Salsa Roja aka red salsa and commonly referred to as restaurant style salsa, is perfect for dipping tortilla chips among other things. Best part, this salsa can easily be made at home. This recipe starts by roasting the produce which gives it it’s deep beautiful flavor.
Who doesn’t love chips and salsa? I’m a salsa fiend. You put a bowl in front of me and it doesn’t stand a chance. One of my favorite salsa recipes I’ve ever tasted was from CHEECA LODGE & SPA, which is a gorgeous and serene resort located on Islamorada – located in the sunny FLORIDA KEYS. One of these days I’ll make it back there. The food, the views, the dreamy balcony bathtub. Did I mention the food? Until then, lucky for all of us, they were kind enough to share the recipe with me. I have modified it slightly to make it more friendly to re-create at home. Grab some chips and let’s get started.
WHAT IS SALSA ROJA?
Salsa roja literally translates to “red sauce”. It is one of the better known salsas and is made using ripe red tomatoes which gives it its characteristic bright color – RED.
WHICH TOMATOES ARE BEST TO USE FOR SALSA?
Tomatoes are dare I say, the most important part of a salsa. I prefer a meaty variety, like beefsteak, plum or Roma.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLUM AND ROMA TOMATOES?
Roma tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes. Roma tomatoes tend to have less seeds than other types. They’re oval in shape and some say they’re also more flavorful.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE SALSA ROJA?
You’ll need the following 10 KEY ingredients to make this salsa at home
- plum tomatoes
- garlic cloves
- white onion
- jalapeno – you MAY substitute serrano
- ancho chili powder
- kosher salt/black pepper
- fresh cilantro
- canned whole roma tomatoes
MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES TO TRY
If you’re feeling inspired by this salsa roja recipe, you’ll love these other recipes:
Looking for a travel guide? Check out my guide to THE FLORIDA KEYS – ISLAMORADA
- 12 plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small - medium onion, quartered
- 1 jalapeno - halved, seeds removed
- 14.5 ounce can peeled Roma tomatoes
- 1/4 - 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
- juice from 3 limes
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder
- kosher salt/black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Into a roasting pan add plum tomatoes, garlic, onion and jalapeno. Roast for approximately 25 minutes OR until charred. Allow to cool slightly.
- Carefully transfer to blender.
- To blender add Roma tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Place lid on blender, blend until smooth or until at desired consistency.
- Check for seasoning, add salt/pepper to taste.
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