Salsa Picante Roja (Spicy Red)

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This spicy red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, pureed in a blender then simmered until the tomatoes deepen in color.

This spicy red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, pureed in a blender then simmered until the tomatoes deepen in color. Serve with your favorite baked chips and Sinless Margaritas!Salsa Picante Roja

Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, serve with your favorite baked chips and Sinless Margaritas! I also enjoy Salsa Verde, Shrimp Salsa and Pico de Gallo Salsa.

There are so many varieties of Mexican salsas with different levels of heat, some chunky, some smooth, some raw and others cooked. This one is smooth and cooked, perfect for topping a burrito bowl or simply enjoying with some tortilla chips. I love the smoky flavor of roasting jalapeños, which I did right over my stove. I let it sit for a few minutes over a medium flame, turning a few times. When the skin started to char I removed it from the flame and peeled off some of the charred parts. You can do this on the grill as well.

If you want a milder sauce remove the seeds before putting it in the blender. This is so easy to make, put all the ingredients in the blender, then simmer for 25 minutes. That’s it!!

More Salsa Recipe Ideas:

This spicy red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, pureed in a blender then simmered until the tomatoes deepen in color. Serve with your favorite baked chips and Sinless Margaritas!
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Salsa Picante Roja

22.5 Cals 0.5 Protein 3.5 Carbs 1 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Appetizer, Snack
CUISINE: Mexican
This spicy red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, pureed in a blender then simmered until the tomatoes deepen in color. Serve with your favorite baked chips and Sinless Margaritas!


  • 3 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, stem removed and roasted
  • 3-4 small cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • In a blender, add tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro and water and pulse a few times until completely smooth.
  • Add oil to a deep skillet, then pour in tomatoes.
  • Season with salt and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Depending on the size of your tomatoes, makes about 1 1/2 cups. You can refrigerate a few days or freeze the rest.


Serving: 1/4 cup, Calories: 22.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 3.5g, Protein: 0.5g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 6mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.5g
WW Points Plus: 1
Keywords: cinco de mayo recipes, party appetizers, Salsa Picante Roja, salsa recipe, spicy salsa
This spicy red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, pureed in a blender then simmered until the tomatoes deepen in color.
This spicy red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapeño, garlic and cilantro, pureed in a blender then simmered until the tomatoes deepen in color.

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  1. Pingback: Tex Mex Recipes | Pearltrees

  2. I loved this salsa! Ours came out a little too spicy too, but I added a little bit of lemon juice and it was perfect! I would definitely make again, but maybe remove some seeds from the jalapeno. Yum!

  3. Perfect salsa…the key is in the simmering. I never knew this!!!

  4. My family loves this recipe, our go to snack is chips and salsa. We planted way too many tomatoes this year in our garden and need to can stuff. We were thinking of making this and canning it. Any tips or suggestions?

  5. Just made this and I loved it! I didnt pulse it too much because I like it a little chunky. I also used a different pepper, sirano, non-the-less, yummy!

  6. I don't have a gas stove or grill either and I broil mine. I have a tip for getting the skin off of the peppers. after using preffered method of Charing the skin I put mine in a plastic baggie for a few minutes and it further steams the skin making it super easy to peel off.

  7. Gina, I can't wait to make this. Have you ever tried canning a larger quantity in jars? Thinking about the time of year when we have more tomatoes than we can eat… Thanks!

  8. I just made this recipe and my salsa is looking brown not red…maybe i added too much cilantro…

  9. I made this one last night. I was actually disappointed as it was too me pretty bland compared to the shrimp salsa. There just was no flavor to it. I roasted the jalapenos and I even added red onions to it. This is the first thing that I have made from your website that I was disappointed in how it turned out.

  10. This is my new favorite salsa. I've made this twice so far and love it. I do it without the jalapeño seeds and it's just the right amount of flavor. It's so easy too – I love that I can have fresh salsa without chopping all those tomatoes.

  11. Just made this salsa – used a gigantic jalapeno because we love spice. Instead of simmering the salsa, I poached chicken in it. I used the chicken with some salsa for enchilladas filling and topped it with more salsa and baked it. Delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  12. this looks great why not give it a try

  13. I just tried this recipe. I left out the Jalapeno because I can't handle any spice and added half of a red onion and half of a yellow bell pepper. After simmering it tasted very plain so I sprinkled some cumin, chili powder, and even some cayenne to try and liven it up. It didn't seem to work. I will have to try with a jalapeno next time. Very easy recipe though!

  14. I used vine tomatoes.

  15. What type of tomatoes do you use? -Jen

  16. I just discovered this recipe on your site about a month ago and I've already made this 3 times, about to make a 4th batch today. This is hands-down the best (and easiest) salsa recipe ever! Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe and I tell them about this awesome site! The only change I made is that I added onion with the other ingredients in the blender.

  17. Made This yesterday and removed seeds from jalapeno and Wow hot stuff!! love it tho.will be nice to mix with some low fat sour cream.

  18. Loved this! i think next time i'll add at least 1 or 2 more jalapenos and maybe an onion. I'm so happy in this recipe that i learned to COOK the salsa! i've tried so many salsa recipes…never simmered before…and it always looks like the picture you have of the salsa in the blender. ha! who knew?! Thanks again!! so happy i've found your site:)

  19. Just made this for a Friday night snack – DELICIOUS! Hands down the best salsa recipe I've tried… Next time I think I'll add another jalapeno pepper just to give it a little more kick, but I did add a bit of chili powder and it tastes fantastic! Another win 🙂

  20. Hooray for another delicious and easy recipe. I just whipped this up and can't believe I have never made salsa before! Thanks for making all these fabulous WW friendly recipes that make me continue to feel "normal" and not like I am on a diet … not to mention that my whole house loves to eat!

