People that enjoy a good snack often turn to a favorite pairing of chips and salsa. For many people, this is an excellent way to either snack in between meals or to have as an appetizer before a meal.But where can you find the best store bought salsa, anyways and which ones are good? There are plenty of excellent tasting salsas out there that you can buy at your local grocery store. There are salsas that you’re probably familiar with in those red, tomato-based ones and there are some you may never have even tried with a green, tomatillo-based one. Either way, you’re bound to get loads of flavor and a tasty snack with these store bought salsas.
The Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa is our best pick salsa simply because everybody recognizes the Tostitos name as one that produces quality salsa and that’s exactly what you get with this salsa. Plus, it’s easily accessible and can be found at just about any grocery store you go to.
If money is tight and you have that salsa craving, be sure to give the Happy Belly Medium Chunky Salsa a try. Nice chunks of salsa to go along with excellent flavor makes this the best budget pick you can find in stores.
Quick Comparison: The 10 Best Store Bought Salsa
1. Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa
If you’ve ever purchased store bought salsa before, there’s a really high chance you’ve come across any salsa made by Tostitos. Tostitos is probably the most dependable brand when it comes to making salsa. The Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa is no different and is the best store bought salsa you’ll be able to find.
You’ll get plenty of bang for your buck with this Tostitos Salsa as it comes in a pack of four. While each container of salsa isn’t necessarily all that big at only 15.5 ounces, the salsa inside is sure to make up for it.
As the name of this salsa suggests, you’ll get plenty of chunky sized salsa which is great if you’re not looking for one that is more on the runnier (more liquid) side. Thus, each nacho or chip you dip into this salsa, you’ll end up with glorious chunks of salsa goodness with each chip. This also helps to fill you up as well if you’re looking for a salsa that is a good snack in between your meals.
Many people love Tostitos Salsa but in particular, they absolutely love this one because of the big chunks of salsa but also it’s incredibly rich and diverse flavor. In terms of heat level, Tostitos advertises it as a Medium and many people say that that is an accurate assessment of how spicy it is.
Coming in a pack of four is also a big bonus for families or for anyone looking to throw a party as this will be able to accommodate a crowd and last families for a good amount of time before they have to re-stock on it again at the store.
What we liked: in terms of the overall quality of the salsa, this salsa by Tostitos is perfect. We absolutely love the hefty amounts of salsa you can scoop up with each chip and the spiciness level was perfect for us – not too hot but not too mild either.What we didn’t like: it’s just about impossible to find something we didn’t like about this salsa as we love everything about it. However, if there was one thing we had to nitpick, it would be that we wished these salsa containers were just a bit bigger than 15.5 ounces.
2. Happy Belly Medium Chunky Salsa
Previously a salsa made by a company called Solimo, this salsa now is produced by Happy Belly and it will definitely make your belly very happy. Happy Belly isn’t a household brand name salsa yet but is quickly picking up a reputation online where it is an established Amazon Brand.
Despite being produced by a different company, people that were familiar with the Solimo salsa will come to expect the same product under Happy Belly. Everything about the salsa has remained the same, from the packaging to the amount of salsa you get. A jar of this Happy Belly Medium Chunky Salsa is 24-ounces, which is more than enough for a household to work their way through.
In terms of the salsa’s substance, the name suggests you’ll get a medium chunky salsa and that’s exactly what you’ll find. It offers a good balance between liquid content and salsa chunks which is great for dipping your chips into. Nothing can be more frustrating for salsa eaters than when they dip their chips into the salsa and end up with nothing but liquid and no chunks.
This Happy Belly Salsa is also gluten free and Kosher, meaning a wider audience can eat this salsa without violating any particular diets. Happy Belly recommends that to get the best out of this salsa that you refrigerate it after opening it so that it stays fresh for longer.
What we liked: this salsa offers a good combination and ratio of chunks to liquid and it’s because of that that we have rated it so highly. Another big bonus of this salsa is that it comes at an incredibly affordable price, which is great if you can’t justify spending more money on more popular or well-known brands (i.e. Tostitos).What we didn’t like: aside from the great value that this salsa offers, we did find it to be a tad bit more salty than we were accustomed to eating from a salsa. The salt isn’t overpowering but it is noticeable. As spice-lovers, we also wished this salsa packed a bit more heat as we would say this salsa is on the milder side in terms of its spiciness.
