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27 July 2016

This salsa roja recipe is what you’ll find in Mexican restaurants in squeeze bottles, perfect for smothering your burritos, for taco sauce, for any type of Mexican food. It’s also great as a flavorful salsa.

I’ve talked about guacamole recipes in Mexican restaurants, how there is a basic form of the recipe, yet every Mexican place does it their own way. The same is true, if not MORE so, for Salsa Roja, or Mexican Red Table Sauce. If you’ve been to a Mexican restaurant, you’ve seen it.

It’s the red stuff that typically comes in a large squeeze bottle, the bottle slightly condensed with moisture because it has just been removed from the refrigerator in the back, most likely freshly made that very morning. So very fresh.

It is similar in consistency to a thin salsa, with a bit more processing to give it that sauce like quality that is so perfect for pouring over your burritos, drenching your tacos, dripping over chorizo con huevos, huevos rancheros, Mexican migas, basically any Mexican cuisine served at your favorite local Mexican restaurant. This is Mexican salsa at its finest.

Salsa Roja is one of my favorites.

Mexican Red Table Sauce - Salsa Roja - Recipe

As mentioned, Salsa Roja varies from restaurant to restaurant. We’ve been to a LOT of Mexican places, as well as Tex-Mex, and while there is a general similarity to MOST of these red sauces, each recipe is unique in flavor. Some of it comes down to an additional ingredient here and there, but mostly it is down to proportions.

Some prefer more lime, some more peppers, some more tomato. It depends on the chef cooking that day. I haven’t found a Salsa Roja I didn’t like. It’s hard to go wrong with super fresh ingredients that love to party with one another.

Here is our version that is simple yet highly flavorful.

How to Make Salsa Roja – Mexican Red Table Sauce

Here are the steps.

  1. First, add the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro and lime juice to a food processor, then process them until they are fairly smooth.
  2. Next, heat a large pot to medium heat and add olive oil. Add the salsa and it will sear quickly. Add  cumin and bit of salt.
  3. Bring the whole thing to a quick boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt if needed and stir.
  4. That’s it! Cool and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve it up in a squeeze bottle like they do in Mexican restaurants for fun!

It doesn’t take much work at all. Just a bit of processing and simmering to let the fresh flavors develop and mingle with one another.

Cool and pour it into a sauce container. I like to serve them up in the same plastic squeeze bottles you find in the Mexican restaurants.

Here is a link to the ones I use (NOTE: It’s an Amazon Affiliate Link – $$ for me!) – SET OF 2 — 24 Oz. Condiment Squeeze Bottles. It makes it feel that much more authentic. You can also serve this up as a salsa with some salted tortilla chips. The flavor is the same and honestly, it works as a simple salsa serving. This will easily last a week in the fridge, if you haven’t eaten it all.

Get cooking, friends! For your next Taco Tuesday, serve up some Salsa Roja and slather it on! Homemade salsa is the best.

Mexican Red Table Sauce - Salsa Roja - Recipe

How Long Does This Salsa Roja Last?

This salsa roja recipe will last at least a week in the refrigerator, or up to 2 weeks. If you’d like it to last longer, you can up the acidity with more lime juice or add some vinegar. It also freezes nicely. 

Check Out Some My Other Popular Salsa Recipes

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 4 votes
Mexican Red Table Sauce - Salsa Roja - Recipe
Salsa Roja Recipe - Mexican Red Table Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

This salsa roja recipe is what you'll find in Mexican restaurants in squeeze bottles, perfect for smothering your burritos, for taco sauce, for any type of Mexican food. It's also great as a flavorful salsa.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: salsa, sauce
Servings: 20
Calories: 23 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds tomatoes chopped
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped – use Serrano peppers for a bit more heat!
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro and lime juice to a food processor. Process until fairly smooth.
  2. Heat a large pot to medium heat and add olive oil. Add the salsa and it will sear quickly.
  3. Add cumin and bit of salt.
  4. Bring to a quick boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Season with salt if needed and stir.
  6. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Serve it up in a squeeze bottle like they do in Mexican restaurants for fun!
Recipe Notes

Heat Level: Mild. Add serrano peppers for a spicier version of the recipe.

This salsa roja will last at least a week in the refrigerator, or up to 2 weeks. If you'd like it to last longer, you can up the acidity with more lime juice or add some vinegar. It also freezes nicely. 

Nutrition Facts
Salsa Roja Recipe - Mexican Red Table Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 23 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 119mg3%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Vitamin A 405IU8%
Vitamin C 8.4mg10%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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21 comments

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Michael, this will last at least a week in the refrigerator, or up to 2 weeks. If you’d like it to last longer, you can up the acidity with more lime juice or add some vinegar. It also freezes nicely. Let me know if this helps. Enjoy!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Absolutely, Jim. It would be ready quickly! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  1. How many servings would you say this makes. My husband is on a salt restriction and I just wondered so if I did add any salt I would be able to calculate it the correct way. Thank you

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Jessica, I have this set to 20 servings, which is roughly a couple ounces each or so. I hope that helps. You can go very easy on the salt with the recipe for your husband.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Allan, absolutely. Check the acidity. If it is below 4.0 (3.5 or lower, ideally), you can use the water bath method. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a pressure canner.

  2. I think this would also be great and add extra flavor to roast at least some of the tomatoes before adding them to the food processor~ <3

  3. Does this salsa freeze well?

    REPLY: Mary, yes, salsa typically freezes quite nicely. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  4. 5 stars
    When we were in Manzanillo, they served a red sauce daily to put on your omelets or other eggs, it wasn’t hot, but soooooo tasty. Wondeer if this is it?

    REPLY: Kelly, could be some sort of variation of this. Hmmm! I wonder! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  5. Hi! I was wondering if canned tomatoes would work with this recipe. In Finland tomatoes are not very good right now. They are tasteless. I was thinking at least use some canned tomatoes and some fresh.

    REPLY: Marika, yes, you can make this with canned tomatoes. There might be a slight flavor difference, but it will still be good. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  6. Do you remove the skin from the tomatoes or leave them on?

    REPLY: Sandra, I leave them on since it is processed a lot, but you can remove them if you’d like. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  7. How long will it keep in fridge ?

    REPLY: It should keep a week or so. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  8. 5 stars
    So Good! This is so versatile, and a great way to kick it up! I love the real food ingredients and freshness of this sauce!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Sam! Yes, we LOVE this recipe.

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