The Mexican Salsa Guide for Rookies

Salsa has been around for centuries, with the earliest versions tracing back to the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans. They put together a few simple ingredients like tomatoes, seeds, and chilies. 

After the Spanish Conquest of Mexico in the 1500s, the sauce was officially named ‘salsa’ and started becoming popular in other parts of the world. 

Today, salsa remains at the heart of Mexican cuisine. In our guide below, we’re going to give you a crash course in the most common types of Mexican salsa and what to enjoy them with. 

Popular Types of Mexican Salsa

The different types of Mexican salsa are practically endless. Ingredients, texture, and consistency vary regionally throughout Mexico, but no salsa is short on flavor. 

Here are some of our favorite types of authentic Mexican salsa.

Pico de Gallo

This salsa is one of the simplest to prepare at home. The combination of onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and chilies (jalapeno or serrano peppers), and lime are easy to find. There is no cooking required, and the ingredients need only chopping up and mixing together. 

In traditional Mexican fare, you’ll find it served with tacos, quesadillas, and nachos, but pico de gallo also adds a bit of bang to any meat, fish, or egg dishes.


Before you object, yes, guacamole IS a salsa. While Americans often use it as a dip, guacamole goes great on tacos too!

It’s another easy, no-fuss option to make yourself at home. You can puree the avocado or just mash it up by hand together with lime juice, depending on your preferred consistency. Add in some diced onions, cilantro, and hot peppers and you’re all set. Some people like to include chopped tomatoes too. 

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde gets its color from the green tomatoes used as its base ingredient. Take note – they are at full maturity, not under-ripe red tomatoes. It comes in two versions: raw and cooked. While enchiladas may quickly come to mind, salsa Verde has a unique, tangy flavor that pairs well with just about anything. 

Salsa Chipotle

The smoky taste of chipotles (which are actually fire-roasted jalapenos) or adobe sauce creates the unique flavor of chipotle salsa. Sometimes served blended and other times chunky, it matches well with meat dishes. 

In another variation, the ingredients are combined with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise for an entirely different consistency and flavor. This version is one of the best Mexican sauces for tacos, as well as salads and fajitas. 

Salsa Ranchera

This popular salsa hails from Puebla, the fourth-largest city in Mexico known for its food, pottery, and architecture.

Utilizing the native poblano pepper, it is blended together with ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, onion, and jalapenos. Roasted cumin, chicken stock, and oregano also contribute to its distinctive taste. 

It goes great with meat or fish, but you can’t overlook the classic huevos rancheros. The Tex-Tex recipes workbook shows you how to make this signature breakfast dish at home. 

Keep Exploring the Exciting World of Salsa

We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the different types of Mexican salsa. There are dozens, if not hundreds of variations to tantalize your tastebuds. Test out the types of traditional Mexican salsa as well as modern updates stemming from fusion cuisine

We hope you enjoyed this article. Keep browsing our blog for more mouth-watering content.