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Horizontal image of a stone bowl filled with chopped vegetables topped with a fresh herb and a spoon inserted into it.

Lacto–Fermented Salsa

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 2 weeks
  • Yield: 1 quart (8 servings) 1x


This probiotic-rich salsa is not only loaded with gut-boosting benefits, it has crisp cubanelle peppers, garlic, and grassy cilantro as well.


  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds removed (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced with ribs and seeds removed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, diced with ribs and seeds removed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small white onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup brine from lacto-fermented sauerkraut or pickles
  • 2 cups purified water (filtered, spring, or bottled)


  1. Place the jalapenos, bell peppers, cubanelles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the mixture to a quart-size mason jar or 4 8-ounce jars.
  2. Whisk the salt into the brine until it’s dissolved and then add the water. Slowly pour the brine over the veggies until they are completely covered with liquid, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top. 
  3. Tightly seal the jar(s) and place in a spot away from direct sunlight, like a kitchen cabinet. Allow the salsa to ferment at room temperature, approximately 65-72°F.
  4. After about 24 hours, bubbles will begin to form. Burp the jar every day (or every other day, depending on how fizzy your fermentation is) to release built up carbon dioxide by twisting the lid until you hear or feel the pressure releasing. You can also stir the salsa (by removing the lid instead of just “burping” the jar) to keep everything well-mixed, but make sure the veggies remain submerged below the surface of the liquid. 
  5. Give the salsa a taste after 2 days. It should be carbonated and pleasantly vinegary. For a more intensely sour/fermented flavor, continue the fermentation process, and give it a taste every day or so to see how you like it.
  6. After 1-2 weeks, depending on the temperature in your house (warmer temperatures promote faster fermentation) and your desired level of fermentation, place the jar in the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation process, but the flavors will continue to develop. 
  7. Fermented salsa may be stored in the fridge and enjoyed for up to 3-4 months.


If during the fermentation process your salsa begins to smell rancid or it grows pink or fuzzy mold, it’s gone bad. Discard it, sanitize your jar, and start again.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Salsa
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: Condiments

Keywords: salsa, peppers, tomato, fermented