In Our Salsa Face-Off, Only One Is Good Enough for the Super Bowl


salsa taste testPeople often jump at the chance to bring salsa and a bag of chips to a Super Bowl party. Why? Because they think it's the simplest thing in the world: There's no prep work, no time-intensive, complex recipe to wrestle with, and it travels well.

Unfortunately, it's exactly this brainless, "always looking for the easy way out"-type of thinking that leads to such tragedies as bland, watery salsa and cardboard-tasting chips and threatens to ruin even the best game day parties. People, this must be stopped!

In fact, there's an art to choosing the perfect salsa to feed a hungry crowd of football fans. That's why we decided to taste and compare some of the top supermarket brands of jarred salsa to prove that not just any salsa will do.

One salsa in particular stood out from the rest -- can you guess which one it was?

More from The Stir: Super Bowl Recipe Challenge: Easy Guacamole vs. Grilled Guacamole

For our official salsa taste test, we blindly sampled the following brands and chose the best based on taste, spice level, and consistency:

  • Tostitos Chunky Medium Salsa
  • Old El Paso Thick & Chunky Medium Salsa
  • Paul Newman's Chunky Salsa
  • Chi-Chi's Fiesta Medium Salsa
  • Green Mountain Gringo Medium Salsa

And now ... the results you've been waiting for:

It was a close race between Chi-Chi's and Green Mountain for the top spot, but in the end, Chi-Chi's Fiesta All Natural Medium Salsa emerged as our tasters' favorite brand. Across the board, tasters agreed that it stood out from the rest for having the perfect amount of spice and heat. Here were some of the other positive comments about this salsa direct from the mouths of our tasters: "Taste is fresh -- with a kick!" "Just spicy enough." "Bright and a little sweet." "Good heat." "Chunky with just a bit of fire."

If you happen to be passionate about Green Mountain Gringo Salsa (which many people actually are), you'll be pleased to know that our tasters appreciated this one, too, particularly for its "Nice chunkiness and good spice," "Freshness and perfect consistency," and "Well-balanced spiciness."

More from The Stir: Super Bowl Recipe Challenge: Slow-Cooker Spinach Dip Vs. Bread Bowl Spinach Dip

It just goes to show, the type of salsa you choose for your party requires just as much thought as any other snack.

Looking for the perfect chip to go with your perfect salsa? Check out the results from our Tortilla Chip Taste Test.

More from The Stir:

Super Bowl Recipe Challenge: Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas vs. Tequila Chicken Quesadillas

4 Best Chicken Wings Chains That Deliver for the Super Bowl

What do you think of our taste test results? What's your favorite jarred salsa?


Image via Kim Conte

parties, party food, snacks, super bowl


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bills... billsfan1104

I dont like jarred salsa that much for some reason. But Aldi's has a really kick ass, sweet onion salsa that is in the deli dept. I love that salsa. Walmart makes one that is just like it.

starr... starrsitter

Gringo's Roasted Garlic is one of the best around...if you're buying salsa in a jar.  For those of us in Wegman's land, their organic salsa is pretty good, too.

bills... billsfan1104

Star that one is good too. I heart Wegmans

nonmember avatar brook

I am a salsa freak! I dont dig can salsa. I go to my local mexican rest. They have the best! I buy about five bucks worth. Be carful, it doesnt last long. So much fresher! It will last a few days!

AliNo... AliNoelle

I always make my own salsa :) Once you have it fresh you just can't go back to jarred.

Penel... Penelope08

I have to say, I normally don't like jarred, but Frontera salsa is awesome.  I love the Chipotle, the Jalapeno, and the Habanero is near and dear to my heart because it's the only one that makes me think that it's too hot for me (and then I overcome that). 

But I also love Salsa Especial from TJ's.  It's like the hot tomatoe-y stuff that they'd have at a Mexican restaurant in my hometown of Tucson.

Marjc... Marjchaos

I  like Mrs. Renfro's Habenero salsa. I keep it in my pantry at all times.

white... whitebreads

Believe it or not target brand is amazing.

Danita42 Danita42

Not a fan of jared but whole foods makes really good salsa but if I had to buy jarred I would get herdez, its not to bad!

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