21 of Our All-Time Favorite Salsa Recipes

Whether you’re prepping for Friday night cocktails, a weekend barbecue, or game night, salsa is the centerpiece of any classic appetizer spread.

It’s time to break out the tortilla chips! Fruity, savory, sweet, and herbal - we share 21 of our favorite salsa recipes from around the web on Foodal. https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/

And of course, it also pairs beautifully with Mexican-style and Tex-Mex dishes, as well as grilled meat, fish, and other types of seafood.

It’s time to break out the tortilla chips! Fruity, savory, sweet, and herbal, fresh salsas come in a huge variety of textures and flavors. And better yet, not only do they pair well with corn or flour tortilla chips, they’re also excellent served atop grilled meat or fish, or with your favorite Mexican-inspired dishes like tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. We share 21 salsa recipes from some of our favorite bloggers, paired with a few of our own. https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/

To inspire you to serve up the perfect fresh salsa for any occasion in a variety of flavor combinations, we’ve gathered the best recipes from some of our favorite bloggers, as well as a few of our own. Get out the food processor – it’s salsa time!

Classic Tomato

When you think of salsa, chances are that a classic, red, tomato-based sauce it what you imagine. If this is your jam, you’ll love the following recipes.

1. Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo with Tortilla Chips
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

This one is a tomato-based dip that’s super simple to make, and it can be thrown together in just a few minutes. With fresh onion, jalapeno, and cilantro, it’s big on flavor, too.

Nikki’s recipe for pico de gallo can be made with fresh tomatoes. As an alternative, you could use tomato concassée, made with quickly blanched, seeded, and peeled tomatoes. Freezing prepped tomatoes using this method is a great way to extend the tomato season.

2. Chipotle

No, we’re not talking about a restaurant copycat recipe – we mean the spicy, smoky pepper!

Chipotles in adobo are actually often jalapenos, but they’re smoked and dried. This gives them a dark color, and smoky flavor. In fact, chipotle is derived from the Nahuatl word “chilpoctli,” or “smoked chili.”

homemade-chipotle-salsa
Photo credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

California resident Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking says she’s a self-proclaimed salsa snob, and that growing up in Tucson, Arizona made her that way. This recipe is a testament to that, and we are super grateful.

You will be too, when you try this one out.

Earthy, spicy, juicy, fresh – this salsa’s got it all. It’s made with a combination of fresh cherry and canned fire roasted tomatoes, fresh jalapeno, and canned chipotle peppers in adobo for a combination of spicy, savory, and umami notes.

If you accidentally make this recipe too spicy, check out tips on how to turn down the heat here.

Check out Gaby’s recipe here.

3. Tomato Avocado

Sure, you could opt to put out a dish of guacamole alongside your tomato salsa. But Heidi Larsen’s recipe takes the best of both dips and combines them to make something super tasty.

Tired of boring salsa? Make your own at home! We share 21 of our favorite recipes: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: Foodiecrush

It’s great for topping a mild fish like halibut, and it takes more of an Italian direction than other Mexican-leaning salsas, with a touch of golden balsamic (instead of the traditional lemon or lime juice) for acid, olive oil, and basil in place of cilantro.

Alongside fresh avocado, Heidi also uses heirloom cherry tomatoes in a variety of colors for a salsa that really pops. You’ll find the recipe here, on Foodiecrush.

We’re thinking it’s time to make some Italian-style nachos, topped with mozzarella instead of cheddar…

4. Radish Tomato

We share the secrets to awesome salsa, with links to recipes from our favorite bloggers: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: The Tasty Bite

This one’s got a bit of crunch, a bit of heat, and lots of fresh veggies. Finely sliced radishes are a classic garnish at many Mexican restaurants, and the flavor and texture pairs well with fresh tomatoes in this dip.

Karen Lee at The Tasty Bite offers this bonus tip: drain off the extra liquid before serving, to avoid sogginess and unwanted drips. Get the recipe here.

Eat Your Vegetables

Of course, in the salsa world, tomatoes don’t always have to be the stars of the show. Why don’t you give one (or two, or three…) of these alternative veggie options a try?

5. Salsa Verde

This classic green sauce is a favorite on tortilla chips. Try pouring it over scrambled eggs or oven-baked enchiladas for a delicious brunch or dinner dish.

Get the recipe for this tomatillo salsa verde and 20 more fresh salsa recipes: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: Cookie + Kate

What makes it green? This salsa incorporates cilantro and jalapeno, plus roasted tangy tomatillos.

Here’s a bonus tip: Make a batch of Kendall’s tomatillo-jitos (mojito cocktails made with a tomatillo juice base) and combine the extra pulp and seeds with this delicious and refreshing salsa – that’s way, there’s no waste to worry about.

Get the recipe on Kate Taylor’s blog Cookie + Kate.

