Roasted Chile Salsa

Roasted Chile Salsa

Yes … five jalapeños sounds like a lot but don’t worry, roasting them under the broiler knocks down the heat considerably.


  • 5 jalapeno peppers (halved and seeded)
  • 6 Roma tomatoes (halved horizontally)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 dried ancho chile peppers (seeded and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes*)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and quartered)
  • 1/2 red onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (parsley or scallions, to taste)
  1. Preheat the broiler and place rack in top position.
  2. Squeeze the tomato halves, reserving the juice and seeds.
  3. Set aside 2 of the tomatoes and one of the jalapeños and toss the rest of the produce in a large bowl with the tablespoon of oil then spread in a shallow roasting pan or sheet pan with a lip.
  4. Broil for 20 minutes, stirring often for even browning.
  5. Move to a work bowl of a food processor and add the reserved tomatoes, jalapeño and lime juice. Pulse several times until mixture reaches salsa consistency. If mixture is too dry, add part or all of the reserved tomato liquid.
  6. Stir in cilantro, parsley, etc. and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

*To seed, snip the stem end off with scissors and shake out seeds.


Add yours
  1. 1
    john childress

    always like what Mr Brown makes, and have tried several of his recipes. Only had 1 ancho pepper, so replaced one with a cascabel pepper. Not sure 1 teaspoon of salt is going to be enough with that many tomatoes, they tend to soak up salt quickly. Added about 1/4 cup cilantro, because we like cilantro. Now it is in the fridge. Tasted it without refrigeration, needs it badly to incorporate all of the flavors…

    • 2
      john childress

      well, we let it amalgamate in the fridge for a day, and then tried it with Doritos lightly salted chips, hard to find mexican anything in London, and although the flavor was not what I expected, it is addictive. I did not use as much salt as in the recipe, probably 1/2 of the salt, and I can see that it would really benefit from the whole dose. Nearly the same taste as salsa I have had in some gringo mexican restaurants in So. California. We liked it!

  2. 3
    Chris Irish

    I don’t get it, maybe I’m doing this wrong, or maybe my broiler is just too hot. Placed my pan on the top rack, which is like an inch and a half from the broiler, but 5 minutes in my pan warped from the heat. Moved it down a rack and kept going, but even with stirring after 20 minutes the vegetables are all completely blackened. Even adding the two spare tomatoes, jalapeno, and all the tomato juice, the final product is just black salsa that smells like ashes. Just put it in the fridge, maybe making it sit overnight to think about what it’s done will help…

  3. 6
    Chef Wall

    Was good, but to be honest, it was a little bland making it how the recipe calls for. It was okay, but didn’t have that ‘zing’ to it. So I added a more lime to it, chipotle chile powder, more salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and it still really wasn’t enough. So I fire roasted all the vegetables, including the garlic as well, before peeling 90% of the char off. After blending it, I added everything mentioned above, and included some Cholula Chipotle “hot” sauce, and a splash of white vinegar. Seriously just a splash, probably a teaspoon or less. All that together makes an incredible tasting salsa. Also, be easy with the Cilantro, or it can overpower everything really fast. Otherwise, great recipe! If you want a lot more heat in your salsa, add a habanero pepper seeds and all. Or just don’t seed the Jalapenos. Your choice.

  4. 7

    This was exactly the type of salsa I was looking to make! I opted to not use any of the tomato juice reserve. After pureeing, I felt it still needed a bit more zing so I added more salt, juice of an extra lime and chipotle chili powder. It’s delicious!

  5. 11

    I thought this salsa was really excellent although a bit too mild with the substitution of California style chiles in place of ancho (since that was not available at our local store). However, it did come in 3rd out of 3 in our Cinco de Mayo salsa contest at work, so take it as you will.

  6. 12

    The dried chilies turn to charcoal under the broiler. My whole batch tastes like ashes and nothing else. I have to think there’s a step missing from this recipe somewhere.

  7. 14

    Unfortunately we didn’t have ancho chiles so we used California instead. We also used AB’s chili powder but admittedly it’s been more than 6 months so the flavors of it have mellowed a bit. It was good! We added a bit of brown sugar for sweetness.

    I like my salsa like I like my women: chunky with a little bit of bite. So next time instead of pureeing everything at once, I’ll cut the reserved tomatoes, and jalapeno, with a quarter of the onion and some cilantro to make pico de gallo and just mix it in by hand.

  8. 16
    Patrick Peters

    This is great stuff. We’re thinking about making larger batches and trying to freeze or can it. Any ideas on how the salsa would stand up to the freezer or the heat of canning?

  9. 17

    I just made this, it was super easy and yummy. Although I think next time I’ll roast everything in a veggie pan on the grill. I pepper smoked us out of the house.

  10. 18
    Chef Griffin

    The color on this salsa is beautiful. I’ll definitely try it. Plus, I love the suggestions for Chipotle, roasting the tomato, and all the mesquite smoking. Great ideas.

  11. 19

    When I make salsa I mesquite smoke the chillies, onions, and garlic on a low heat for a few hours. Talk about complexity. I’ve used habaneros and ghost chillies as well. Very complex smoky deliciousness up front then A LOT of heat to follow. It has become my favorite salsa.

  12. 20

    Interesting, though i do wonder if this might be further enhanced by replacing one of the jalapeños with a chipotle and roasting one of the tomatoes, just to add a bit of complexity…

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