Serious Heat: 30 Things To Do With Leftover Salsa

Photography by Bill Milne.

On Thursdays, Andrea Lynn, associate editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by to drop some Serious Heat.

At Chile Pepper magazine, we are inundated with salsas. Not that we're complaining! From silky green tomatillo salsas to those spiked with booze, we try them all. This generally results in an abundance of half-used salsa jars in the fridge. With all this excess salsa, we've come up with a few creative ways to use it over the years. Try the suggestions below next time there's a salsa jar lurking in the fridge. Also, let us know how you use salsa.

What do you do with your leftover salsa?.

1. Mix with mayo or ketchup; use as a dip for french fries.

2. Combine with softened butter and refrigerate for a salsa compound butter; add thin slices to a grilled steak.

3. Stir into scrambled eggs or add to omelets and frittatas.

4. Spoon into cooked grits; add bacon and cheese.

5. Add to burger meat mixtures or slather on top of burgers (or both!).

6. Add lime juice and canola oil to a thin puréed salsa and marinate meat.

7. Replace tomato sauce for a chunky tomato salsa on a homemade pizza.

8. Make a béchamel sauce, add salsa and toss with pasta.

9. Stir into cooked rice; add olives and cheddar cheese.

10. Layer onto a grilled cheese sandwich.

11. Use a puréed, chile-intense salsa as an enchilada sauce.

12. Add salsa as your secret ingredient to soups, stews or chilis.

13. Take a fruit salsa and use it as a chutney substitute with roasted pork loin.

14. Kick up some mac and cheese with a dollop of salsa.

Photography by Bill Milne.

15. Use in place of cocktail sauce for shrimp.

16. Add to deviled eggs for a pop of fire.

17. Combine with cheese for jalapeño popper filling.

18. Top off tacos, burritos, or huevos rancheros.

19. Remember Mario Batali's famous green sauce? Take a shortcut and use a spicy tomatillo salsa.

20. Glaze a sweet, fruit-filled salsa over pound cake or drizzle over ice cream.

21. Add breadcrumbs and feta cheese to salsa; stuff into eggplant halves.

22. Use a chunky salsa as an easy start to bruschetta.

23. Mix with goat cheese and use as a dip for veggies or serve with crackers.

24. For a quick Mediterranean spin, top fish or chicken with an olive-filled salsa and bake.

25. Add cucumbers, jalapeños, tomatoes and vegetable stock to salsa. Purée into gazpacho.

26. Mix equal parts with yogurt or sour cream; slather on a baked potato or combine with mashed potatoes.

27. Add to meatloaf to give it a Mexican flair.

28. Stir into chicken salad, tuna salad or potato salad.

29. Mix with lemon or lime juice and use as a ceviche marinade.

30. Use a thin salsa as a base for salad dressing.