Smoky Chipotle Salsa Recipe

This flavorful salsa is a spin-off of my trusted red salsa recipe, boosted with the addition of smoky chipotle peppers.

Elevate your day with this delightful smoky chipotle salsa recipe! Whether you pair it with tortilla chips for a satisfying afternoon snack or serve it alongside your favorite Mexican dishes, this salsa offers a slightly smoky and delectably spicy kick that is simply irresistible.

This flavorful salsa is a spin-off of my trusted red salsa recipe, boosted with the addition of smoky chipotle peppers. Chipotle peppers, made from smoked and dried vine-ripened jalapeños, bring a rich depth of flavor to the salsa. For this recipe, we utilize chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, making them easy to incorporate into the salsa.

Crafted with just seven basic ingredients, this chipotle salsa boasts a refreshingly fresh taste. Prepare to gather canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, jalapeño, chipotle peppers, and fresh lime.

Putting together this chipotle salsa is a breeze and only takes about 10 minutes. Below, you’ll find a few additional tips and the full recipe. I hope you adore this creation as much as I do!

For added convenience, simply roughly chop the garlic and onion. The food processor will help finely chop them, offering a nifty time-saving shortcut.

Opt for fire-roasted tomatoes for added flavor depth compared to regular canned tomatoes. While not all brands deliver the same quality, Muir Glen’s fire-roasted tomatoes are consistently reliable. Draining off some of the tomato juices before blending prevents the salsa from becoming overly watery.

You can find canned or jarred chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the international aisle of well-stocked grocery stores. To preserve leftover peppers, transfer them along with some adobo sauce to a small freezer bag. Remove the air, seal it tightly, and flatten the peppers within the bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer and store for up to 6 months. When in need of chipotle peppers, simply break off the desired amount.

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This salsa naturally carries a hint of spiciness, but you can easily intensify it to your liking. To achieve a milder flavor, consider omitting the jalapeño altogether. Since each pepper varies in spiciness, it’s wise to begin with the lower recommended quantities of fresh jalapeño and chipotle pepper, then adjust to taste by adding more chipotle if desired.

Catch the demonstration on how to create the delightful Chipotle Salsa below.

Ideal Pairings for Chipotle Salsa

Chipotle salsa with tortilla chips makes for a delightful snack when enjoyed with any Mexican-inspired dish, such as my Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas or Easy Black Bean Tacos.

If you’re planning a spread of appetizers, accompany the chipotle salsa with Guacamole, Queso, Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad), or Elote (Mexican Street Corn) for a sizzling grill session.

Explore More Homemade Salsa Recipes

Discover a selection of my top salsa recipes below. Find even more salsas here.

  • Best Red Salsa

  • Chunky Avocado Salsa

  • Classic Pico de Gallo

  • Fresh Corn Salsa

  • Salsa Verde Recipe

Drop a comment sharing your experience with this salsa! I’m always thrilled to hear from you.


Chipotle Salsa

  • Author:

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • Total Time: 10 minutes

  • Yield: 2 cups

  • Category: Dip

  • Method: Food processor

  • Cuisine: Mexican

  • Diet: Vegetarian



  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes*

  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • ½ cup roughly chopped white onion (about ½ small onion)

  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • ½ medium jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, and roughly chopped

  • 1 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, more if needed

  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

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  1. Drain about half of the tomato juice from the can (approximately ⅓ cup) and discard it.

  2. In a food processor, pulse the garlic to achieve a finer chop. Add the tomatoes and all remaining juice from the can to the food processor. Include the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, 1 chipotle pepper, lime juice, and salt.

  3. Process the mixture until mostly smooth, without large tomato or onion chunks remaining, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste, and add one or two additional chipotle peppers if desiring a spicier salsa. Adjust to taste with additional lime juice and salt, if needed.

  4. Serve the salsa immediately or store it for later. This salsa keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for roughly 10 days.


*Tomato tips: I recommend Muir Glen brand fire-roasted tomatoes for consistently excellent flavor. While you can use regular diced tomatoes, the salsa won’t possess the same depth of flavor.

Can this salsa be canned? This recipe has not been validated for canning safety. Please refrain from canning this salsa. Instead, I suggest trying this recipe.

Leftover chipotle peppers? Transfer the peppers and some adobo sauce to a small freezer bag. Remove the air, seal it tightly, and flatten the peppers within the bag. Lay the bag flat in the freezer. When you require chipotle peppers, simply break off the desired amount!

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