Recipe: Charred Tomato Salsa

Skip the jarred stuff and make a spicy, smoky salsa from scratch

Cinco de Mayo is nigh, but this salsa is good for year-round snacking: Charring all of the vegetables before blending creates a smoky salsa that pairs perfectly with a cold, tart margarita.

Feel free to play around with the recipe. If you want more heat, add another pepper. If you're a wimp (like many of us), take one out. Switch out the tomatoes with tomatillos for a smoky green salsa verde. You do you-just make sure you don't run out of chips.

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Charred Tomato Salsa
5 from 83 ratings
Char tomatoes, jalapeños, onion and garlic for the ultimate smoky salsa.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 1 pound (4 medium) plum tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ white onion, cut into 4 wedges
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Working in batches, sear the plum tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic and onion until charred all over, 5 minutes for the tomatoes and garlic, and 8 minutes for the jalapeños and onion.
  2. Transfer all the charred vegetables to the bowl of a food processor and let cool completely. Add the cilantro, lime juice and agave, then pulse until a chunky purée forms. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl. Serve with tortilla chips.
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