Grilled Tomato Salsa
The added smoky flavor from the grill makes this Grilled Tomato Salsa a delicious summer snack!
Have you ever poured a jar of salsa onto the grill? If so, you probably spent the next hour cleaning up the mess. There’s an easier way to make Grilled Tomato Salsa! Simply grill all of the ingredients before chopping ’em up. You end up with all of the flavor of homemade salsa plus the added smoky flavor from the grill!
Over the years, I’ve grilled and smoked some rather unusual things – I’m looking at you, smoked peanuts and grilled guacamole! Fortunately I can say that a jar of salsa is not on that list. However, this Grilled Tomato Salsa is on the list…and I suspect it will go on my list of recipes to make again. This salsa is delicious as an appetizer with tortilla chips or served alongside tacos, quesadillas, etc.
Grilled Tomato Salsa
I used a fairly straightforward homemade tomato salsa recipe here. I opted for Roma tomatoes as they don’t have quite as much liquid as traditional slicing tomatoes. That extra liquid can lead to a watery salsa. I tossed in a couple classic salsa vegetables like onions, garlic and a jalapeno for added taste. (Well, to be fair, a jalapeno is technically a fruit, but close enough…)
In addition to the veggies, a handful of cilantro along with some cumin, black pepper, lime juice and a teaspoon of kosher salt makes for one heck of a tasty homemade salsa! The prep time here is easy, too. In fact, everything can be prepped while the grill is preheating. The total time for this recipe checks in somewhere around 20-25 minutes. I recommend chilling the salsa in the fridge (overnight if you have the time) to allow the flavors to come together better.
When it comes to the grilling part of this Grilled Tomato Salsa, a wooden skewer is your friend. Garlic cloves are small. Jalapenos are kinda small. This can lead to trouble on a grill. The secret is to just skewer the garlic and jalapeno pepper before putting ’em on the grill. As long as the slices are thick, you can put the onions and tomatoes directly on the grill – no skewer needed.
Gas grill vs. Charcoal grill
I’ve used both a gas grill and a charcoal grill when making batches of this salsa. Both had a noticeable grilled flavor, but the charcoal grill had more. No surprise there, right? If you have the time, I recommend lighting up a charcoal grill to medium-high heat for this recipe. However, for time’s sake, a gas grill will still bring great flavor!
Tip: To keep the veggies from burning on the grill, brush ’em with oil. Since you’ve got a fairly hot grill, you’ll want to go with an oil that has a high smoke point – vegetable oil or canola oil work well. While olive oil has more flavor, it has a lower smoke point so it isn’t the best choice for grilling.
Laura commented that this Grilled Tomato Salsa had similar flavor as roasting the ingredients under a broiler in the oven. Mmmm…roasted tomato salsa! The grill does bring more flavor than the oven, but if it’s the dead of winter (or you don’t have a grill) then you could roast the ingredients instead. From there, toss everything into a food processor. *pulse* *pulse* *pulse* Salsa done!
I hope you enjoy this salsa as much as we did – it makes for a great summer appetizer or side dish! Happy grilling!
Did you make a batch of this Grilled Tomato Salsa at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Grilled Tomato Salsa
- 4 garlic cloves unpeeled
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 medium white onion peeled and cut into ½” slices
- 6 Roma tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (~375-400°F).
- Thread the garlic cloves and jalapeno onto a wooden skewer.
- Brush the garlic, jalapeno, onion and tomatoes with oil. Place on grill. (Note: Place tomatoes cut-side down.)
- Grill for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until all of the vegetables are charred. Remove vegetables from grill and let cool.
- Peel skin from the garlic and tomatoes. Place all vegetables in a food processor.
- Add the salt, cumin, pepper, cilantro and lime juice; pulse until well combined. (Note: Salsa can be served immediately, but it will taste better if you refrigerate it overnight!)
Looking for more tasty salsa recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
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cant wait to make this soon for me can i airfried the tomatoes as i dont have a grill at home i never had grilled tomato salsa before perfect for my snacks or your snacks recipes love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
I’m not sure how air frying would work for this recipe, Ramya. I think you could try roasting the ingredients for a fun flavor though!
We have a charcoal grill, so it’s not really convenient for quick grilling. I’d roast the veggies in the oven alternatively. Not quite the same flavor, but roasting works! Great recipe!
Roasting would definitely achieve a similar result here. Or just plan ahead for the next time you have the charcoal grill lit – that flavor would be out of this world, Mimi!!
Grilling makes most things more delicious because of those pleasant extra smoky notes. This is an excellent example of salsa (Okay, I pretend you didn’t use cilantro in here LOL). Also, the addition of poblano peppers (with or without jalapenos) and a touch of smoked paprika would be nice additions!
Grilling truly does make everything better – and that’s why I’m always trying to figure out how to grill anything and everything. 🙂 I do like your suggestion of poblanos and smoked paprika. I’ll try that next time!!
you mention grilled guacamole. sounds interesting. I love EV olive oil in everything so I’d use that here. Roma tomatoes are certainly useful in cooking; less liquid as you say.
I’m all about grilling anything and everything, Sherry! That grilled guac turned out really well. Give it a try sometime! And this salsa was fun with the smoky grill flavor added in there. Yum!
I’m so intrigued by this salsa! I can see how roasting the tomatoes would add a warm, smoky element to the flavor. Looks and sounds addictive!
This salsa is (was) fantastic, Marissa! The smoky grill flavor really adds a fun layer of flavor. Now if only I could figure out how to make it bright red like the salsas in the store…hmmm…
Sounds great, David. Grilling must intensify the flavors and add a nice touch of smokiness. And indeed as I’m sure you know Mexicans will char their salsa ingredients on a comal before blending them. Same idea, if maybe a little less assertive than grilling.
You know, I had totally forgotten about charring on a comal! That’s basically what happened here – although with the added smokiness from the grill. This turned out quite well, and it makes for a fun summer appetizer! Thanks, Frank!
Ah, that’s the secret! Grill the tomatoes before chopping! 🙂 I love this salsa. It sounds fantastic!
Haha – I mean you could chop the tomatoes and then grill ’em….but…. 🙂
Definitely the best way to make salsa, even better if its chargrilled, it adds a layer of smoky flavour. Yum
Exactly – that layer of smoky grilled flavor really takes this salsa to a whole new level. Thanks, Raymund!
We do a salsa in the summer using our smoker. I’ve never tried grilling the veggies. I am definitely going to try your recipe. Looks delish and super tasty!
Oooo…a smoker! Why haven’t I thought of that yet!? The grilled flavor in this salsa was fantastic, but a smoker would be even better. Thanks for the idea, Madalaine!! 🙂