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Tomato Molcajete Salsa is made of roasted ingredients and ground together in a Mexican mortar and pestle. The result is a chunky and flavorful salsa that’s perfect for dipping chips or as a tasty topping for tacos and tamales.
Most people (myself included) prefer “salsa molcajeteada” over blender salsas.
Here, I’m showing you the tomato version. Also check out the Molcajete Salsa Verde.
To make this recipe you will need an authentic Mexican molcajete.
WHAT IS A MOLCAJETE?
From the native Nahuatl “molcaxitl,” a molcajete is a volcanic stone tool for grinding food. In short, it’s a traditional Mexican cooking instrument similar to a mortar and pestle.
You can buy a molcajete at Latin markets, or buy one online. They come in different shapes and sizes. I’ve even seen them shaped like pigs.
Unlike salsas made in a blender, salsas made in a molcajete will come with a different texture that is chunky, rustic, and delicious.
- Roma tomatoes
- jalapeño peppers
- garlic cloves
Simple ingredients are needed to make this simple recipe. You can get these fresh ingredients at just about any grocery store.
The downside to making this type of salsa is that you can only make small batches.
- Roast all the tomatoes on the stove on medium heat.
- Or, place under the broiler for 7-8 minutes. Until everything is charred.
Using aluminum foil paper over a baking sheet makes for a super easy cleanup. It’s not necessary, but it definitely helps.
If you’re into smoother salsas, this is NOT your recipe. This might offenda those who use a blenda. Lol.
I am roasting the ingredients, but you can also boil to make Mexican Red Salsa.
No molcajete? Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to make a chunkier salsa.
HOW DO YOU SEASON A MOLCAJETE?
To season a new molcajete, you need uncooked rice and a lot of elbow grease.
Learn more on how to season a molcajete.
Getting it shiny clean is virtually impossible. Not soap. It’s made from volcanic rock and has little holes.
- You always start by mashing the garlic and a small amount of salt.
- Mash according to the desired texture.
This is the only time you get to really mash the garlic. You can use fresh garlic, if that is your preference.
These are two chile peppers – one is a jalapeno, and the other is a serrano.
Use either, or both, or two of the same, or one of each. It all depends on you and your personal tastes.
- Add the roasted onion.
- When you’re adding the tomatoes, add one at a time.
- Slowly press down to release the juices of the tomato, then mash away.
Yes, you can just put all the ingredients and mash away. However, to make sure that everything is fully mashed, only add one ingredient at a time.
Also, if you start mashing right away, the tomato will squirt at you.
There is the chance that you might need more tomatoes, depending on the size of your molcajete. This is one case where size does matter. 😉
How to Adjust the Spice Level
- For a milder salsa, use diced roasted poblano pepper.
- Or, add more tomatoes to the salsa. Or, you can use less of the jalapeno.
- For a spicier salsa, use all serrano chiles or use habanero pepper.
- You can also use less tomato to make it spicier.
- Leaving the seeds and veins on the jalapeno will make a spicier salsa.
- With a spoon, slightly scrape the bottom and sides of the molcajete to combine everything.
- Some ingredients will stay at the bottom. You want to bring all that goodness to the top and throughout the salsa.
Is the salsa too thick? Add a splash of water.
If you want to preserve your salsa longer, add vinegar. Lime juice will not make it last longer. In this case, I recommend a splash of white distilled vinegar.
Place the salsa in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Mexican Salsas:
Tomato Molcajete Salsa (or salsa de molcajete) is a versatile and flavorful addition to dishes like Pork Tamales, Gorditas, Milanesa de Pollo.
With its smoky flavor and robust taste, it’s a great way to take Mexican recipe to the next level. Or, enjoy as-is with tortilla chips. Simply delicious! Buen provecho.
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Tomato Molcajete Salsa
- Add olive oil to a pan and place the tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, and peppers.
- Watch the garlic and onions, and remove after 2 minutes so they won’t burn.
- Continue cooking the tomatoes and peppers.
- Roast until the tomato and jalapeno skins are black.
- (You can also do this under the broiler for 5-6 minutes).
- Remove and let cool slightly until ready to use.
- In a molcajete (or mortar and pestle), add salt and garlic cloves.
- Mash until smooth.
- Add the jalapenos, mash until smooth or until desired texture.
- Add onion, mash slightly.
- Add one tomato at a time.
- Press down slowly on the tomato to release juices, then continue mashing.
- Add the second tomato.
- Again, press slowly until the juices have been released, then continue mashing.
- With a spoon, mix to combine all the ingredients.
- Serve and enjoy.
A molcajete salsa will last up to 2 months in the fridge. Add vinegar to preserve the salsa. To reduce the spiciness, add an extra tomato.
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That looks really good. I’d love to give this recipe a try. I’ll have to get a molcajete first, though.
lol. Yes! A molcajete would be needed in order to make this recipe. 🙂 You should get one!
I just saved this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!!! I love love love salsa.
Awesome! I mean, who doesn’t love a good chunky Tomato Mocajete Salsa?!!
I am 100% doing this salsa soon, looks sooooo delicious. Bookmarking it. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Thanks for bookmarking this recipe for Tomato Molcajete Salsa. It is a keeper!
Roasted veggies in salsa are so delicious. There is something about the charred flavor that I love. This looks just incredible!
Exactly! I love that charred flavors that are in the Tomato Molcajete Salsa!
Saving this recipe! This looks divine, and I definitely need that mortar and pestle!
You can make the Tomato Molcajete Salsa in a mortar and pestle. Or, you can add them to a blender and not blend them all the way. However, I kinda like serving it in the volcanic rock.
I love the fresh ingredients used in this salsa! The recipe is so delicious 🙂
Thank you. I love the freshness in this recipe. I tell people that Mexican food is not always spicy, it is always fresh.
Omg I love this. I will defintely try this. I make salsa with similar ingredients but never roated them first. Mouth is watering now. Thank you!
Thank you!! My mouth waters too each time I see Tomato Molcajete Salsa served in front of me. 🙂
Looks really healthy and delicious! Maybe some nacho chips with it?
Tomato Molcajete Salsa with chips… DEFINITELY a must! Or as a topping on tacos… mmm!!
Oooh this looks so yummy! I could eat this whole bowl! 😀
Lol. Me too! I love a good Mexican salsa.
This looks delicious! My husband is always trying new salsas; I’ll have to give this a try for him!
My husband loves salsas too. When we first got married, I really enjoyed sharing with him my culture and all our different foods. Now, he asks for things by name. lol.
Okay, this looks absolutely delicious! I will definitely pin this and make it soon! xo, Suzanne
Thanks for pinning. Do you follow me on Pinterest? https://www.pinterest.com/maggieunz/pins/ I’m on Pinterest alllll day long.
Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog
We love Mexican food and this dish looks extra tasty! makes a change from the Christmas dinners at this time of year!
We make salsa all year long especially during the Christmas season. It goes great on tamales. 🙂
Omg can we say yum?!? I just love salsa!! Must give this recipe a try
Yes. This recipe is a so good. I love a good Tomato Molcajete Salsa.
Clear instructions, lots of work to prepare but most definitely worth the effort. Best salsa I’ve ever made it tasted!
Yes, it’s a labor of love. So glad you liked it!
Me salió deliciosa, definitivamente el molcajete hace la diferencia….
So glad you liked this recipe!