How long is salsa good for? (+3 ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long is salsa good for?”, and how to safely store salsa to extend its shelf-life?

How long is salsa good for?

The shelf-life of the salsa depends on its composition and how it was sold. The salsa that contains perishable ingredients like ketchup or mustard sauce will deteriorate faster even if it is refrigerated.

If you have the store-bought unrefrigerated salsa which is pasteurized and cooked, follow the best-by date. If unopened, it will last months past the best-by date. After the container is opened, it will only stay fresh for weeks up to a month.

Commercially bottled refrigerated salsa, if unopened, can last 5 days past its use-by date. After opening, it must be consumed within 5-7 days to enjoy prime quality.

The shelf-life of the homemade salsa varies with the ingredients used. On average, a properly refrigerated homemade salsa will last 5 days in the fridge.

In the pantryIn the fridge 
Salsa(unrefrigerated,unopened)6 months past the Best-by date—–
Salsa(unrefrigerated,opened) Not recommended1 month
Salsa(refrigerated,unopened)Not recommended5 days past the use-by date
Salsa(refrigerated,opened) Not recommended5-7 days
Homemade salsaNot recommended5 days

How to tell if salsa has gone bad?

Following ways are helpful to spot bad salsa. However, if you are unsure about the spoilage signs, it is better to discard the salsa than to be sorry.

  1. Mold growth near the cap of the container or the surface of the salsa is an obvious indication of spoilage. Throw it away immediately if you notice this.
  2. If the salsa has developed a deep or dull red color instead of a bright red tone, it may be discarded for quality purposes. This change in appearance is accompanied by a thicker consistency.
  3. If the salsa gives off any off or sour odor, throw it away. If you are in doubt, you can taste it. If it tastes too sour/tangy or acidic, throw it in the bin.

Why does salsa go bad faster than hot sauces?

The answer lies in the composition of the two products. Hot sauces are usually made up of significant amounts of chili and vinegar. Both of these ingredients inhibit microbial growth, hence, contributing to a greater shelf-life of the hot sauce.

On the other hand, salsa only contains chili and vinegar in small amounts i.e teaspoons as compared to the cups used for hot sauce. Therefore, salsa won’t keep around for longer.

How to store salsa?

Store-bought unrefrigerated salsa packed into a jar, a can, or a bottle should be stored in a cold and dark place. It can be kept in the pantry if it is not unopened yet. Once opened, it should be stored in the fridge in a sealed container. If you bought the salsa in a can, transfer it to an air-tight container after opening it.

As far as the refrigerated store-bought salsa is concerned, as the name indicates, it must be refrigerated at all times. Similarly, homemade salsa should always be refrigerated. It is not recommended to freeze salsa. The texture suffers great loss after thawing.

However, if you made a dish that contained salsa as one of the many ingredients, freezing might not be a bad option.

Do not dip fried or chips directly into the salsa. This might introduce contaminants that will speed up the deterioration process. Scoop out the salsa with a clean and dry spoon.

What is salsa and how to make it at home?

Salsa is a sauce and a staple of Mexican cuisine. It is sometimes referred to as salsa Fresca, hot salsa, or salsa Picante. The perfectly balanced spice level of salsa is the perfect condiment to jazz up your basic dishes. Salsa has been originated in Aztec, Mayan, and Inca Indians.


  • 1 1/4 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 green onions(ends trimmed, chopped into thirds)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a medium)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper(seeded and roughly chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 large clove garlic(roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a sterilized jar or bottle.
  2. Use after few hours of refrigeration. Keep in the fridge for a week.

Other FAQs about Salsa which you may be interested in.

How long does homemade salsa last?

How long does opened salsa last?

What is the best tomato variety for salsa?


In this article, we answered the question “How long is salsa good for?”, and how to safely store salsa to extend its shelf-life?


How Long Does Salsa Last?