6. Apple Celery

Apple Celery Salsa
Photo credit: Kristy Leigh

Another example of categorical overlap, this is the Waldorf Salad of salsas. A combination of vegetables and fruit (with more of these to come, later in the list), celery is the star ingredient. Crunchy, tangy granny smith apples are a close second.

This is a fall favorite, perfect for putting out on the table to snack throughout a long Sunday afternoon of football watching. Or, pack it up and bring it with you to the tailgate party.

Tossed with apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard, Kristy Leigh says her unique dip is delicious served with pan-fried pork chops, game, or even a fresh salad.

7. Asparagus

Grilled asparagus is delicious on its own, alongside a grilled steak, or atop a salad. But have you ever tried using it as an ingredient in another dish?

Don't do your tortilla chips a disservice by serving the canned stuff that's high in sodium and full of preservatives. It takes just a few minutes to whip up a batch of fresh salsa, made with seasonal produce: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: Robyn Gleason

Here’s your chance: It’s the base of this fresh dip, combined with hot chilies, juicy tomatoes, green onion, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic. Super simple – all of your classic salsa ingredients, plus asaparagus. Yum!

Get chef Leslie Broadbent’s recipe via Robyn Gleason at Simply Fresh Dinners here.

8. Elote

Jerrelle Guy’s elote salsa pairs oh-so-well with her delicious vegetarian beet burgers. But we love this one for chip dipping as well (or eating straight out of the bowl).

Elote, or Mexican-style corn on the cob, is usually slathered with mayonnaise and then sprinkled with spicy red pepper, lime, and crumbly cheese.

Elote Salsa on Beet Burger
Photo credit: Chocolate for Basil

And this salsa version of that popular street food is downright delicious, made with the usual lime juice, crumbled cotija cheese, and chili powder, plus red onion, roasted red peppers, jalapenos, and garlic powder.

Get the recipe here, on Chocolate for Basil.

Summer Stone Fruit, Melon & Berries

These fruity blends offer up the essence of summer, combining sweet and savory in the best way.

These pair perfectly with the delicate flavors of fish entrees, but they make a delicious topping for tacos too. Or, you can always serve these on their own with a big bowl of chips.

9. Peach & Corn

Pork Tacos with Peach-Corn Salsa | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Kendall Vanderslice

Paired with a dollop of cooling sour cream or Greek yogurt, this salsa is the perfect accompaniment to spicy pork tacos.

Made with fresh peaches or nectarines and sweet corn, it’s sweet and savory, showcasing summertime stone fruit and other types of produce.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

10. Blueberry & Watermelon

Bordering on fruit salad, this one is super flavorful, and packed with nutrients. Made with hydrating seasonal watermelon, fresh mint, and antioxidant-rich blueberries, and a dash of local honey, you’ll love this tangy, juicy, and colorful option.

Blueberry Watermelon Salsa
Photo credit: My Delicious Blog

The fruit and herbs are combined with traditional salsa ingredients like onion and jalapeno for a sweet, savory, refreshing, and slightly spicy flavor combination that’s awesome on grilled protein, like red snapper fillets.

Nicole Coudal shares the recipe on My Delicious Blog.

Fruit for Other Seasons

Homemade salsa isn’t just for the summer.

These fruit-based versions feature the products of other seasons – and they’ve got us planning ahead. We’re already thinking about our appetizer spreads for Thanksgiving, and snacks for New Year’s Eve!

11. Apple & Pomegranate

Apple Pomegranate Salsa
Photo credit: J. Lessard

This unique combination features the flavors of fall. Chopped fresh apple (keep the skins on to boost the flavor and nutrient content) plus pomegranate seeds are combined with fresh lemon juice, onion, and jalapeno for a dip or topping that’s crunchy, fresh, and flavorful.

Carol Peterson shares the recipe over on Abundant Harvest Kitchen.

12. Citrus

Salsa makes an excellent snack dip as well as a flavorful topping for grilled proteins like chicken and fish. We share some of our favorite recipes: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: Golubka’s Kitchen

A fresh citrus salsa is wonderful at any time of year, but it can be particularly delicious during the winter months when fresh citrus is in season in warmer climes, like Florida and California.

The acid of the fruit partnered with creamy, ripe avocado complements the flavor of buttery fish nicely. It also pairs wonderfully with ginger marinated tofu like Anya Kassoff features here, on her blog Golubka’s Kitchen.

Tropical Fruit

Sweet, tropical flavors create such a nice contrast with spice and salt. Though they may not be considered “traditional,” tropical salsas have become hugely popular.

Here are a few that we think offer something a little different.

13. Pineapple

Salsa doesn't have to come out of a jar from the grocery store. Learn how to make your own, in a variety of flavors: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: Pinch of Yum

Another tropical option, this one is featured alongside caramelized pork tacos. But again, like all of the rockin’ recipes here, it’s super versatile and could holds its own in a variety of dishes.

