From salsa verde to pico de gallo to black bean or fruit salsa, there are almost as many different types of salsa as there are ways to use them. But while Member’s Mark salsa is at the top of our list for its versatility and fresh flavor, not all types of salsa are ideal for every use.

Some extra-thick salsas may break your chips, while a super-spicy salsa may overwhelm a light meal like fish tacos. What should you look for in salsa, and how can you best pair your favorite salsa with your meal or snack?

Pairing Salsa Types with Food: A Quick Guide

Most types of salsa—though not all—start with a tomato base. Then, onions, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, and other spices may be added.

Some salsas are blended in a food processor, while others (like pico de gallo) are just chopped and quickly whisked together.

When you’re trying to match your salsa to your entree, it’s important to consider three things:

  • Texture
  • Flavor 
  • Acidity

Generally, you want your salsa to complement the flavors and textures in your food, not overwhelm them. This means that mild salsas, like Member’s Mark, tend to be more versatile than spicy or chunky salsa.

You can pair mild salsa with hearty cuts of beef or pork, use it to top baked potatoes, or even mix it into your favorite pasta sauce or soup.

Meanwhile, salsas with a chunky texture and layered flavor, like pico de gallo, really shine when paired with milder foods like fish or plain chicken tacos.

And if you’ve been itching to try out a new ultra-spicy salsa, consider debuting it in a meal that includes some cheese or other dairy that can help offset some of the burns.

But tomato salsa isn’t the only game out there. Some other common alternative salsas include corn or black bean salsa; salsa verde, which is made with green tomatillos; and fruit salsa with chopped mango, peach, or pineapple. These salsas have very different flavors, and each can shine in its own way.

These offbeat salsas offer nearly unlimited pairing opportunities. At your next gathering, try mixing:

  • Corn salsa with tortilla chips and cotija cheese
  • Pico de gallo with freshly-grilled chicken, salmon, or pork
  • Salsa verde with grilled pork or cheesy quesadillas
  • Spicy fruit salsa atop a grilled flaky fish like Mahi-mahi or tilapia

As you can see, the possibilities are nearly endless!

What is Member’s Mark Salsa Great For?

Member’s Mark salsa combines locally-grown tomatoes with onions, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and other spices. At only 5 calories per serving, with plenty of Vitamin C, it’s a versatile way to add flavor and texture to your meal without adding any fat or calories.

Because Member’s Mark salsa has such a broad appeal, it’s great in (and atop) a variety of foods, including:

  • Tacos, nachos, enchiladas, and quesadillas
  • Tomato-based soups and sauces
  • Baked potatoes
  • Meatloaf
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Grilled fish or shellfish

It also has the perfect dipping texture, whether on its own or mixed into some melted cheese for a salsa con queso. You can also mix salsa with sour cream or yogurt for a creamy vegetable dip.

And because Member’s Mark salsa is mild with just the right amount of spicy kick, it can top casseroles and baked dishes like these flavorful Mexican-style stuffed peppers.

Hungry yet? Get dipping today! You can find your favorite Member’s Mark salsa at your local Sam’s Club.