13 Ways to Use Salsa

By Alexandra Caspero on June 1, 2022
Have leftover salsa? Save this post for 13 creative uses for salsa.

My homemade salsa for canning is one of my favorite and best recipes. But you don’t just have to take my word for it, because the 5-star reviews speak for themselves! As I usually process 50-100 pounds of tomatoes into salsa every summer, we use it in so many different recipes throughout the year. While most of the ideas below are for a traditional restaurant-style chunky tomato salsa, most will work with my spicy jalapeño salsa, a fruity mango salsa or my creamy salsa roja.

I love this canning salsa recipe because it’s delicious, inexpensive to make, and can be flavored to be either mild or hot. Once you make it, you may be wondering about the best ways to use it.

If this is you, you’re in the right place! Here are 13 uses for homemade salsa that you’re going to love. 

1. As a Burger Topping

Burgers are an everyday crowd-pleaser, so why not take them up a notch with a slather of salsa on top? Use up extra salsa on my Vegan Black Bean Sliders, Za’tar Lentil and Mushroom Burgers, or as an extra dip for my Black Bean Mango Burgers with Creamy Basil Spread.

vegetarian enchiladas

2. To Smother Enchiladas

I love enchiladas for a weeknight dinner because all I have to do is make a quick filling, wrap them up in tortillas, line them in a baking dish and cook until warmed through. Depending on what I’m in the mood for, I smother them in enchilada sauce, jalapeño salsa, vegan queso, or my homemade salsa.

Healthy Vegan Enchilada Casserole with Toppings

3. In a Casserole

In my opinion, salsa is always delicious whether served hot or cold. Have you ever tried using it as an ingredient in a casserole or served on top of something warm right out of the oven? I love some homemade salsa on top of my Healthy Vegan Enchilada Casserole and Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese.  

southwestern peppers

4. Stuffed Peppers

Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are a nice alternative when you’re not in the mood for a tortilla or taco shell but still want the melty inner goodness of Mexican-style cuisine. Stuffed peppers can be topped off with my canning salsa and or vegan queso dip to bring all the flavors together.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

5. Taco Soup

My Slow Cooker Taco Soup is packed with color, texture, flavor, and nutrition. On top of all the veggies and beans, I love to add a dollop or two of homemade salsa to finish it off. Another similar option is served with a big batch of Weeknight Tortilla Soup

Zucchini Scramble

6. Tofu Scramble

Homemade salsa is a perfect way to add fresh flavors and a coolness to a warm breakfast scramble. I like to mix in a few spoonfuls to my Zucchini Tofu Scramble and serve fresh fruit alongside it for a weekend morning.

Vegan Queso Dip

7. Mixed into Queso Dip

Some people prefer their queso and salsa to stay separate, but I’m in the camp of mixing those two delicious goodies together, especially when I’ve got things to dip. Something about the pairing of cheesiness and tomatoes can’t be beat. Try homemade salsa combined with my Best Vegan Queso Dip or my Pumpkin Chipotle Queso Dip.

white bean avocado toast
White Bean Avocado Tomato Toasts

8. On Avocado Toast

Mark my words: avocado toast is never going out of style. The best part about it is that you can pretty much layer whatever ingredients you want onto it, including my homemade salsa. If you’re new to the journey that is avocado toast, try my recipe for White Bean Tomato Avocado Toast

Vegan Tacos with Lentils

9. In Instant Pot Lentil Tacos

Salsa goes with any kind of taco, and sometimes I like it with Vegan Lentil Tacos. These are a great swap for ground beef and a perfect introduction to more plant-based recipes.

Or, you can use up leftover salsa in my Instant Pot Lentil Tacos. That recipe calls for 1/2 cup of salsa– perfect for using up any jar of salsa! Try it with salsa roja, a chunky tomato salsa (like my homemade salsa) or salsa verde.

Ingredients for Roja Salsa in a Skillet

10. In Salsa Rice

For a quick, filling, and inexpensive meal, try a big pot of beans and rice with salsa. Sauté 1/2 cup finely chopped onion in olive oil until very tender, then stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa along with 1 cup of rinsed white or brown rice and 1 3/4 cups water or broth. Simmer until rice is tender.

Serve with drained, rinsed and heated black beans for an easy dinner idea!

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

11. As a Topping for Vegetable Soup

That’s right, homemade salsa even goes well on top of soups. I like to drizzle it on top of recipes like Vegan Black Bean Soup, Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup, or even Red Lentil Soup. I love the coolness that salsa has to offer a warm bowl of hearty soup. 

Crispy Vegan Tacos with Queso Dipping Sauce

12. In my Crispy Air Fryer Tacos

All you need to make this crispy tacos are a can of black beans, 1/4 cup of your favorite leftover salsa, taco seasoning and maybe some cooked plant-based ground meat if you want extra protein.

Pulse the beans, salsa and taco seasoning together in a food processor then fold into softened corn tortillas and fry either in a pan or in the air fryer. That’s it! This is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover canning salsa.

This similar recipe is used in my black bean taquitos– another great use for leftover salsa.

Vegan Salsa Verde Soup!

13. In Salsa Verde Soup

Inspired by Mexican pozole, this vegan salsa verde soup is packed with plant-based protein and fiber! A simple, gluten-free soup that comes together quickly thanks to leftover salsa verde.

Canned hominy, potatoes, zucchini, chickpeas and salsa verde are cooked together for a hearty, filling soup. This is one of my favorites on chilly days.

homemade salsa for canning

If my homemade salsa for canning isn’t on your list of recipes, it should be! This is one of the most versatile foods you can make and it’s so nice to have on hand for anything from soups, to enchiladas, to breakfast plates.

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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