Molcajete Salsa | Salsa Molcajeteada

Molcajete salsa is a rustic and chunky Mexican salsa made in a stone mortar and pestle. This vegan salsa molcajeteada is great on chips or on any of your favorite Mexican dishes.

Molcajete Salsa or Salsa Molcajeteada
Molcajete Salsa

Did you know that a good homemade salsa made with the freshest ingredients can change your life?

It absolutely can.

And did you know that making your own Mexican salsa is super easy? It is. I promise.

Salsa Molcajeteada or Molcajete Salsa
Salsa Molcajeteada

Salsa Molcajeteada

The salsa recipe I’m sharing today is a rustic or old-fashioned kind of salsa because of the way that it’s prepare.

Molcajeteada means made or ground up in a molcajete.

Back before everyone in Mexico had blenders (or even before they were invented), cooks used their molcajetes to make their daily salsas.

A molcajete is a lava rock mortar and pestle.

Sure, nowadays you can just grab the blender, but there’s a certain magic in using a molcajete.

There are even many traditional cooks that believe that the flavors and ingredients only truly come alive when ground in a molcajete.

You’ll just have to try it yourself and see if it’s true…I think it is.

Ingredients used to make molcajete salsa
Molcajete Salsa Ingredients

Restaurant Style Salsa But Homemade

When you go to a restaurant and they bring out a delicious salsa, you know the rest of the food is going to be great.

A good traditional Mexican restaurant will always send out a couple of salsas. Always look for that fresh taste. If you get one like this here, one which the ingredients are charred, you’ll know your about to enjoy some amazing flavors.

So next time you’re at home and start craving that amazing restaurant salsa, just make a batch of this. Then grab some corn chips and enjoy!

How to make molcajete salsa
How to Make Molcajete Salsa

Roasted Tomato Salsa

When it comes to salsa recipes there are not only hundreds of them in Mexico, but also within those traditional ones people tend to add their own special touches.

Use my recipe as a guide and you can always adjust the ingredients to fit your taste buds perfectly.

For example, you may want to add more chilies, or perhaps less. Some people don’t like garlic, so they omit it — or you can add less than in my recipe.

Many people don’t add cilantro, but I love including it because it gives the charred ingredients a burst of freshness.

Occasionally I’ll even add a splash of lime juice just for an extra punch of tartness.

Lastly, perhaps you want a less chunky salsa so you’ll grind the ingredients smoother than I have.

You see, it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the process and the explosion of  flavors that these fresh, healthy ingredients have and how they’ll transform your favorite Mexican foods.

Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa
Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa

Of course, make sure you grind up the ingredients in your molcajete for the most delicious roasted tomato salsa!

Molcajete Salsa or Salsa Molcajeteada Recipe

Amigos, this recipe is incredibly easy to prepare. You can watch the tutorial video for a visual guide.

As previously mentioned, feel free to adjust the amount of any ingredients to your own taste.

So go on and grab your comal and your molcajete and get started!

Molcajete Salsa

Molcateje Salsa or Salsa Molcajeteada & Nancy Lopez-McHugh
Molcajete salsa is a rustic and chunky Mexican salsa made in a stone mortar and pestle. This vegan salsa molcajeteada is great on chips or on any of your favorite Mexican dishes.
5 from 2 votes
Save Recipe
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Salsa, Snack
Cuisine Mexican, vegan
Servings 4 servings
Calories 6 kcal



  • 3 whole Roma tomatoes (use 3 to 4)
  • 2 whole Serrano chilies adjust according to heat tolerance
  • 1/2 small white onion* ajdust to taste
  • 2 whole garlic cloves adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt adjust to taste
  • 1 handful fresh roughly chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1/2 small lime, juiced

Kitchen Tools Needed:

  • a molcajete or mortar and peslte
  • a comal or a griddle or pan to char the ingredients


  • Heat a comal (or griddle or pan) over medium-high heat. Once hot carefully place the tomatoes, the onion and chilies on to it. Allow to char on one side before flipping and turning until the chilies are softened and blistered, the onion soften (you can also cut the onion into smaller pieces to expediate the cooking), and once the tomatoes have blacked on all sides.
    How to make molcajete salsa
  • Keep a close eye on the vegetables as they will all be done at different times. Add the garlic cloves towards the end as they need but 3 to 5 minutes to char. Carefully remove the ingredients from the comal/griddle/pan.
  • In your molcajete first place the garlic cloves with a sprinkling of salt, grind until completely broken down. Next add the chilies (remove the stems first) and grind them with the garlic until broken down. Now for the onion cut it into smaller pieces before placing it on the molcajete so that it's easier to grind. If you too would like your salsa chunkier then only grind the onion pieces a bit before proceeding.
  • Okay, now place one tomato at a time into the center of the molcajete, use the pestle to carefully push down and help squash it down before beginning to grind it into the other ingredients. Grind into your desired chunkiness before adding the remaining tomatoes at a time.
  • Lastly, and only optional, if you'd like mix in some roughly chopped cilantro into the salsa. Taste the salsa and season with sea salt and lime juice if desired, stir again to combine and give your salsa one last taste before serving right in the molcajete. Enjoy!
    Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa



*You can slice or cut the onion into smaller pieces to help it char faster. Additionally, if you do so this will help you grind it into a smoother salsa — if that’s what you want.
** After charring the ingredients you don’t have to scrape away the blackened bits — in fact they add a smoky flavour. However if you’d like you are free to remove this first before grinding.
*** Do watch the video for a visual explanation.


Serving: 4servingsCalories: 6kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 582mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword molcajete, molcajeteada, roasted tomato, salsa
Tried this recipe?Mention @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicamademeatless!
Molcajete Salsa
Molcajete Salsa

Wasn’t that incredibly easy to prepare? Plus the calories are low — just don’t over do it with the corn chips.

This is one of my favorite salsas to make. It’s a great topping on so many dishes. It’s also a great appetizer or snack to bring out when you have guests.

How to Make Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa
How to Make Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa

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  1. 5 stars
    Not only do you get a great salsa but a really good arm workout out as well. This looks so much better than anything premade that I’ve seen and I love how chunky it is. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  2. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could help, I love your recipe and want to buy a molcajete – but just wanted to know what size the one that you’re using is – because I can’t decide between an 8″ and 10″.

    Thank you

  3. You and this recipe have inspired to buy a bigger molcajete. The one I have works for spices and that’s all. I hate doing salsa in a blender and usually just use my hands, because there is nothing better than a homemade roasted salsa.

  4. 5 stars
    Hay algo que tiene la salsa de molcajete que ninguna otra salsa tiene. muy rica tu receta nancy.

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