Smoky Salsa (Chevy’s Salsa)
You guys! I am very excited to say I finally found a recipe that tastes like Chevy’s salsa. Chevy’s is a Tex-Mex restaurant here on the West Coast and my family loves their salsa. I made carne asada tacos for dinner recently and I normally serve it with roasted salsa. I ran across a recipe on Food.com that said it was THE recipe for Chevy’s salsa. So of course I had to try it! Most knock-off recipes call for liquid smoke and vinegar but the restaurant doesn’t add either. The reason Chevy’s salsa is so smoky is due to charring the veggies a bit. The recipe only has seven ingredients and it takes less than 15 minutes to make. I lightly charred the veggies under the broiler then blended them together with the remaining ingredients. That’s it. The salsa turned out spicy, smoky, and delicious! It most certainly tasted like Chevy’s salsa, especially the following day.
How to Make Smoky Salsa (Chevy’s Salsa)
Preheat the broiler to high and move an oven rack near the top of the oven.
Place the tomatoes, onion slices, and jalapenos on a baking sheet.
Place into the oven under the broiler and lightly char the veggies on all sides. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Remove the stems from the jalapenos and the cores from the tomatoes. Place the cooled veggies in the blender with cilantro, minced garlic, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Blend for about 10 seconds, or until desired consistency. Taste and re-season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Pour into a container and chill. Serve with chips. Enjoy.
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 ⁄4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat the broiler to high and move an oven rack near the top of the oven.
- Place the tomatoes, onion slices, and jalapenos on a baking sheet.
- Place into the oven under the broiler and lightly char the veggies on all sides. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Remove the stems from the jalapenos and the cores from the tomatoes.
- Place the cooled veggies in the blender with cilantro, minced garlic, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
- Blend for about 10 seconds, or until desired consistency.
- Taste and re-season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, if needed.
- Pour into a container and chill.
- Serve with chips. Enjoy.
I would eat the whole bowl with a spoon! YUM!
Can you process the Smokey Chevys. salsa in a mason jar?
I’ve never tried canning this salsa but I’m sure it would be terrific.
Wow. That simple?! Thanks for sharing!
I used to work for Chevy’s years ago in Cali when they opened their 1st stores. I loved their food, and esp their salsa! I used to make a huge batch each year. We’re taking a 20# box of tomatoes. I canned it in mason jars in a water bath. It makes great gifts for Christmas and easier than baking cookies. This time of year (Sept) tomatoes are ripening on the vine. I went to a u-pick farm yesterday and picked for $1 a pound they pick for $1.25 a pound! Romas are best, but any tomato will work. If you want to make a bigger batch simply copy this recipe and insert it into Recipe Converter @ https://mykitchencalculator.com/recipeconverter.html enter how many times you’d like to multiply by then hit multiply.
Sounds great! I haven’t received any email recipe posting lately. Is there a problem with your site?
I am so sorry about the e-mail notification problem. You are not alone! I have my web designer looking into alternatives. I’ll be posting about it on the website as soon as I know what the solution will be. In the meantime, I am still posting Monday-Friday. I am so sorry for the inconvenience.
Love this salsa Pam !!
Look delicious !
It’s always a great day when you can replicate something you love. And it’s extra great when it’s so little work! I’ll bet this will be on your Superbowl menu!
Looks like a winner recipe
How long do you broil the vegetables for?
Can you also broil the garlic? It will go in the blender anyways. I have pre-peeled garlic.
Do you have a recipe for Chevys chips too?
I just broiled them until they got slightly charred. Watch them carefully–it should only take a few minutes. The garlic can become bitter when charred. Sadly, I don’t have the recipe for their amazing chips.
The chips are easy..worked the alameda location in 86 ..those were the days…buy corn tortillas white / yellow…stack a few, cut in half..half again..and so on..You’ll have triangles
Then fry in a pot of fairly deep oil.
Place salted batches in a warm oven while batching. Get the salsa and fajitas out!
Thanks for the response. I think I’m going to try making white corn chips, I’ve never tried before.
I usually like thicker chips, but I do like Chevys thin and salted chips.
So do you think about 5 minutes for the vegetables is enough?
Is there supposed to be email notification of responses? I never got one, I just happened to check this site today.
I’ll have my web designer check into why you didn’t get a response notification. In regards to how long to broil, every oven is different, you’ll need to watch carefully. A few minutes should do the trick.
Here is the salsa:
It didn’t have the taste I was looking for.
