Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Smoky, creamy salsa roja! Made in the blender in less than 10 minutes. Roja salsa with simple, pantry ingredients: dried chili peppers, canned fire roasted tomatoes and onions.It’s no secret that we love salsa in my house. My canning salsa recipe has hundreds of 5-star reviews, and we make at least a few dozen jars every summer to enjoy throughout the year.
With chips and salsa being my husbands favorite snack and lentil tacos being my weeknight dinner of choice, it’s safe to say that we go through a lot of salsa.
This salsa roja is one of my favorite quick sauces to make– and ready in just 10 minutes with mostly pantry ingredients! Creamy and smoky it’s perfect for enchiladas, quesadillas, crispy tacos, nachos and more.
My creamy jalapeño sauce is one of my absolute favorite recipes, inspired by the Salsa Doña recipe from Taco Deli in Austin, Texas. I love that it’s a creamy salsa recipe without any cream, relying on the blended roasted jalapeño peppers and garlic to create a silky infusion.
When I tried a similar creamy roja sauce at our local taqueria a few years ago, I knew I wanted to try and recreate something similar. As with most of my inspired recipes, I can’t claim authenticity, but I can promise that if you love salsa then you will love this salsa roja.
To make this homemade salsa recipe, start by softening the dried pepper. This will make it easier to handle and easier to remove the stem and seeds. If you want a very spicy salsa, then you can leave in the seeds but I prefer to remove them before cooking in the tomato sauce.
To soften the pepper, place the dried chiles in a dry skillet over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes per side, turning frequently to toast and soften. This step also deepens the flavor of the chili pepper. Remove the pepper from the skillet and use a sharp knife to slice off the stem. You should then be able to turn the pepper over and allow the seeds to fall out.
From there, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until very softened. Add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, the dried chili peppers, cumin and salt. Let cook for 10 minutes, then let cool slightly before transferring to a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add in a splash of lime juice, taste and adjust for salt as needed.
If you are new to working with dried peppers, you can usually find them in the produce aisle at most grocery stores or at speciality stores, like Penzey’s Spices.
I love cooking with dried peppers as they impart so much flavor, much like dried mushrooms and spices to with other dishes. They are also very versatile and can be used in so many dishes like chili and homemade enchilada sauce.
I can’t wait for you to try this creamy salsa roja. It’s obviously great on it’s own with tortilla chips, but is the perfect red sauce to add flavor and spice to so many inspired Mexican dishes. Try it with:
Hope you love this salsa as much as we do! It’s so yummy, and love that it’s made in the blender and ready in just 10 minutes.
If you make this salsa roja recipe, come back and leave a comment and a rating! Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day.Print
Smoky, creamy salsa roja! Made in the blender in less than 10 minutes. Roja salsa with simple, pantry ingredients: dried chili peppers, canned fire roasted tomatoes and onions.
*Chipotle peppers are also a great choice for a smokier sauce. Arbol chilies, ancho chilies, anahheim chilies or guajillo peppers will all work in this recipe.