Recently, Zach and I have been on the hunt for the best store-bought salsa. Because we live a stone’s throw away from Trader Joe’s, we have been gathering and tasting every salsa they have to offer over the past couple of months. Mild, spicy, chunky, saucy…long story short, none of them knock our socks off. Some had a distinctly tomatoey flavor you would get from ketchup or pizza sauce, while others didn’t deliver on the textual front. I quickly learned that much like my attitude towards stationery, tee shirts, and everything else, I was pretty particular about salsa.
I think part of the issue is that I have grown accustomed to restaurant-style salsas ever since moving to Dallas. Tex Mex is everywhere, and restaurants serve up some serious salsa game.
So, I started to think about my favorite salsas and what made them so great. They were spicy but not absolute hellfire, not too chunky, but not completely pureed, a little smoky, a little sweet etc. So, I began to research some recipes and tested a few, making alterations and notes as I went. Eventually, I made a batch that Zach and I both agreed was pretty delicious – and really addicting. Then I made it again, and again…and again.
While I was quietly enjoying this salsa on the regular, it dawned on me that I was also gatekeeping a really good recipe. So, I decided to bring it here to the blog! It is simple to make, completely addicting, and is bound to be a crowd pleaser at your next party.
What’s in this Salsa:
- Roma Tomatoes: I love Roma tomatoes for this recipe because they are not too acidic, and don’t have too many seeds.
- White Onion: Roasted in the oven until charred on the edges and soft in the center, onion is a key player in this recipe. The slightly sweet, caramelized flavor it adds rounds out the flavor profile of the salsa so well!
- Chipotle in Adobo: My secret weapon. Zach and I both will eat chipotle-flavored anything, so it was a non-negotiable for us in this recipe. Smoky and with just the right amount of heat, it takes this salsa to the next level.
- Cilantro: A bright, herbaceous note that doesn’t overpower, but instead complements the flavors in the salsa. If you don’t like cilantro, I have made this without it and it is still great! Though in my opinion, the fresh herbs are the perfect finishing touch.
- 4 Roma Tomatoes (halved)
- 1 white onion (slice into 1/2 inch rounds)
- 1 jalapeno (seeds removed and halved)
- 1 chipotle in adobo + 1 tbsp adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- juice of 1/2 lime (about 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and lay the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno face down on the baking sheet.
- Lightly drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the broiler on high and broil until you start to see char develop on the tomatoes, onion, and pepper. They don't need to be completely blackened, just browned and bubbling.
- Then, add the cooked tomatoes, onion, and pepper into a food processor along with the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chipotle + adobo, and salt. Note: You do not need to let everything cool before adding it to a food processor, though can if you prefer.
- Pulse everything together until well-incorporated and even in size, though not completely pureed.
- Once you achieve the desired texture, store the salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator.