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Authentic Mexican Salsa

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This authentic Mexican salsa is from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! I’m here in my Mexican kitchen sharing the best salsa recipe made tableside at restaurants in this beautiful coastal town. Normally I’d reach for Grandma’s molcajete for homemade salsa, but today I’m using a mortar and pestle. You can also use a bowl, cutting board, knife and fork. Assemble this easy recipe in 15 minutes!

Homemade Salsa served with restaurant-style tortilla chips.

MEXICAN SALSA INGREDIENTS

These are the ingredients you’ll need for this fresh salsa recipe:

  • Roma tomatoes
  • Serrano peppers
  • Cloves of garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Optional garnish: panela cheese

MEXICAN APPETIZERS TO MAKE ASAP:

Get your taste buds ready for SPICY GRILLED LIME SHRIMP! These CARNE ASADA FRIES are crazy good! Tasty WONTON TACO CUPS are a festive favorite! It’s not a party without AUTHENTIC MEXICAN GUACAMOLE!


Ingredients for making authentic Mexican salsa at home.

HOMEMADE SALSA

Here in Mexico we’re lucky enough to enjoy a whole variety of flavorful salsas. Most households have their own special set of salsa recipes. They’re usually passed down from generation to generation. Some families are willing to share their recipes with friends, while others hold them close to the chest. I hope this authentic Mexican salsa becomes one of your family’s favorites!

RECIPE PREP: Chop the cilantro. Set it aside.

Chopped cilantro with a knife on the surface of a John Boos cutting board.

AUTHENTIC MEXICAN SALSA

Continue following these easy steps for recipe prep:

  • STEP 1: Chop/dice the red onion. Set it aside.
  • STEP 2: Mince or press garlic cloves. Set it aside.
  • STEP 3: On a gas stovetop, char and blister the skin of the tomatoes over medium heat. Fire roast them one by one: Place a tomato on the stovetop grate directly over the gas burner. Use a pair of stainless-steel tongs to turn or flip the tomato so all sides are charred evenly. As the skin blackens, it will split.
  • STEP 4: Using the same method as with the tomatoes, char and blister the serrano chiles over an open flame.

Four images showing how to make Mexican salsa step by step.

HOW TO MAKE SALSA

Gather all ingredients together. From this point on, this salsa recipe comes together quickly!

Charred Roma tomatoes and serrano peppers on a ceramic Mexican plate.

BEST SALSA RECIPE

Here’s how to assemble authentic Mexican salsa:

  • Add garlic and salt to a mortar. With a pestle, grind them into a paste.
  • Cut off and discard the stem of the serrano chile. Add the chile to the bowl. Firmly press the pestle down and across the chile to scrape out and extract the fleshy interior. Lift out the skin and discard it.
  • Grind the chile into the garlic/salt paste.

Image showing the process of making homemade salsa on a wooden cutting board.

  • Chop the charred tomatoes, leaving the skins on.
  • Add the tomatoes to the bowl.

Crushed tomatoes in a wooden mortar.

  • Add red onion and cilantro to the bowl.
  • Mix briefly to combine the ingredients.
  • Adjust salt to taste.

Salsa ingredients combined inside a wooden mortar.

  • Optional garnish: Panela cheese is like icing on a cake! It’s that special touch that makes you smile with delight. It’s so darn delicious! Cut the cheese into small cubes.
  • Garnish your authentic Mexican salsa with a sprinkling of cheese. It’s how it’s served and enjoyed here on the beach in Mexico!

Garnishing Mexican salsa with diced cubes of panela cheese.

EXPERT TIPS FOR AUTHENTIC MEXICAN SALSA

Fresh homemade salsa is so much better than store bought! Below are helpful tips and answers to frequently asked questions about Mexican salsa:

    • WHAT ARE THE BEST TOMATOES FOR SALSA? Roma tomatoes. These flavorful tomatoes have a nice firm texture. They’re very meaty with a low moisture content (less juicy/watery), and have fewer seeds than other varieties.
    • NO GAS BURNER FOR FIRE ROASTING? NO PROBLEM! You can use your BBQ grill, or purchase individual cans of fire roasted tomatoes and peppers at the supermarket.
    • DO YOU OWN A MOLCAJETE? Assemble and serve your Mexican salsa in the very same bowl.
    • WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEXICAN SALSA? Most everyone’s a fan of traditional chips and salsa! For an easy appetizer, serve it with restaurant-style tortilla chips. As a condiment, serve it with tacos or barbecued meat. Use it as a beautiful garnish. Spoon it across chicken or fish. Enjoy it with BAJA FISH TACOS.