3. FRONTERA Gourmet Mexican Jalapeño Cilantro Salsa
For people looking for the total package of heaping chunks of salsa to go with a high level of spiciness, look no further than FRONTERA’s Gourmet Mexican Jalapeño Cilantro Sala. It may not be widely available across most store’s but if you do happen to come across it, it’s definitely worth a try.
FRONTERA produces and packages their salsa in one, 16-ounce jar. What’s more notable about the production of FRONTERA’s Salsa is the fact that their salsa is actually made in much smaller groups. This is on purpose and it just means that customers will be getting a freshly made batch of salsa that isn’t mass produced and features some of the highest quality ingredients in any salsa.
Speaking of ingredients, let’s talk about what’s inside this salsa that makes it so damn tasty. As the name suggests, you’ll find some chunks of jalapeño as well as cilantro. These ingredients work well together because one offers tremendous spice while the other offers a freshness that radiates throughout the entire salsa.
But, beyond these two notable ingredients, this salsa also features roasted tomato and garlic. Roasted tomatoes are slightly different in taste to canned tomatoes and gives off a more smoky flavor to the salsa. Thus, when you combine all these ingredients, you get a medley of flavors and just an impactful mouthful of salsa goodness.
People that have tried this salsa say that the complexity of the flavors in this salsa is very good. They especially love the high levels of spiciness with this salsa and say that the chunks of jalapeño is a big bonus as it adds a more bold level of heat to the salsa.
What we liked: we are very big spice lovers and we found that this salsa not only just tasted good with chips or nachos but we also used it with other different foods as well. A big favorite for us was making an omelet in the morning and pouring this salsa over the top of the omelet. Delicious!What we didn’t like: there’s not much we didn’t like about this salsa but if there was one thing we had to pick out was that it can be a bit too watery and salty for our liking. But, this was a very minor thing and naturally, you might get a saltier salsa when you have this many competing flavors in one salsa.
4. 365 Organic Salsa by Whole Foods Market
Many people know of Whole Foods Market as one of the fastest-growing supermarket chains in the United States today. It offers a bevy of health-conscious products but often at exorbitant prices, or prices you would not find at your local grocery store. However, with their 365 Organic Salsa, it may just be one of the products they offer where the price can be justified.
This salsa is a little bit different from your traditional red tomatoes-based salsa as this one features a base using tomatillos instead. Tomatillos are green in color and it’s because of this that the salsa color ends up being green as well.
Salsa verde is also very different in flavor compared with regular tomato salsa. It has a much more zesty and almost sour, tangy flavor to it. This zestiness comes from the tomatillos. Despite this key ingredient difference, salsa verde is an incredibly choice for nachos and chips and can even work well as an alternative option to regular salsa.
This particular salsa verde however is perfect because it is packed with great, roasted flavors. This means that this salsa will have hints of smokiness which will help balance against the tangy taste of the tomatillos. Salsa verde is a terrific choice to dip your chips in but also can be enjoyed on enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas, to name a few.
This fat-free salsa verde comes in a 16-ounce jar and is made of organic ingredients. It can be bought at all Whole Foods Market locations and is a lovely addition to your chips and dips offering whenever you have guests over for the big game.
What we liked: we definitely love switching things up and going with a salsa verde instead of a regular tomato salsa is one of the best ways to do so. It offers impactful salsa flavor but in a very different way. We often like to eat both types of salsa at once as they both complement each really well.What we didn’t like: the price of this salsa verde is very high, like many of the other products that Whole Foods Market sells. However, we don’t buy this very often and sometimes it can be good to switch things up.
5. Sadies of New Mexico Hot Salsa
The next store bought salsa brand you might want to get familiar with is one that looks like it comes in a maple syrup container rather than salsa. The Sadies of New Mexico Hot Salsa presents one of the more unique containers for its salsa as it comes in a container with a handle on it.
This Sadies Hot Salsa comes in the biggest individual container for a salsa on our list as you will get a heaping 70 ounces of their Hot Salsa. To put 70 ounces into perspective, that is four pounds of Hot Salsa in one container!
Sadies Hot Salsa is made in New Mexico and if there is anything they know how to make there, it is red-hot, spicy salsa. Thankfully, they make so much of it that these four pounds of it will be sure to last you a long time. Coincidentally, it’s also a great option for restaurants to purchase since it prevents them from having to repeatedly keep buying salsa.
