Salsa is one of those dishes that is hard to get wrong. It is also great for getting creative and can be made a new way every time. Whether making tomato, mango, avocado or any other salsa variation, surprise your taste buds and try different spice combinations each time you make it.


Fresh, dried and ground spices can be interchanged in recipes if the correct adjustment is made. To make a swap, remember that 1 tablespoon of fresh spices is equal to 1 teaspoon of dried spices, which is equal to 1/2 teaspoon of ground spices.

If you're making a simmered salsa, dried spices can add a lot of depth and flavor, and even heat if you like. For flavor, consider simmering with one or a combination of:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Paprika

Add cayenne pepper or dried chili flakes to infuse extra spice into a simmered salsa.

A key to super fresh-tasting salsa is the addition of fresh herbs. Most recipes call for cilantro, but many people just can't enjoy this herb. If you or someone you're serving is one of these people, or if you'd just like to go outside the box with your salsa seasoning, try replacing or combining cilantro with fresh picked:

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Chives

Fresh herbs are ideal for cold salsa recipes. If you're using fresh herbs for a cooked salsa recipe, add them after the cooking process, as they will wilt if heated.


Fresh herbs are easily bruised so take care not to over-process them. Either add them for only a few quick pulses after initially blending the other ingredients, if you're using a food processor; or simply chop them by hand with a very sharp knife before mixing into the salsa.