Last Updated: January 28, 2021

How Long Does Salsa Lasts ( And How to Make it Last Longer)

How Long Does Salsa Lasts

How long does salsa last? That depends on several factors. If you bought the salsa from the store, the best before date will tell you if it’s still good to eat. While freshly made salsa may have a shorter shelf life. Since it does not contain preservatives and additives, it can go bad faster than store-bought ones.

It might be tempting to dip your chips in the bowl of salsa left overnight at the counter. But before gorging on it, read our article below. Eating bad salsa can be a disaster! We’ll also dabble on how long your fresh salsa can last and how to store it properly. 

Wasting food is one thing. But eating spoiled food is another. So our guide will also help you avoid food wastage by storing leftover salsa properly. 

How Long Can Fresh Salsa Last at Room Temperature

Fresh salsa spoils easily. The combination of fresh ingredients and tomatoes can deteriorate faster than you think. So how long can you keep it sitting on the kitchen counter? Not too long apparently.

When kept at room temperature, it can last for two hours. However, when sala has been sitting in a hot kitchen with a temperature of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it will only last for an hour. Afterward, bacteria can grow rapidly. It’s at this temperature where bacteria is at its most thriving. So if the weather is hot, you have to put the leftover salsa immediately inside the ref. 

Can I Refrigerate Fresh Salsa That Has Been Sitting for Hours on the Counter

Unfortunately, you can’t. refrigeration will not kill the bacteria. It will just stop it from multiplying. So if fresh salsa has been on the counter for more than two hours, it’s already laden with bacteria. And storing it in the ref will not make it any safer to eat.

So the best thing to do is throw it in the trash. And don’t forget to wash the container with warm soapy water.

How Long Does Fresh Salsa Last in the Refrigerator

When kept properly, freshly made salsa can last in the fridge for 4-7 days. Afterwhich, you have to throw it immediately. 

But of course, you have to store the salsa properly. With clean hands, transfer the salsa to an airtight container with a lid. Close the lid properly and toss it in the fridge. Remember to only store salsa that has been out at room temperature for a max of two hours. No more than that. And if it has been sitting in a hot kitchen, don’t let an hour pass without tossing it into the fridge. 

Can You Freeze Leftover Salsa

And if you want to keep it longer, it can last in the freezer for 2 months. Though it’s still safe to consume it indefinitely, it will not taste as great anymore. Most experts don’t recommend freezing salsa because it can significantly change the texture and taste of the salsa. Also, freezing salsa in glass jars is not advisable. The glass can shatter its contents in the freezer as the liquid expands. 

But if you must freeze salsa, here is the right way to do it.

  1. Use a freezer bag or plastic container. You can separate the solid contents of the salsa from the liquid part. 
  2. Remove the leftover salsa from the can and transfer it to the freezer bag or plastic container. 
  3. Toss in the freezer. It also helps to label the package so you know when you must consume it.  

How about thawing? 

1. Don’t use the microwave to thaw the frozen salsa.

2. Instead, transfer it to the fridge and thaw it there overnight. 

  1. Then the next morning, warm it up on a shallow pan. 

How Long Does Store-bought Salsa Last

After the can or jar is opened, leftover salsa will last in the fridge for about 2 weeks. For as long as you stored it in the fridge before its best before date. And if you have an unopened bottle of salsa, it can keep it in the pantry for 1-2 months after its best before date has lapsed. 

And like fresh salsa, it can easily go bad too when left at room temperature. Even if it has preservatives, it can only last for 2 hours on the counter. Afterwhich, it’s not fit for consumption anymore. 

Tips on Storing Store Bought Salsa

Here are simple ways to store salsa in a can or jar bought from Trader Joe’s or Costco.

Unopened can or jar

  1. Choose a dark and cold place to store your sala. The deepest nooks of your pantry are best.
  2. Keep it away from any heat source.

