How Long Does Salsa Last in the Fridge? (And Signs It’s Bad)

So you’ve made a big batch of homemade salsa, but you couldn’t quite finish it all in one sitting. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But now you’re left wondering: how long does salsa last in the fridge before it goes bad? Fear not, my fellow dip enthusiast, because I’ve got the answers you’re looking for. And no, unfortunately, “until it’s all gone” is not a scientifically-backed answer.

The shelf life of salsa depends on where it’s from and how it’s made. For homemade salsa, it will last 5 days at most. For a store-bought, shelf-stable jar, you should consume it by the best-by date, and within a month of opening. If you buy fresh salsa at the deli, this will probably only stay fresh for about a week. 

Read on to learn more specifics about how long salsa will last in the fridge, as well as see a handy chart we made to help you keep it straight! 

NOTE: This article was reviewed by Melissa Macher, Registered Dietician and Food Scientist for safety and accuracy.

How Long Does Salsa Last?

As we mentioned above, how long your salsa will last will depend on if you bought the shelf-stable variety, deli variety, or made it yourself, as well as on how you store it. We’ve designed a handy chart below to help you keep it straight. 

Type of SalsaStored in the PantryStored in the Fridge
Unopened shelf-stable salsa (sold unrefrigerated)Up to the best by date, and likely about 6 months after.
Open shelf-stable salsa (sold unrefrigerated but refrigerated after opening)1 month from the date it was opened
Unopened fresh salsa (sold refrigerated, likely in the deli section)Must be consumed by the best buy date on the package.
Opened fresh salsa (sold refrigerated, likely in the deli)5-7 days from the date it was opened.
Homemade Salsa5 days

As you can see, the type of salsa you purchase plays a huge role in how long it will stay good. In general, we recommend consuming all salsa you purchase by the best-by date printed on the jar, and consuming all homemade salsa within 5 days of making it. 

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How Long Will Homemade Salsa Last?

As tasty as homemade salsa is, it doesn’t last as long as those you buy from the store. While tossing a little lemon or lime juice on the salsa will help it to stay fresh, you still need to consume it within a few days of making it. 

Why Does Homemade Salsa Go Bad so Fast?

Well, store-bought salsas are loaded with preservatives. When you make your own salsa, it is very unlikely you are adding any sort of preservative beyond some lemon juice. Without these preservatives, salsa doesn’t stay good for longer than a couple of days. 

How to Store Salsa

If you’ve made some homemade salsa, you may be wondering the best way to store it. In general, it is always best to store salsa in an airtight jar or container with a lid in the fridge.

This holds true for store-bought salsa as well. Most salsas come in a jar or container with a lid, but if yours doesn’t, then transfer it to a jar with a lid for safekeeping. All salsa, once opened, should be stored in the fridge. 

For unopened shelf-stable salsa from the store, it should be stored like any other unopened condiment you have on hand, somewhere dark and cool that is out of the sunlight. 

While it is possible to freeze salsa, it isn’t recommended because the texture of the tomatoes (the main ingredient in salsa) doesn’t respond well to freezing. But if you don’t mind your salsa getting a little mushy, you can freeze your salsa for a week or two, as long as you transfer it to a freezer-safe container. 

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Does Salsa Go Bad in the Fridge?

Even the most shelf-stable salsa ever will eventually go bad in the fridge. This is because salsas are made of tomato puree, which is long-lasting but will eventually mold or sour. It will take about a month (or for the best-by date to pass) for this to happen, though! 

How to Tell if Salsa is Bad

There are a few different ways to tell if salsa is bad. The good news is, most of these are quite obvious, so it won’t be too difficult to know for sure if your salsa is safe to consume or not. 

1. Check for Mold

Look at your salsa for any patches of white fuzz. If you see any, the salsa needs to go in the trash.

2. Take a Sniff

Smell your salsa. If it smells bad or sour, this is a sign the tomatoes have gone bad and that you shouldn’t eat the salsa.

3. Take a Taste

If there is no mold, and the salsa smells okay, take a small taste. If it tastes sour or off, it is probably bad, and you should throw it away. 

Remember, the best way to tell if salsa is still safe to eat is by checking the best-by date on the packaging. If it has passed, it is probably better to throw the salsa out than risk foodborne illness. 

Why Do Hot Sauces Last Longer than Salsa?

Hot sauces are known for being more shelf stable and longer lasting than salsa, but why is this? 

Comparatively, salsas contain many more fresh ingredients than hot sauces. Hot sauces are basically peppers with vinegar, while salsas tend to have tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients that spoil much more quickly than just peppers and vinegar. 

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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