In terms of flavor, this Hot Salsa comes loaded with plenty of flavor. It includes plenty of jalapeños in the salsa to make it very spicy and these jalapeños help to complement the blend of tomatoes and garlic that make up the rest of the salsa.
One thing about this salsa that is more noticeable is the lack of chunks in it. It definitely runs more on the liquid-smooth side and while it can be used as a great dip for your nachos, it can also be used on other foods as well. Plenty of people have commented saying this Hot Salsa pairs very well with steaks, eggs, and other proteins.
What we liked: the one thing about a regular salsa container is that it can disappear pretty quickly and often has to be repurchased. However, we really liked the fact that no matter how much of this salsa we used, it hardly seemed like we made any progress towards finishing it!What we didn’t like: while we definitely enjoyed this salsa, we also think this Hot Salsa could be chunkier. It has the right amount of heat but without any chunks, it almost seems like you’re drinking spicy liquid.
6. Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa
Another excellent salsa you can purchase at your local store is Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa. Whenever people hear the word ‘gourmet’, they think it’s an overly priced and fancy type of product. However, both really aren’t true with this gourmet product as you get the benefits of high-quality, gourmet salsa with the innocent packaging you would find with most other salsa brands.
Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa really brings the salsa flavors with their unique salsa mix. The salsa by Mateo’s is made by hand and is made to perfection. The salsa isn’t made in a big factory where enormous batches of salsa are made. Instead, Mateo’s takes great pride in producing a salsa product that speaks to their local heritage and their passion for a tasty salsa. They have even spent many years refining and perfecting their salsa recipe by using different ingredients and spices.
Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa is made in Texas and comes in a pack of three containers of their salsa, with each container weighing approximately one pound each. Value packs that contain more than one product, in this case salsa, are great for families that consume salsa on a frequent basis and will prevent constant repeat purchases at your local store.
What many people love about Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa is the perfect level of heat even for non-spicy lovers. The texture is on the smoother side with a few small chunks of salsa included. It makes for a great addition with nachos but also as a complementary sauce with other foods such as burgers, burritos, taquitos, and even jambalaya.
What we liked: we really enjoyed this salsa’s texture above all else. It is a very smooth salsa but one thing we really liked was that it never was overly runny. Some salsas can become quite watery and we never experienced that with this salsa at all.What we didn’t like: unfortunately, as a gourmet product, it is on the pricier side and to make matters worse, you have to purchase it in this three-pack as they don’t sell it individually. This can make this salsa purchase a fairly expensive one.
7. On The Border Original Mild Salsa
If you’re someone who can’t take the heat from a stronger and spicier salsa, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of other great mild salsa options out there. For example, the On The Border Original Mild Salsa is one of the best mild salsas you can find in your store.
It doesn’t pack that intense and heavy spices that lots of other salsas tend to include but this one offers a very light and faint hint of spiciness in its salsa. It really is the one of the better salsas for people that can’t handle the heat. On top of that, this salsa is also very diet friendly as it is free of gluten and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans to eat as well.
In terms of flavors, you obviously won’t get that strong hints of spice with each bite but you will get plenty of those familiar salsa ingredients blended together. These ingredients include tomatoes, garlic, onions, and light jalapenos. Combined together, these ingredients produce a deliciously mild and savory salsa that everyone can enjoy with their chips.
On top of those familiar salsa ingredients, this On The Border Original Mild Salsa also does not use an added sugar in its recipe to help balance out the flavors. Many other salsas will use sugar to try and offset the tanginess but not this one. They also don’t rely on the usage of artificial flavoring and colors which means you’re getting nothing but a pure salsa that is completely reliant on the ingredients themselves.
What we liked: if you have friends over and know that they can’t handle the heat from salsa as well as you or we can, this mild salsa is really a party pleaser because it ensures everyone will be able to withstand the level of heat in this salsa and it tastes great as well.What we didn’t like: unfortunately, the biggest downside to ordering this Original Mild Salsa by On The Border is that it comes in a pack of eight jars of this salsa. Unless you plan on having one giant party or perhaps you run a restaurant, buying eight cans of salsa in one shot may not be the best usage of storage space and your money.
