The BEST Red Salsa

red salsa.png

Today was a very exciting day as I finally got to harvest the peppers I have been growing in my little garden. I have spent so much time & effort into growing my garden because what’s better than homegrown food? The answer to that is absolutely nothing because right away I ran to my kitchen to get to work on a new & improved salsa recipe. I decided to utilize the Anaheim chiles I picked because they were the largest & I know my mom swears by these chiles & her salsa is some of the best I have ever had in my life (I’m not just saying that either mom).  After whipping up the batch today, I will never go back to a salsa where I don’t include the Anaheim chiles. These peppers while mild provide SO much flavor that it tastes like it took hours instead of minutes. The Anaheim chiles add a depth of flavor that according to my boyfriend, is the best salsa I have ever made, I can’t argue with that. There are a few things I did differently this time that made the world of a difference and I am going to share them with you so you can boost your salsa game.

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Before harvest
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After harvest

Tip #1: Roast your chiles & tomatoes over an open flame/broiler

By roasting your chiles & tomatoes, it helps to give them a smokey flavor that is unlike anything else. You can’t rush this process otherwise it just won’t come out the same. I like to roast them until they are black & blistered on the outside. Basically, they should look completely burnt but don’t worry that only makes them taste better.

Tip #2: Avoid roasting your onion

You may think that since I just said that you should roast your tomatoes & chiles why wouldn’t you also do the onion & it’s all because of caramelization. For me personally, anytime I have roasted the onion I notice the onion takes on a sweeter & more tender flavor which when I blend it with the tomatoes and chiles gives a slightly sweeter taste than I would like. You can try this and see how you like the taste, who knows you may love it. However, per my recommendation, I would stick to roasting the tomatoes and chiles only.

Tip #3: Do NOT skip the “frying stage” & choose the correct oil

One of the biggest mistakes I have made in the past when roasting my tomatoes & chiles is I assume that’s enough to cook down the tomato flavor and skip “frying” it in oil. That is a big no-no as that final stage of frying melds all the flavors together & helps to further develop the flavor. Not only does this step matter but something you may not know is the oil you use to do this matters as well. One of the biggest cooking mistakes a lot of people make is incorrectly using the different types of oils. Different oils have different smoke points meaning that they can each handle a different temperature of heat before they begin to smoke. Take olive oil, for example, it is a very delicate oil that is best for sauteeing & dressing but can leave a burnt/acrid taste if used for frying. My personal preference for “frying” or cooking on a higher heat is avocado oil. Avocado oil has a much higher smoking point which means it retains the nutrients throughout the cooking process up to its smoke point.

So now that you know my major tips for the best possible salsa let’s outline what you need to make it for yourself.


  • 3 Roma tomatoes (roasted)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 3 roasted Anaheim chiles
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil


  • Blender
  • Medium saucepan


  1. Begin by roasting your tomatoes & chiles over an open flame on the stove or under the broiler. You want them to be black & blistered on the outside which will help to develop maximum flavor.
  2. In the blender add in the roasted chiles & tomatoes along with the onion, garlic, water, & salt. Blend until combined
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat add in avocado oil.
  4. Once thoroughly heated, remove the saucepan from the heat to prevent splattering of salsa & pour in the salsa.
  5. Put the salsa back on the heat & allow to simmer on medim- low heat for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat & allow to cool. Enjoy!

Salsa is one of those condiments that I feel can transform any meal & take it to another level. I love experimenting with salsas to make something that is flavorful with a slight kick. For this particular salsa, I would say it is more flavorful than spicy but if you would like to kick up the spice level I would add either an entire jalapeno or 1/2 of a serrano chile. As is, this salsa is incredibly flavorful & sure to become apart of your weekly rotation. If you try this for yourself tag @lifeatthemesa on Instagram so we can see how it came out for you. Thank you so much for visiting my blog & if you would like to stay up to date on all my latest posts be sure to sign up for email notifications.

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