Different Types of Salsa Made with Chiles or Peppers

Salsa is a popular condiment in many cuisines around the world, and it is especially popular in Mexican cuisine. Salsa is typically made with a variety of ingredients, including chiles or peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice. There are many different types of salsa, each with its own unique flavor profile.

Here are some of the most popular types of salsa made with chiles or peppers:

Pico De Gallo
Pico de gallo, Credit: AllRecipes

Pico de gallo: 

Pico de Gallo, or “rooster’s beak,” is a fresh salsa made with a combination of diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and fresh chiles like jalapeños. This salsa is known for its crunch and brightness, making it an ideal garnish for grilled meats, seafood, or a simple topping for tortilla chips.

It is typically served with chips or used as a topping for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.

Salsa Roja:

Salsa Roja, or “red sauce,” is a classic tomato-based salsa infused with the heat of red chiles like jalapeños or serranos. Roasted or raw, these chiles lend a delightful warmth and earthiness to the salsa. Salsa Roja is a staple in Mexican cuisine and serves as an excellent all-purpose dip or topping for tacos and enchiladas.

Salsa Roja
Salsa Roja, Credit: Love and Lemons

Salsa roja is often served with chips or used as a topping for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.

Salsa Verde:

Salsa Verde, the “green sauce,” is characterized by its vibrant color and tangy flavor. It’s typically made with tomatillos and green chiles like Anaheim or poblano peppers. The tomatillos provide a citrusy punch while the chiles add a mild to moderate heat, making it a versatile choice for enchiladas, grilled meats, or even as a refreshing dip.

Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde, Credit: Delish

Salsa verde is often used as a dipping sauce for chips or as a topping for tacos, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes.

Salsa Habanera:

Salsa Habanera

For those who crave fiery intensity, Salsa Habanera is the go-to choice. Habanero chiles, known for their searing heat, are the star of this salsa. Combined with ingredients like onions, garlic, and citrus, Salsa Habanera delivers a fierce kick that pairs well with grilled meats and adds a fiery punch to your dishes.

Salsa habanera is often served as a dipping sauce for chips or used as a condiment for hot dogs, hamburgers, and other grilled meats.

Salsa Negra:

Salsa Negra, or “black sauce,” hails from Mexico and is made with dried chiles, typically pasilla or ancho, as well as ingredients like garlic and oil.

Salsa Negra
Salsa Negra, Credit: La Piña en la Cocina

The chiles are toasted, lending a smoky, earthy flavor. Salsa Negra is a rich and complex sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over tacos, grilled vegetables, or as a marinade for meats.

Salsa de Mango:

Salsa de Mango is a tropical delight that blends the sweetness of ripe mangoes with the heat of chiles like habaneros or jalapeños.

Salsa De Mango
Salsa de Mango,

This fruity and spicy concoction is a terrific accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish, or as a refreshing salsa for tortilla chips.

Salsa Romesco:

Originating from Spain, Salsa Romesco is a nut-based sauce that incorporates red bell peppers, garlic, and a mild heat from dried ñora or New Mexico chiles.

Salsa Romesco
Salsa Romesco, Credit: Sale&Pepe

This complex, rich sauce is perfect for roasted vegetables, seafood, or as a dip for crusty bread.

Salsa macha: 

Salsa macha is a smoky and spicy salsa made with dried chiles, nuts, seeds, and oil.

Salsa Macha
Salsa macha, Credit: Pati Jinich

It has a thick and creamy consistency and can be used as a condiment for tacos, burritos, eggs, and other dishes.


Harissa is a North African chili paste made with dried red chiles, garlic, and various spices like cumin and coriander.

Harissa, Credit: Epicurious

It’s intensely spicy and smoky and is traditionally used in couscous dishes, tagines, and as a fiery condiment for grilled meats.

These are just a few of the many different types of salsa made with chiles or peppers. There are many other regional variations and creative recipes that can be found. If you are looking for a new and exciting way to add flavor and heat to your food, be sure to try one of these delicious salsas.

Related – How to Roast Chiles and Make Your Own Salsa

Here are some tips for making your own salsa:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients. The fresher the ingredients, the better the salsa will taste.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of chiles or peppers. There are many different varieties of chiles and peppers available, each with its own unique flavor profile.
  • Season the salsa to taste. Add salt, lime juice, and other spices to taste until you are happy with the flavor.
  • Let the salsa sit for a while before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together.

Salsa is a versatile condiment that can be used to add flavor and heat to a variety of dishes. It is also a healthy and nutritious snack. So next time you are looking for a delicious and easy way to add some excitement to your food, reach for a jar of salsa.