Is Salsa Better the Next Day? | When to Make Homemade Salsa for the Best Results

Salsa is a delicious dip made with tomatoes, onions, and a bevy of spices and seasonings. The thing about salsa is, it often tastes better the next day than it does right after you make it.

This usually happens because like many other liquid dishes, the seasonings can better marinate and therefore the flavors come through much better. If you’re curious about when you should make your homemade salsa or other helpful tips about this amazing dish, keep reading.

When Should I Make Homemade Salsa to Make It Taste Best?

Most recipes recommend making your salsa a minimum of one hour before you serve it to others. This gives the ingredients enough time to marinate and it helps the lime juice “cook” the salsa a little better, resulting in a dish that has the perfect taste and texture.

When you prepare it, always wrap it tightly before placing it in the refrigerator for it to marinate.

The one-hour rule is a minimum, and the truth is that the longer you marinate your salsa, the more time the ingredients have to blend together perfectly, which always means an extraordinary taste in the end.

Should I Make Salsa the Day Before?

While it is not necessary for you to make your salsa the day before you eat it, this is actually never a bad idea. Remember that the flavors must blend together perfectly to get a perfect flavor, and this always takes time.

Not only will the flavor be fuller and tastier if you make the salsa the day before, but the texture will also be better.

In addition, salsa is usually a lot spicier the longer it marinates, so if you like a lot of kick when you eat fresh salsa, make sure you let it sit and marinate for 12-24 hours before you eat it. You can even let it marinate longer if you like!

How Long Does Fresh Salsa Last in the Fridge? How Long is Salsa From a Restaurant Good For?

Salsa should be refrigerated at all times unless it’s being eaten, which means placing it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. You can place it in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a lid, and if you’re wondering how long salsa will last in the fridge, that depends on the type of salsa it is.

As a general rule, fresh homemade salsa should be kept in the refrigerator no longer than 3 days, after which it should be thrown away.

Store-bought salsa, including the kinds made by well-known restaurants, have preservatives and therefore last a little longer.

Even store-bought salsa needs to be eaten within two weeks of opening the jar. If you bring home leftover salsa from a Mexican restaurant, you should follow the three day rule because in most cases, it was made fresh at the restaurant before it was served to you.

Why Is My Homemade Salsa Watery?

There are a few reasons why homemade salsa is sometimes watery. The main reason is usually the tomatoes you’re using.

Roma tomatoes are some of the best tomatoes to use for your homemade salsa, but don’t forget to scoop out the insides and discard them because they can make your salsa a little more watery than you like.

You can also drain your tomatoes before adding them to your recipe, which helps a lot. The thing is, tomatoes are one type of fruit that has a lot of moisture, so salsa that is slightly watery is not that abnormal.

If you want to thicken your salsa, never use cornstarch because cornstarch can become dangerous to eat the longer the salsa marinates. Instead, try adding ingredients to your salsa, which should include the ingredients that are already in the salsa itself.

This includes more diced tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, raw or fried onions, sweet corn, diced avocados, or even other fruits such as pineapple and mangoes.

You can always create your own recipe by adding these and other yummy ingredients, but you also need to keep in mind that all salsa is at least a tiny bit watery, especially after it sits there for a while.

Which Tomatoes Make the Best Salsa?

Roma tomatoes make the best salsa. There are other tomatoes that work great when making homemade salsa including paste tomatoes, big or little mama tomatoes, and Amish paste tomatoes.

Viva Italia tomatoes also work, but avoid tomatoes known as “slicing” tomatoes, such as heirloom tomatoes, which tend to work better on sandwiches than in dishes such as salsa.

The fresher your tomatoes are, the fresher your salsa will be, so if you buy your tomatoes from a farmers’ market or right out of your own garden, your salsa will always be amazing.

Why Does My Salsa Taste Bland?

There are usually two main reasons why your salsa tastes bland. The first reason is that you used the wrong type of tomatoes and therefore, the salsa is incredibly diluted thanks to the fact that it’s too watery.

The second reason is that you didn’t use enough seasoning, including basic seasonings such as salt and pepper. Whatever the recipe calls for in seasonings, pay attention to it.

Don’t skimp on the seasonings just to make your salsa healthier – save that for other dishes instead! It’s worth it in the end.


Homemade salsa always tastes better when made about 12-24 hours before you plan to serve it. The minimum amount of time to let the salsa ingredients marinate is one hour, but remember, that is the bare minimum.

The truth is, if you can let the salsa sit for 12-24 hours, the ingredients will blend their flavors together a lot better. This means your salsa is not only incredibly delicious, but a lot spicier as well!