Salsa, which translates to 'sauce' from Spanish, is a key part of Mexican cuisine. It now is primarily known for the tomato and chilli-based sauce that you can buy and enjoy with various kinds of dishes. It comes in both a raw and cooked version and a green version that is made with various herbs.
Salsa is incredibly versatile and goes well with all kinds of meat, salads, tacos, nachos, and so many other meals. The red version has a spicy and fresh flavour that complements salty and savoury meals and balances out any harsh flavours.In this article, we will be going over some great store-bought salsa that can spice up your meals and offer a range of nutritional benefits. We hope that by the end of this article you will have found the best store-bought salsa that belongs in your kitchen.
The best pick is the Tostitos Chunky Salsa in Mild. You really can’t go wrong with a mild salsa that is still very flavourful that everyone will be able to enjoy. This salsa is low on calories, sodium and sugar and is made with fresh ingredients so you and your family can enjoy it without feeling conscious about what you’re putting into your body. This salsa is gluten-free and works well with tortilla chips and as a part food.
The best budget is the Pace Chunky Salsa as it is also low in calories, sodium and salt and comes in a variety of spice levels so that you can cater it to your tastes. This salsa is made from all-natural ingredients and uses jalapenos for the traditional salsa taste that we all love. This salsa doesn't use any preservatives and has no artificial colours or flavours.
Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Store-Bought Salsa
1. Tostitos Chunky Salsa - Mild
First, we have the Chunky Salsa by Tostitos. This sauce comes in several spice levels such as mild, medium and habanero, which is great for personalizing your product and catering to guests who may have specific food preferences.
As salsa is great party food, we recommend the mild version so that all of your guests can enjoy the sauce, even children.
This salsa is made from tomato puree, diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, salt, vinegar, garlic powder and natural flavours. It doesn't contain any preservatives or unhealthy agents which is great if you are conscious about your health.
In each serving which is 2 tablespoons, there are 10 calories, 250mg of sodium, 2g of sugar and 0g of trans and saturated fat, which are all healthy and will allow you to enjoy it without feeling guilty. This salsa pairs perfectly with chips but can also be used on barbecues, or to add a kick to your homemade meals.
2. Pace Chunky Salsa
The next item on our list is the Chunky Salsa from Pace. This product is all about jalapenos and has big crunchy chunks of the spicy pepper and fresh onions that are great got adding major flavour to any dish.
This product comes in mild, medium and hot which allows you to cater to your individual tastes with ease and is easy to eat. Simply use as a dipping sauce straight from the jar or add onto any meal you wish to spice up.
A medium version is a great option if you will be serving the salsa to a variety of people who may enjoy a varying level of spice. This version will provide a bearable kick to those who like mild flavours but also be flavourful enough for those who enjoy a lot of spice.
This product is made from crushed tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, both fresh and dehydrated onions, distilled vinegar, salt, garlic and natural flavouring. Once again, this product does not include preservatives so both you and your loved ones can enjoy this salsa without a worry.Per 30ml this product has around 10 calories, 230mg of sodium and 2g of sugar - making it a great option for many dishes.
3. Tostitos Medium Salsa Con Queso
The next product in our list is different from the others that have been mentioned thus far as it is con queso. This is a salsa with a twist - as it has cheese in it to give it a creamy and thick texture.
This sauce is great for those who prefer cheesy flavours. Though this sauce will still be spicy and have the traditional salsa flavours, it makes for a great dipping sauce for chips and other party foods.
This Tostitos Con Queso Salsa is made with genuine Monterey Jack Cheese, water, skim milk, vegetable oil, modified corn starch, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, chilli peppers, salt, cheddar cheese, a flavour enhancer called monosodium glutamate and artificial flavours.With 40 calories per 2 tablespoons, this product is higher in fat than some other salsa products on the market today, especially as 25 of those 40 calories are from fat. There is 280mg of sodium per serving and less than 1g of sugar. With all of these aspects put into consideration, the 40 calories don’t seem too bad, but if you like to watch your weight you may want to be wary of this.
