Salvadorian Salsa Roja is made in just minutes with tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and garlic.  This easy salsa recipe goes perfect with tacos, enchiladas, pupusas and more.

Salsa roja in a glass bowl with a spoon and pupusas and curtido in the background.

I LOVE to serve salsa roja with carnitas, chimichangas, and especially homemade pupusas.  I fill my pupusas with rice and beans and top them with this easy curtido recipe and salsa roja!

How to make Salsa Roja:
  • Blend. tomato, onion, jalapeño, salt, garlic and water.
  • Boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add salsa to the pan and stir in chicken bouillon. Bring mixture to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until a lot of the liquid has been reduced.
  • Cool. Refrigerate before serving.

A food processor with tomatoes, onion and jalapeno raw, then blended, poured into a skillet and reduced into a salsa.

Traditional salsa roja is not spicy at all. I add the jalapeño pepper for flavor, not for spice and since I remove the seeds and veins and only add half of one, it makes a nice mild salsa. However, you can leave the jalapeño out if you’d like.

Serve Salsa Roja with:


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An easy Salsa Roja recipe in a bowl surrounding by veggies and chips.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes
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  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper , seeds removed if you want a mild salsa*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt , more if needed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste (or cube)


  • Add tomato, onion, jalapeño, salt, garlic and water to a blender or food processor and puree.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add salsa to the pan and stir in chicken bouillon. 
  • Bring mixture to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until a lot of the liquid has been reduced. 
  • Allow to cool. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


*Salvadorian food tends not to be very spicy, but add more jalapeño if you like
Make Ahead Instructions: You can blend it anytime and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Calories: 20kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 0.03mgSodium: 210mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 522IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.2mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Lauren, your recipes are fantastic! I especially love your recipes for salsa roja, pupusas, and curtido. Can you tell me whether it would be possible to substitute chicken bone broth for a portion of the liquid in the salsa roja or the pupusa dough? Your recipe calls for optional bouillon, and that sounds wonderfully flavorful, but our household does not keep bouillon on hand. We do, however, always have a good supply of chicken bone broth, and I wondered whether I might swap that out for some of the liquid, in lieu of the bouillon? Welcome your thoughts! Warm regards, Julie

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I’ve made it a few times and even my friends from south of the border raved about the flavor.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this (also with your pupusas and Curtido) last night and it was all such a huge hit. Every recipes was so easy and your images with step-by-step instructions really helped. My family thinks I’m a true international chef :).