Molcajete Salsa Recipe | Salsa Molcajeteada

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

Molcajete Salsa or Salsa Molcajeteada
Molcajete Salsa

Homemade Salsa

Did you know that good homemade traditional Mexican salsas 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 or volcanic rock mortar and pestle.

Sure, nowadays you can just grab the blender (or even a food processor), 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.

Why You Should Make This Molcajete Salsa Recipe

If you love the explosion of flavor and that unmatchable taste of authentic Mexican food and it’s incredible salsas, then you need to make this recipe.

When you use your authentic Mexican molcajete you get a salsa taste that is unlike any other salsa you can blend, buy at the store or get at most restaurants.

This salsa is savory, a little spicy, a tad sweet and just an explosion of deliciousness in every bite.

You can enjoy it with corn tortilla chips, on top of a vegan carne asada, on tacos, quesadillas and countless other Mexican dishes.

Plus it’s a great way to use up ripe tomatoes!

A volcanic stone molcajete that has been cured.
Traditional Mexican Molcajete

Using a Molcajete

To make this great salsa recipe you really do need to have a Mexican mortar and pestle.

If you’ve recently purchased a new molcajete and this will be your first time using it, then you need to make sure that you cure it first.

I have written a very informative guide teaching you how to use a splash of water, uncooked rice, a small amount of salt and some garlic cloves to cure the molcajete.

You can find that guide here, How to Cure a Molcajete. It covers not only how to cure and care for your Mexican molcajete but also the types of traditional molcajetes you can purchase.

Restaurant Style Salsa But Homemade

When you go to Mexican restaurants 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.

I love that smoky flavor that charring gives to my salsa ingredients.

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!

Ingredients used to make molcajete salsa
Molcajete Salsa Ingredients

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.

Molcajete Salsa Ingredients

The ingredients for this authentic Mexican salsa are few. During the peek tomato season this recipe is a great way to use up extra good tomatoes or ripe tomatoes that are quite soft. Those give you the best salsa.

  • ripe fresh roma tomatoes
  • white onion
  • serrano peppers or jalapeño peppers
  • garlic
  • salt
  • cilantro
How to make molcajete salsa
How to Make Molcajete Salsa

How to Make Molcajete Salsa

To start with, make sure your molcajete is cured, clean and ready to use.

Heat up a comal, large frying pan or even cast iron skillet. Once hot place the tomatoes, chiles, onion and garlic on it. Allow to evenly char or blacken on all sides. Remove the vegetables as they’re ready.

Place the roasted garlic cloves with a sprinkling of salt, in the molcajete and grind until completely broken down. Next add the serrano chiles (remove the stems first) and grind them with the garlic until broken down. Now for the onion bits cut them 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.

Place tomatoes, work in small batches, 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 consistency or 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.

Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa
Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa

More Salsa Recipes To Try

Molcajete Salsa Recipe | 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!

Buen provecho!

Molcajete Salsa

Molcateje Salsa Recipe or Salsa Molcajeteada

MexicanMadeMeatless.com & Nancy Lopez
Molcajete salsa is a rustic and chunky Mexican salsa made in a stone mortar and pestle. This salsa molcajeteada is great on tortilla chips or on any of your favorite Mexican dishes.
5 from 12 votes
Save Recipe Pin Recipe Leave a Review
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Salsa, Snack
Cuisine Mexican, vegan
Servings 6 servings
Calories 4 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    Ingredients used to make molcajete salsa
  • 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.
    How to make molcajete salsa
  • 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.
    Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa
  • 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!
    Molcajete Salsa

Video

Notes

*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.
*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 flavor. However if you’d like you are free to remove this first before grinding.
*** Do watch the video for a visual explanation. The calories are just for the salsa, corn chips not included.

Nutrition

Serving: 6servingsCalories: 4kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.02gSaturated Fat: 0.003gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 388mgPotassium: 19mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 37IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @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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17 Comments

  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.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for your instructions in how to prepare molcajete I was following other instructions and didn’t know not to leave the rice residue in the crevasses. They also didn’t use a little water when grinding the rice. Using your instructions I did it twice more putting the molcajete on the floor to get more power. It is now acceptable and I will season it. Without your information I would have been at a loss for how to proceed. Thank you and thanks for the recipes.

    1. Hi Maureen! I’m so happy you found my post and that it was helpful to you. Enjoy your molcajete and all the yummy things you’ll make in it. 🙂

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