Taste Test: Salsa

Which brand of salsa is the best tasting and has the best nutrition? Get an RD's picks before your next fiesta.
salsa

Grab your tortilla chips! I tasted some of the most popular brands of salsa just in time for your summer parties -- find out how your favorite brand scored on our list.

The Criteria

Mild versions of jarred salsa were sampled and rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Specific attention was paid to flavor, texture and nutrition info, focusing on calories and sodium.

Rating: 5
Cost: $ 0.27 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 90 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take: WOW! This salsa had it all, lots of fresh vegetables, nice spice and a splash of vinegar to give it an edge. The addition of tomatillos and 2 types of chili peppers made a huge difference, making this the freshest tasting salsa of all! Totally worth the higher price.

Rating: 4.5
Cost: $ 0.17 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 65 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take: Fresh with lots of ripe tomato flavor. Cilantro and black pepper make this salsa super flavorful, without all the salt.

Rating: 4
Cost: $ 0.18 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 140 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take: Despite the fact this salsa was made with way too much cumin, it tasted pretty good. On the other hand, the sodium was on the high side and it was the only brand tested that contained added sugar.

Rating: 3
Cost: $ 0.18 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 240 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take: Chunky with good spice but tasted way too salty. It was no surprise this was 2nd highest in sodium.

Rating: 2
Cost: $ 0.16 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 250 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take: This dull-flavored and overly salty salsa wasn't impressive. Garlic powder over-powered everything and tomato puree was the first ingredient (whole tomatoes would have given it a better texture).

Rating: 2
Cost: $ 0.21 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 150 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take:  A thick and pasty texture was about all this salsa had to offer? Definitely one to pass over.

Rating: 1
Cost: $ 0.21 per ounce

Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 230 milligrams sodium

Healthy Eats Take: This salsa certainly looked appetizing but one bite changed my mind.  It featured an overwhelming dose of green pepper, followed by the stale flavor of dehydrated onions. Water was the first ingredient, making this salsa nothing but bleh.

Tell Us: Did we test your favorite brand?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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