Is your favorite part about going to a Mexican restaurant the chips and dip you gobble down before your entrée even arrives? If so, you’re not alone. Salsa has been a staple Hispanic dish for thousands of years, made of tomatoes, chiles, and other fresh ingredients like beans and squash seeds. Nowadays there are lots of options that include all kinds of flavors and consistencies.
Whether you’re making a quick lunch quesadilla, a rice bowl for dinner, or simply snacking on some chips during a football game, having a quality salsa on hand can elevate many a snack or meal, adding that classic, fresh, acidic component we know and love. Here are the best salsas for taco night and more.
Stonewall Kitchen Mild Tomato Salsa
There are lots of varieties of salsa—smooth, chunky, spicy, mild, sweet, fruity, tangy, etc.—and Stonewall Kitchen's checks a lot of the boxes. It contains diced tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, and garlic for a mouthful of veggies in each bite, as well as sugar, vinegar, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and jalapeños for flavor. It really is an all-around solid salsa choice that tastes fresh and light.
Not only is it good for dipping tortilla chips into (here are some of our favorite crispy options) but it pairs well with breakfast like eggs, avocado toast, and burritos, as well as lunch and dinners consisting of your choice of meat and veggies. A few spoonfuls of this salsa add depth and the tiniest bit of heat without going overboard.
Price at time of publish: $8
Size: 16 ounces | Flavor: Mild | Main ingredients: Tomatoes, onion, green bell pepper, garlic, pure cane sugar, cider vinegar, cilantro, lime juice, salt, jalapeños
Naked Infusions Extra Hot Organic Gourmet Salsa
Naked Infusions, a California small-batch salsa company, is here to test your spice tolerance. Its smooth, restaurant-style salsa is organic and contains just a handful of ingredients—tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and seasonings. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and onion- and garlic-free (for those who have onion/garlic sensitivities). In addition to this extra-hot variety, the brand also offers a mild option, medium option, fire-roasted garlic flavor, and a variety pack if you want to go all out.
Price at time of publish: $30 for a pack of 3 jars
Size: 16 ounces | Flavor: Extra hot | Main ingredients: Organic tomatoes, organic jalapeño peppers, sea salt, organic dried habanera powder
Best Salsa Verde
Trader Joe's Salsa Verde
Unlike typical red tomato-based salsas, salsa verde is a green salsa usually made with tomatillos. This salsa verde from Trader Joe’s is made with tomatillos, green chili peppers, jalapeños, garlic, and seasonings. It’s in the medium range when it comes to spice level. In addition to dipping, you can use it in enchiladas, burritos, salads, and more—so it’s a super versatile condiment that’s great to have in your pantry. Each 2-tablespoon serving contains only 10 calories, so it adds a ton of flavor without adding many calories.
Price at time of publish: $15
Size: 12 ounces | Flavor: Mild | Main ingredients: Tomatillo, green chili, salt, dehydrated onion, jalapeño, garlic puree
Green Jay Gourmet Mango Salsa
Salsa is one of the few foods that get savory + sweet just right, and mango salsa is no exception. Although you can eat it any time of the year, it tastes like summer. This one from Green Jay Gourmet is made with less than 10 ingredients but is still super flavorful thanks to the mild diced tomatoes, slightly spicy jalapeño peppers, tangy vinegar, and sweet, ripe mangoes.
While scooping it with a tortilla chip is a great way to really get the full taste, this type of salsa is wonderful to cook with. Use it as a topping for Coconut-Crusted Fish Filets or put some on top of chicken in a crock pot before cooking for an easy entree or taco filling.
If you like this salsa variety, Green Jay Gourmet has several other sweet ones—including cherry, cranberry, peach, pineapple, strawberry, and blueberry.
Price at time of publish: $14
Size: 17 ounces | Flavor: Medium | Main ingredients: Diced tomatoes, mangos, onions, jalapeño peppers, sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, spices
Kirkland Signature Organic Medium Salsa
We love a few things about this organic salsa, the first of which is that all the ingredients are USDA Certified organic—from the tomatoes to the jalapeños, onions, lime, cilantro, vinegar, dried Ancho chili pepper, and other spices. Another reason is because of its size and value. For as much as smaller jars you get almost 5 pounds of salsa. While Kirkland Signature is Costco's in-house brand, you can find some products on Amazon and Walmart without needing a membership. However, the warehouse chain is also available on Instacart.
By far the most important reason the Kirkland Signature Organic Medium Salsa is on our list is its flavor. Although called "medium" it does have a hint of heat thanks to the jalapeño peppers, vinegar, cayenne, cumin, Ancho chili pepper, and chipotle pepper. Plus, things like tomatoes, onion, garlic, and lime make it taste fresh and juicy.
Price at time of publish: $12
Size: 2 38-ounce jugs | Flavor: Medium | Main ingredients: Organic tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, onion, tomato paste, cilantro, lime juice, salt, distilled vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, dried Ancho chili pepper, dried chipotle pepper
Newman's Own Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Medium Chunky
Yes, smooth tomato salsa is a classic crowd-pleaser, but sometimes you may be in the mood for something heartier, and that’s where bean and corn salsas come into play. We love Newman’s Own’s version of this spin-off, which contains tomatoes, black beans, corn, yellow/red/green bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, and plenty of classic salsa seasonings. The extra beans and corn provide a chunkier consistency that provides more substance to whatever your salsa vehicle may be. This salsa is a medium-spice level, and 2 tablespoons contain 25 calories (plus some fiber thanks to the beans and corn).
