Here are the best types of salsa worth making! You can make this Mexican sauce or dip with fresh tomatoes, tomatillos, mangos, black beans, and more.
Love salsa? You’re in luck: there are so many types to try! Think outside of the tomato when you make this zesty Mexican sauce. Of course, ripe, juicy tomatoes make a salsa that’s like none other. But try it with canned tomatoes for a restaurant-style dip, tomatillos for a traditional salsa verde, or even fruit for a sweet and savory combo!
Below are all the top types of salsa to try! You’ll notice that they fall into the categories of these popular types of salsa:
- Red salsa (salsa roja): A sauce made with cooked or canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and hot peppers
- Fresh salsa (salsa fresca or pico de gallo): A tomato salsa using fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapenos.
- Green salsa (salsa verde or tomatillo salsa): A salsa made using tomatillos, a variety of small green tomatoes with a tart flavor.
- Non tomato based salsas: The sauce made with different fruits and vegetables like peach, mango, corn, pineapple, etc.
And now…the best types of salsa to try!
Of all the types of salsa, this one is our favorite. Meet The BEST Salsa. It's so irresistible, you won't be able to stop dipping! This one is a classic salsa fresca: a tomato salsa using only the freshest, juiciest ripe tomatoes. Add to that white onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. It's tangy, savory, garlicky, and 100% WOW.
The next most classic type of salsa is salsa verde, literally "green sauce" in Spanish. It's made with tomatillos, otherwise known as Mexican husk tomatoes. They look like green tomatoes, but they have a husk that leaves a sticky residue behind when you peel it off (you can find them at the grocery store or farmers markets in the fall). Why make roasted tomatillo salsa at home when you can buy it at the store? It’s that good. It’s super tangy, garlicky, smoky, and a little spicy, perfect for dipping mountains of chips.
The next most classic type of salsa is probably the most famous of them all: Red Salsa or Salsa Roja! Here's the difference between this one and our Best Salsa Fresca: it's made with canned tomatoes. You can grab your favorite canned tomato from the store to make this type of salsa. This one features fire roasted canned tomatoes with onion, garlic, lime and cilantro.
Another type of salsa is pico de gallo! Pico de gallo translates to “beak of the rooster” in Spanish. It’s a type of salsa made with fresh tomatoes. If you’ve got ripe tomatoes, pico is the perfect place to use them. Use it as a salsa with tortilla chips, use it on top of grilled fish, or of course, throw it into a taco. Here are all the secrets to how to make this classic Mexican sauce.
Next in our types of salsa: fruit salsas! Sweet mangos are ideal for salsa. And mango salsa is a revelation: it's sweet, savory, and spicy all at once. It's endlessly customizable: scoop it up with tortilla chips, or sprinkle it onto grilled fish. Every time we make it for guests, everyone gathers around the bowl.
Need an appetizer to impress? Try this Pineapple Salsa! It’s one of the best ways to use a fresh pineapple (other than eating it in chunks off the cutting board, of course). The zing of the lime and heat of the jalapeno are the ideal pairing for this sweet fruit. Grab a juicy, ripe pineapple for this one: scoop it up with chips and each bite is an explosion of sweet, savory, salty and spicy.
Peach salsa is another great type of fruit salsa! The sweetness of the ripe fruit is ideal paired with red onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Use it as a sweet savory sauce to top tacos or as a dip for tortilla chips. It's also great with grilled fish.
You can also make tomatillo salsa with fresh tomatillos! The taste of a fresh tomatillo salsa is hard to describe – a combination of sour, sweet, earthy and totally delicious! It tastes like a heightened version of the jarred version you'll find at the store.
Black beans are the perfect protein-packed addition to salsa fresca! This salsa uses fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and adds black beans to make it a filling dip. Use it for dipping tortilla chips, spooning into a burrito or quesadilla, or use it as a topping on tacos, baked potatoes, or grilled avocado.
Got green tomatoes? Use them to make salsa! There are so many ways to use green tomatoes: like this electric green fancy toast, or green tomato pickles. But our favorite way to use them? Salsa. This green tomato salsa that tastes just like salsa verde. Salsa verde is made with tomatillos, but using green tomatoes works just as well: or better!
Last up in these types of salsa: corn is perfect for salsa, too! This corn salsa is a salsa fresca—a fresh salsa—and embodies everything that’s good about summer. Lightly roasted corn, black beans, fresh cherry tomatoes, and a bit of lime and cumin. Perfect for chips, tacos, and more.
Best ways to use salsa
There are so many ways to use salsa! Here are a few of our top ideas for using the salsa recipes above:
- Chips: These homemade tortilla chips hot from the oven are incredible.
- Tacos: Try fish tacos, vegan carnitas tacos, or shrimp tacos.
- Enchiladas: Spread atop black bean enchiladas.
- Fish: Garnish it on grilled tilapia.
- Quesadillas: Sprinkle over a veggie quesadilla.
- Baked potatoes: Add as a topping to Mexican sweet potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes.
- Nachos: Sprinkle onto sheet pan nachos or vegan nachos.
- Avocados: Spoon into fresh or grilled avocados.
- Scrambled Eggs: Add salsa to scrambled eggs or a tofu scramble.
- Burritos: Throw it into black bean burritos.
The BEST Salsa (& More Types!)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 ½ cups 1x
There are so many types of salsa: but this one’s the best. This homemade salsa fresca recipe features fresh ripe tomatoes, cilantro, and lots of lime.
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes (6 medium)
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed (depending on your spice tolerance)
- 1 large handful cilantro
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- Cut the tomatoes into wedges and remove the white part of the core; then cut the wedges in half. Cut the onion into chunks. Peel the garlic. Remove the seeds from the jalapeño peppers.
- Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers and cilantro in the bowl of the food processor. Add the tomatoes, cumin, 2 tablespoons lime juice and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse until a chunky texture forms. Taste, and if you’d like extra heat, add seeds from the jalapeños.
- Strain the mixture to remove excess liquid (the volume will decrease by almost half). Place the salsa in a serving dish and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Category: Dip
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Types of Salsa