Grab Your Chips…Let Me Show You How to Make Salsa

I’m not a cook.  This is so not a cooking blog.

But this salsa makes me ridiculously happy.  Like small moments happy.  So, I’m sharing it.

The best thing about this recipe is it can be tweaked any number of ways.  Over time, I’ve increased the heat by changing up the chiles and I use a ton of cilantro.

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 14 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 4-6 serrano chiles
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2-4 canned or dehydrated chipotles
  • kosher salt
  • fresh lime juice

Here’s what I used this past weekend:

In a glass baking dish, place the tomatoes, chopped onion, whole garlic cloves, and serrano peppers (I also added those little orange peppers that look relatively harmless, but are so not…they’re habaneros and they are as hot as hot gets.  We’re tough like that here.)

Roast these ingredients in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the tomato skins split.

While the vegetables are roasting, remove the stems from the chipotle peppers (I use dried chipotles, which I simply soak in hot water until they plump up).

This is what your vegetables should look like when they’re done…

Once the vegetables have cooled completely, remove the stems from the roasted peppers.

Place the roasted vegetables, chipotles, cilantro, and salt, pepper, and lime juice (to taste) in the food processor or blender and process until you achieve your desired consistency. (My food processor holds only half of the ingredients, so I do two batches.)  As you’ll see below, we like our salsa pretty smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and allow the salsa to sit for at least an hour.  It takes a bit for the flavors to meld together.

This salsa can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

But I’d be surprised if you didn’t eat it all by then.


  1. Mandy

    Wow, this looks seriously delicious. We LOVE us some salsa in our house… I think perhaps it's time for us to make our own.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Mandy

    Ooh, I have a question. How hot does your salsa come out with this amount of peppers? Do you like REALLY spicy, or just mildly hot?

  3. Nichole

    This last bowl was seriously hot. If you like it milder, don't use the habaneros! Also, cut the number of serranos in half or remove the seeds, which is where the bulk of the heat is.

    The beauty of this salsa is you can use all organic ingredients and there are no preservatives. We bought all but the dried chipotles at our farmer's market.

    Let me know if you try it! :)

  4. Mandy

    Going to try it tonight! I love medium salsa, and my husband likes VERY VERY SPICY. What peppers would you recommend for each batch?

  5. Nichole

    To make it easy, I would just use 6 serranos and 4 chipotles.
    Then, I'd process two batches, splitting everything in equal portions, except the peppers. Use 4 serranos and 3 chipotles in his half and 2 serranos and 1 chipotle in your half.

  6. Nichole

    You could just bring YOU and I'd be ecstatic!

  7. Mandy

    Thanks! You are the best! <3

  8. Alex@LateEnough

    Yum! I’ll bring fresh guacamole and a bag of chips. Probably just chips.

    Call me. :D

  9. Oh. My. Yummy. Genius to roast the veggies first. I am going to make this with my next batch of ripe tomatoes.

  10. Adrienne

    Dude! (Yeah, I just called you dude.) Your salsa has no Hatch green chili in it!

    That's pretty much sacrilegious to a New Mexican. I might have to send you some.

  11. geninabug

    ummmm… that looks DELICIOUS!!! Will try it soon!

  12. Homemade salsa is one of the beat things in life. I’ve never made it this way, but it sounds wonderful.

  13. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    That looks freaking amazing. I never thought of roasting stuff before. And? My salsa always ends up watery. I might try this!

  14. Jen

    Darn, I can't get my chip to go through the screen to get some of that salsa.

    It looks amazing. I am totally going to try this. Minus, all the hot peppers cause I am a wuss.

  15. Jennifer

    Nichole, looks like I pulled my chair up to the party just in time! Salsa! Yesss! One of my favs! And homemade truly is the best. Yours looks fantastic. I love the way your roasted the veggies and used dried chipotles. Brilliant! Dang, now I'm craving salsa. Hmmmm….

  16. Gorgeous photos and I love, love, love LOTS of cilantro in my salsa. I just finished my Chinese for dinner and am stuffed … but now I'm craving salsa! Yum!

  17. kris

    Love the photos, but I am unlikely to make salsa from scratch.

    More than unlikely.

    The stuff they sell in the big tubs at Costco?


  18. Nichole

    I'll be eager to hear how you like it.
    Roasting makes all the difference.

  19. Nichole

    Send those chiles my way, my friend!

  20. Nichole

    You won't regret it. So delicious.

  21. Nichole

    It really is.
    Now I'm on the hunt for a great salsa verde recipe.

  22. Nichole

    It really is the best salsa I've ever had…mainly, I think, because of the roasted vegetables and the fact that it can be adjusted to my heat tolerance.

  23. Nichole

    You can totally reduce the number of peppers.
    Other ways to make it milder are:
    1. Remove the seeds from the peppers before processing.
    2. Use a milder pepper, like a poblano or jalapeno.

  24. Nichole

    So happy to see you here, Jennifer. :)
    This recipe makes a ton, so it's perfect for a party.

  25. Nichole


  26. Nichole

    Thanks for the compliments on the photos.
    I took them with my iPhone, using the Camera+ app.

  27. Sherri

    Man, this makes me hungry!! I've got chips, ready to go!

  28. 2old2tap

    I love salsa! Hot. I grow my own tomatoes and peppers (I always grow habañeros). Then I can lots if salsa for my comfort. But I’m gonna have to try that recipe!

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