Salsa Rojo

6 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine September/October 2008

Here's a homemade version of the tomato salsa served at taco stands and burrito joints everywhere. Try it with all your favorite Mexican foods—it even works as enchilada sauce.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium chile peppers, such as poblano, New Mexico or Anaheim, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, diced (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, or chili powder (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, chile peppers and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse to make a chunky sauce, or until desired consistency. (Use caution when pureeing hot ingredients.)
  4. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in cilantro and lime juice just before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Stir in cilantro and lime juice just before serving.
  • Shopping tip: Ancho chile, a dried poblano pepper, is one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico. It has a mild, sweet, spicy flavor. Find ground ancho chili powder in the specialty spice section of large supermarkets.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup
  • Per serving: 66 calories; 3 g fat(0 g sat); 3 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 26 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; g added sugars; 1487 IU vitamin A; 50 mg vitamin C; 30 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 435 mg sodium; 394 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2
  • Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat

Reviews 6

October 27, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
horrible this recipe is horrible. does not turn out the way you want it to. Pros: nothing Cons: everything
April 09, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
This is a salsa (sauce) and not appropriate or authentic for enchiladas. Authentic enchilada gravy uses no tomato products whatsoever. I don't care what the can reads. Make your own gravy, leave out the tomatoes. Pros: o.k. for chips or tacos Cons: inauthenic
March 05, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Good but not authentic Authentic enchilada gravy is not made with tomatoes. It is not a sauce. This recipe is fine as a salsa. Just because enchilada gravy is red it does not mean that it has tomatoes as an ingredient. Pros: good as a salsa Cons: Tomatoes, not for enchiladas
October 04, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I think it would be better to not add the garlic until the onions are cooked to soft stage. The garlic can become bitter if cooked too long. Pros: Cons:
August 05, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I've made this probably 20 times. I store it for a taste of the summer in the winter. love it. Pros: Cons:
April 27, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
love it, authentico! Pros: Cons: