The Best Store-Bought Salsas To Try At Your Next Party

Because sometimes the jarred stuff can be just as good as homemade.

Homemade Salsa Verde with Cilantro and Tortilla Chips

Salsa verde with tortilla chips. Photo, iStock.

Chips and dip is the all-time greatest party dish because of the endless variety it offers. From tortilla chips and guac to za’atar-dusted pita chips and homemade asparagus hummus, there are so many chip-and-dip combinations to dream up, your imagination is the only limit.

But one combo reigns supreme: chips and salsa. After a dunk in bright, tangy salsa, the humble tortilla chip transforms into the ultimate flavour vessel. But the snack falls flat if the salsa’s not up to snuff. To avoid this party foul, the Chatelaine food team tested a whole bunch of store-bought salsas to determine the best of the best. Here are our faves.

For pleasing a crowd

After a blind taste test, our panel crowned Tostitos medium salsa as the ultimate crowd-pleaser, thanks to the nostalgia factor—it tastes like awkward middle school parties and summertime backyard barbecues. Is this salsa the most flavourful? Nope. But there’s something appealing in knowing you won’t offend anyone with this choice. Plus, it’s available everywhere, from grocery stores to gas stations, so you can easily pick it up if you need a party-ready snack in a pinch.

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“I can’t believe it’s not homemade!”

Fool your guests with pico de gallo, available near the hummus (and other creamy dips) in most supermarkets. Instead of a processed tomato slurry, this salsa is a mixture of diced tomatoes and onions—you could tell your guests you chopped the veggies yourself and they might just believe you. We love President’s Choice pico de gallo, which isn’t overpoweringly oniony. Mad Mexican is another one of our favourites. If you don’t feeling like spending time hunched over a cutting board, choose one of these for a fresh salsa that’s great with chips and on tacos and nachos.

The game-changer

If you’re looking for  salsa that’ll make your guests ask, “where did you find this?!” add a pop of green with PC Black Label’s tomatillo salsa. This jar of perfectly charred and spicy (but not too spicy) goodness works perfectly with chips, but you can also use it on top of nachos, stirred into guacamole to add extra bite, or as a sauce for fish tacos.

Watch: How to make fish tacos