Mega’s Smoky Chipotle Salsa

This is my “go to” salsa… smoky, hot and sweet. What’s not to like?

Heat level: med-hot
Mega's Smoky Chipotle Salsa


1/4 cup plus 1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lrg or 1 med yellow sweet onion, chopped
1 28oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes (diced or whole)*
1 head roasted garlic**, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
4 chipotles en adobo***, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T kosher or sea salt
1 t. sugar

  • Saute the onion in the 1T of olive oil until caramelized, about 10 min over med-high heat
  • Place the caramelized onion, roasted garlic, and 1/2 of the can of tomatoes in a food processor and pulse briefly to blend
  • Add the chipotles and half of the chopped cilantro and pulse briefly again
  • Empty processor into large bowl – fold in remaining tomatoes, 1/4c olive oil, vinegar, salt and sugar
  • Finally, fold in remaining chopped cilantro
  • Cover and let “marry” in fridge for at least 1 hour
  • Yield – about 5 cups

(In the end, I like to add 2 or 3 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped for bulk, as well as 1/2 onion chopped)

* if using whole tomatoes, coarsely crush by hand – alternately you can blister 2lbs roma tomatoes over fire/torch and chop, skins and all
** roasted garlic – cut top off one head garlic, exposing cloves, place in oven safe dish, drizzle w/ olive oil, and roast covered with foil about 30-40min @ 350 degrees
*** I like to include alot of the adobo sauce that the chipotles are packed in – the more you add, the more heat you get. adjust to taste

Final thoughts: Go easy on the olive oil, as too much will make the salsa soupy.

About Brian Meagher

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I eat hot sauce. I cook BBQ. I write about both.
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  1. Marilyn says

    I forgot how good this salsa is, honey. When are you going to make us more?

  2. This sounds great. I’m going to try it for a fiesta this weekend. Thanks!

  3. Wow, this is seriously a great salsa. I had to make a few adjustments. Here in Australia I’ve not seen Yellow sweet onions or the canned tomatoes you suggested so I just went with a plain brown onion and about 1kg of fresh tomatoes (I halved your recipe). To make up for the lost smokey flavour I added a few generous drops of liquid smoke. I then cooked it all down for 20 minutes and then put in the fridge. Served it cold with corn chips. EVERYONE loved it, even those who don’t eat a lot of hot food.
    I have a little left over and will be using that today on pizza bases.
    YAY you have an awesome recipe that I will be making over and over again. Thank You.

    • Well, thanks Nikki! I think the red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil really help make this recipe different.
      Go easy on that liquid smoke… it’s powerful stuff.


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