Opened can or jar

  1. Never keep an open can in the fridge. Instead, transfer the leftover salsa to an airtight container with a lid. Then store in the fridge.
  2. Never leave used soon on the container. And always use a clean spoon when scooping out the contents of the jar.
  3. Invert the salsa jar. This will press on the lid and prevent contamination.

How to Tell if Salsa Has Gone Bad

Before you dunk your tortilla chips in that bowl of salsa, check for these signs.

1. Change in color

Salsa has a bright red color. So if it changes into maroon or a darker one, it’s spoiled already.

2. Change in odor

Spoiled salsa smells of rotten fish. So if you smell something off, don’t eat it.

3. Mold growth

Any sign of mold growth indicates that the salsa has gone bad. Hence, it shouldn’t be eaten anymore. 

How to Make Salsa Longer

Salsa is highly perishable. With lots of tomatoes and low acid ingredients, it’s bound to be. So even if you kept in the ref, it will only last for a while. Though you can keep it in the freezer indefinitely. But the taste will not be palatable anymore.

But here’s a method of storage that can make your salsa last longer. How you may ask? By canning your salsa!

  1. Allow your freshly cooked salsa to cool down a bit.
  2. Then you make use of bottled jars that you can sterilize in a hot pot of water. This will help get rid of any bacteria that can lurk in the glass container.
  3. After the bottles have been sterilized, lift them from the pot. 
  4. Ensure to get all the water out.
  5. Put 1/4 tsp of citric acid into the glass jar. Start to pour in the salsa. The citric acid won’t affect the taste of the salsa.
  6. Leave a half-inch of headspace on the top. Put the lid on and tight;y cover it.
  7. Once all the jars are full, return them to the water bath.
  8. Let the pot come to a full boil. Put the lid on and allow it to process for 15 minutes.
  9. Once done, turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  10. Then you can take all the jars out of the water bath.
  11. Storm in the fridge after they have cooled down
  12. Canned salsa can also for 12-18 months

What Happens if You Eat Bad Salsa

Spoiled salsa and guacamole were considered by the CDC as the top two main causes of borne illnesses in the United States. That shows how perishable salsa is and how proper handling and storage are essential. 

Among the causes of contamination, poor storage and cross-contamination by food service workers in restaurants are two of the culprits.

When you eat bad salsa, you’ll develop symptoms of food poisoning. You can experience one or a combination of these symptoms: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, and stomach cramps.

This is due to the significant amounts of bacteria that have thrived in the spoiled food. That’s E Coli and Bacteroides among others. And it’s not as simple as having a bad tummy ache. Some bacterial toxins in spoiled foods can cause severe symptoms. . some strains of bacteria can cause significant damage to your kidneys. And this can be life-threatening.

So before trying to eat a could have been spoiled salsa, don’t think twice. Do yourself a favor and throw it in the bin.

What Happens if You Eat Bad Salsa

If you got bored of dipping your chips in salsa, here are other ways to enjoy leftover salsa.

1. Salsa butter compound

Mix leftover salsa with butter and allow to solidify in the ref. This is great for topping on sizzling steaks and pork chops.

2. Salsa omelet

Toss in the leftover salsa on eggs and make an omelet. You may also add it to your frittatas.

3. Burger con salsa

Add the leftover salsa to your burger patty mixture. Or pour on salsa on freshly grilled burgers.

You may also like: How to Reheat Lobster

4. Chunky homemade pizza

Instead of tomato sauce, use the leftover salsa instead. This will make up for a chunkier homemade pizza.

5. Salsa flavored rice

Mix rice with olives, cheddar cheese, and the leftover salsa. It’s going to be an all in one meal.


Salsa is made from fresh ingredients, that’s why it’s highly perishable. Whether you made one from scratch or bought one from the grocery store, it has to be stored properly. 

And don’t attempt to eat questionable leftover salsa. You might think you’re saving money but you’re not. It can even cost you a lot once you get sick. And eating bad salsa will surely make you sick.

Leave a Comment