4. Taco Bell Verde Salsa Sauce
The first green salsa sauce in our list is one by Taco Bell. Taco Bell is a popular fast-food chain in America that make Mexican inspired foods such as burritos, quesadillas, nachos and tacos.
The restaurant chain has also branched out to the UK, Costa Rica, Kosovo, Iraq and Germany to name a few. The popularity of a restaurant may mean that the foods served are widely enjoyed, and this is no different from their bottled green salsa.
This sauce comes in a glass bottle which is great for the environment and can be reused many times. Instead of a tomato flavour, green salsa has a more zesty flavour that works well with salads, chips, burritos, enchiladas and tacos for a more fresh flavour.
Made from green chilli puree, tomatoes, vinegar, dried onions, modified food starch, sodium benzoate (which is a preservative), lime juice concentrate and natural flavouring, this salsa has a unique flavour. Be careful if you are wary of consuming preservatives as this product does contain some within it. There are 5 calories per 6g serving, 55mg of sodium and 1g of carbs - making this a low fat and guilt-free dip.
5. Green Mountain Gringo Salsa
Another fantastic salsa sauce that is packed with flavour and just the right amount of heat is the Green Mountain Gringo Salsa in medium.
This product is gluten-free, fat-free and also free from preservatives. It is also suitable for those who eat a Kosher diet, includes no MSG and is made from all-natural ingredients.
Made from ripe tomatoes, onions, tomatillos, jalapenos, vinegar, pastille peppers, parsley, garlic, sea salt and cumin, this jar of salsa is both healthy and tasty. Per 2 tablespoons there are 10 calories, 80mg of sodium and 1g of sugar. This salsa can be enjoyed straight out of the jar and on a range of meals - even those that aren’t Mexican inspired.
6. La Victoria Suprema Salsa
The next salsa in our list is the La Victoria Suprema Salsa. This salsa has 10 calories per serving and no fat, making it a great option for those who are on diets. Just be careful you stay within the serving limits if this is the case.
This salsa is also vegetarian and kosher which means it could be enjoyed by many people - which is great if you’re hosting a party or large gathering.
Not only can this salsa be used as a dip but it can also be used in meals as a topping including pizzas, pasta and more. The La Victoria Supreme Salsa is made from tomatoes, water, santa fe peppers, modified food starch which helps to improve the texture of the salsa, vinegar, garlic and some salt.
7. KYVAN Hot Honey Apple Salsa
This unique salsa is special for two reasons. First, it is made in small batches to preserve its flavour, nutrients and quality. It is also made from apples and honey that offer the salsa a hint of sweetness that you may not be able to find elsewhere.
The salsa is made by slowly simmering and gently cooking all of the ingredients to create a well-balanced yet powerfully hot salsa.
If you enjoy trying unique flavours and foods that are innovative, this sauce will be a great option as it does just that. However, if you prefer to enjoy traditional flavours that don’t risk disappointment, you may want to opt for another salsa brand.
The KYVAN Hot Apple Honey Salsa contains tomatoes, peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt and an agent called calcium chloride. Watch out for this agent as it can cause issues with indigestion and respiration. Calcium chloride is also found in some plastics so be wary. However, as long as this agent is FDA approved, it should be safe to consume.This sauce has 20 calories per serving, 200mg of sodium and 3g of sugar.
8. Frontera Foods Very Hot Habanero Salsa
The last product in our list is the Frontera Foods Very Hot Habanero Salsa. Be careful of this salsa as anyone who isn’t good with spicy food could very well be unpleasantly surprised once trying this salsa. However, if you enjoy very spicy food, you probably won’t have any issues with this food.
This salsa is only made with natural ingredients such as tomatoes, filtered water, onions, white vinegar, habanero peppers, garlic, salt, passion fruit juice, cilantro and apple cider vinegar.
