grilled salsa
Snack Time

Grilled Salsa

I’m in complete grill mode right now. I’ve grilled something outside a few days a week now for the last few weeks and I’m having a hard time picturing how I ever survived without a grill. It’s a lot faster too grill stuff, the clean up is easy which Betsy likes, and once you get the hang of it, I find that the food is almost always better.

While grilled meat is always a star, people forget that grilling food just does fantastic things to it in general. Any food that has sugars in it, it’ll slightly caramelize them. It evaporates a lot of liquid, enhancing flavors. It can give a slightly charred flavor to certain foods which is great in small doses.

One quick appetizer that benefits hugely from the power of the grill is salsa. I’ve made a few different varieties of this over the past month or two and, honestly, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

4-5 cups
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...


Grilled Salsa

Beautiful, colorful veggies are grilled and blended into a tasty salsa. Perfect for the spring/summer season.


4 Roman tomatoes
5-6 tomatillos
2-3 jalapenos
1/2 red onion
3-4 cloves garlic
A handful of sweet peppers
Handful of cilantro
Drizzle of olive oil

Helpful Equipment

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1) Wash veggies and chop them into big pieces, halves and quarters.

2) Toss veggies with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.

3) Add veggies to grill pan or foil and grill over high heat for 10-15 minutes until veggies are blistered and bursting.

4) Let cool for at least a few minutes.

5) Pulse in a blender until it reaches the consistency you want.

6) Serve warm or cold with chips!

The Veggies

It’s tough for me to write recipes for stuff like salsa because I usually just wing it and encourage you to do the same. I start at the store or farmers market and just look for stuff that looks nice and fresh. That’s the most important part of a salsa.

On this given day I decided to do a half tomato, half tomatillo thing, which I’ve never done before. I really like the mix though.

If you have lots of colors on your cutting board, you’re off to a good start!


A colorful assortment.

The veggies are super-easy to prep for this. Since we’re grilling them, you want to keep them pretty whole. I cut most of my stuff in half unless it was really big, then I cut it into quarters. I kept my jalapeno seeds in so it would be pretty spicy. Take them out if you want it less spicy.

I tossed all my veggies in a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled them with a bit of kosher salt before tossing them in my grill pan. If you don’t have a grill pan you could wrap everything in foil and poke some holes in it.


Keep them chunky.

Grilling the Salsa

Crank up the heat on the grill and let your veggies cook for about 10-15 minutes. If you can, keep the lid closed and turn the veggies every few minutes to make sure they are cooking evenly.

Now. If you don’t have a grill, I’d recommend roasting these guys in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes and you should end up with a very close finished product.

You’ll know you’re done when the peppers start blistering and the tomatoes bursting!

on the grill

Blisters are good.

Once all the veggies have become a bit tender and charred, remove them from the grill to let them cool a bit.

Then add them to your blender (you may have to work in two batches) along with a small handful of cilantro.

Pulse it up until it’s the consistency you want. I recommend keeping it a bit on the chunky side.

NOTE: When blending, make sure not to overfill your blender or use hot foods as they could splatter which isn’t a good experience.


After a quick whirl.

It should go without saying that you can serve this up warm or cold with lots of chips!


Gets better on day two!

As with most salsas, I found that this stuff was even better on day two actually when the flavors had a chance to meld a bit.

I don’t mind store bought salsa one bit, but this is a very quick way to make a good amount of very tasty salsa.

Give it a shot the next time you’re itching for some Tex-Mex!

12 comments on “Grilled Salsa

  1. Killer recipe Nick! You're absolutely right that everything tastes better when grilled. Even the Summertime heat cannot keep me from lighting up my grill. I may have to grill under the shade and supplement the heat with a floor fan, but I still am able to grill! :)

    Again and as always, thanks for sharing with us Nick!
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  2. Yuumy – I have never cooked with the little sweet peppers nor have I ever added them to my salsa. I will be trying this out soon! Thank You!

  3. Yum! Love grilling vegetables for salsa in the summer. I've tried roasting vegetables in the oven to make salsa, but it's not quite the same. And you're right, it's not usually an exact recipe, a little of this, a little of that. Have you tried making salsa with pineapple or mango as the base?

    1. i made salsa the other day (fresh, not grilled) to throw on some quesadillas and the only thing i had to give the salsa some bite (didnt have any citrus fruits left) was passion fruit. it was pretty darn good. passion fruit is very tart, but also sweet so it tasted kinda like mango salsa. anyway, just thought id share cuz its similar in taste, tho different, to those two, more common salsas.

  4. Gorgeous! Grilling before hand brings out so much flavor, and adds that special smoky grilling flavor as well. I'm more of a fan of chopping than blending, but that is a great option especially if you're constrained for time.
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  5. Made this tonight and it was an absolute hit! Mmmm so good ( I made extra for the sole purpose of having leftovers tomorrow!) Thank you!

  6. Really glad I bought a new grill last night! My muoth is watering just thinking about my grilled salsa – thanks Nick!

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