    Authentic Mexican salsa served in a rustic wooden bowl.

    I WANT WHAT SHE HAS

    Beautiful cooking tools bring so much happiness to the kitchen! They make meal prep a joyful experience. Did you see something on this page that you’d like to own? Below are affiliate links for purchasing the items on Amazon. I’ve also included a link for an authentic molcajete, just like the one I inherited from my Mexican grandmother.

    Chips and salsa served in authentic Mexican handmade serveware.

    RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Did you enjoy this flavorful Mexican salsa? Rate the recipe in the comments below!

    Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

    Print
    Chips and salsa served in authentic Mexican handmade serveware.

    Authentic Mexican Salsa


    • Author: Denay DeGuzman
    • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
    • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
    • Total Time: 15 Minutes
    • Yield: 2 Servings 1x

    Description

    This authentic Mexican salsa is served and enjoyed in restaurants and homes in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It really is the best salsa recipe. Now you too can enjoy the flavors of Mexico in your very own kitchen! This recipe is easy to scale up, as desired.


    Scale

    Ingredients

    • 2 large Roma tomatoes
    • 12 serrano peppers
    • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 11/2 tablespoons chopped red onion
    • 11/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves (no stems)
    • Optional garnish: 1/3 cup chopped panela cheese

    Instructions

    1. Char and blister Roma tomatoes and serrano chiles over an open flame. On a gas stovetop, place one item at a time on a stovetop grate directly above a medium flame. Use stainless-steel tongs to turn and rotate the tomatoes and chiles. All sides should be evenly blackened with the skins split.
    2. In a mortar with pestle, grind the salt and garlic into a paste. Slice off the stem of the chile. Discard the stem. Add the chile to the bowl. With the pestle placed at the end of the chile, press down firmly and run the pestle across it to fully squeeze out the interior through the stem opening. Remove the empty skin of the chile from the bowl and discard it. Grind the chile into the garlic/salt paste.
    3. Chop the tomatoes leaving the skins on. Add the chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro to the bowl. Mix briefly to combine. Adjust the salt, as desired.
    4. Optional: Garnish the salsa with panela cheese.

    CHIPS AND SALSA:  As a Mexican appetizer, serve fresh homemade salsa with warm restaurant-style tortilla chips. For added Mexican flavor, before warming the chips in the oven, squeeze lime juice over the chips and sprinkle them with salt.


    Notes

    MEXICAN SALSA FAQ

    WHAT ARE THE BEST TOMATOES FOR SALSA? Roma tomatoes. These flavorful tomatoes have a nice firm texture, are very meaty with a low moisture content (less juicy/watery), and have fewer seeds than other varieties.

    NO GAS BURNER FOR FIRE ROASTING? NO PROBLEM! You can use your BBQ grill, or purchase individual cans of fire roasted tomatoes and peppers at the supermarket.

    DO YOU OWN A MOLCAJETE? Assemble and serve your Mexican salsa in the very same bowl.

    WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEXICAN SALSA? Most everyone’s a fan of traditional chips and salsa! For an easy appetizer, serve it with restaurant-style tortilla chips. As a condiment, serve it with tacos or barbecued meat. Use it as a beautiful garnish. Spoon it across chicken or fish just before serving.

    • Category: Appetizers
    • Method: Mortar & Pestle
    • Cuisine: Mexican

    Keywords: Mexican Salsa, Best Salsa Recipe, Homemade Salsa

    Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

    MEXICAN SALSA RECIPE > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

    Does your family have its own heirloom recipe for Mexican salsa? Would you like to add this one to your recipe box? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

26 thoughts on “Authentic Mexican Salsa”

  1. This looks so delicious! There are so many flavors in real salsa; it makes you never want the store bought kind!

    Reply

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