Milder Tomato Chile de Arbol Salsa

Homemade salsa that tastes like the taqueria salsa, but just milder. If you’re looking for a flavorful chile de arbol salsa but made just a bit milder then you must try my tomato chile de arbol salsa!

Small blue bowl filled with tomato and chile de arbol salsa. There's a lime wedge on top too.

Why Does Restaurant Salsa Taste So Good

Have you ever been to a Mexican restaurant and wondered why their tomato chile de arbol salsa taste so good?

Have you ever wanted to replicate those flavors at home?

I’ll share a little (not-so) secret of why those restaurant salsas taste so delicious: fresh ingredients.

Yep that’s really pretty much it.

Fresh and seasonal ingredients, I believe, is the key to cooking great authentic Mexican food.

Of course as long as you have access to the traditional ingredients you’ll always be able to replicate the true flavors of Mexican cuisine at home.

Tomato Chile de Arbol Salsa

Today I’m going to share with you a super easy red salsa recipe that you’re going to love because it tastes just like a taqueria‘s salsa.

It won’t take too long to prepare and I promise once you make it you’ll quickly get the hang of salsa making, so that you can enjoy fresh, authentic, and flavorful salsa whenever the craving strikes.

This salsa calls for chiles de arbol, which roughly translate to chilies from the tree.

Pouring roasted tomato chile de arbol salsa into a small blue bowl.
Roasted Tomato Chile de Arbol Salsa

Chile de Arbol Is Spicy, This Salsa Is Mild Spicy

I like spicy food, but there’s some that’s just a bit too spicy for me.

Chile de arbol is very spicy, so when I eat it I need to tone down the heat.

A little warning about these long red dried chilies, they pack quite the heat.

So if you’re not into that you’ll want to really cut down the amount of peppers you use.

BUT if you love spicy then feel free to use as much chile de arbol as you’d like.

I do have to tell you that my heat tolerance is about medium and though this salsa was a little spicy it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

The other ingredients help balance the heat so that it’s not the only thing that you taste.

This may be a milder chile de arbol salsa, but the results are still delicious, just milder.

Looking for a Salsa Bowl Like Mine

Amigos so many of you ask me where I get my beautiful Mexican pottery from. The answer is Mexico. I know many of you can’t travel so I’ve put together a gorgeous collection from Amazon. Click the image below to go check it out.

Mexican talavera pieces available in my shop.

Where To Buy Chile de Arbol

Chiles de arbol are commonly used in Mexican cooking, so they’re not difficult to find.

Chiles de arbol are sold both fresh and dried. Today we’ll be using dried chiles the arbol.

These chiles typically come packaged in small see through plastic bags. Though many Mexican food stores will also have them in piles alongside other dried chiles.

Look for dried chiles at the ethnic food isle of your local grocery store. If not find a Hispanic market, or there’s always Amazon.

This brand seems to be quite popular on Amazon. Here in Mexico I’ll either buy the ones from the pile or Tajin brand. Choose what’s available to you.

Roasting tomatoes and white onion pieces on a hot griddle to make salsa.

Ingredients Needed

One of the reasons I love making this tomato chile de arbol salsa so much is because the ingredients list is short and everything is easy to get.

  • chile de arbol
  • tomato
  • white onion
  • garlic
  • lime juice
  • epazote, optional
  • salt

As I previously mentioned, the other ingredients in the salsa work to help not only tone down the heat, but to add more depth of flavor.

Epazote is completely optional. I don’t always add it.

The lime juice only add if you’re going to be serving the salsa right away. If you’re sautéing the salsa for later use then omit the lime juice. You can always add a squeeze later on.

By the way did you know that the citrus acid in lime juice helps tone down spicy heat?

Other Ingredients

If you’d like you could also add a small handful of cilantro to the blender. This will give your salsa a different taste and texture.

If you’d rather use tomatillos for this salsa then simply swap out the roma tomatoes.

Roasting vegetables on a hot pan to make roasted tomato salsa.
How to Make Tomato Chile de Arbol Salsa

How to Make Tomato Chile de Arbol Salsa

There are two different ways you can prepare this salsa: boiling the ingredients or roasting them.

Boiling may be quicker, but roasting will give more flavor.

  • Roast the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chiles on a hot comal.*
  • Turn the ingredients now and then to help even cooking.
  • Remove the chiles after 1 minute and the garlic once softened.
  • Remove the onion and tomatoes once they are softened and evenly charred.
  • Place the roasted veggies in a blender.
  • Pour in the lime juice, drop in the epazote if using, sprinkle in the salt.
  • Blend until smooth and to your desired consistency.
  • Serve immediately or sauté in hot oil for 10 minutes – don’t add lime juice if roasting.
Blending roasted vegetables to make roasted tomato and chile de arbol salsa.

More Mexican Salsa Recipes to Try

How to Serve

This salsa can be used for topping tacos, quesadillas, empanadas, tostadas, tortas, burritos, even hamburgers and hot dogs…or anything that you’d like.

Additionally it’s perfect for dipping corn chips into or even to cook with.

You could even mix the salsa with some Mexican crema or sour cream and create a spicy cream sauce.

If you want to cook with it I suggest marinating some veggies in it for about a half hour then either grilling or roasting them.

Ah, the beauty about salsas is that the possibilities are endless.

Black bean and Oaxaca cheese empanadas on a blue and white plate.
Small blue bowl filled with a spicy tomato and chile de arbol salsa on a wood table.

Tomato Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe | Salsa de Jitomate y Chiles de Arbol

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
This homemade roasted tomato chile de arbol salsa tastes like the taqueria salsa, but just milder. Delicious on tacos, quesadillas, empanadas and so much more.
5 from 3 votes
Save Recipe Pin Recipe Leave a Review
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, condiment
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan Mexican Recipe
Servings 4 servings
Calories 36 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large roma tomatoes or 3 if medium sized
  • 1 oz chiles de arbol adjust to taste, stem removed
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1.5 Tablespoons lime juice optional see note
  • pinch sea salt adjust to taste
  • 2 small epazote leaves optional and only if available

Instructions
 

  • Roast the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chiles on a hot comal.
    Turn the ingredients now and then to help even cooking.
    Remove the chiles after 1 minute and the garlic once softened. Remove the onion and tomatoes once they are softened and evenly charred.
    Roasting vegetables on a hot pan to make roasted tomato salsa.
  • Place the roasted veggies in a blender.
    Pour in the lime juice, drop in the epazote if using, sprinkle in the salt.
    Blend until smooth and to your desired consistency.
    Blending roasted vegetables to make roasted tomato and chile de arbol salsa.
  • Serve immediately or sauté in hot oil for 10 minutes – don’t add lime juice if roasting.
    Pouring roasted tomato chile de arbol salsa into a small blue bowl.

Video

Notes

DO be warned that as you toast the chilies you may begin to cough, I don’t know about you but whenever I toast or char peppers I either always cough or start sneezing like crazy!
I love adding fresh lime juice to my salsas for some freshness and because it helps tone down heat and keep the vibrant colors.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 36kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 235mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2139IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
Salsa roja made with Tomatoes and Chiles de Arbol inside a small blue bowl.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can not make this salsa fast enough. There is a small restaurant that doesn’t serve the best food…but they have a really watery salsa that I could just DRINK. Owner said it was roasted de Arbol Chiles pureed. I’ve tried it without any luck. I just used up the last of my de Arbol stash, so your recipe post came at the perfect time! Thanks so much for sharing Ü

    1. I’m glad to hear it, MJ. Chile arbol is a bit too spicy for some so too many people miss out on that delicious flavour. Thank you!

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