  21. Maybe a nice cold corona would help 🙂

  22. Hey Gina I just made this salsa….it was so incredibly easy I can't believe it! I decided to put in the whole jalapeno and now I am realizing I may have made it too spicy to enjoy. Any suggestions on how to tame it down besides adding more tomatoes because I dont have anymore?

  23. Thanks Tristin!

  24. Oh Gina, I have never thought to cook the salsa after making it before! Every time I make homemade salsa, it's pink and foamy… Ughh. SO, I used my basic salsa technique (very similar to yours, but includes onion and a splash of lime juice which I added after cooking) and cooked it as you did and it was GORGEOUS and delicious–very similar to restaurant-style salsa.

    Thanks for the lesson! You continue to be my FAV food blogger!

  25. Hmmm…maybe the jalepeno I picked was too large? (The smaller the hotter, right?) *I* didn't even think it had any spice to it (and hot stuff makes my nose run in an instant!) Maybe I'll try picking a smaller jalapeno before stepping it up to the habanero! 😉
    Thanks for all the great recipes! Love them! (BTW, making this again this week. We loved it!)

  26. Wow, he likes it hot!! Habanero would probably do the trick, use both!

  27. Made this yesterday for Cinco de Mayo! YUM YUM!! So easy. I did use the roasted jalapeno w/seeds, but the hubs likes a little more kick. Suggestions? Maybe a serrano pepper w/seeds? Would a habanero w/ seeds be too much? Or maybe just a second jalapeno?

    Seriously, though, I will probably be making this ALL SUMMER LONG as tomatoes ripen and come into season locally!


  28. I have this simmering on the stove right now. Looks delish. I left out most of the seeds thinking my daughter might eat some, too. Now I wish I hadn't. I LOVE hot salsa. Thanks for another great recipe, Gina!

  29. Mmmm we are having a little Cinco de Mayo lunch at work and I can't to bring this to the table! Thank you!

  30. Put this on to simmer while I worked on the Fiesta Rice- perfect compliments and great dinner! My husband travels frequently so I'm always on the look out for lighter dishes for one person. It's a bonus if they heat well for lunch too! Thank you!

  31. Gonna make this for Cinco de Mayo this week!! Great timing! 🙂

  32. Patti, yes roasting the vegetables deepens the flavor, I love the roasted taste of tomatoes!

  33. What my mom use to do to get the tomatoes and chiles to get the skin to darken or char I guess you'd call it. She would just put them on a comal or a skillet and just let the skin darken. Not sure if that would work for ya but that is how I make my salsa's if I want the roasted flavor on the veggies.

  34. Stick them under the broiler, you just want the skin to char a little. If no broiler, just use the jalapeno as is.

  35. okay Gina, I'm not very cooking smart. How can I roast a jalapeno without a gas stove and no grill??


  36. Can you used cans of diced tomatoes? If so, how many cans? By the way, LOVE your blog and your pictures are by FAR the best of any food blog out there!

  37. I love to hook people in : )

  38. I found your blog about 2 weeks ago and I have tried 2 recipes so far and I'm in love and hooked to this blog! Thank you for doing this! My best friend is also hooked!

  39. Nope, you can leave the oil out. I like to add a little bit but will be just as wonderful without.

  40. Do you really need the oil if you use a non-stick pan? Would love this to 0 points plus! ;O

  41. I need a good red salsa recipe (with no bell pepper) — this one might be the ticket!

  42. This looks awesome.. Thanks


  43. Yummy! Def. going to try this soon! 🙂

  44. I'm always looking for new salsa recipes. This one, I'm definitely trying.

  45. Gina, you're the best! This looks delicious, will try soon.

  46. oh.looks great, i just love salsa. This is very nice.

  47. Just found your blog and I am SOOO excited about it! I have a feeling my computer is going to be with me in the kitchen a lot more now!! Thanks for the inspiration!
    -Sarah from Create Studio

  48. Awesome, I've been always wondering how to make salsa roja and actually somehow it never occurred to me that it ought to be cooked haha.

  49. looks/sounds DELICIOUS!!!

  50. I made this with Cinco De Mayo in mind!! This is a thinner salsa, not a chunky one like you would make with raw tomatoes. It's delicious, kind of like the hot salsa at Chipotle's.

  51. Yum! I can't wait to try this. I make my own salsa but I have never cooked it, it really makes it look flavorful. Try it with Snyder's of Hanover Restaurant Style corn chips, only 3pts per serving.

  52. Chips and salsa… my guilty pleasure! This will be perfect for Cinco de Mayo.

  53. This looks gorgeous, absolutely bookmarking this for another day.

  54. I've never cooked salsa before, but this looks so pretty! and bright.

    Thanks for the link 🙂

  55. Beautiful . . . Girl THANK YOU!!! Salsa is my favorite and I've wanted a recipe like this!!! Like Martin Lawrence from tv – You go girl.

  56. I've only tried cooked salsa with tomatillos. Can't wait to try this, it looks delicious!

  57. I will have to try this! I LOVE salsa but every time I have tried to make it, it turns out awful. This looks soo good!

  58. Ahh .. salsa can make any and every meal just a little bit better. I will put it on anything!

  59. Lady you've been reading my mind! I'm making this recipe this week to use with my egg whites!

  60. This looks lovely! I haven't made a cooked salsa in a very long time. Should give this a try!