Being in the kitchen all day often leaves me in takeout mood come dinner time.
“Hi. My name is Dana and I’m a food blogger who doesn’t cook dinner.”
OK, it’s not that severe. It’s just that with blog recipes and recipes for our (print!) cookbook (due out this fall!), I have a full plate, sometimes attempting three recipes a day! So is it any wonder when John asks me what’s for dinner I consistently vote for Mexican food? No, no it’s not.
Origins of Salsa
Salsa is thought to have originated in Central America from the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans. It dates back as far as the 1500s where it was used as a condiment to add flavor and spice.
But in the early 1900s, salsa’s popularity spread beyond Mexico and Central America and it began to be commercially manufactured in the US. By 1991, US sales of salsa had surpassed that of ketchup!
There are many different varieties of salsa, including salsa roja, verde, criolla, and more!
Cha Cha Cha – the local restaurant that inspired this Chili Lime Mango Margarita – also inspired this 30-minute blended salsa. Obviously, they have a good thing going and I’m rather obsessed. Something about chips, salsa and a margarita at the end of a full day just sounds magical.
This salsa – where do I begin?
It’s electric orange-red
It’s subtly spiced
I had to make it at home.
To get that beautiful dark orange huge and some natural sweetness, I opted for carrots! But I also think orange bell peppers would work beautifully here.
For that classic salsa flavor I didn’t neglect the onion, garlic, and tomato. And for some subtle heat I went with a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – an item easily found in most grocery stores (and nearly all Mexican grocery stores). You can learn more about this magical ingredient and its origins here.
Once everything simmers down, I throw it in the blender for an uber-smooth texture.
Chip, meet salsa.
Salsa, meet chip.
You guys are going to LOVE this salsa! It’s:
In addition to being chip’s best friend, this salsa would also make the perfect companion for pretty much every Mexican-inspired dish, including nachos, salads, salad cups, chilaquiles, breakfast tacos, panko avocado tacos, and, you get the drift. Make this salsa, put it on everything.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and – our favorite – take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with! Your photos always make our day. Cheers, friends!
Blended Red Salsa
- 1 Tbsp avocado or grape seed oil (or any neutral oil with a high smoke point)
- 1/2 white onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup diced carrots (or sub orange or yellow bell pepper!)
- 1 pinch each salt + pepper (plus more to taste)
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (add 1/2 tsp adobo sauce for more heat!)*
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth (or water)
- 1-2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (optional // coconut sugar or maple syrup)
- 1 small lime, juiced
- Heat a large skillet (cast iron is preferable) over medium heat and prep onion, garlic and carrot.
- Once hot, add oil, onion, garlic, and carrot and season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper.
- Stir to coat and cover – cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove cover and add diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder and a healthy pinch more salt and pepper. Stir, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve warm, at room temperature, or – as I prefer it – refrigerated. Keeps in the fridge for at least 7-10 days.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.