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10 Salsa Recipes You Need to Try

Written by Katie Workman
Photography courtesy of Katie Workman

It’s not exactly a secret that salsa has become one of the favorite condiments/sauces in the U.S. Where there are tortilla chips, there is usually salsa. And while the shelves in the markets are lined with dozens of varieties and flavors, there is nothing like homemade salsa.

When most Americans think of salsa, they think of a chunky sauce made from tomatoes, onions and chiles. But salsa translates to the word sauce, and suddenly we realize that there are infinite possibilities. Salsas can be made from all kinds of vegetables, fruits and even legumes. Think pineapple, mango, melon, cucumber, pears and pomegranates. And then the options for seasoning your salsa are just as varied.

This big salsa world then begs us to think beyond the chip, to make sure we are taking advantage of all that salsa has to offer in terms of brightening up our dishes.

Some other simple ways to think of using salsas:
• To top a grilled piece of chicken, meat, or fish
• Blended into grains, warm or at room temperature, or added to a grain bowl
• Spoon over scrambled or fried eggs, or an omelet
• Scoop onto tacos, nachos and enchiladas, or added into burritos
• As a companion to things like roasted chicken, meatloaf, steamed fish, and so on

Image of Salsa Ranchera
Salsa Ranchera
A wonderfully smoky salsa made from roasted tomatoes, hot peppers, onions and garlic, with a touch of lime and cumin. During Hatch Pepper season, I’m very excited to make a version of this salsa with those peppers. Since Hatch peppers from Melissa’s come in mild and hot, you can play around with the heat level with a Hatch Salsa Ranchera as well.

Image of fruit salsa
Pineapple Mint Jalapeno Salsa
Talk about a bright, refreshing and intriguing condiment to use in all kinds of ways. It’s great on grilled swordfish, quesadillas, or pulled pork sandwiches! The sweetness of the pineapple is a surprising base, followed by the kick from the jalapenos and the freshness from the mint.

Image of canteloupe salsa
Corn, Cucumber and Cantaloupe Salsa
Super pretty, and a nice summery change of pace alongside that bowl of tortilla chips. Try Persian Melon, Tuscan Melon, or Charentais Melon in place of the cantaloupe.

Image of Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Talk about a bright and magical sauce highlighting the sweet and sour flavor of tomatillos. For less acidity, try mini Milpero Tomatillos. This sauce has all kinds of delicious use, and it’s a winner on any type of simply cooked chicken.

Image of Pear Salsa
Spicy Pear and Cilantro Salsa
This delicious salsa is bright and citrusy and sweet and herby. Play around with the pear choices – try Flamingo, Forelle, or D’Anjou. And for a quick (and less messy kitchen shortcut), try Melissa’s Pomegranate Arils—they’re ready to eat without the hassle of peeling a pomegranate.

Image of Peach and Pepper salsa
Peach and Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
A dazzler of a salsa, savory and sweet all at the same time. This recipe is a great way to use up loads of sweet peaches when stone fruit season hits. Tip: You can roast your own peppers, or take a shortcut with Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers.

Image of Roasted Tomato Salsa
Roasted Tomato Salsa with Olives
A multi-layered tomato experience, making the most of a combo of tomatoes. Try this with baby heirloom tomatoes. This recipe is fabulous with tortilla chips, pita chips, or piled on bruschetta.

Image of Mango Salsa
Citrusy Mango Ginger Salsa
This sweet and flavorful mango condiment is completely fresh and interesting and the nicest way to dress up a simple piece of fish or meat. Play around with any combination of citrus juices or zest, and dial up the amount of ginger and red pepper flakes if you like to bump up the heat.

Image of tropical fruit salsa
Tropical Fruit Salsa
This is a salsa that will command some attention! A blend of tropical fruits like mango, papaya, kiwi, bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno adds color and crazy flavor to anything it’s served with.

Image of Salsa Verde
Spicy Salsa Verde
The benefits of a little jar of this green and vibrant condiment with parsley, thyme and scallions in your fridge are myriad. For starters, if you grill or sauté or broil up a steak, a piece of fish, with nothing on it but some olive oil and salt, you’ve still got a fabulous dinner. Drizzle some over grilled or roasted vegetables.

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