Authentic Mexican Smoked Salsa Roja Recipe

Below: This smoked salsa roja recipe will quickly become a staple on your table – it is healthy, smoky, slightly sweet and delicious.

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smoked salsa roja next to its ingredients

It is no secret that Mexicans love salsa and spicy peppers. As we say, food without salsa just doesn’t taste the same! In short, salsa is definitely a staple of Mexican cuisine and if you want to become an expert in Mexican food, you will need to learn to make it.

There are so many different salsa recipes that you can try that you could probably have a different one every day without repeating for a long time. Salsa roja and salsa verde are the generic names for many different types of salsa, but within the category of salsa roja and salsa verde, there are many different varieties depending on the type of peppers you use and the cooking process.

One of the great things about homemade salsa is that you can use fresh ingredients and omit the preservatives that many salsa that you buy in the stores have. You can also adjust the level of heat, from mild, to medium, to spicy, to extra spicy depending on your preference. That is why salsa is such a good recipe to master if you are trying to eat more healthy and if you are implementing an anti-inflammatory diet.

This authentic recipe that I am going to share today is a variation on the standard salsa roja recipe. The main difference is that this salsa roja recipe has a deep, smoky flavor because of how it is prepared.

What ingredients do you need to make Mexican salsa?

I mentioned above that there are many varieties of salsa. With that said, the main ingredients for almost all salsa are tomatoes (green or red), onions, chile peppers (serrano peppers, jalapeño peppers, habanero peppers, poblano peppers, etc.), and salt.

ingredients for salsa roja

What makes the difference is how you make it and the additional ingredients you add. For example, one way to make salsa is to blend all of the raw ingredients together, and then heat them up. Another way is to roast the ingredients before blending. You can add other ingredients like fresh cilantro, aromatic spices, and more.

How do you make smoked salsa roja?

Today I want to share one of my favorite salsa roja recipes that is made with dried chili peppers (guajillo and pasilla peppers). I use this all the time at my house because of the smoked flavor and slight natural sweetness that it has. It goes great with some classic Mexican dishes like huevos rancheros and chicken flautas.

The guajillo and pasilla peppers have a naturally smoky flavor, which is enhanced by combining them with other natural ingredients like roasted tomatoes and roasted white onion.

The fresh tomatoes that you will use in this recipe are important for making sure this salsa recipe is healthy. Roma tomatoes are used very often in Mexican dishes and they contain vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber.

I already mentioned a few ingredients that this salsa roja recipe has, but here is a list:

  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Serrano Peppers (if you want a hotter salsa)
  • White Onion
  • Guajillo Peppers
  • Pasilla Peppers
  • Salt

All you have to do to make this salsa is boil the dried chiles to soften them, and then blend them together in a blender or food processor with the tomatoes, serrano peppers, and onion after having roasted those ingredients in a hot pan until they start to brown. Then you add salt to taste and it is ready to go!

salsa roja from above recipe

I like this salsa a little bit more thick, so I only blend it for about 20 seconds, but you can blend it for longer if you want it smoother.

What goes well with salsa roja?

Salsa roja is such a versatile ingredient, in fact, you could even say it is the ultimate Mexican condiment. You can use it as a dip for your tortilla chips, or you can use it as a topping on other recipes like eggs, tacos, tostadas, fajitas, and more.

No matter how you use it, you can be sure that using the highest quality ingredients will make for a delicious salsa that everyone will love. If you have leftover, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for the next time.

Before I go, I wanted to mention something. One thing you will notice about my recipes on this site is that they don’t usually have any garlic. The reason for that is because garlic is not good for people with lupus, which is the condition that I have.

Garlic is a great ingredient for people without autoimmune diseases, because of its natural immune system boosting properties. However, when you have lupus, your immune system is already overstimulated, so adding garlic to your diet and cause flare ups.

If you do not have this issue, you can add garlic to many of these recipes without any issues, so I encourage you to experiment and modify the recipes based on your own health situation. What works for one person, may not work for another, but that is why there are options and we should all find out what ingredients work for us to make us feel better.

Let me know below what you think of this fresh homemade salsa and if you have any questions!

salsa roja from above recipe

Smoked Salsa Roja Recipe

This smoked salsa roja recipe will quickly become a staple on your table – it is healthy, smoky, slightly sweet and delicious.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine anti-inflammatory, Mexican
Servings 8 1/4 cup servings
Calories 8 kcal


  • 3 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Serrano Pepper
  • 1/4 White Onion
  • 1/2 Pasilla Pepper Dry, deseeded
  • 1/2 Guajillo Pepper Dry, deseeded
  • Salt to taste


  • Bring a small amount of water to a boil and add the dried chile peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
  • Roast the tomatoes, serrano peppers, and onion on a hot pan until they turn brown and look slightly burnt.
  • Remove the chile peppers from the water and add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend for about 20 seconds for a thicker salsa, or longer for a smoother salsa.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or as part of another recipe.


Serving: 11/4 cup servingCalories: 8kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 415IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hi, I’m Charbel!

I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father. A mother to four and wife to a marvelous husband. I am also a Lupus Fighter. I Love to cook. I love inspirational podcasts. I am also lover of all things creative and a fearless DIY-er. A Homebody. A wellness and Relaxation lover. Welcome to The Healing Cookbook! Read more...

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