8. Green Mountain Gringo Salsa
Eating salsa is usually not the healthiest thing you can consume for any diet and so it can be challenging to come across a salsa option that is both health-conscious with its ingredients but also tasty as well. Those concerns can be officially put to rest with the Green Mountain Gringo Salsa.
This Medium Salsa combines loads of flavor with healthy ingredients and one that is just overall, much better for your diet. For starters, it has a fairly low sodium content at only 3% per serving. On top of that, it also is free of any fats and does not include any MSG in the salsa. MSG, which is an additive, is known to add an umami flavor to just about anything but it can also be very unhealthy for you. Of course, like most salsas, this one is also gluten free and is Kosher friendly making it an accessible choice for plenty of people.
This Green Mountain Gringo Salsa comes in a pack of two jars of salsa with each jar containing 16 ounces or 454 grams. If you have a small family, these two jars should keep you busy for a while. Families with young children that love salsa but not necessarily spices and spicy foods will find this salsa perfect for them. It’s not spicy by any means but it does have a pinch of heat with each bite.
What we liked: we really enjoyed the taste of this salsa and with a young family, it was a salsa that everyone could enjoy and not complain about the spices! We also really enjoyed the fact that we could eat this salsa guilt-free knowing that it is a very health-conscious choice.What we didn’t like: while our kids tend to prefer a salsa with little to no heat, we secretly were hoping for a hint of more spices to really shine through in this salsa. Don’t purchase this salsa expecting to it be spicy as we would classify it more on the milder side.
9. Herdez Roasted Salsa Verde
Another excellent salsa verde salsa choice that we think is worthy of a review is the Herdez Roasted Salsa Verde. If you can recall, salsa verde is a bit of a different salsa choice in that it is more green in color than your typical red color found in traditional salsas. Despite this difference, we feel that the flavor profile in this salsa verde is excellent and should be tried if you particularly love salsa verde.
Aside from the difference in color, salsa verde is actually quite different from regular salsa in that it uses a completely different ingredient as its base ingredient. Salsa verdes typically use tomatillos which are green as the main ingredient. It will then usually use other ingredients commonly found in regular salsas as well to round out the flavor.
For this Herdez Roasted Salsa Verde, it uses three primary ingredients where the main flavors are derived from: tomatillos, jalapenos, and fire-roasted poblano peppers. The inclusion of the last ingredient is what gives this salsa verde its roasted taste and flavor.
This Herdez Roasted Salsa Verde is produced in the United States and comes in a unique looking jar. This jar contains 24 ounces of salsa verde. In terms of its taste, lots of people say that for the level of heat, you should expect roughly a medium spiciness. While it is medium-spicy, it also offers that great tangy taste that salsa verdes are known to give off. It makes the perfect accompaniment for your savory foods and also for your nachos and chips.
What we liked: if you particularly enjoy a smoky flavor or charred taste, that’s exactly what you’ll get with this salsa verde. If you can imagine it, think of this salsa verde tasting as if it has been faintly burnt. This burnt taste gives the overall flavor great complexity and an awesome salsa verde.What we didn’t like: it is a very tasty salsa verde however, the price is a bit over the top when compared with other salsa verdes on the market. If value is your thing, then you’re likely to not get it with this salsa verde.
10. Premium Salsa Variety Pack by My Brother's Salsa
Thus far, we’ve reviewed only either regular tomato-based salsa that is red in color or tomatillo-based salsa that is green in color and that’s it. With the Premium Salsa Variety Pack by My Brother’s Salsa, the salsa in this pack is both familiar and different at the same time. That’s because in this value pack of three salsas, you actually get three different flavored salsas.
The most familiar salsa you’ll get is one jar of their House Salsa which is very much what you would expect with a traditional salsa. It’s bright red, light to eat, great in flavor, and mild in heat and spice levels. It’s what you would come to expect from any regular salsa.
The second jar of salsa you get in this Variety Pack is Street Corn. Street Corn is a very popular street food in Mexico and it’s brought to you in a salsa variety in this jar. It adds another dimension in terms of texture to your salsa since you get crunchy chunks of corn that is both smoky and tangy in flavor. In terms of heat level, this one is slightly higher than the House Salsa as it is considered to be medium.