Of course, pineapple and pork is a classic combination, probably best known in tacos al pastor. The acid of the pineapple cuts through the unctuous fattiness of the pork, and the sweetness of the juice both brings out the pork’s sweetness while contrasting deliciously with those savory notes… this is good stuff!

You’ll find Lindsay Ostrum’s recipe here, on Pinch of Yum.

14. Jackfruit

Esther Choy’s recipe for jackfruit salsa is tangy and tropical flavored. For the uninitiated, jackfruit is a relative of the breadfruit, full of seeds and a crisp pulp similar in flavor to mango or pineapple.

Top view of a salsa made from jackfruit and other ingredients.
Photo credit: Estalystic

It softens as it ripens, and is even available in canned form. In fact, some adherents to a vegetarian or vegan diet like to use the canned pulp to make vegan barbecue pulled pork, since the cooked fruit pulls apart in strings similar to the meat.

Try this one on top of grilled shrimp tacos or shrimp fajitas – you’ll find the recipes for both on Estalystic.

15. Banana

Haley Nelson at Cheap Recipe Blog is offering up something that, at least to me, is truly unique.

Of course, in internet land, we all know that “100% original” recipes are extremely difficult to come by – everything has already been tried, tested, tasted, made in a million different variations, endlessly photographed, blogged about, discussed on the Food Network, served up and down the price scale from fine dining to food trucks, and so on.

Spicy Banana Salsa
Photo credit: Cheap Recipe Blog

But, at least personally, banana salsa is something that I’ve never tasted, come across a recipe for prior to this one, or seen in a restaurant or grocery store.

What’s more surprising is that this recipe post was actually posted a few years ago – so plenty of time has passed for the banana salsa trend to take off!

Somehow, this recipe has remained largely secret. But I’m happy to share it!

Rather than ripe bananas, the ones used here should still be slightly green.

Of course, in any list of tropical fruits, we wouldn’t want to forget the king…

Make Mine Mango

Mango salsa is one of my favorites, and I don’t think I’m the only one. It’s sweet and savory, juicy and crunchy, different and familiar.

Maybe we’ve hit peak mango already, but I’m not quite ready to let it go. If you’re still a fan too, here are three different recipes for you to try.

16. Spicy Mango

Recipe for a Refreshing Spicy and Mango Salsa | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Kendall Vanderslice

A fruit salsa favorite, juicy, fresh mango pairs so well with a touch of fresh onion and jalapeno. Try serving this one atop grilled fish or chicken.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

17. Mango Bell Pepper

Another mango option, this one’s a bit different from ours. The main difference here is that it’s made with serrano chilies, plus diced red bell pepper is thrown in to the mix for added color and crunch.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are diced and blended to make delicious fresh salsas. We share the recipes, from some of our favorite bloggers: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: A Spicy Perspective

Sommer Collier says the best way to serve her salsa is atop Hawaiian-style hotdogs, with homemade pineapple mustard. She shares the recipe on A Spicy Perspective.

For even more wild and crazy hot dog recipes and serving suggestions, check out our round up.

18. Cucumber Mango

Chelsea Mazur at The Busy Girl Blog takes her version to the upper echelons of refreshing, combining the juicy sweet fruit with fresh cucumber and mint, plus some of your more classic ingredients like garlic and lime juice.

Fresh salsas feature seasonal produce at the peak of ripeness, with flavorful herbs and spices. Get inspired with 20+ recipes from some of our favorite bloggers: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: The Busy Girl Blog

It’s colorful, flavorful, delicious on a chip, and beautiful atop grilled chicken.

Canned, Fermented & … Leftover?

Though one of the best features of making a fresh salsa is the quickness with which you can pull one together, there are other wonderful options out there that are all about planning. And for good reason – these will help you to preserve your fresh harvest and maximize the nutritional output of your ingredients.

There are also salsas that can help you to use up what’s left in the fridge, a valuable skill that every savvy home cook should have.

19. Zucchini

Zucchini Salsa
Photo credit: Reluctant Entertainer

No, we’re not talking about zucchini that comes out of a can (which you’d probably be hard pressed to find…) Instead, we’re referring here to home jarred salsa, made with fresh zucchini from the garden.

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that so many gardeners are eager to plant in the spring. And then panic sets in as they continue to haul in their harvest day after day, wondering what exactly they’re going to do with all of the excess when they’re already sick of spiralized zoodles, and up to their ears in zucchini bread.

Here’s a delicious option: Sandy Coughlin’s Sweet Smokey Zucchini Salsa. You can get the recipe here, on Reluctant Entertainer.

This is a canned salsa, so it’s shelf stable. That means you’ll be able to enjoy the tasty goodness of those garden fresh zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions for months to come. And it makes a great gift, too!

