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Burnt Tomato Salsa

4 from 1 vote

'Burning' the vegetables in this salsa gives it an incredible smoky flavour that pairs incredibly with tacos and nachos

Written By Brad Archer


Serves 8

25 Minutes




  • 500 g ripe tomatoes halved
  • 2 medium red chillies
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 1 lime juice only
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Handful of coriander
  • Salt


Step 1: Char the Vegetables

Start by charring the tomatoes, chillies, onion, and garlic in a dry pan over high heat. You’re not looking to fry anything so avoid adding oil into the pan. You’re after a nice, blackened exterior. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Charring tomatoes, chillies and onion in a dry skillet
  • You could also achieve this with a blow torch, under a grill or on a BBQ. You’re looking to blacken the skin but also soften the flesh.

Step 2: Peel and Blend

Once charred, peel the garlic and remove the stems from the chillies (you can also remove the seeds for less heat). Blend these with the tomatoes and onion in a food processor until you get your desired consistency. Don’t pick off all the blackened skin as this will load your salsa with flavour.

Blending charred ingrdients

Step 3: Add Acid and Spice

Stir in the lime juice, ground cumin, and chopped coriander. You need to get the perfect balance of these 3 ingredients so taste as you go. Not one ingredient should overshadow the others. Season with a pinch of salt.

Add cumin, coriander and salt to

Step 4: Rest

Give the salsa a final stir to evenly distribute all the ingredients then let it sit, at room temperature, for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Spoonful of burnt tomato salsa
  • Giving the salsa time to rest allows the flavours to fully develop, especially with the acid and herbs. When served at room temperature, all tomato-based sauces have a stronger, cleaner flavour.


  • Make It Hot If you like things fiery, then add a pinch of dried chilli flakes or a drop of your favourite hot sauce
  • Add More Smoke Fire up the BBQ and chat the vegetables over hot coals to impart even more smokiness
  • Tweak the Herb Not everybody likes coriander, so swap this out for chopped parsley or marjoram


  • In the Fridge Pop it into an airtight container, seal once cool and then pop it in the fridge for up to 1 week
  • In the Freezer Cool then place into a freezer-safe container. Leave a small space at the top for expansion then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw slowly in the fridge overnight.

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Burnt Tomato Salsa Recipe

Burnt Tomato Salsa Recipe

4 from 1 vote
Course: SidesCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Medium


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Cooking time


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‘Burning’ the vegetables in this salsa gives it an incredible smoky flavour that pairs incredibly with tacos and nachos


  • 500 g 500 Ripe Tomatoes, Cut In Half

  • 2 2 Medium Red Chillies

  • 1 1 Large Onion, Quartered

  • 3 3 Garlic Cloves, Unpeeled

  • 1 1 Lime, Juice Only

  • 1 tsp 1 Ground Cumin

  • Handful of Coriander

  • Salt


  • Char tomatoes, chillies, onion, and garlic in a skillet over high heat for 10-15 minutes until blackened.
  • Peel garlic and remove stems (and seeds for less heat) from chillies. Blend with tomatoes and onion until smooth. Add water if a runnier consistency is desired.
  • Mix in lime juice, ground cumin, and chopped coriander. Add salt to taste.
  • Allow salsa to sit for 30 minutes before serving to enhance flavours.

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