The Best Salsas to Slather on Everything

Good on chips and pretty much anything

Salsa makes everything better, and it's probably our favorite condiment. The word simply means "sauce," and can be many things—a smooth purée, a chunky relish, a potent dip. These recipes are perfect for a variety of uses: as dips for your tortilla chips; a braising liquid for pork; a creamy, spicy cloak for shrimp; and more. We even like to eat some of them right off the fork (pineapple salsa, we're looking at you). So whether you like it spicy or mild, a good coating of salsa or just a thin layer, we've got the recipe for you.

Apricot Salsa with Mint

Apricot Salsa with Mint
Apricots' ripe acidity lend themselves well to this cooked fruit salsa, simultaneously tangy and sweet. This recipe ran with Karen Solomon's web exclusive story Preserve the Season: Apricot Salsa. Get the recipe for Apricot Salsa with Mint »Helen Rosner

Brazilian Chile and Tomato Salsa (Molho Lambão)

Brazilian Chile and Tomato Salsa (Molho Lambão)
Bahians like to ­finish this chunky salsa with a bit of juice from the moqueca, or whatever dish it is meant to accompany. The term lambão comes from the Latin lambere, "to pass the tongue over something." In Bahia, the traditional mala­gueta chiles are said to ward off negative energy associated with some of the orixás, or spiritual beings. Look for malaguetas and pimenta de cheiro at farmers' markets, or substitute drained jarred malaguetas from a Brazilian grocer and fresh serranos. Get the recipe for Brazilian Chile and Tomato Salsa (Molho Lambão) »Ted Cavanaugh

Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Salsa
John Karangis, Executive chef at Union Square Events, shared this recipe for a refreshing cucumber salsa. Use a mix of cucumbers for texture and flavor contrast, especially lemon cucumbers and watermelon gherkins if you can find them. Add the herbs no more than 2 hours before serving, and use whichever variety you like, though the lemon balm is especially nice. Get the recipe for Cucumber Salsa »Kristy Mucci

Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa

Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa
This salsa verde has a fresh, tangy sourness (and kick of heat if you like) that helps cut through richness. Get the recipe for Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa »Heami Lee

Chilean Tomato and Pepper Sauce (Pebre)

Chilean Tomato and Pepper Sauce (Pebre)
Distantly related to Mexican salsa, pebre is an emulsified blend of tomatoes, peppers, and vinegar traditionally served with bread rolls in Santiago. This recipe, from chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó in Santiago, Chile, uses native green ajè cristal chiles, but you can substitute banana peppers to mimic their very mild, floral heat. Get the recipe for Chilean Tomato and Pepper Sauce (Pebre) »Justin Walker

Grilled Tomato Salsa

Grilled Salsa
Grilling the tomatoes and chiles imparts a lovely, smoky char to this salsa. Get the recipe for Grilled Tomato Salsa »Matt Taylor-Gross

Chile de Arbol Salsa

Salsa Roja
This salsa is spicy—use it sparingly!—as any serious salsa should be. Its flavor is all chili and garlic, and does well atop nachos, burritos, and eggs. If you're feeling daring, go for big scoops with your favorite bag of tortilla chips. Get the recipe for Chile de Arbol Salsa »Farideh Sadeghin

Fresh Pineapple Salsa (Salsa de Piña)

Fresh Pineapple Salsa (Salsa de Piña)
Tropical fruit adds sweetness and acidity to this fragrant, spicy salsa. The tart pineapple is a perfect foil for rich meats, stewed chicken, and roasted fish. Get the recipe for Fresh Pineapple Salsa (Salsa de Piña) »Todd Coleman

Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado and Queso Fresco (Salsa de Albañil)

Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado and Queso Fresco (Salsa de Albañil)
This fruity tomatillo salsa layered with queso fresco and avocado slices can be served as a side dish or as an appetizer with warm tortillas. Get the recipe for Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado and Queso Fresco (Salsa de Albañil) »Penny De Los Santos

Chiltomate

Chiltomate
This fruity-spicy southeast Mexico staple is ideal on enchiladas or huevos rancheros. Get the recipe for Chiltomate »Todd Coleman

Guacamole Taquero

Guacamole Taquero
This creamy all-purpose salsa is great on tacos filled with carnitas or grilled cactus. Get the recipe for Guacamole Taquero »Todd Coleman

Salsa de Chipotle Quemado

Salsa de Chipotle Quemado
Toasting dried chiles until they're brown and brittle creates a dark, smoky salsa that complements robust meats such as lamb and goat. Get the recipe for Salsa de Chipotle Quemado »Todd Coleman

Salsa de Cacahuate y Chile de Arbol

Salsa de Cacahuate y Chile de Arbol
This smooth peanut sauce, a take on a traditional salsa from Chiapas, is delicious spooned on roast chicken or shrimp. Get the recipe for Salsa de Cacahuate y Chile de Arbol »Todd Coleman

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic
Roasted garlic adds sweet depth to this classic green salsa, best served over steak, tacos, or rice and beans. Get the recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic »Todd Coleman

Salsa de Tomatillo y Piña

Salsa de Tomatillo y Piña
Try this tart, cooked salsa, a contemporary creation by Roberto Santibañez, spooned over seafood. Get the recipe for Salsa de Tomatillo y Piña »Todd Coleman

Salsa de Piña Picante

Salsa de Piña Picante
Pineapple's firm texture and sweet-tart tang is perfect for salsa and an ideal foil for rich meats. Get the recipe for Salsa de Piña Picante »Todd Coleman

Roasted Tomatillo and Serrano Salsa (Salsa de Tomatillo en Molacajete)

Roasted Tomatillo and Serrano Salsa (Salsa de Tomatillo en Molacajete)
This earthy roasted salsa is traditionally pounded to a smooth paste in a molcajete, but a food processor works just as well. Get the recipe for Roasted Tomatillo and Serrano Salsa (Salsa de Tomatillo en Molacajete) »Todd Coleman

Salsa Playera de Lujo (Fresh Tomato and Olive Salsa)

Salsa Playera de Lujo (Fresh Tomato and Olive Salsa)
This Acapulco-inspired pico de gallo gets a briny boost from olives and capers. Serve it spooned over grilled fish or chicken. Get the recipe for Salsa Playera de Lujo (Fresh Tomato and Olive Salsa) »Todd Coleman