The added smoky flavor from the grill makes this Grilled Tomato Salsa a delicious summer snack!
This post may contain paid links. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.
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
- 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: