Mexican Salsa Recipe: Salsa Roja (Red Salsa)

A tasty authentic Mexican salsa recipe like this salsa roja adds additional layers of flavor, depth, and texture to authentic Mexican food that would not otherwise be there in the dishes.  This salsa is a good easy Mexican recipe for budding chefs new to traditional Mexican, as well as for those whipping up their favorite authentic Mexican recipe in the kitchen, who want to add a little extra flavor to the mix.  Salsas are famous in Mexican food for .

Mexican Salsa Recipe: salsa roja

Authentic salsa roja is thought of as a thicker, more spicy and, frankly, more flavorful version of salsa verde.  Yes, they do use different ingredients, but these two salsas always seem to make their way onto the tables of nearly every Mexican taco stand in the country, paired together.  I covered an authentic Mexican recipe for salsa verde earlier, and I figured it just wouldn’t seem right to not include my favorite recipe for a traditional Mexican salsa roja for you guys to try out.

What I love about cooking Mexican salsa recipes like this particular salsa roja is what I mentioned before: it’s simple and fast, so even the relatively kitchen-impaired can pull this off!  Traditional salsa roja would normally be prepared with the use of a molcajete to produce a thick salsa by hand, but I’ve included instructions here on how to do it with a blender because let’s be real here: it’s been a while since molcajetes were a standard kitchen appliance!  Also, make sure you have a well ventilated kitchen when cooking this salsa roja recipe because once you start roasting the chile, it can really get you coughing if you don’t have lot of airflow in the room.  And a final note: as with a lot of other authentic Mexican food, this salsa will intensify and get hotter and more robust if you give it time to rest in the fridge for a few hours, especially if for a day or so, and I recommend it if you can spare the time.  These recipes taste better when you give them time to sit for a while and let the ingredients blend together and interact for longer!  Here we go:

(serves 8 hungry guests as a salsa on taco recipes)

  • 2 medium size tomatoes
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 1 big green chile (you can use the mild cuaresmeño, the spicy jalapeño, or the potent serrano: whatever you’re in the mood for (or is available at your supermarket)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs olive oil (do not use lard for this recipe)
  • clean water


Preheat a pan on a stove with 1 tbs olive oil.

Cut the 2 tomatoes in half, so you have four pieces, and add to pan.

Cut your chile into 1/4 slices and add to pan, along with the 1/4 of a small onion and your garlic cloves (no need to chop them up).

Roast this mixture well, and when done, add to blender with a tiny amount of water for ‘lubrication’ and, with the lowest setting, mix it (to imitate the use of a molcajete and render a nice thick, pulpy red salsa).

Add salt to taste and mix manually with a spoon, then pour into a salsa bowl and serve your hungry dinner guests another one of your tasty and real Mexican recipes.

The cuisine of authentic Mexican cooking is packed with easy Mexican salsa recipes like this, and they’re delectable despite being so easy to make!  I encourage you to explore some of the other traditional Mexican recipes on this site to discover your next favorite!  If you’d like to try another recipe for Mexican salsa like this, I heartily recomend salsa roja’s sister: salsa verde, here on the site.  Provecho!–fellow lovers of Mexico’s amazing food!

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    This looks so good that I think I might be off to the grocey store. Thanks for sharing

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