How To Make Salsa Less Spicy: 5 Easy Ways

Salsa is a spicy dish made from tomatoes, cumin, and chili peppers.

It originated in Mexico as a side dish served with tortillas but has since become popular in many North American and Europe countries.

People of those regions find salsa to be the perfect accompaniment for tacos or quesadillas.

If you are one of them or just want to know how to make salsa less spicy, then this article is for you!

Why Is Salsa Spicy?

Salsa gets its spice from cumin, coriander, chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, and chili powder mixed into the tomato puree before it is cooked down into a paste.

Salsa contains other ingredients that are often added to the main spices, including garlic, onion, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Depending on their quantity, these additional ingredients may make the dish more or less spicy.

5 Easy Ways To Make Salsa Less Spicy

#1 Add More Tomatoes

Most salsa recipes include just one or two types of spicy peppers, such as jalapeno or serrano. If you want to make salsa less spicy, then you could add more tomatoes.

This makes the dish sweeter and less spicy. For example, if your recipe includes 4 chopped serranos and 8 chopped jalapenos, then try to replace 2 with 4 chopped tomatoes and 2 with 8 chopped tomatoes. This will sweeten the salsa and lower the spice.

#2 Use Less Spices

Any recipe for salsa has spices and herbs in it. Some people like adding less spicy ones such as oregano, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon of onion powder.

But if you want to make salsa less spicy, then try replacing some or all of these ingredients with more mild spices such as salt and pepper. This can help cut down the overall spiciness of the dish without nullifying its flavor completely.

#3 Add Sugar

Most street-style salsas are very hot because they are made by adding large quantities of chilis without much consideration for their effect on flavor.

While it may sound crazy at first, adding sugar to a salsa recipe can help make it less spicy. This is because sugar has a neutralizing effect on chili peppers.

The hotter the chili pepper, the more sugar is needed to tame its heat and vice versa. Therefore adding extra sugar to your salsa can have the effect of reducing its spiciness.

How To Make Salsa Less Spicy
How To Make Salsa Less Spicy

#4 Use Lemon Juice

Some people add lemon juice to their salsa to cut down its spiciness but end up ruining the flavor instead.

However, if you know how to make salsa less spicy, you could try this trick. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over your salsa, then mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. The acidity in lemon juice will help dilute the spiciness of the dish.

#5 Add Paprika

Adding paprika to salsa is a method commonly used by people who want to make their salsa less spicy but retain its flavor.

Since paprika consists of ground sweet peppers, it cuts down on the bitterness and spiciness of other ingredients in your salsa.

A small quantity of paprika can also be used in salsas with chili peppers, or hot sauces added after preparation, as it will help neutralize their heat.

Quick and Easy Salsa Recipe – Homemade Salsa From Scratch

Does Salsa Get Less Spicy Over Time?

The answer to this question depends on the type of salsa being prepared. Many factors, including the ingredients used, the methods used in the preparation, and the methods used to store it, will determine how spicy salsa gets over time. Some of these factors include:

#1 The Garlic

Fresh garlic contains allicin, an ingredient that helps reduce inflammation and eliminates bad odor.

On the other hand, garlic that is not fresh does not contain much allicin and has an unpleasant smell and taste. This can also make your salsa less spicy as it will add a strong odor to it.

#2 The Vinegar

The acidity level in vinegar is created by acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste. The more acetic acid that is present in your vinegar, the more acidic it is and the less spicy it becomes over time.

Therefore using vinegar with a lower acidity level will make your salsa less spicy than using acidic vinegar.

#3 The Salt

The main reason salt is added to salsa is because it helps balance the flavor. But too much salt can affect the taste of food, even in situations where you want to make salsa less spicy.

For example, if you were preparing a tartar sauce for fish and added too much salt to it, you would make the salsa less spicy but ruin its original flavor simultaneously. To make salsa less spicy, use less salt.

#4 The Sugar

Like garlic and vinegar, sugar in a salsa recipe will affect its spiciness as it ages. The salsa that contains too much sugar will get sweeter and sweeter as time goes on while becoming less spicy.

Therefore if you want to make campfire salsas that do not get too sweet or spicy over time, use a minimal amount of sugar in them.

If you want your salsa to retain its original spiciness but lose its sweetness, add some fresh fruits, such as tomatoes or mangoes.

#5 The Storage

The way in which you store your salsa will directly affect its spiciness over time. Salsa does not have to be refrigerated, but it can be if you plan to store it for a long time.

If refrigerated, then your salsa will keep its original level of spiciness for a longer period of time compared to when it is stored at room temperature.

In addition, jars with a wide opening tend to let more air in than jars that are sealed properly, which means that less oxygen is left in the jar and your salsa loses its spiciness faster.

How Do You Make Salsa Milder?

Salsa can be made mild by using medium sweet red tomatoes, crushed garlic cloves, and other mild ingredients such as salt, pepper, and cilantro.

For example, you could use diced canned tomatoes, minced garlic cloves, and cilantro instead of chopping your own fresh ingredients.

How To Make Salsa Less Salty?

Salsa can be made less salty by using lime juice instead of salt. This makes it “sour” instead of “salty” and cuts down on the amount of sodium that is used in this food.

For example, you could use a 16-ounce can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, minced garlic cloves, and cilantro in your salsa recipe to cut down on the amount of sodium used.

Is There A Salsa That Not Hot?

There are salsas that are not hot, such as Sadie’s Salsa and Barb’s Kickin’ Black-Eyed Pea Salsa. However, making gourmet salsa at home may take a little more time than simply mixing canned ingredients together.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does Sugar Make Salsa Less Spicy?

Yes, sugar will make your salsa less spicy as it is a low-level preservative; however, too much sugar may change the taste of your salsa. For example, if you sweeten your salsa with too much sugar, it could taste like a dish of fruit or a sugary drink instead of a spicy tomato-based dish.

Does Salt Make Salsa Less Spicy?

Yes, salt will make your salsa less spicy as it also is a preservative. However, too much salt can change how the salsa flavors taste. For example, if you use too much salt in your salsa, it could begin tasting salty or like a dish of seawater instead of a spicy tomato-based dish.

Which Salsa Is Less Spicy Mild Or Medium?

Mild salsa is not that spicy and will be milder in flavor compared to medium salsa.


When making salsa at home, it is important to understand how each ingredient affects the spiciness and flavor of your salsa.

By understanding how each ingredient affects the spiciness of your salsa and how to balance out its taste, you will be able to make delicious salsas that you can enjoy for long periods of time.

Publisher at Foods Kitchen
I am Naznin, the recipe creator and blogger behind Foods Kitchen (since 2021). I like to try new recipes, especially when they are delicious, so those are my recipes... Hope you like it! Thank you for your time!
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