Price at time of publish: $4
Size: 16 ounces | Flavor: Black Bean & Corn | Main ingredients: Diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, distilled vinegar, yellow bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, salt, cane sugar, lime juice, onions, spices, chipotle pepper, garlic
Best for Guac Enthusiasts
Tostitos Avocado Salsa
This hybrid guac-salsa combo is the perfect solution when you want both salsa and guacamole—why choose one when you can have both? It’s made with real avocados and has the appearance of a salsa verde—just creamier. In addition to avocados, this salsa from Tostitos contains green tomatoes, jalapeño, onions, red bell peppers, and jalapeño pepper puree, so it has a kick of heat. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 45 calories (more calories than the other salsas on this list, thanks to the avocados).
Price at time of publish: $5
Size: 15 ounces | Flavor: Medium | Main ingredients: Crushed green tomatoes, sunflower and/or canola oil, avocados, jalapeño peppers, onions, red bell peppers, jalapeño pepper puree, whey protein concentrate
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Fody Vegan Mild Salsa
For those who follow a low FODMAP diet, finding a safe salsa that doesn’t trigger any stomach issues can be tough, considering many salsas contain onions and garlic as primary ingredients. But Fody has created a mild salsa specifically catered to those with these gut sensitivities. In addition to containing no garlic or onion, this salsa is gluten-free, keto-friendly, non-GMO, vegan, and low-FODMAP certified, making it a great choice for those with specific dietary needs. If you prefer a spicier version, Fody also offers a medium-spiced salsa and a salsa verde.
Price at time of publish: $4
Size: 16 ounces | Flavor: Mild | Main ingredients: Diced tomatoes, tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, cilantro, lime juice concentrate, cumin
Best Variety Pack
Double Take Salsa Co. Gourmet Variety 3-Pack
If you’re hosting a party, chances are you’ll want to offer your guests more than one dip, and this is where the variety pack comes in handy. Everybody has different preferences when it comes to salsas, so why not put out three flavors? This small-batch company out of Minnesota offers flavors like Aces & Eights Sweet Corn, Machismo Medium Chipotle, and Verde Good Green Chile Salsa, which you can eat independently, or combine if you’re feeling adventurous.
Two of the three flavors are gluten-free and vegan, and each clearly ranks its spice level on the label (they range from 2-3 out of 5, so none are on the super-hot side) so there won’t be any surprises. Each 2 tablespoon serving contains 10-15 calories depending on the flavor.
Price at time of publish: $35
Size: 12 ounces per jar | Flavor: Sweet Corn: Medium Chipotle, and Green Chili | Main ingredients: Sweet Corn: roasted bell peppers, tomatillos, corn, Roma tomatoes, garlic, green onion, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, tangerine vinegar, salt, habanero peppers, white vinegar, brown sugar, Chile De Arbol Peppers, cumin; Medium Chipotle: Roma tomatoes, onion, roasted red bell peppers, white vinegar, peach vinegar, sugar, habanero peppers, lime juice, cilantro, chipotle in Adobo, garlic, salt, spices; Green Chili: Tomatillos, green chili peppers, yellow onion, garlic, white vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, spices
When picking out a salsa, you can't go wrong with Stonewall Kitchen Mild Tomato Salsa—it is flavorful and perfect for scooping and cooking with. If you want a sweeter option, try Green Jay Gourmet Mango Salsa, and if you're looking for a lot of heat, we recommend Naked Infusions Extra Hot Organic Gourmet Salsa.
What to Look for in Salsa
If you manage to finish your whole jar of salsa at one time (no judgment here), this is not relevant to you, but if you open a new jar of salsa and don’t finish it all, you’ll want to make sure you secure the lid back on properly and follow the label instructions for storage. This will likely involve keeping the jar in the fridge. It’s always a good idea to mark when you opened an item with a sharpie somewhere on the jar/label, so if you discover it in the back of your fridge weeks (or months…) later, you can easily check to see how long it’s been open.
Everyone has different preferences and tolerances when it comes to spiciness. Whether you’re a mild, medium, or spicy salsa consumer, there are plenty of options for you. Just check those labels before you buy, and if you’re hosting a gathering, it’s always a good idea to have more than one option so there’s something for everyone. If you’re using salsa as an ingredient when cooking, you’ll especially want to make sure to buy the appropriate heat level, depending on your culinary uses.
Smooth or chunky? Both are good options, and both work well as dips or condiments. This is entirely up to you and your salsa preferences, as well as any culinary usage. Check the label to determine if there’s any consistency indicated.
What can you use salsa for?
Dipping chips into salsa is a favorite way to use this condiment. But this versatile sauce can be used to enhance so many other items from tacos and burritos to a topping for foods such as eggs, omelets, chicken, steak, and fish, to mixing into a meatloaf, for example.
Should salsa be stored in the refrigerator after opening?
Once opened, salsa should be stored in the fridge. If the salsa you purchased was already kept cold in the store, it will last for 5 to 7 days after opening. Store-bought shelf-kept salsa will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.
What is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?
Salsa has more liquid and less texture than pico de gallo does. The main base for both is tomatoes but, salsas can vary from chunky to pureed, while pico is chunky. Most salsas are also blended or cooked, while pico uses fresh uncooked ingredients.
How We Selected
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best salsas on the market, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, flavor, and price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
The Spruce Eats writer Alyssa Langer is a registered dietitian and foodie, always curious about the next food or ingredient craze and hungry to learn and try more. Having worked in cookbook publishing, CPG label data, nutrition writing, and meal kits, her diverse background and varied interests provide a unique perspective that fosters clear, well-researched, and trustworthy reviews.
Amanda McDonald is an editor at The Spruce Eats and has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days. She updated this article to include the most up-to-date information.
United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.