However, it also has calcium chloride which could be harmful to your health, and xanthan which is an additive. In each 2 tablespoons serving there are around 15 calories, has 180mg of sodium and 1g of sugar.
Things to Consider Before Buying Store-Bought Salsa
Salsa is a huge part of Mexican cuisine and has been for a considerably long time. By the early twentieth century, it has made its way to America and was enjoyed all over the country. Thanks to its exotic spices and herbs, the sauce took off and offered unique and easy flavours to many types of food.
The sauce is now typically used alongside tortilla chips but can be poured over barbecues or spread in tacos, and can even be used to create your own sauce or topping. Because store-bought salsa is easy to eat and does not require any previous preparation, it is great to have in your pantry for when you're too lazy to cook.
Because there are so many different types of salsa that is available on the market today, it is important to know which kind and brand to go for. To do this, you need to know what to consider and look out for before you go off purchasing any old jar of salsa. Here are some things to look out for beforehand.
The first thing you should look out for is the ingredients. This will include the type of peppers used for that salsa’s unique flavouring, how healthy the salsa is and if it contains any preservatives, additives and chemicals.
Typically, a jar of salsa will include tomatoes, garlic, onions, salt, sugar, vinegar and the specific pepper or peppers used for the traditional spicy flavour. Be mindful of if you have any dietary requirements or allergies when looking through the ingredients list of any product.
Making sure you know what’s inside the food you consume and make is especially important if you will be serving the food to other people. Whether it’s your children, distant relatives or friends, it’s always important to be mindful about what you will be feeding other people. This is also a great opportunity to cater to everyone’s own dietary needs.
When it comes to chemicals, be mindful of modified food starch and calcium chloride. Though most preservatives and chemicals that are found in food today are approved by the FDA, it’s always good to know whether something you consume may harm your health in any way. Simply checking through the ingredients list at the back of a bottle of salsa could help you out in the long run.
Following on from the previous point, if you or anyone you know has certain dietary requirements, it’s always good to invest in a product that meets those needs.
For example, if you are vegetarian, gluten-free or eat Kosher, there are now bottles of salsa that cater to all of these dietary needs. This will allow you to still enjoy authentic and fun flavours without having to sacrifice your health in the process.
One way to find out if a jar of salsa is suitable for anyone who may have certain dietary requirements is either by checking the ingredient’s list or looking at the packaging carefully. Oftentimes there will be a label informing you whether any product is suitable for those with specific diets.
Nutritional Facts and Benefits
When it comes to food, a lot of us normally care about calories. You'll be pleased to know that in most bottles of salsa from the store, there are only a small amount of calories per serving. This can range from 10-50 calories and it depends on the brand of salsa and the type of ingredients they use.
Not only is this important if you are watching your weight or need to monitor your diet for health reasons, but knowing the calories per serving will also show you how much of the salsa you should consume in one sitting. A lot of us fall into the habit of overeating without realising it, which can add on the pounds and leave us feeling confused about our bodies.
Knowing the sugar and sodium content in your food is also essential. There is a recommended daily amount for both sugar and salt, but you’ll be pleased to know that most bottles of salsa that you can find in stores are typically very low in both sugar and salt.
Despite this, there is also some other nutritional information you should know about salsa before you buy it. Thanks to the tomatoes that are used to make most salsa, you will also be consuming vitamin C which is an antioxidant and will keep you youthful.
There are many benefits of salsa thanks to its flavours, but make sure you’re buying an all-natural product for the most benefit. As a general rule of thumb, if you notice an ingredient that looks quite scientific and that you’ve probably never even heard of before, quickly check what it is on the internet to see if it is harmful or not. The last thing you would want to do is harm your health whilst trying to enjoy delicious food.
Hot or Not?
Salsa simply wouldn’t be the salsa we know today if it weren’t for its spicy reputation. Though there are many milder versions of the sauce on the market today, you may want to consider how spicy you would want your sauce before grabbing any old jar from the shelf.
