14 Ways to Use Salsa

By Alexandra Caspero on November 7, 2023
Have leftover salsa? Save this post for 14 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, a simple cherry tomato 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 14 uses for homemade salsa that you’re going to love. 

As a Dip for Fries

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Mix with mayo or ketchup; use as a dip for french fries.

As a Burger Topping

Homemade Memorial Day Hamburger Picnic With Chips And Fruit
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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 Slider and my Za’tar Lentil and Mushroom Burgers.

To Smother Enchiladas

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas In Cast Iron Frying Pan.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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.

In a Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Mexican Food Casserole Served On Rustic Green Plate On Vintage Wood Table Background, With Tomato, Jalapeno, Onion And Lime Fresh Ingredients.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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.  

Stuffed Peppers

Sweet Red Peppers Stuffed With Meat And Tomato In A Vintage Frying Tray. Top View
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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.

Taco Soup

Slow Cooker 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

Scrambled Eggs

White Plate With Pan-Fried Scrambled Eggs On A White Light Background With Tomatoes. Omelette, Side View
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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 scramble and serve fresh fruit alongside it for a weekend morning. Try cooking pico de gallo for a few minutes in a saute pan, then adding in eggs for a Mexican-inspired scramble.

In Salsa Rice

Home Cooked Spanish Rice Served In A Wooden Bowl, Selective Focus
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Try a big pot of beans and rice with salsa for a quick, filling, and inexpensive meal. 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!

As a Topping for Vegetable Soup

Slow Cooker Enchilada 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. 

In Crispy Air Fryer Tacos

Crispy Vegan Tacos With Queso Dipping Sauce

All you need to make these crispy tacos are a can of black beans, 1/4 cup of your favorite leftover salsa, taco seasoning and maybe some cooked 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.

Mixed into Queso Dip

Vegan 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.

On Avocado Toast

Healthy Homemade Avocado Toast With Salt And Pepper
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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

In Instant Pot Tacos

Top View Of Tacos With Meat And Fresh Ingredients On Wooden Table
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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.

In Salsa Verde Soup

Homemade Mexican Pozole Soup With Chicken And Avocado
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

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.

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling 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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