For more on seasonal canning using pressure canners and water baths, check out our Canning and Preserving category for top tips and informative how-tos.

20. Leftovers

Leftover Ingredient Salsa
Photo credit: Liz LaBrocca

This one taps into something that I think is at the core of home cooking – using up leftovers.

While we may often think of leftovers as items that are already cooked, like pasta or mashed potatoes, that forgotten half of a shallot and quickly withering bunch of cilantro at the back of the fridge are leftovers too.

Liz LaBrocca’s post on Literally, Darling makes an important point – that fresh ingredients are easy to forget, and easy to waste. But at the same time, they’re easy to utilize in fresh, delicious dishes like salsa.

Rather than describing a specific recipe, Liz highlights some of the base ingredients and tasty add-ins that you mind find in your own fridge at home, plus seasoning suggestions and a basic technique to prepare your own delicious dips.

21. Spicy Fermented Summer Harvest

This salsa from Linda Ly at Garden Betty is another “everything but the kitchen sink” garden harvest recipe. Lacto-fermented like sauerkraut, this process takes the flavors to the next level, and it’s right in probiotics.

Best of all, it’s simple to make – no whey or starter culture needed.

Garden vegetables, tropical fruits, and everything in between - delicious salsa isn't just about tomatoes. Check out our round up of some of the best recipes from around the web: https://foodal.com/recipes/sauces/favorite-salsa-recipes/
Photo credit: Garden Betty

This recipe does, however, include both oil and garlic – err on the side of caution here, and adhere to proper precautions in terms of temperature controls, proper pickling procedure, and standard canning processes to avoid the risk of botulism.

That about wraps up our round up of top salsa recipes. Time for me to go – the bag of blue and white corn chips in my cabinet is just begging me to get out the immersion blender to make one of these fresh and satisfying dips.

If you would like to know more about utilizing spicy ingredients in your own homemade pickling recipes, get to know the process a little better by listening to the latest episode of the Foodal Podcast: managing editor Allison Sidhu discusses the world of spicy, fermented condiments with Kirsten and Christopher Shockey, fermentation experts and authors of the new cookbook a new cookbook called Fiery Ferments.

What type of salsa will you serve at your next cookout or cocktail party? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credits: All photography in this article is owned and copyrighted by their respective owners as identified. Used with permission by Ask the Experts, LLC. All rights reserved by all parties. Additional link contributions by Nan Schiller.

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About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu is a foodie from Philly who is based in Los Angeles, where she loves exploring the local restaurant scene with her husband. She holds a master's degree in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a food-filled magazine at the beach.

7 thoughts on “21 of Our All-Time Favorite Salsa Recipes

  1. Definitely have to try the Salsa Verde. Green from Jalapenos? My wife is a huge fan of spicy foods and this spicy alternative to traditional salsa is going to have everyone at my buddy’s housewarming party green with envy! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    • Salsa verde is actually green because of the tomatillos. They’re similar to tomatoes, with lots of small seeds inside, and husks that you need to peel off before you wash them. Definitely give them a try if you haven’t before – they make an excellent raw or roasted dip!

      Enjoy the housewarming party, deanyd_17! Thanks for the comment.

  2. I’ve never made my own salsa verde but I always loved the stuff. I grew up in Dallas and there was a place called “Cesar’s Donuts” that not only served donuts but authentic hand made Mexican food. They would include some delicious salsa verde, sour cream, a slice of onion, a jalapeno, and a wedge of lime in every order of flautas or tamales. I loved that stuff so much I had a half-dozen beef tamales for breakfast on Saturday mornings! The best part was that you could save the salsa verde and pair it with some other dish later in the day so I’d have it with sandwiches and chips and anything I could as it spices it up but isn’t too hot. Pico de gallo is my absolute favorite salsa though. It’s good for you, easy to prepare, and is just an outstanding compliment to all kinds of foods and chips. It’s almost impossible to find a store-bought salsa that can begin to compete with a good home made pico de gallo.

  3. Great list! There are many favorites on the list, but I found three that I want to try. The apple celery, peach corn the blueberry and watermelon are on my radar.

  4. The grilled asparagus salsa! Yum! I bet the asparagus adds the best texture to it! That, coupled with the cilantro and lime, is a must try! My mother makes her famous salsa (famous in our family anyway!) with much of those ingredients, excluding the asparagus. Will have to give that a taste test and see if it makes it that much better! Such a good idea!

  5. We ended up making that pico de gallo, absolutely fabulous! We are always huge pico de gallo fans though, we use it on most mexican dishes. We will be making some salsa verde here real soon, possibly over the weekend while we have company over! I havent had salsa verde in years, im so excited!

  6. These all look like winners here. I have trouble finding a bad salsa, but certainly there are the ones that I prefer, and I have to say that I really like the green ones. They tend to be on the spicier side too, which I like more. I am open to it all though, and all these all look good.

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