About Best Loved Brands
In efforts to find the best kitchen staples—everything from bacon to brownies, cake mix to chocolate chips—Taste of Home put 100+ products to the test. Each offering was tested blindly by an expert panel of culinary and editorial staff, all of whom are avid home cooks and bakers. After undergoing a thorough review, our Best-Loved Brands emerged. Find out which brands you should be shopping for.
Finding the Best Salsa
Finding the best salsa is no small chore! Taste of Home’s culinary and editorial team tried 10 brands in a blind tasting. To keep a level playing field, we tried the medium-spice variety of each brand and judged them with these criteria in mind:
Of course, flavor is king in any salsa, but making sure you have the right consistency—not too watery or too thick—is essential for when you’re adding salsa into tasty recipes at home, like this fajita-style shrimp and grits. This five-star recipe gets a big lift from the right salsa, so it’s important you get the best one you can find. To make the absolute most of this recipe (and all your other Mexican-inspired faves), our expert panel judged all these salsas side-by-side to tease out the subtleties. Check out our top picks.
First Place: Newman’s Own
For most, the best salsa is a homemade salsa (learn how to make it at home!), so it stands to reason that the best, jarred salsa should taste as close to homemade as possible. That’s where Newman’s Own Medium Salsa comes in. Our testing panel immediately noticed that this salsa had an incredibly fresh flavor with a touch of heat at the finish. This salsa didn’t taste like it was from a jar at all. Combine that with its perfectly dippable consistency and excellent appearance—a vivid red with chunks of jalapeño, onion and tomato apparent throughout—and it was obvious why Newman’s Own was a winner.
$2.49 for a 16-ounce jar; available at grocers nationwide and on Amazon.
Second Place: Que Vida!
Another top contender in this test was Que Vida! This salsa had a lot going for it, including the perfect consistency: loose enough for easy dipping and dunking, but thick enough that you never have to worry about waterlogging your tortillas. This salsa got big points for flavor. Many of the ingredients inside were roasted which gave this option a bit of a smoky flavor that paired well with the stellar tomato taste.
$3.99 for a 16-ounce bottle; available at stores like Meijer and Publix nationwide.
Third Place: Pace
For a medium salsa with just a bit more heat, Pace is a great option. This salsa had a nice subtle spice that the panel could taste from the very first dip. Appearance-wise, this salsa also received high marks for its authentic look; this one was chock-full of onion, pepper and tomato chunks for added flavor.
$1.99 for a 16-ounce jar; available at grocers nationwide and on Amazon.
What to Make with a Jar of Salsa
When it comes to salsa, most people’s first instinct is to pop open a jar, serve it with tortilla chips and call it a day. We fully support this snack, however, there are so many other fun and interesting ways to use salsa at home. Spoon some over your favorite breakfast burrito, stir it into your favorite Tex-Mex casserole or enjoy it with a tasty cornbread. Check out these inventive ways to use our favorite dip.
Of course, you can always use that jar of salsa in our fajita-style shrimp and grits. It gives the traditional southern dish just a bit of spice and a whole lot of personality!
Be sure to check out our other Best Loved Brands and stock your kitchen with our favorites.