Hogao: Colombian Tomato and Onion Salsa

Hogao - Colombian tomato and onion salsa
Marian Blazes
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
72 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 194mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 262mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hogao is a very important condiment in Colombian cooking. It is a savory mix of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and other ingredients that ​are sautéed until the vegetables are soft and fragrant. Hogao is very adaptable, so experiment and make it your own. The flavor profile is somewhat similar to salsa, except it's cooked, whereas salsa is typically a raw preparation.

The Sazón Goya is optional, but it adds flavor, thanks to the MSG in it, and some golden color. You could substitute chicken bouillon and a pinch of turmeric and cumin, or make it spicier, as in this Colombian salsa de ají picante.

Hogao is served as a condiment alongside many dishes, such as bandeja paisa and arepas, but it's also used as a base preparation or seasoning, like a sofrito. To make delicious Colombian red beans, for example, you would start with a basic hogao. You can also use it as a flavorful dipping sauce for yuca frita (yuca fries) or patacones (twice-fried plantains).


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 4 green onions, finely chopped

  • 1/2 green pepper, about 1/3 cup finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 package Sazón Goya con Azafrán, about 2 teaspoons

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the chopped onion, tomatoes, green onions, green pepper, garlic, olive oil, cumin, and Sazón Goya (or seasoning of preference) in a large skillet with the olive oil.

  2. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the cilantro and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, until the mixture is very soft and well mixed. Remove from heat and let cool.


  • Feel free to increase the heat factor by using other peppers if desired, such as jalapeño or habanero, but it's not necessarily a spicy dish by nature. Some people like it to be a little less heavy on the garlic, too, but adjust to suit your tastes.
  • You can also make this a little chunkier if you like a more rustic presentation by not cutting the vegetables as finely.

How to Store Hogao

  • Hogao can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use at room temperature or reheat gently in the microwave or in a saucepan.