How to make Restaurant Style Salsa

The vegetables in salsa recipe are roasted, intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes, mellowing the onions and garlic, and adding a touch of smokiness.

Bright and spicy restaurant-style salsa recipe combines blistered vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillies with fresh cilantro and lime to make it utterly addictive. It is unique as it is either raw or made from canned tomatoes. Roasting helps in intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes, mellows the onions and garlic, and adds a touch of smokiness.

This is the only salsa recipe which is almost identical. It’s easy to make and, if you’re having a party, you can prepare it a few days ahead of time. 

The salsa recipe calls for three serrano peppers. Serrano peppers are similar to jalapeño peppers in taste and appearance but they are smaller and hotter. Feel free to substitute jalapeño peppers in case you like, keeping in mind that it should not be more than one or two, depending on how spicy you like your salsa.

Begin by tossing the quartered tomatoes, onion wedges, garlic and whole  peppers with the vegetable oil directly on a baking sheet. Broil the vegetables until blistered and slightly charred, 10-15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and add the salt and cumin. In a spicy salsa — start with one pepper in the food processor, and then blend the others in if you want more heat. Process until slightly chunky. Taste and add the remaining chili pepper(s), if desired. Add the cilantro leaves and lime juice and pulse a few times until the cilantro is finely chopped. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time15 min
  • Yield1 Bowl
  • Serving Size300 g
  • Energy234 cal
  • Cuisine
    • Mediterranean
  • Course
    • Salad
  • Cooking Method
    • Cutting
    • Roasting
    • Mixing


  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 serrano chili peppers, stemmed (use less for a milder salsa)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more if needed


  • Preheat the broiler and set an oven rack about 5 inches beneath the heating element.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, whole serrano chile peppers and vegetable.
  • Oil directly on the prepared baking sheet and toss with your hands.
  • Broil until softened and charred, 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer the vegetables and juices to a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
  • Add the salt and cumin and pulse until just slightly chunky.
  • Add the cilantro and fresh lime juice, and pulse until the cilantro is chopped.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and more lime juice if necessary.
  • Be sure to add enough salt and lime to bring out all the flavors.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
  • The salsa can be made two days ahead of time.
  • Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


Salsa goes with so many recipes! Try pairing it with:

  • Fajitas
  • Guacamole
  • Chili Con Queso
  • Carne Asada
  • Southwestern Burgers

The vegetables in this salsa recipe are roasted, intensifying the flavor of the tomatoes, mellowing the onions and garlic, and adding a touch of smokiness.

12 servings per container

Serving Size: 300 g

Amount per serving

Calories: 234

% Daily Value*

Total Fat: 1 g – 1.28%

Saturated Fat: 0 g – 0%

Trans Fat 0 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg – 0%

Sodium: 212 mg – 9.22%

Total Carbohydrate: 3 g – 1.09%

Dietary Fiber: 10 g – 35.71%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.