Fire Roasted Salsa

This fire roasted salsa is made with charred tomatoes and onions and, just for complexity and to ensure the salsa is sufficiently smoky, a smidgen of chipotle in adobo. Great for dunking, dipping, and dabbling.

Fire-Roasted Salsa

This fire roasted salsa manages to be sweet, smoky, and spicy all at once thanks to blackening the tomatoes and onions either on the stovetop or the grill and a dose of chipotle in adobo. It’s basically the quintessential salsa for dunking, dipping, and dabbling everything from tacos to tortilla chips. Originally published March 16, 2017.Angie Zoobkoff

Fire Roasted Salsa Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes about 2 cups


  • Mild olive oil, for the pan or grill
  • About 21 ounces (600 g) ripe red tomatoes (about 5 tomatoes)
  • 1 red onion, halved (about 200 g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled (about 10 g)
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo (about 30 g) plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) adobo sauce (if you need gluten-free, look for the brand La Costeña)
  • 1 large handful cilantro, roughly chopped (about 15 g or 20 sprigs)
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons or 30 ml)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. If you have an electric stovetop, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly slick the pan with oil. Grill the tomatoes and onion, using tongs to turn them frequently, until lightly blackened all over, about 20 minutes. If you have a grill, heat it over medium-high heat. Lightly slick the grill rack with oil. Grill the tomatoes and onion, using tongs to turn them frequently, until lightly blackened all over, about 20 minutes. If you have a gas stovetop, crank a burner on medium-high heat. Use tongs to hold the tomatoes and onion just above the flame, turning them frequently, until lightly blackened all over.
  • 2. Transfer the tomatoes and onion to a food processor along with the garlic, chipotles and adobo sauce, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until you have a slightly chunky salsa of your desired consistency. Devour immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple days. The flavors will meld a little if refrigerated. Serve liberally atop your favorite Mexican fare.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

This fire roasted salsa is SO good. A few fresh ingredients and my beloved chipotle chiles combine to make this salsa easy and delicious. The longest part of preparation is roasting the onion and tomatoes, which takes about 20 minutes with a cast-iron grill on the stovetop. I used a small amount of olive oil on the grill because all I could find were very ripe on-the-vine tomatoes and didn't want the skins to stick. I also put the garlic, chipotle, cilantro, and onion through the processor first, then added the tomatoes, to get a better texture. Again, this was because of the wetness of the tomatoes which is about all you can get in February in Northern Ontario. I made this last night and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator and the flavors are even better today. Sweet and smoky and fresh tasting, it is really delicious. I ended up with just over 2 cups which makes about 6 servings in our house.

This fire roasted salsa has a great, deep, smoky flavor but is very hot! Great on tacos or as a thick dipping salsa for chips. The charred red onions were very good in this. I used a gas grill and it took 15 minutes. Next time, I would like to try a grill pan to see if I can get more char. Next time, I’ll use more onion and less chipotle. It's very hot so it will go a long way. As a dip with chips, it will serve about 8 people.

This is probably the best salsa I've ever tried.


  1. Wow, this ticks all the boxes: fast, easy, delicious and healthy! I started with one chipotle and one tbsp of the adobo and ended up adding the amount called for in the recipe. It’s a good level of heat for my family’s palate, and it’s doing a great job of clearing out my stuffed sinuses.

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