I used the broiler and set it on the top rack. The baking tray was about an inch from the top of the toaster oven.
It didn’t seem to be broiling well. I tried for an initial 6 minutes. Then I kept doing it again in 6 minute increments.
It took 18 minutes before I saw light charring on the jalapenos.
I kept going. Finally I stopped it after 48 minutes.
The tomatoes don’t look charred. Only the onions and jalapenos do.
What can I do differently? I think I’ve had more success using the convection oven setting, and not the broiler. I’ve been able to roast vegetables that way.
Do you think I didn’t get the taste because it wasn’t charred enough?
Also, this wasn’t as chunky as the Chevys salsa. I think there’s is chunkier.
I had to blend mine more though, because otherwise the cilantro and onion was becoming stringy. So I had to keep the blender going until that wasn’t the case.
I also think 2 lbs. of tomatoes is too much, until I can get the recipe right. I’d probably half the recipe.
The salsa wasn’t bad, it had a nice fresh taste. But I am really trying to get that Chevys taste.
Thoughts / suggestions?
On another note, the chips I tried making were bad. They tasted too much like corn tortillas, and not like chips. Also, the next day, they were very soggy.
So both things I made didn’t come out like I wanted them.
It looked like Chevy’s salsa, but didn’t taste like it. I’m not sure if it needed the vinegar or something else.
Was this what you thought after you tried making it? When did you try?
Do you have a picture of yours?
I tried it again.
This time, I set the toaster oven on convection and set it for 450. I eventually let it go for 1 hour.
The vegetables appeared much more charred this time.
I’m not sure if it’s just like Chevys, but I did like the taste. So I’ll do this again.
However, it’s not the same without their chips. I really need to figure out how to create their thin chips, so I can have the same experience.
Glad it worked better for you this time. I’ve never been able to duplicate the extra thin chips–hope you can find a way to make them.
I used my gas grill this time to char the vegetables. This was much quicker than the toaster oven.
Onions and jalapenos were done after 10 minutes. Tomatoes took longer, 30 minutes to get a little bit of charring. Maybe if I cut them in half, they would be charred a little faster.
I also found that the salt and pepper help bring out the taste.
It’s still not exactly like Chevys, but I think it’s getting closer.
Question: What speed should I set my blender at? I tried “Stir”.
Options are Mix, Chop, Stir, Liquify, Puree.
The tomatoes seem like they liquify quickly, even on Stir.
However, the cilantro needs more time to get immersed. Otherwise I end up with strings of cilantro.
I liked the consistency in your picture.
Is a blender the best way, or should I try a food chopper in a 6 cup glass bowl? Either way, there appears to be so much stuff with 2 lbs of tomatoes, then onions, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno that I’m not sure how to do it in only a few seconds without onion or cilantro chunks that are too big.
Maybe I need to see a video.
I blend it until I like the consistency. I don’t do videos. I think you just need to play around with the recipe until it suits your taste.
If you are looking for the thin chips look for Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy chips. Might not be exactly like Chevy’s but are the thinnest chip I have been able to find.
I think it is only fair to say that as a former employee of Chevy’s that without their “secret seasoning mix” that comes out of a bag, you will not quite be able to duplicate the flavor. Close but it will always be missing that special something. It is a shame to because they try to make you believe it is only from the roasting process and having fresh ingredients. Your recipe still deserve 5 stars no matter what.
Good to know! I’m glad you liked the recipe anyway.
First there was no trick..the Salsa ingredients were burned whole including onions and peeled garlic cloves in huge 3×4 ft skillets. Then dumped into 5 gal buckets with salt pepper chopped and stemmed Cilantro. NO Vingar…no liquid smoke. The char was not removed or discarded. The full buckets were placed into the walking refer….for many hours..often overnight.
The chips were cut from 8-10 inch yellow or white..don’t remember..tortillas and deep fried in a standard commercial French fryer…thats all folks.
Brian, I am super close. Went to emeryville chevys for a pint and pound to compare. Something is a little off. I’m using bright red roma. There is a tang to the chevys I am not getting at home.
Couple questions: did you core the tomatoes on site? Drain the juice? Add any lime?
For the thin Chevy’s chips, buy Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy, OR On the Border Cantina chips. Both are very similar to Chevy’s, you can even warm them in the microwave for ten seconds or so for that authentic warm chip feeling. Both are salty, so consider that when dipping, maybe even salt your salsa after you have tried it with a chip…both chips are available at most grocery stores, they have both or at least one. Don’t buy “Restaurant style” They have to be one or the other I listed…