When it comes to salsa, we prefer to leave the shelf-stable jars at the supermarket and make it fresh at home. This easy salsa recipe is a roasted riff on pico de gallo, which is normally fresh. The key is to char the tomatoes, onion, serrano chiles, and garlic under the broiler for a roasty and intensified flavor, then blitz the vegetables in batches for a texture that’s right in between smooth and chunky. If the fresh tomatoes at your market disappoint in the off season, consider trying this Salsa de Árbol, which is made with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, or this salsa verde, which gets its verdant hue from a blend of tomatillos, cilantro, and avocado.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published on July 9, 2019.


Makes about 4 cups


lb. tomatoes, cored, cut in half crosswise


medium white onion, sliced into ¼”-thick rounds


serrano chiles


garlic cloves, unpeeled

Kosher salt


Tbsp. fresh lime juice


Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

Tortilla chips (for serving)


Step 1

Heat broiler. Place tomatoes cut side down on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Fit onion, chiles, and garlic around tomatoes so everything is snug but not overlapping. Broil, turning onion and chiles once, until lightly charred, about 6 minutes for chiles and garlic and 15–18 minutes for tomatoes and onion.

Step 2

Peel garlic and place in a food processor along with half of the tomatoes. Pulse until very smooth. Add remaining tomatoes and pulse until tomatoes are mostly broken up but mixture still has some texture. Transfer to a medium bowl. Finely chop onion and chiles and mix into purée; season with salt. Let cool. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Season salsa with more salt if needed. Serve with chips.