If you have ever tried Argentinian BBQ or grilled food, you might have come across chimichurri. But have you tried the amazing Salsa Criolla? I’m honestly obsessed with this salsa. It’s good on anything, from meats to chicken, to hot dogs and even on top of rice. I love it over grilled fish too!! I mean it’s so versatile and delicious, I have to resists not eating it by spoonfuls before it’s even time to serve. Salsa on its own it’s vegan but obviously most people serve it over some grilled protein. It’s also gluten free and fits Mediterranean Diet even though it’s of Latin origins.
What does Salsa Criolla mean?
The word Criollo or Criolla (when it ends in o it refers to a masculine noun and in a to a feminine one) refers to a description given to someone or something of Spanish descent in South America. Criollos were usually people of European descent that were born in South America. They created the fusion between local cultures and Spanish culture. The gastronomy is one of those areas that had a lot of fusions and developments, so nowadays that fusion culinary combination is called Gastronomia Criolla in Spanish.
Hence, sauces like this one are called Salsa Criolla in many Latin American countries despite having different variations in each country.
Argentinian salsa criolla is very simple and needs few ingredients. I use green, red and yellow bell peppers, roma tomatoes, white onion, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.
Tips & Notes
I don’t have many tips as this recipe is so easy to make. Can I say double up because you’ll need it? Well, this recipe is for about 4-5 servings. So maybe once you try it once, you can adjust the quantity to what you’ll really need.
- Chopping – since there’s no cooking in this recipe, let’s focus on chopping the vegetables. Cut peppers in julienne strips and then chop them really fine. The appeal of this salsa is also it’s elegance. You don’t want the salsa to look like a salad.
- Roma tomatoes – roma tomatoes need to be ripe but firm. Remove the seeds before dicing.
- Versatility – I try to use a whole red pepper, whole green pepper and whole yellow pepper. However, peppers can vary wildly in size especially here in USA. So feel free to use 1-2 roma tomatoes to compliment the amount of peppers. Also, you’ll need a medium white onion but if onion is too big, then you can just use half of it then store the remaining onion for a salad. Be flexible and use what you have, it will taste amazing anyway:).
- Variations – I’ve seen some versions of this salsa that use garlic, parsley and different quantities on peppers etc. Hope you like my recipe but feel free to adjust to your taste:).
Argentinian Salsa Criolla
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 white onion medium size
- 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
- 0.5 tbsp sea salt
- 0.25 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste, optional
- Peel the onion, wash and dry. Wash and dry the peppers as well.
- Chop peppers in very thin julienne strips, then dice as thin as possible as well. The smaller the cubes, the better.
- Chop the tomatoes, remove the seeds and any juice. Dice the tomatoes as small as possible as well. Dice the onions as well.
- Add pepper, tomatoes, onion in a bowl. Pour red wine vinegar, olive oil over the veggies. Add salt and oregano as well. Mix everything well!
- I usually pour in a mason jar at this point, and chill for at least an hour before serving over favorite grilled foods. Enjoy:)).
- The amount of servings is a bit subjective in this recipe. If you have a lot of side dishes and sauce, you might serve only 1 tbsp per person over the grilled food. But if you have few sides and salsas, people might serve more than 1 tbsp per person. I for example, tend to serve few tbsps for only myself. My husband does the same so we maybe consume more than 1 serving.
- Chill the salsa for minimum 1 hour before serving. It allows for all the vegetables to marinate together.
- You can replace roma tomatoes with other tomatoes, just remove seeds and juice before chopping.
- It only takes about 10 minutes to put this salsa together, but you’ll need 1 hour for chilling.
While this recipe is for Argentinian Salsa Criolla, there are recipes for Salsa Criolla in Peru, Uruguay, Colombia etc. Even Caribbean islands like Cuba or Puerto Rico have their own salsa criolla.
This specific recipe is not spicy. But it can be!! Add red pepper flakes, red chilis or jalapenos to add some degree of spiciness to your taste.
If you’d like to save this recipe for later, please save it in your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions. Or feel free to tag me in social media with your pictures of this recipe. Thank you so much / Muchas Gracias:)).
Additional Salsa Recipes
- Bolivian Llajua Salsa
- Peruvian Aji Verde (with Huacatay)
- Yogurt, Cilantro, Garlic Dipping Sauce
- And of course Chimichurri