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Chips and salsa served in authentic Mexican handmade serveware.

Authentic Mexican Salsa

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5 from 18 reviews


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.


  • 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


  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.



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.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Mortar & Pestle
  • Cuisine: Mexican