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Smoky Grilled Salsa (Chevy’s Copycat)

Throw some tomatoes and jalapenos on the grill and make some of this copycat Chevy’s Fresh Salsa! It’s the perfect addition to a summertime potluck.

This is our family's favorite salsa! Grilled tomatoes & jalapenos and lots of smoky flavor -- a copycat version of the fresh salsa from Chevy's restaurant. | perrysplate.com #salsa #homemadesalsa #tomatorecipes

Salsa on the grill? Yes. You’ll want in on this.

This is, hands-down, my favorite homemade salsa. It’s smoky, spicy, and blended just enough so it’s not too chunky. It was originally a copycat recipe from Chevy’s. 

Does anyone remember Chevy’s? It’s been ages since we lived close to one — I think it’s just a west coast chain, but I might be mistaken.

Summer tomatoes getting ready to be made into homemade salsa! | perrysplate.com

If I had planted tomatoes, I think they’d be busting out of the garden by now. Since I didn’t, I’m going to live vicariously through you patient gardeners.

(Or I’ll pick up some on-the-vine tomatoes at the grocery store. No shame, friends.)

The nice thing about grilling the tomatoes is that it brings out some sweetness and improves their flavor — which is nice if you’re relying on store-bought, hot house tomatoes.

Summer tomatoes getting ready to be made into homemade salsa! | perrysplate.com

All you need to do is drizzle some tomatoes and jalapenos with heat-safe oil like avocado oil.

Do you have to add jalapenos?

Well, technically no. I love their flavor, but I understand if you don’t want it to be too spicy. In this recipe I think 2 jalapenos are just right. One would make it more mild, and 3-4 would make it really spicy, if that’s your thing.

Grilled tomatoes and jalapenos for homemade Smoky Grilled Salsa | Perrysplate.com #salsarecipe

So, how do you know when the grilled tomatoes and jalapenos are done?

  1. They’ll have dark grill marks. Especially the jalapenos — leave those on longer so they’re mostly black.
  2. The tomato skins will split. 

You don’t want to wait until the tomatoes get super mush and hard to remove from the grill, though.

Grilled tomatoes and jalapenos for homemade Smoky Grilled Salsa | Perrysplate.com #salsarecipe

A few more tips to make this grilled salsa:

  1. After the veggies come off the grill, put them in a bowl and cover them. Let them steam for a few minutes and cool off so you can handle them. The skins will come off easier that way, too.
  2. You can even put them in the fridge and work on it several hours or a couple days later. If you do this, you’ll notice a large amount of liquid accumulated in the bowl from the vegetables. Save this liquid and use it to thin out the salsa if you find it’s too thick for your taste. (Normally all of that liquid would be in the salsa if you grilled the veg & buzzed it up the same day.)
  3. Remove the jalapeno seeds. Even though I removed the seeds from both jalapenos, this salsa still had a good kick to it.
This is our family's favorite salsa! Grilled tomatoes & jalapenos and lots of smoky flavor -- a copycat version of the fresh salsa from Chevy's restaurant. | perrysplate.com #salsa #homemadesalsa #tomatorecipes

You might notice that the recipe calls for liquid smoke.

This is totally optional, but a little of this can really enhance the grilled smoky flavor. I never leave it out!

If you’re wondering what kind of liquid smoke —  I like Wright’s Applewood Liquid Smoke, but the hickory flavor is good, too. You can find liquid smoke in the grocery store near the BBQ sauces. Or you can grab some on Amazon. 


If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Smoky Grilled Salsa (Chevy's Copycat)

Smoky Grilled Salsa (Chevy's Copycat)

Yield: About 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Throw some tomatoes and jalapenos on the grill and make some of this copycat Chevy's Fresh Salsa! It has such a delightful smoky flavor and it's our family's FAVORITE salsa!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • 1/4 medium Spanish onion (or yellow sweet onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teasopon liquid mesquite smoke

Instructions

  1. Preheat BBQ (or stovetop grill pan like I used) on high.
  2. Remove stems from tomatoes, then rub some oil over each. Leave stems on jalapenos and rub oil on them, too. Place tomatoes on grill when it's hot.
  3. After about 10 minutes, add all jalapenos. In about 10 minutes, turn the tomatoes and peppers.
  4. When almost all of the surface of the peppers are black, remove them from the grill. The tomatoes will turn partially black, but when the skin begins to come off they are done. Remove from grill, cover to steam them for a few minutes and allow veggies to cool.
  5. Remove skin from tomatoes as well as the seeds (if you want) and place in a food processor. Pinch the stem end from each pepper, remove any skin that has burned. Cut them in half and remove as many seeds as you can (unless you want the salsa extra spicy). Place the jalapenos into food processor with the tomatoes.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and pulse for about a minute. For best flavor, chill for at least an hour or overnight before serving.
  7. Makes about 2 cups.

Notes

Nat's Notes:

1. After scraping all of the seeds and some of the whitish veins from the peppers, it was still quite spicy -- about like "medium" salsa you'd buy at the store.

2. After the tomatoes have cooled, you'll notice quite a bit of liquid left in the bowl (especially if you let them sit overnight). Adding it all back into the salsa makes it sort of watery (see picture on original post). I didn't add any back into it this time around and I liked the thicker texture. It also thickens as it sits in the fridge, so hold on to that liquid in case you want to thin it out later.

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Rocky

Saturday 24th of December 2022

I have the Chevy's cookbook and ofc their salsa recipe isn't in there. I made two batches of this recipe last night. I think this recipe was a great jumping off point for the first batch and the second batch allowed me to make some tweaks. I recommend eliminating the vinegar entirely. 1 tsp of salt. 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke. Add a tbsp of diced canned chipotle peppers. Chevy's salsa is quite dark and has charred blackened bits. Next time I will probably soak some anchos and guajillos for some color, depth and smokiness.

Natalie Perry

Friday 17th of February 2023

Glad you were able to tweak it to your liking!

Athena

Monday 16th of January 2023

@Rocky, did they give the recipe for their artichoke mushroom farmers market enchiladas? Or the habanero pesto cream sauce?

Kate

Wednesday 6th of July 2022

Hi! Is there any way you could do this using the broil function in an oven? I don't have a grill pan and it's not super convenient to use my Weber kettle grill right now :(

Natalie Perry

Wednesday 6th of July 2022

Sure! Just make sure the oven rack is really close to the top so you can get maximum charring.

Arleen

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

The seeds in jalapeños do not contain heat. Capsaicin is what contains heat in peppers and the seeds do not contain capsaicin. This is a common misconception.

Tina

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Wow!! This is so close to Chevy's salsa. It's absolutely delish. My tomatoes got quite black by accident and I wasn't able to peel them. Can't wait to make more and I won't change a thing including the extra char on the tomatoes.

Natalie Perry

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

I'm glad you think so, too! It's our favorite salsa for sure.

Ray

Thursday 25th of September 2014

Can this salsa be canned for the future?

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