Fire Roasted Salsa Negra (black salsa)

A bowl of Salsa Negra with cilantro.

Fire Roasted Salsa Negra is an intense Mexican black salsa is made with roasted tomatoes and peppers for a deep dark color and a gutsy flavor. Caution, this recipe involves playing with fire, and a whole lot of smoky spice  ~ it’s not for the timid!

Fire Roasted Salsa Negra ~ this intense salsa is made with roasted tomatoes and peppers for a deep dark color and a gutsy flavor. Caution, this salsa involves playing with fire, and a whole lot of smoky spice ~ it's not for the timid!

fire roasted salsa negra is smokey, bold, and delicious!

My inspiration comes from Baja Fresh, one of my favorite Tex-Mex fast food chains…they have a similar dark salsa on their salsa bar, and I’ve been meaning to recreate it for years!

Fire Roasted Salsa Negra ~ this intense salsa is made with roasted tomatoes and peppers for a deep dark color and a gutsy flavor. Caution, this salsa involves playing with fire, and a whole lot of smoky spice ~ it's not for the timid!

most of the salsas I make are light, colorful, and fruity

You might have tried my Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa or this summer’s Peach Jalapeño Salsa. One of my personal favorites is my mixed Spicy Fruit Salsa, it’s bursting with color. Did you know I’ve made salsa with everything from cantaloupe and mushrooms to papaya and  pomegranate? This one is a real departure from all that, for sure! The deep ‘black’ color comes from charring the tomatoes and peppers before they’re pureed. The blackened skin not only adds color, it adds tons of smoky flavor.

Tomatoes for making Fire Roasted Salsa Negra

how to fire roast tomatoes and peppers 3 ways

  • You can roast your peppers on an outdoor grill, just lay them directly on the grates and wait until they blacken.
  • Under the broiler ~ you can arrange your veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet and place on the highest slot, closest to your broiler flame. Check on them frequently and turn to blacken on all sides.
  • You can do this right on your stove top if you have gas burners. Hold the peppers with a long pair of tongs to hold them safely and securely while you blacken them. Note: this is not a job for kids.
  • Use caution when blackening peppers over an open flame, they can briefly catch fire.
  • Tomatoes are best done under the broiler because of their juiciness.

do you remove the skins after roasting?

No, leave the blackened parts alone, they will blend up and give this salsa its distinctive flavor and color.

Roasted tomatoes for Fire Roasted Salsa Negra

To roast dried peppers

  • Soak them first in hot water to soften their skins.
  • Then you can roast them as above.
Dried chile pods for Fire Roasted Salsa Negra
Roasted chiles for Fire Roasted Salsa Negra, Mexican black salsa

which peppers to use for salsa negra

I used both dried Hatch chiles, (above) and fresh green pasillo chiles, as well as a couple of jalapenos. Dried chile pods can be found in most large supermarkets, but you might have to ask, they tend to be in odd spots. Once you’ve soaked your dried chilies in boiling water until soft, you can blacken them the same way you do with the fresh vegetables. I just held mine with tongs over the gas flame on my stove top, they blacken instantly.

Making Fire Roasted Salsa Negra, Mexican Black Salsa

The world of chiles and peppers is a complex one, and my advice is, don’t get too hung up on which exact one you use ~ go with what you can get your hands on. Be adventurous, the results will be great.

Hatch Chile Peppers

Hatch chiles are the famous New Mexican variety with a cult following.

I’ve used them before in my Slow Cooked hatch Pepper Chili and my Cheesy Hatch Green Chile Dip. Fresh hatch chile season runs from August through the end of September, but even if you miss that you can buy them in cans, or better yet, frozen for use all year long.

Fire Roasted Salsa Negra ~ this intense salsa is made with roasted tomatoes and peppers for a deep dark color and a gutsy flavor. Caution, this salsa involves playing with fire, and a whole lot of smoky spice ~ it's not for the timid!

This salsa negra got rave reviews from friends and family, but more importantly, I love it, and it’s going into my personal recipe hall of fame, and I’ll be making it over and over again.

tips for making fire roasted salsa

  • One interesting thing about making this salsa negra is that because you’re going to be roasting them, you want to start with relatively hard tomatoes, you can save the ripe ones for your salads.
  • Don’t be shy about blackening your veggies, that’s where all the flavor comes from.
  • If you want a milder fire roasted effect, you can peel the vegetables after blackening. Just cover them with plastic and let them sit until cool enough to handle. The skins can be removed easily.

“I have made at least two dozen different recipes for roasted salsa, I’ve talked to waiters and chefs trying to get it right… and this is the closest I’ve come to restaurant quality roasted salsa! Thank you so much!”