Lastly, you’ll also receive a jar of their Farm Stand salsa. The inspiration of this comes from New Mexico’s infamous farmers’ markets. In this salsa, you can expect a brightly rich and roasted flavor to go along with a medium level of heat.
Each jar in this pack of three salsas is 16 ounces, or 454 grams, in size and is great if you want to try an extraordinary type of salsa.
What we liked: it’s really hard to beat the variety of this pack of salsas. We were pleasantly surprised at the truly unique flavors all three of these salsas brought out. When combined, they all tasted beautifully refreshing with chips.What we didn’t like: the only unfortunate part is that if you prefer one of these salsas over the others, you can’t go out and just buy that salsa on its own as you’ll have to end up buying this entire value pack only.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Store Bought Salsa
Type of Salsa
There are two primary types of salsa you’ll want to consider purchasing from your local store. The first is what you would normally imagine when you think about salsa. It is red in color and is made of a tomato base. It will often include other ingredients but the main staple of traditional salsa is a tomato-base, red color.
Then there is salsa verde. While it may not be as popular or wide-known as regular salsa, salsa verde also offers people a delicious opportunity to pair their chips and nachos with. It offers a different flavor profile than traditional salsa however, and is more on the tangy and acidic side. Salsa verde is derived from tomatillos, which is green in color and thus, the salsa verde color ends up being green.
Now that we know what the base of a regular and salsa verde salsa are, let’s discuss what other ingredients go into a salsa. For starters, you’re very likely to find some sort of pepper or multiple types of peppers in the salsa. Usually, this pepper will likely be a jalapeno or it could also be a combination of green and red peppers. In some salsas, these peppers may even be roasted which gives the salsa more of a smoky flavor.
To give the salsa more depth in terms of its overall flavor, many salsas will also incorporate garlic into their recipe. Garlic is a key ingredient because it helps to add more complexity to the overall salsa flavor instead of making it a one-dimensional, spicy flavor.
Some salsas will also incorporate their own spices as well. There aren’t any standards per se but it really depends on the recipe of the brand itself as to what kind of spices are added in. Lots of salsas will also incorporate onions and even coriander to give the salsa more flavor.
One of the best things about salsas is undeniably its spice level. For people that eat salsas often, you can find salsas of all spice varieties. People that really enjoy a good level of heat are wise to try salsas that are medium spice and above. This will definitely give you a comfortable level of heat and, in some cases, an uncomfortable experience as well!
For people that aren’t spice fans, there are plenty of great options to try as well. Salsas aren’t all spicy and some are made specifically for people who love the flavor but so much the heat. We recommend going with a mild flavored salsa if you plan on hosting a party as it generally tends to be a party pleaser and will ensure those who don’t enjoy the spiciness they can enjoy this mild salsa too.
How Much Salsa You Get
For some people, quantity matters and if you enjoy salsa, it rightfully should matter. Nothing can be more frustrating than buying a jar of regular-sized salsa only for you to finish it after one sitting.
Fortunately for you, you can find a bevy of salsas in jars and containers of different sizes. If you’re looking for a fair sized amount of salsa in a jar, look for ones that contain anywhere between 16 and 24 ounces of salsa. There are some that stretch far outside of this range as the Sadies of New Mexico Hot Salsa offers a whopping 70 ounces of salsa!
On top of finding salsas in different sized containers, there are some that even come in fantastic value packs. Value packs ones that contain more than one salsa jar and there are some that even come with three or four salsas.
The only thing with value packs is that you should probably be sure that you have tried and enjoy the salsa of the value pack you may be purchasing. Since you’re getting plenty of salsa in a value pack, it’s always wise to know beforehand that you enjoy the product and that you won’t have issues finishing it. Nothing can be as frustrating as purchasing a value pack only to find out that it’s not exactly what you’re were hoping for.
Chips and salsa are a match made in snack heaven. But, don’t go thinking that salsa can only be paired with chips. The amazingly tasty, often smoky, and rich in spiciness salsas can be paired with just about any of your favorite foods.
Instead of reaching for that hot sauce next time, try using one of the best store bought salsas as a way to spice up your next meal. If you’re looking for that added kick, try some of the best spiciest salsas as well.Lastly, while everyone has a favorite tomato-based salsa, don’t forget about salsa verdes as well. These are just as good as a regular salsa and can be a nice and refreshing change to eat with your chips.