Slow Roasted Tomato Salsa


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salsa and chips in white bowls

To give this homemade restaurant-style Slow Roasted Tomato Salsa rich flavor, roast tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and garlic before blending. Roasting concentrates the tomato flavor and will make even the most lackluster grocery store tomatoes taste fantastic!

The eternal problem I run into as a recipe developer is that I’m often dreaming up new recipes that are a bit ahead of their season. After 10 years, I don’t even think twice about it. In early March I start thinking about strawberries and have been creating tons of summer grilling recipes for Cook Smarts

One problem I always have is that I end up buying tomatoes long before they’re at their best. I always struggled with how to best use leftover grocery store tomatoes that aren’t really tasty enough to slice and serve raw in a salad or sandwich. This recipe solved the problem! For the past few weeks all my leftover tomatoes have gone into this rich, tart, slightly spicy slow roasted tomato salsa. Or if you don’t have any tomatoes at all, but still want a flavorful homemade salsa, jump on over to my copycat version of Trader Joe’s Sweet & Spicy Corn Salsa.

Roasting is the not-so-secret way to make any vegetable taste like the best version of itself (evidence = Ina Garten’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts). If you’re craving homemade salsa right now, this one is for you!

roasting vegetables on a foil lined sheet pan


  • Tomatoes – Any type of tomatoes will work. Even though roasting with bring out all of their great tomato-y flavor, go for the tomatoes that are the most red / ripe looking. I’ve made this with larger greenhouse, Roma, and cherry / grape tomatoes. You can even use canned whole peeled tomatoes – drain them well before roasting. 
  • White Onion – Any type of onion will work, but I love the pure flavor of white onions here.
  • Jalapenos – Here’s where your salsa will get its spice. Leave the jalapenos out for a no-spice version or scrape out the seeds for a mild version. You can also always add hot sauce to the salsa (or a portion of the salsa) later. 
  • Garlic – Wrap the garlic up in foil as it roasts and it will get super soft and tender. Roasting mellows the flavor, so you can use a lot more in the salsa than you would use if it were raw. If you have any roasted garlic leftover, mash it and use it to top pizza, make into sauce, or toss with roasted vegetables.
  • Fresh Cilantro and Lime Juice – These add fresh flavor to balance on the rich roasted flavor of the vegetables.
  • Ground Cumin and Kosher Salt – Season your finished salsa with these pantry staples. 

roasted vegetables in a food processor

How Long will Fresh Salsa Keep?

Store fresh salsa in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it in tightly sealed containers for 4 to 6 months. Once you get used to having homemade salsa around, you’ll use it on everything! 

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5 from 2 votes

Slow Roasted Tomato Salsa

To give this homemade restaurant-style salsa rich flavor, roast tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic before blending. Roasting concentrates the tomato flavor and will make even the most lackluster grocery store tomatoes taste fantastic!
This makes about 3 cups of salsa. To adjust, click on the number next to servings.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 10


  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Food Processor


  • 2 lbs Tomatoes, halved (see note)
  • 1 small White Onion, quartered
  • 1 Jalapeño, halved lengthwise (seeds removed for less spice)
  • 1 head Garlic, sliced in half lengthwise (make sure you slice this so that you cut through the center of all of the cloves of garlic)
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil (any type will work, avocado oil, canola, grapeseed, or olive oil)
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro (you can include the top tender parts of the stems)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice


  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil.
  • Spread tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and garlic head halves out on sheet pan, cut side-up. Drizzle everything generously with oil and sprinkle with some salt.
  • Place garlic head in a small piece of foil. Wrap the foil to fully enclose the garlic.
  • Bake vegetables, without stirring, until everything is very tender and onions are deep golden brown, 75 to 90 minutes. (The tomatoes should be very soft and jammy.)
  • Pour roasted tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and any liquids from the roasting pan in a food processor or blender. Gently squeeze garlic cloves out of the garlic head into food processor. (You can use all of the roasted garlic if you like or start with half and add more to taste. This will seem like a lot of garlic but roasting it mellows the flavor.)
  • Blend until no large pieces remain.
  • Add cilantro, salt, cumin, and lime juice.
  • Pulse until everything is evenly combined and nearly smooth. Add water, as needed, until the salsa is the right consistency for dipping chips. (Note: The amount of additional water needed will vary depending on the natural moisture content of the tomatoes. Some batches of salsa may not need any extra water, but some may need up to an additional 3/4 cup.)
  • Taste salsa and season with some more salt if needed. You can add some hot sauce if you’d like more heat.
  • Salsa can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.


Tomatoes - Any type of tomatoes will work. Regular, Roma, or even cherry / grape tomatoes. You can even use canned whole peeled tomatoes - drain them well before roasting. 


Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 882IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $5.00
Calories: 50
Keyword: dip, homemade salsa, salsa
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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