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Authentic Mexican Molcajete Salsa Recipe (Salsa de Molcajete)

Inside: There are limitless varieties of salsas in Mexican cuisine – keep reading to learn how to make authentic molcajete salsa.

molcajete salsa in a molcajete stone with ingredients next to it

One well-known fact about Mexicans is that we love spicy food. One of the best ways to incorporate it into our diet is with a huge variety of salsas. If you have followed me for awhile, you know that I have quite a few salsa recipes on my site. Each one is a little bit different. Although many of the salsa ingredients are similar, they each have their own twist that makes them unique.

Today, I am going to share a recipe for one of my favorite salsas – molcajete salsa. It is also known as salsa de molcajete or salsa molcajeteada. It is made using a a molcajete (Mexican mortar and pestle) which is made from volcanic rock, with a porous texture and which has three short legs and another stone made from the same material for grinding the ingredients.

With that said, if you don’t have a molcajete readily available (you can buy one here), then you can also use a food processor or a blender for this recipe too.

What is Molcajete Salsa?

Authentic Mexican Molcajete salsa is a very traditional Mexican salsa, made with fresh ingredients roasted in a comal or frying pan. It is a simple recipe made by grinding the ingredients in a molcajete, blender or food processor and served with your favorite Mexican dishes, including carne asada, or huevos rancheros. You can also just serve it with tortilla chips – this is a popular salsa at Mexican restaurants in the US.

salsa de molcajete from a differnet angle

Salsa de molcajete has an incredible explosion of flavor and is definitely one of my favorites! One reason for the depth of flavor is because the ingredients are roasted. This brings out the flavor of each incredient and gives it a rustic, but delicious flavor. You can make it very spicy or more mild or medium heat depneing on the the chiles that you add. Some people use habanero peppers, while others use something more mild such as jalapeño peppers or serrano peppers.

No matter how spicy you make it, you can be sure that it will be a hit and everyone will be asking for more.

How do you make Salsa Mocajeteada?

Salsa are rarely a perfect science with an exact amount of ingredients. Many people make them differently and give them their own special touch. However, if you follow these instructions and use these ingredients, you are sure to have a tasty appetizer on your table.

molcajete salsa ready to enjoy

You will need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Ripe tomatoes (roma)
  • Tomatillos
  • Habaneros (or another pepper of your choice like jalapeños or serrano chiles.
  • Roasted Garlic cloves
  • White onion
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Fresh Lime juice
  • Small amount of Salt (sea salt, kosher salt, or another type of salt is fine)
  • Water

To make the salsa, first start by cleaning and disinfecting all of the ingredients. Next, add the roma tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, garlic and half of the onion to a comal or large frying pan (without oil) over medium-high heat, flipping them over every 2 minutes so they don’t burn.

Keep doing this until the tomatoes and tomatillos have started to get dark spots and the skin starts peeling. When that happens, remove the tomatoes and tomatillos, remove the rest of the skin and set aside so they can cool. Remove the rest of the ingredients from the heat as well.

If you are using a molcajete, the next step is to add the roasted onion and garlic with a little bit of salt to the molcajete and start to grind them together slowly. Start adding the peppers as you continue to grind the ingredients until they are incorporated. Add the tomatoes and continue to grind it together until a smooth paste is formed.

In order to reach the desired consistency, you will add a splash of water and lemon juice and then add additional salt to taste as needed.

Molcajete salsa is usually served directly in the molcajete. So, at this point, add the rest of the onion (diced) and chopped cilantro and give it a light stir. I think serving the salsa in the molcajete is a great way to add some character to the recipe, but you can serve it in a normal bowl as well if you prefer.

If you are using a blender or food processor, follow the same steps, using the blender or food processor to grind the ingredients up.

I hope you enjoy this and that it becomes one of your favorite recipes for salsa like it is for me. Let me know in the comments below how it turns out!

Check out these other salsa recipes

molcajete salsa
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5 from 2 votes

Authentic Molcajete Salsa

There are limitless varieties of salsas in Mexican cuisine - keep reading to learn how to make authentic molcajete salsa.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Total Time14 minutes
Course: Appetizer, salsa
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: molcajete, molcajete salsa, salsa de molcajete, salsa molcajeteada
Servings: 40 servings (tablespoon size)
Calories: 4kcal


  • 3 Roma Tomatoes
  • 3 Tomatillos remove outer skin
  • 6 Habanero peppers Jalapeno or serrano work also
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 1 Large Onion 1/2 of onion should be diced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 Lime Just the juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 Cup Water


  • Using a comal or frying pan without oil, add the tomatoes, tomatillos, habaneros, garlic, and half of the onion cut into 4 pieces, and heat over medium-high heat. Turn the ingredients every 2 minutes and roast until the tomatoes and tomatillos start to have dark spots and the skin starts to peel.
  • Remove the comal or frying pan from the heat and peel the tomatoes and tomatillos, setting aside and allowing to cool for a few minutes.
  • Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt to the molcajete, food processor, or blender and grind or blend briefly before adding the habaneros or other peppers a little bit at a time.
  • Next add the tomatoes and tomatillos until a smooth paste is formed.
  • Add the water and lemon juice and additional salt to taste.
  • Serve directly in the molcajete or in another bowl, adding the rest of the diced onion and cilantro and stirring to combine.


Serving: 1serving (tablespoon size) | Calories: 4kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.05g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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