The Best Mexican-Style Salsa Roja with Roasted Chiles

Looking for the best Mexican salsa roja recipe? This red salsa is packed with flavors of roasted tomatillos, tomatoes, chipotles, habaneros, guajillos, garlic, and more. So delicious, we bet it’ll become a refrigerator staple in your home.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tomatillos (husks removed)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 10 dried árbol chiles (stems removed)
  • 5 dried guajillo chiles (stems and seeds removed)
  • 2 habaneros (stems removed)
  • 1 jalapeño (stem removed)
  • 1 white onion (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 chipotle pepper
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (with stems)
  • hot water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt, to taste
  • vinegar, to taste


  1. Heat up a grill pan on the stove over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Put the tomatillos, tomatoes, árbol chiles, guajillo chiles, habaneros, jalapeño, and onion onto the grill. Roast until everything is browned on all sides — about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic onto the grill for about two minutes, being careful not to burn it. 
  4. Turn off the grill pan. Separate the guajillos and arboles, and add them to a bowl of hot water. Soak them for about 20 minutes, until the chiles are rehydrated and soft.
  5. Reserve 3/4 cup of the water from the bowl. Add the reserved water and all of the ingredients (except for the salt and vinegar) into a blender. Blend until the salsa is a smooth purée.
  6. Add salt to taste. Add vinegar to taste, slowly; you may not need much vinegar, depending on how juicy the lime was! As you season, re-blend to combine, and taste as you go. Once the salsa is balanced and to your liking, it’s finished.
  7. Allow the salsa to cool in the refrigerator, then serve it with fresh tortilla chips or on top of your favorite Mexican dishes!

Keywords: homemade red salsa recipe, mexican salsa roja recipe, salsa with fire-roasted chilies, smoky salsa

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