How to Make the Best Salsa

This salsa recipe is my pride and joy. (After my kids, of course. Settle down.)

It is the tastiest versions of the multiple ways I make salsa, and hands-down one of the best things I do.

Roasted Salsa is 554% Better Than Other Salsa

A lotta years ago, I learned how to roast vegetables under an oven broiler and I fell in love with the process: blackened skins from tomatoes and tomatillos add texture, depth of flavor, and beautiful specks of color to every bite of whatever they’re in. 

tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, tomatillos in a black pan

Those bubbling, seared skins are essential to how this salsa tastes. Layered, balanced flavors fill each bite slathered across a big tortilla chip. I’m saying life (and homemade salsa) doesn’t get any better than this.

If you’re savvy, you can also use this salsa:

  • as an ingredient in pasta sauce
  • poured over enchiladas and tacos
  • mixed with scrambled eggs
  • added to hamburgers
  • in steak marinade
  • as the salsa for watching the Super Bowl
  • as the salsa while watching the Academy Awards
  • as the salsa for your special summer party

Make this soon. Gather the ingredients and get the broiler hot and follow the recipe. Adapt if you must, but don’t change the part where you practically set those vegetables on fire in your oven.


After hiding a big jar of this salsa for yourself in the back of your refrigerator, grab your favorite tortilla chips and your friends. And party like it’s…1999. Back when some of you (and me) had far less responsibility than today.



homemade salsa, game day foods

Roasted Salsa Recipe with Tomatoes and Tomatillos

Mouth-watering salsa with the right robust flavor that you can sink tortilla chips into, or ladle all across that taco in your hand.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings


  • 8 to 10 medium to large fresh tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 tomatillos, husked
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stem removed and sliced in half lengthwise Use 3 to 4 peppers for medium spicy salsa
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion
  • 5 to 6 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 to 2 heaping tablespoon raw sugar Or to taste. You might need fewer.
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons salt Or to taste. It's quite likely you'll need more.
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pepper


  • Turn oven broiler on to high heat, 500°. Brush broiler pan generously with olive oil.
  • Slightly slice off tops and bottoms of tomatoes and tomatillos to remove stems and so each will sit level on a broiler pan.
  • Place broiler pan with vegetables on an oven rack close to the top broiler.
  • Broil the vegetables 8 to 10 minutes, checking occasionally. The top third or so of the tomatoes and tomatillos should be partially blackened with wrinkling skins. When this happens it’s time to turn them over.
  • With tongs, gently turn the vegetables over and broil on other side 8 to 10 minutes. The insides will be very soft.
  • Place broiled and sautéed vegetables—all juices and skins included—into a food processor and pulse several times until foods are fully chopped and blended. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add mixture to a bowl and stir slowly with a whisk or whisk attachment on a blender.
  • Serve warm or wait until salsa has cooled and store in refrigerator.


* If you find your salsa batch is too spicy for your tastes after mixing with a whisk (step 7), chop one to two fresh, non-roasted tomatoes to the food processor and mix into the batch.