salsa and every salsa. The fact that I grew up in San Antonio probably has a lot to do with my everlasting love of salsa; every joint has their own salsas, and for the most part, they were all incredible. This is my homage to all the salsas of San Antonio - my (very) quick and easy version of salsa roja. It’s so easy, I feel silly even calling this a recipe; but I’m still gonna. You can eat it on tacos, chips, eggs: anything!

Fun fact - this is a 3rd place winning salsa recipe. It probably could have won 1st, but I was also entered in the Margarita contest, and well, shit kinda goes sideways when you’re making salsa and tasting lots of batches of “knock you on your ass” margaritas :)


Canned tomatoes - 28 oz

Jalapeno (with the seeds and membranes)


Onion - half

Cilantro - 1 bunch


Salt & Pepper

Step 1: Add your canned tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, and jalapenos to a food processor, blender, or molcajete (but let’s be honest: if you’re using a molcajete, you aren’t here for my salsa recipe because yours is better). I usually use whole fire roasted tomatoes for my salsa, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I used diced tomatoes instead: either will work perfectly fine. What you shouldn’t use is fresh tomatoes (without cooking them) - those are for pico de gallo. Your salsa will be watery and not great if you use fresh tomatoes (trust me, I know). Also, for the love of everything holy, leave the seeds and membrane in your jalapeno. This is salsa, not ketchup; it’s supposed to be spicy! I am usually a 2-3 jalapeno girl, but when I cut this one open I could smell how spicy it was, so I took it easy on my kids and just used one. As expected, they told me it wasn’t spicy enough…

I always look for the jalapenos with stretch marks; they tend to be spicier and more flavorful than the smooth ones because they are more mature when they are harvested. You may also see some that have stretch marks and a black spot (which happens when a jalapeno transitions from green to red); those are the real winners!

Blend these ingredients until mostly pureed - these all go in first because you want them to be in the smallest pieces; no body is going to want a whole garlic clove or chunk of jalapeno in their mouth (except me).

Step 2: Add in your cilantro, salt, and pepper. Take it easy on the salt though; you can always add more. The salinity will change after you add the lime, but I feel like adding a little as you go is always better than adding too much at one time. TASTE AT EVERY STEP.

Whirr it up!

Step 3: Once the cilantro is blitzed up to your liking, add as much lime as you like. We like a lot, but this lime was particularly juicy, so I only needed one. Pro-tip: your salsa will taste better if you let your kid squeeze the lime (according to my kid).

Give it one more spin around the ol’ food processor, and that’s it! I wasn’t joking when I said it was easy.

You can eat this salsa right away, but it is SO MUCH BETTER if you can let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so (over night is even better). It rarely gets more than a few minutes to rest over here, unless I make it while they are all out of the house. Once they hear the food processor fire up, they know what’s happening, and start circling like buzzards.

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