Roasted Tomato Salsa

Salsa Time!
It's complex, bold and spicy

This recipe is a staple in our household. It’s got great kick, is super fresh and complex from the roasting process. It’s fast too. You can have this salsa finished in under 20 minutes and as an added bonus, make the green Salsa Verde Cruda recipe while the roasting in the oven!

Try not to over blend unless you want it very thin. And why the 7UP? It adds a touch of sweetness and a littler zing from the carbonation. I think you’ll find it quite interesting 🙂

Roasted Red Salsa

A staple salsa for parties
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10


  • Blender or food processor


  • 3 whole Plum tomatoes - fresh
  • 20 oz Plum tomatoes, whole - canned, drained, halved
  • 2-3 Jalapenos - deseeded, or not!
  • 3 slices large white onion
  • 5-6 cloves garlic - if peeled, wrapped in foil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro - leaves & stems
  • 1/2C cup 7UP - yes, the soda
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 large Garlic clove (raw) - microplaned
  • 1/4 cup white onion (raw)
  • 1 TBSP Agave


  • Preheat oven on Broiler with top rack installed. Prepare ice bath in large bowl.
  • Place fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapenos and garlic on half sheet plan. Drizzle with EVO. Put high on rack under broiler 10-12 minutes or until charred well. Remove and place veggies in gallon ziplock and submerge in ice water for a few minutes.
  • Remove cooked tomato skins. In food processor, add everything from bag, the cilantro, cumin, salt, agave, 7UP. Pulse a few times. We don't want to puree! Now add whole canned tomatoes and raw onion & garlic . Pulse a few times more till you have desired consistency.


Adjust for spiciness by adding a few pieces of raw serrano or jalapeno in food processor.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A Short History of Mexican-Style Salsa

The term “salsa” translates from Spanish as “sauce,” a fitting name for the blend of flavors and ingredients that compose it. While today it’s a popular condiment worldwide, especially in conjunction with Mexican cuisine, its history traces back centuries.

1. Pre-Columbian Origins: Before the Spanish arrived in the Americas, indigenous cultures such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas had their versions of salsa. These were primarily fresh concoctions of chili peppers, tomatoes, and other native ingredients. The Aztecs, for instance, had a variety of such mixtures, including those made with tomatoes (“xitomatl”), chilies (“chilli”), and squash seeds.

2. European Influence: When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they encountered and documented these spicy mixtures. They introduced their own ingredients from Europe, such as onions and garlic, which eventually found their way into traditional salsa recipes.

3. Regional Diversification: As Mexican cuisine evolved, so did salsa. Different regions in Mexico started producing distinct varieties. For instance:

  • Pico de gallo: A fresh salsa made of chopped tomatoes, onions, chilies, and cilantro.
  • Salsa verde: Made primarily from tomatillos, green chilies, and cilantro.
  • Molcajete salsa: Prepared using a traditional stone mortar and pestle, incorporating varied ingredients like tomatoes, chilies, and more.

4. Northward Expansion: With Mexican immigration to the US in the 20th century, the love for salsa grew north of the border. By the end of the 20th century, salsa had overtaken ketchup as the top-selling condiment in the U.S., indicative of its increasing popularity and integration into American cuisine.

5. Global Popularity: As the global palate became more adventurous, the international food market began to embrace spicier and more varied flavors. Salsa started appearing on tables worldwide, from Europe to Asia and beyond.

6. Modern Varieties: Today, salsas can range from the very mild to the fire-hot, incorporating a diverse array of ingredients like mangoes, black beans, corn, and even pineapple. While its roots are deeply Mexican, its appeal is undeniably global.

Mexican-style salsa has evolved from its indigenous beginnings into a global culinary sensation, with its rich flavors and textures bridging cultures and tantalizing taste buds around the world.

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