To do this, think about who will be eating the salsa and whether or not they can handle or enjoy spice. If you will be serving it to children, the elderly, or people who may have some issues with their stomachs, try opting for a milder salsa to prevent injury.
Spice, though it has many benefits such as improving metabolism, can also have some harmful side effects such as causing discomfort and issues in the digestive system. Consider how well you handle spice and whether or not the flavour will complement the dish you will be eating it with before deciding on which salsa to go for.
As a general rule of thumb and a safe bet, we recommend either going for a mild or medium-hot salsa so that you won't have anyone crying for water in the middle of your gathering or peaceful family dinner.
Because salsa is a sauce, we believe it ought to be as versatile as possible. Many other condiments can be enjoyed on a variety of foods, whether as toppings or dips, and this should also be the same with salsa.
Of course, salsa is great with Mexican inspired foods such as nachos, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and more. Don’t let this prevent you from wanting to add salsa to non-Mexican inspired foods either.
The versatility of the salsa depends entirely on the flavour, the level of spice and texture of the salsa. It may be difficult using chunky salsa on all types of dishes, so if you would like the most versatile version of the sauce, we recommend going for a medium smooth salsa.
Due to the continuous damage, we are causing to our planet, many of our wildlife is being damaged and our climate is burning at an alarming rate. Though this section may not interest or concern you per se, we believe that considering the packaging of any product is a simple way to care for the environment.
Though plastic bottles can be reliable and easy to travel with, there is a high chance that they won’t be recycled properly and end up in landfills or oceans where they do not belong.
Typically, salsa comes in either plastic or glass packaging for convenience. If caring for the planet is something you are interested in, perhaps it would be best to go for a glass jar that you can reuse and recycle without any feelings of guilt.
Smooth or Chunky?
Another area to consider before buying your own store-bought salsa is whether it is smooth or chunky. Though we have mentioned this briefly previously, we think it’s not just important in terms of how versatile the salsa will be, but this could be the deciding factor that could make or ruin your meal or snack.
The texture is a massive part of food and is just as important as flavour. Once again, compare this to the kinds of texture you enjoy when it comes to other types of food and go from there. Also consider that smooth salsa may be easier to squeeze onto practically any food you want, whereas chunky salsa may not be the best option for that as it could be a little more messy to consume.
Green, Red or Con Queso?
The last factor you should consider before buying your own store-bought salsa is which flavour and type to go for. There are three popular versions of salsa which include red, green and the famous con queso.
Red salsa is the most common and typical salsa. It is made from either fresh tomatoes or tomato puree, peppers and has a slightly sweet and juicy flavour.
Green salsa has a more zesty flavour and usually includes a whole bunch of herbs and spices for a unique and healthy flavour.
Con Queso is very similar to the red salsa, just with one major difference: it is made with cheese too. This is great for anyone who is a cheese fanatic and who prefers creamier textures and dairy.
All of these salsas have their own selling points and unique attributes so it may be confusing and difficult to pick a single type of salsa from the bunch. In this section, it is crucial that you think about the types of food you will be serving the salsa with and which flavours will go well with what,
We recommend that if you can, try to use all three versions of salsa especially if you are hosting a party or gathering, as the more options and variety there is, the better!
Salsa is a fantastic way of spicing things up (literally) in the kitchen without having to break your bank or use your own ingredients. Store-bought salsa is easy to use as you can eat it straight from the jar, is versatile, can be healthy depending on the ingredients included and is widely enjoyed by most people of varying ages and backgrounds.When it comes to buying a well-loved and classic salsa, we understand that it could be difficult or slightly confusing when you’re trying to buy the perfect bottle for your home. We hope that through this article you have learnt something new about salsa and now know what to consider before heading out to buy your own bottle so that you can end up with the best store-bought salsa in your kitchen.