This authentic spicy serrano salsa recipe has roasted serrano peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and lime for a tangy, delicious condiment perfect for everything from tacos to breakfast and more!
Why You'll Love This Dish
Smoky roasted serrano peppers and onions, savory garlic, tangy and bright lime juice, and fresh cilantro combine to create a delicious bite.
This salsa is spicy but not too spicy! Unlike salsas with ghost peppers or other extremely hot peppers, the ingredients here create a wonderfully balanced condiment with just the right amount of heat.
If it is still too hot for your taste, you can remove the seeds and membrane from the serranos prior to roasting,
It's a versatile condiment. It's excellent on Mexican dishes, but try it in other places too. I love some salsa on my eggs, in a grain bowl, a salad, as a condiment for various meats and vegetables, or added to a sandwich or wrap.
What You'll Need
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- Fresh Serrano Peppers If you can't find these at your regular grocery store, try a Mexican market in your area.
- White Onion You can also try red onion for a sweeter salsa.
- Fresh Garlic If you can't find garlic, I would omit this rather than trying to replace it.
- Fresh Cilantro
- Limes I use the juice of 1 to 2 small limes. If you can't find fresh limes, try adding bottled lime juice.
- Salt My preference is always kosher salt. Diamond Crystal is my brand of choice. It coats food evenly and is less salty per teaspoon than other brands, making it harder to oversalt your food.
- Olive Oil I add olive oil to this oil sprayer and always have it on hand.
How to Prepare Serrano Salsa
Step One: Add some olive oil to a cast iron pan over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the peppers for 5 to 10 minutes, until they start to blister. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until they start to soften, about another 5 minutes.
Step Two: Remove the peppers, onions, and garlic from the pan. When the garlic has cooled enough to handle, remove the skin. See below for the correct amount of cooking on the peppers and onions.
Step Three: Measure a loosely packed cup of cilantro as shown below. Blend until well combined. You want a salsa that is thoroughly blended while maintaining a bit of its texture. Add a bit more water if it is too chunky.
Step Four: Blend until you reach your desired consistency. I recommend not leaving very large pieces in the salsa as you might get a very spicy bite of serrano.
Step Five Taste for seasoning and serve!
Jalapenos Try using jalapenos in place of serranos for a slightly milder salsa.
Tomatillos Add some roasted tomatillos for more of a salsa verde. Check out this article on how to roast tomatillos for more information.
Less Spicy Devein and desseed the serrano peppers.
More Spicy Add a few more serrano peppers to the mix.
How to Store
Serrano salsa can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
You can freeze this salsa, as well. Place it in an airtight container like a gallon freezer bags and it should stay fresh for up to 4 months.
They are. Serrano peppers are about 10,000 to 25,000 on the Scoville scale, while jalapenos are only 2,000 to 8,000.
Absolutely! The flavor of the salsa will continue intensify and meld. To serve, just take out of the fridge and let come to room temperature.
You can. Store in an airtight container, like a gallon freezer bag, and freeze for up to 4 months.
How to Serve
Serrano lime salsa can bring fresh, spicy flavor to many dishes. Give it a try with the suggestions below!
Quesadillas Use this salsa as a dip for a Carne Asada Quesadilla using our Ranchera Meat recipe! This is great with spicy pickled onions.
Enchiladas Try a bit on these Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas!
Empanadas This air fryer beef empanadas recipe is great with serrano salsa.
Esquites Serve with your favorite Mexican main and a side of these esquites - a delicious warm corn salad that's like elote off-the-cob.
Tacos and Burritos Serve as a fresh, spicy condiment with these Spicy Potato Soft Tacos and some tortilla chips. It's also amazing on these Carne Asada Breakfast Burritos!
Eggs I love adding a spoonful of salsa to eggs.
Salad Try adding a dollop to your favorite salad.
Serve it as an appetizer for your favorite gathering from graduations to football games.
- Wear gloves when handling serranos! This will prevent any potential burning when you undoubtedly touch your face later that day.
- If you think this recipe will be too spicy, you can devein the serranos with a paring knife.
- For an added depth of flavor, roast your vegetables and fruit for other recipes. Roasted vegetables are an easy way to add tons of flavor to your meals.
Other Recipes You'll Love
If you're in the mood for more salsa, try these recipes:
Spicy Serrano Salsa with Lime
- Cast Iron Skillet or Stainless Steel Pan
- Mini Food Processor or Food Processor, or High Speed Blender
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 10 serrano peppers stem removed
- 1 white onion small, or ½ large, cut into large pieces
- 2 cloves garlic skin on
- 1 cup cilantro fresh, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- kosher salt to taste
- Add some olive oil to a cast iron over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the peppers for about 5 to 10 minutes, until they are starting to blister.
- Add the onions and garlic cloves to the pan and cook until they start to soften, about another 5 minutes.
- Remove the peppers, onions, and garlic from the pan. When the garlic has cooled enough to handle, remove the skin.
- Place the peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, water, cumin, and salt to the base of a mini food processor or blender.
- Blend until well combined. You want a salsa that is thoroughly blended while maintaining a bit of its texture. Add a bit more water if it is too chunky.
- Taste for seasoning and serve.
- I recommend a slightly thick sauce without too many large chunks. If you find the salsa is too thick, add a bit more water and blend.
- Wearing gloves when handling serrano peppers will prevent any potential burning when you undoubtedly touch your face later that day.
- This salsa can be stored for 5 days in the fridge.
- You can freeze this salsa, as well. Store it in an airtight container like a gallon freezer bag and it will stay fresh for up to 4 months.
I initially made this salsa to serve with chips and pita but loved it so much that I ended up using it with my chicken the next night too!
Perfect idea! I put a lot of salsa on a lot of chicken, haha. Thanks Shelby!
Mandy Applegate says
I added some roasted tomatillos, as you suggested and it was the perfect salsa!
Yesss, excellent idea! Thanks Mandy!
This was so fab! I roasted my veggies as you suggested before making and that was a whole different level of flavor here! Never have worked with serrano peppers before and was also pleasantly surprised! Thanks for another great recipe!!
Thanks Brooke! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it.
I made this for our last get-together and it was a hit. Roasting the vegetables is a great tip as it brought this dip to the next level. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I'm so glad it was enjoyed! Thanks Sonia!
This spicy salsa came out so good. I made it with a big jar for later. Thanks for this easy recipe.
I'm happy to hear it! Thanks, Greta.