Salsa Tatemada (Charred Roasted Salsa)

Today, I want to show you how to make an easy, homemade version of Salsa Tatemada or Charred Salsa, using your roasted tomatoes, chilli peppers, onions and garlic, zingy lime juice and fresh coriander. It’s a rich and smoky roasted salsa, an adaptation of a recipe I learnt from Gabriella Camara’s Mexican cooking masterclass and it’s so delicious. You can use it in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, as a dip with corn chips or veggies, or as a spicy condiment with grilled meat, fish or plant-based protein. It’s gluten-free, Whole30, paleo, vegan and vegetarian.

Roasted Salsa Tatemada Recipe
  • Save

Jump to: ℹ️ Overview | 🛒 Ingredients | 📷 How To Make | 🥗Serving Suggestions | 📝 Full Recipe | 🍽 More Recipes

What Is Salsa Tatemada?

A charred salsa, also known in Mexico as Salsa Tatemada, is a rich and smoky mixture of blistered chillies, tomatoes, onions and garlic all combined in a mortar and pestle known as molcajete.

It’s a type of ‘cooked’ salsa that relies on deep flavours of charred vegetables, which are also caramelised during cooking giving this dish a lot of lovely sweetness to offset the heat.

The ingredients are cooked over a hot comal – a round griddle with a flat, smooth surface that’s traditionally made from clay but is also available as cast iron or other materials. Comals are used to char and toast foods, cook tortillas and so on, and can be heated on the stovetop. A flat grill pan could also be used.

Roasted Tomato Salsa (Salsa Tatemada)
  • Save

My Roasted Salsa Tatemada Version

As I don’t own a comal and didn’t have access to a BBQ grill at the time of making this recipe, I decided to roast the ingredients for the salsa. Using a hot oven, I was able to achieve a similar blistered, charred result and finished the salsa in a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle.

Guys, the flavours in this salsa are incredible – rich, spicy, smoky, sweet – and it’s super versatile in how you enjoy it. We had it with some corn chips and also as a condiment with some grilled fish. It’s also amazing in tacos and I love putting it over scrambled eggs.

How To Make Roasted Salsa

You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown for this charred salsa recipe below. Here are some step-by-step pics to guide you along.

  • The key to getting that nice charred finish is a hot oven (you could also use the grill element of the oven) and a flat baking sheet/tray. Don’t use a deep tray as it will trap the moisture and steam the vegetables, rather than roast them (in fact, that’s a secret to any good roast veg). 
  • You can use any colour cherry tomatoes or larger plum tomatoes; green tomatillos are also great. I used serrano and jalapeno chiles, you can basically use a variety of fresh chiles to roast but don’t pick anything too hot.
  • If you have a good grill pan or an outdoor BBQ, by all means, char-grill the veggies on that until they’re nice and blistered as in the picture below. The charring and caramelisation are what gives this salsa such an amazing, complex flavour.  Adding a little chipotle chile will give it an extra smoky flavour. 
  • To blend the salsa, you can use a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle. The consistency should be coarse rather than completely pureed and smooth. 
How to make roasted tomato and chile salsa in a blender
  • Save

Serving Suggestions

My favourite way to serve salsa tatemada is as a dip with some crunchy corn chips. It’s also delicious when added as a condiment to tacos and burritos, in particular with robust beef, lamb or hearty grilled mushrooms.

Another fun way to use it is as a sofrito, or a flavourful base for a dish like red rice, beef stew, braised chicken or ground beef casserole, or even when making chicken tortilla soup. I also love it as a topping in a naked burrito bowl.

You can also try it as a condiment over egg scramble or in breakfast egg tacos.

Roasted tomato salsa recipe, or salsa tatemada
  • Save

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Cooked & Loved

Roasted salsa tatemada recipe
  • Save

Charred Roasted Salsa (Salsa Tatemada)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 4 servings
Course: Side
Cuisine: Mexican
Print Pin Save
5 from 1 vote
Calories: 72kcal
Rich, smoky and complex roasted salsa inspired by the Mexican salsa tatemada is made with charred onions, chiles, garlic and tomatoes and finished with refreshing lime and coriander. Use it as a dip or a condiment. Double the ingredients for a larger batch.


For charred ingredients

  • A little olive oil
  • 1 large onion cut into 5-7 wedges
  • 1 red chile serrano, sliced in half lengthways and seeded
  • 1 green jalapeño sliced in half, seeded
  • 300-350 g cherry tomatoes (0.7 lb.)
  • 5 garlic cloves whole in shells

To finish

  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 250 C / 480 F. Drizzle a flat baking sheet with a little olive oil and spread the charring ingredients evenly: tomatoes, chiles, onions and garlic (in shells). Place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove the garlic cloves and put the sheet back for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove cooked garlic from the shells. Allow the veggies to cool slightly.
  • Add all roasted ingredients to a food processor or a blender. You can also use a mortar and pestle to be more traditional. Add coriander, lime juice and salt and puree/blend the ingredients in short pulses as to not overprocess them. We don't want a smooth puree but rather a coarse-textured salsa.
  • Serve right away or store in the refrigerator (in an airtight container) for up to 7 days.
  • You can double the ingredients to make a larger batch or add a few more tomatoes.


Depending on the heat level of the chiles you use, the salsa could end up being quite spicy, even after they are deseeded. Have a quick taste of the raw chile to see how hot it is. I found our salsa was spicy but it had a mellow, warm heat to it and was very pleasant. If you want a less spicy finish, add a few extra cherry tomatoes to the baking sheet or use less chile. Adding a sweet red pepper (capsicum) to roasted ingredients can also dilute the heat a bit while adding lots of flavour.


Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 605IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: Salsa, charred salad, mexican salsa
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved
  • Save
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

Comment or Rate This Recipe

Made the recipe? Please leave a rating as it helps other readers to discover this dish. You don’t need to leave a comment if rating a recipe, unless it’s 3 stars or below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Click on the stars to rate this recipe!


  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious , will do it on a regular basis, next time will put more chilli in as I was being cautious 🤷‍♀️😂 put on insta

    1. Thanks, Krisanne Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the chilli is such a personal thing. Sometimes you can’t tell how spicy it will end up unless you taste every raw chilli you use 😉

See all comments »

You Might Also Like

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap