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Smoked Salsa Recipe

This Smoked Summer Salsa is a fresh update on your classic salsa recipe! It is still loaded with chunky tomatoes, diced onions and of course cilantro, but the ingredients are smoked first which adds a delicious flavor to this classic favorite for game days, parties and more!

Fresh salsa with tomatoes, onion and cilantro in a bowl

First Published: July 2016 Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Ok ya’ll, this is the BEST  salsa recipe and it is so unbelievably simple to make it will blow your mind! I know what you are thinking…”How can you make a basic salsa recipe better”…well let me tell you!

Mr. Olive got himself a smoker last year and has been obsessed with finding new ways to make old favorites, and after talking with my cousin (who is also a very big smoker fan…hey Trev!) he decided he was going to try smoking some of the ingredients for our salsa.

We were having our family over this past weekend for a summer BBQ, as we recently got a pool, and want to take advantage of every nice weather day we have, we live in Canada after all…we only get a few months of nice weather! If you don’t have a smoker, don’t worry! There is a way around this, with the same results.

Ingredients List

  • Hot House Tomatoes
  • Vidalia Onion
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Kosher Salt
  • Jalapeno *optional
Fresh tomatoes, onion and cilantro on wood cutting board for salsa

Delicious appetizer or side dish

I can’t tell you the amount of compliments this salsa recipe received, honestly I have to say I was a little shocked (you always expect someone to not like what you’ve made…well at least I do). I made a huge bowl and there wasn’t a single scoop left at the end of the party.

One thing I love is that you can have this salsa recipe on its own with tortilla chips, or add it as a topping to grilled chicken, tacos etc. The possibilities for this are endless!

Everyone commented on how incredible the light smoke flavor was, and the freshness of the ingredients really speak for themselves. You only need a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand, and you are on your way to the most epic salsa that has ever hit your lips…I promise!

Be sure to PIN OUR SMOKED SALSA RECIPE so you have it for later

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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a smoker for smoked salsa?

No, there is a super easy way to make this without having a full smoker – you just need a regular BBQ!

Use a small foil pan covered in foil and poked with holes (the ones from the dollar store work great) or Smoker Box made for your BBQ. You will also need Wood Chips  (there are a TON of flavors available)!

* You place the the smoker box directly over an unlit burner (which requires you to lift the grill grate, then place the grate on top. Turn the BBQ on medium-low so it cooks at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

* And “smoke” away! It only takes about 20-30 minutes for the tomatoes to begin to blister and the onions to soften. This is when you want to take them off and let them cool.

How to smoke tomatoes for salsa

This is simple; the key to smoking the tomatoes for your salsa is to not let them overcook. You want to ensure they are washed and dried thoroughly and then simply place them on a hot smoker (or BBQ if using that method) and allow to cook approximately 20-30 minutes until they begin to split and blister. This ensures the tomato still holds its texture and doesn’t turn to mush. Tomatoes and onions with blistering from smoker

Smoked Summer Salsa Recipe

Smoked Summer Salsa is a fresh update on your usual salsa recipe! The ingredients are smoked first, adding delicious flavor to this classic favorite!
Course Appetizer, Snack, Starter
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 40kcal
Author Melissa


  • 4 Tomatoes Hot House
  • 1/2 med Vidalia Onion
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice
  • pinch Kosher Salt


  • Wash tomatoes and cilantro thoroughly
  • Preheat your smoker (or BBQ, see how to do it this way above) Place whole tomatoes and onion on the grill, leave to smoke for 30 mins
  • Allow tomatoes and onion to cool before chopping
  • Finely chop cilantro (about 1/2 of the bunch) and mix with tomatoes, onion and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add salt to taste.
  • Let sit in fridge for 1 hour before serving and serve with tortilla chips


Enjoy your salsa with a cold drink from our Summer Drinks Menu!

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Do you know what would go perfectly with this salsa recipe?? A drink from my Top 10 Summer Drinks post I did the other month! I think the Jalapeno Infused Bourbon would actually be perfect right about now…hmm!

Recipe Rating

14 of The Greatest Game Day Dips - The Olive Blogger

Wednesday 17th of January 2018

[…] smoked salsa – the olive blogger […]

Smoked Tomato Salsa - EAT what we EAT

Tuesday 31st of January 2017

[…] once a month.  I was so excited to recreate this recipe when I saw it on The Olive Blogger (original post here), because I love anything a little outside of the norm or that involves a bit of a science […]

Sheila Marie

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

i love this post! it makes me hungry though


Monday 1st of August 2016

Yummy! I will definitely try this recipe this week! My family loves salsa!


Monday 1st of August 2016

I hope you guys love it as much as we do! It is such a nice update to the original salsa we all normally make!!


Monday 1st of August 2016

Hey! this is a good recepie. for me there i will use some jalapeño chili too. im mexican i like spicy salsa. you can also smoke the tomatoes and onions on the stove witbout the foil.


Monday 1st of August 2016

The addition of the jalapeno sounds great!! We had kiddos here that day so I kept it family friendly for the little ones, but next time the heat will be added thanks for the tip!