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Closeup of charred salsa quemada in a bowl.
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5 from 4 votes

Salsa Quemada (Roasted Tomato and Tomatillo Salsa)

A classic tomato and tomatillo salsa is enhanced by roasting the veggies and aromatics. The result is a flavorful, charred salsa that just might change your life.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Latin American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 6 servings (makes about 3 cups)
Calories: 27kcal
Author: Victoria


  • 6 medium tomatillos husked, washed, and dried
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes washed and dried
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1 or 2 large serrano or jalapeno chiles with stem(s)
  • ¼ white onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro


  • Turn on the fan over the stove. Line a large cast-iron skillet with a piece of aluminum foil and set over high heat.
  • Place the tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, and chiles directly on the foil and roast without moving too often until the garlic is just softened, the chile has streaks of char and is softened, the tomatoes have a good char on all sides, and the tomatillos are soft and starting to bubble (it should take about 20 to 25 minutes total). As each is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside to cool. The garlic will be done first, and the tomatoes will take the longest.
  • When the tomatoes are well blackened and begin to slump, return the tomatillos to the pan if need be, carefully wrap the tomatoes and tomatillos in the foil (it will be hot, use oven gloves if necessary), lift out of the pan, and set aside until cooled.
  • Transfer to a food processor, along with any juices that run out as they cool. (Leave the black bits–they add flavor.) Peel the garlic, stem the chile (and see it if you'd like a milder salsa), and add to the food processor along with the onion and salt. Pulse until well combined and mostly smooth–you want a bit of texture. Add the cilantro last, pulse briefly, and taste for salt again.


  • This salsa is fantastic on eggs, tacos, quesadillas, or grilled meats, or add to rice or soup.
  • I recommend using silicone tongs when charring the ingredients so you don't accidentally rip the foil.
  • If you chose to you may make this salsa without tomatillos, using all tomatoes instead. Alternatively you can also make it will all tomatillos and no tomatoes. This is personal preference. The tomatatillos are more acidic and the tomatoes are sweeter. Adjust the amount of tomatillos and tomatoes accordingly.
  • Do not core or stem the vegetables before roasting. This will cause the juices to run out as they cook, and they will not properly char.
  • Adapted from Salsas and Moles


Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g