Hot Salsa Recipes for Every Level of Spice Tolerance

Whether you like your salsa on the mild side or you prefer to feel like your mouth is en fuego after eating it, we have the perfect hot salsa for you.

Updated February 3, 2024
salsa with chips

We don't know about you, but man, do we love a spicy salsa. How hot is definitely up to you, but we like to dial the heat up to somewhere between super mild and blow the top of your head off with heat. Our three hot salsa recipes fall nicely on this spectrum, and you can dial the heat up or down by the types of peppers you use.

Red Hot Salsa Recipe


Anaheim peppers are reasonably mild chilis, while jalapeños take the heat up just a notch. If you want the salsa hotter, leave some of the jalapeño seeds in, since that's where most of the heat is. You can also replace either chili with a hotter pepper like a habanero. If you're feeling adventurous, you can go five-alarm fire with Scotch bonnet peppers or ghost peppers. We'll never judge how hot or not hot you like your salsa. 


  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes (or canned with the water drained)
  • 2 Anaheim chilies, chopped
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, chopped (remove seeds for milder salsa, leave them in for hotter)
  • 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Using your stovetop, roast the Anaheim chilies until the skins turn black.
  2. Wrap the chilies in plastic wrap and wait until they're cooled.
  3. Remove the charred skins by brushing them from the chilies and roughly chop them.
  4. Put the tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, and Anaheim chilies into a food processor and pulse until smooth. For a chunkier salsa, either do not process it so much or hold some of the chopped tomatoes aside and add it after the salsa is pureed.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Need to Know

When cutting hot chilis, always wear gloves. And for the love of God... don't touch your face. 

Salsa Verde Recipe

salsa verde

This recipe gets its heat from serrano chilis, which are about 5 times hotter than jalapeños but not nearly as hot as habaneros. It's up to you if you want to make your salsa muy caliente by replacing your chilis with something hotter or make it milder by using Anaheim peppers. 


  • 12 ounces tomatillos, remove the husks
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Serrano chili, chopped
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Simmer the tomatillos in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Save the water. Put the tomatillos and the other ingredients into your food processor and puree them until smooth.
  3. If you want a smoother or thinner salsa, add the saved water slowly as you pulse the salsa.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Related: How to Make Guacamole: Classic Recipes + Endless Variations

Colorful Salsa Recipe

mango salsa

We also love a hot salsa full of all the good stuff. Choose your chili adventure according to your taste. 

  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. 

Choose Your Own Salsa Adventure

We all have different levels of heat tolerance. Some of us want to set our mouths en fuego, while others like a little heat but not enough to make their eyes water. So use our chili pepper suggestions as a guide to create your own perfect hot salsa. 

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Hot Salsa Recipes for Every Level of Spice Tolerance