~ Malia
A bowl of Salsa Negra with cilantro
Print
3.62 from 257 votes

Fire Roasted Salsa Negra (black salsa)

Fire Roasted Salsa Negra ~ this intense Mexican black salsa is made with roasted tomatoes and peppers for a deep dark color and a gutsy flavor.
Course Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 15 servings
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 4-5 dried red Hatch or other large red chile peppers
  • 2 pounds firm red tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 fresh pasilla chile peppers about 10 ounces (substitute poblano if you can’t find them)
  • 1 medium red onion peeled and rough chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

garnish

  • fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  • Cover the dried chiles with boiling water and let soak for 30 minutes. Make sure they are covered by the water.
  • While the chiles soak, turn your broiler on high, and set the rack at the highest setting. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the tomatoes on it. Broil for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the tomatoes are blackened all over. Set aside.
  • Do the same with the pasilla and jalapeno peppers, leave them whole, don’t chop. When they are blackened all over, remove and set aside.
  • Repeat the procedure with the soaked peppers.
  • Put the onion and the garlic in the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Turn into a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, spices, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Chop the blackened tomatoes in quarters, and puree, in the food processor, working in batches if necessary. Add the puree to the bowl with the onions and spices.
  • Remove and discard the stems from all the peppers and chop them in half. Puree them in the processor, and then add to the bowl. Note: I did not remove the seeds from the peppers.
  • Add the olive oil to the bowl and blend everything together. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, or until ready to serve. Be sure to taste the salsa prior to serving to adjust any of the seasonings. Note, this is a relatively thick salsa.

Cook’s notes

 
  • I garnished with cilantro, but didn’t put any in the salsa, feel free to puree a handful in if you like.
  • This Salsa Negra would make a great sauce for grilled chicken, or on tacos.
 
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
e book

You Might Also Like

65 Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Rachel
    November 11, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    5 stars
    I never comment on recipes but this one is just so good I gotta!! I’ve made it twice now and it’s amazing. I like eating it with beans, fried polenta, and whatever veggies I got on hand. Or just with chips. Soooo good

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 12, 2020 at 5:48 am

      Thanks Rachel, I love to see comments on this recipe because I love it too!

  • Reply
    Vicki
    September 9, 2020 at 8:42 am

    We are growing some black cobra peppers and I came across this recipe while looking for something to do with them…can’t wait to try it! Have you ever used these peppers? And how hot are they anyway! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 9, 2020 at 9:20 am

      I haven’t tried cobra peppers (they sound hot!) but I think they’d be perfect in this salsa!

  • Reply
    Mike
    April 11, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Havent tried yet but I will, I just did some googling regarding the pasilla and poblano chilis, according to this
    https://www.pepperscale.com/pasilla-vs-poblano/
    there is a lot of confusion about these peppers, but first off, a pasilla is a dried chilaca, but then the whole article is about how they are mislabeled everywhere, anyways, just a source of confusion, either way it doesnt really matter, im sure they might taste a bit different but both good.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 11, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for the info Mike, peppers can definitely be so confusing.

  • Reply
    Patsi
    September 23, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Do you peel the tomatoes and peppers?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      No, the skins stay on.

  • Reply
    Hunter
    June 16, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Hi sue! I’m just coming across this recipe and it looks amazing! After roasting the peppers and the tomatoes, do you peel them? Or leave the skins on while puréeing?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 16, 2019 at 11:39 am

      I leave them on Hunter, but you can peel them if you like, or partially peel them. You’ll get a different flavor and color depending on how you do it. The true dark color comes from the blackened peels.

  • Reply
    latina t newsome-taylor
    May 16, 2019 at 6:56 am

    5 stars
    So glad I came upon your recipe and then reading the comments I noticed someone else from Chicago comparing yours to la pasadita restaurant. That is what brought me here I have to try this but I think I will change the tomatoes to tomatillo’s instead. I will also char the onion and garlic as well. Thanks so much for this.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 16, 2019 at 7:23 am

      Enjoy and report back if you can!

  • Reply
    Steens
    April 24, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    My favorite Black Salsa comes from La Pasadita in Chicago. I haven’t been there in years, yet crave this with everything, including fries. I look at your photos and recipe and can’t help but salivate. Can’t wait try yours.
    Btw, Hatch Chili’s or don’t bother. I don’t know what it is, but they make the salsa.
    Thanx!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 24, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      With fries? Have mercy!

  • Reply
    Desire
    April 13, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    I’ve never added worcestershire sauce to my salsas. I have celiacs so I stay away from worcestershire sauce since it has gluten. Will the recipe still shine without it?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 14, 2019 at 7:25 am

      This salsa has so much flavor going on you can leave the Worcestershire sauce out, but if you want a replacement you might try Tamari soy sauce, its gluten free.

    • Reply
      Kirby
      April 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm

      There is a Worcestershire sauce that is gluten free it’s called lea&perrins my daughter has the same celiac disease and so this is perfect for it

  • Reply
    mike
    March 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Have you ever had the red sauce (burnt red) at baja fresh? How do I make that one?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      Hey Mike, this is my version of the dark sauce at Baja Fresh, not sure if we’re talking about the same one, but I think so. If you want it more red, I would just char the vegetables less.

  • Reply
    M. Griffice
    December 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    5 stars
    I have made at least two dozen different recipes for roasted salsa… I’ve talked to waiters and chefs trying to get it right… and this is the closest I’ve come to restaurant quality roasted salsa!!! Thank you so much!!! From CA to NY to TX and back to Cali again, I am so grateful to have your recipe! My special holiday meals will be so much better this year because of you! Thank you!
    I think the blend of fresh peppers and dried is the key. I used all my hatch peppers on my last mediocre batch with another recipe, so this time it’s poblanos. But it’s so good still. My hubby will come home to a house full of delicious warm scents!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 21, 2018 at 7:35 am

      I’m just grinning reading this because that’s just what I wanted to achieve, have a wonderful rest of the season and enjoy that salsa 🙂

1 2 3 4

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

I'M SPILLING ALL MY SECRETS!

Get my tips, tricks & recipes for easy

foolproof baking

WANT TO BE A BETTER BAKER?

logo png