Authentic Mexican Spicy Salsa Roja Recipe

Authentic Mexican Spicy Salsa Roja Recipe

This Authentic Mexican Spicy Salsa Roja recipe captures the essence of traditional Mexican cuisine, delivering a fiery blend of roasted tomatoes and chilies. Perfect for tacos, nachos, or as a bold dip, this salsa adds a vibrant kick to any dish.


  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3-4 dried árbol chilies (adjust according to heat preference)
  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers (for added heat and flavor)
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional, for a slight tang)


Roast the Ingredients:

  1. Preheat your oven’s broiler or use a dry skillet on medium-high heat. Place the tomatoes, árbol chilies, jalapeño peppers, onion quarters, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet or in the skillet. If broiling, keep an eye on them, turning occasionally, until all sides are blackened and blistered, about 10-15 minutes. In a skillet, roast them until charred on all sides.
  2. Cool and Prepare: Allow the ingredients to cool slightly. Peel the garlic and, if desired, peel the charred skin from the tomatoes for a smoother salsa. Remove the stems (and seeds, if you prefer less heat) from both the dried and fresh chilies.

Blend the Salsa:

  1. Blend the Base: In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted tomatoes, chilies, jalapeños, onion, and garlic. Pulse until you achieve your desired consistency, from slightly chunky to smooth.
  2. Season: Add salt to taste, lime juice, and if using, apple cider vinegar. Blend again briefly to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Finish with Cilantro:

  1. Add Freshness: Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro for a fresh burst of flavor.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve this Spicy Salsa Roja with tortilla chips, drizzle over tacos, or use as a base for enchiladas.
  • This salsa also makes a vibrant accompaniment to grilled meats and seafood.

Tips for Perfect Salsa Roja:

  • Control the Heat: Adjust the heat level by varying the number of árbol chilies and jalapeños, and by deciding whether to include their seeds.
  • Roasting Method: Both broiling and dry skillet roasting add depth to the salsa; choose based on what’s most convenient for you.
  • Storage: This salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully over time.

Dive into the rich flavors of Mexico with this Authentic Mexican Spicy Salsa Roja, a fiery, flavorful condiment that’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

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