Is Medium or Mild Salsa More Spicy

Mild vs Medium Salsa: Which One’s Got More Spice and Flavor For You?

Salsa – it’s one of the most versatile condiments out there. A scoop of salsa can transform your tacos, enliven your eggs, or just make your chips pop with flavor. But with so many salsas to choose from, how do you know whether to grab the mild or the medium?

Well, fellow salsa lover, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to break down the difference between mild and medium salsa so you can decide which one suits your tastebuds best!

What Makes Salsa Mild vs Medium?

The main factor that determines a salsa’s heat level is the types of peppers used and how much of them are added.

Mild salsa tends to have more mild peppers like bell peppers, banana peppers, Anaheim, and maybe a smaller amount of hotter jalapeños. This gives it a minimal amount of heat that’s gentle and approachable for most palates.

Medium salsa kicks it up a notch with a higher quantity of spicier peppers like jalapeños, serranos, and sometimes even habaneros! So it delivers a bolder, spicier heat that isn’t too overwhelming but still brings some fire.

Scoville Scale: Measuring a Salsa’s Heat

The salsa’s position on the Scoville Scale offers a helpful guide to just how mild or medium a particular brand’s heat level is:

  • Mild salsa generally ranges from 100-1,000 Scoville units
  • Medium salsa spans from 1,500-5,000 Scoville units

So the higher those Scoville numbers, the more your tongue might feel the burn!

Comparing Mild vs Medium Salsa Flavors

But it’s not all about the spiciness – the flavors also vary between mild and medium salsa:

Mild Salsa Flavors

Mild salsas focus more on the fresh, bright tastes of the vegetables and herbs used:

  • Tomatoes give it sweetness and body
  • Onions add savory depth
  • Cilantro brings out that fresh, cool flavor
  • Lime juice gives it tang and acidity

The result is a salsa with a smooth, well-balanced flavor profile.

Medium Salsa Flavors

Medium salsas incorporate more spices and ingredients to complement the spiciness:

  • More onion and garlic amp up the savory umami taste
  • Vinegar or hot sauce give it tartness and heat
  • Cumin, oregano, cayenne provide earthy, aromatic spice
  • Smoked peppers bring subtle smokiness

So you get an overall more robust, complex salsa flavor.

The Peppers That Give Salsa Its Signature Heat

Ever wonder why salsa gets its addicting kick of heat and flavor? Well, the secret ingredients are the peppers! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular peppers used:


The jalapeño is hands down the MVP of salsa peppers. With its perfect blend of spicy heat and bright green flavor, it brings mild to medium spice and that classic salsa taste. Whether pickled, roasted or fresh, jalapeños are a salsa staple.


Mild and subtly sweet, the poblano adds a wonderful smoky depth to salsa. Its rich green color and heart-shaped form make it easy to identify. Poblanos are popular char-grilled, bringing out their sultry roasted flavor.

Popular Mild Salsa Brands

Want to try some store-bought mild salsas? Here are some tasty options to look out for:

Fody Mild Tomato & Jalapeño Salsa

Fody Foods Vegan Mild Salsa
$11.61 ($11.61 / Count)
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04/03/2024 02:01 am GMT

This salsa is perfect if you avoid onions or garlic, since it’s low-FODMAP certified. It uses jalapeño to add just a touch of heat.

Herdez Salsa Casera Mild

Herdez Salsa Casera, Mild, 16 oz
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Made with tomato, onion, garlic and serrano pepper, this well-balanced mild salsa works great as a taco topper.

Chi-Chi’s Mild Thick & Chunky Salsa

Chi Chi's Thick & Chunky Mild Salsa, 16 Ounce (Pack of 2)

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The blend of tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño gives this salsa a thicker, chunkier texture with mild spiciness.

Newman’s Own Pineapple Salsa

Newman's Own Pineapple Salsa, 16 oz
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Want a fruitier salsa? This one combines sweet pineapple, red bell peppers, and just a touch of heat.

Popular Medium Salsa Brands

Looking for a medium-heat store-bought salsa? These are some of the tastiest picks:

Mrs. Renfro’s Medium Salsa

Mrs. Renfro’s Medium Salsa – Gluten Free (16-oz. jars, 4-pack)
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This medium salsa uses a mix of tomatoes, peaches, mangos, onions, garlic, lime, and habanero for fruity heat.

Pace Medium Chunky Salsa

Pace Chunky Salsa Medium, 24 oz. (Pack of 12)
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Pace’s medium salsa features a thicker texture and blend of tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro.

Mission Medium “Restaurant Style” Salsa

Mission Foods Chunky Salsa, Medium, 16 Oz - 4 Jars
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This restaurant-style version uses fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, lime juice, and serrano peppers.

Valentina Medium Salsa Picante

Valentina Salsa Picante Mexican Hot Sauce – 12.5 oz. (Pack of 2) – SET OF 2

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Made in Mexico, this salsa gets its medium heat from a mix of chilies and spices.

Mild vs Medium: How To Use Each

Wondering how to make the most of mild and medium salsa? Here are some serving tips:

Best Uses for Mild Salsa

Mild salsa works well:

  • As a dip for chips, veggies, or other appetizers
  • In salads, dressings, marinades, and vinaigrettes
  • As a sauce for fish, chicken, leaner meats, or tofu
  • In soups, stews, chilis, and tomato-based dishes
  • In cold salads like pasta salad or potato salad
  • As a topping for eggs, omelets, breakfast tacos, etc.

Best Uses for Medium Salsa

Medium salsa pairs deliciously with:

  • Grilled meats like steak, pork chops, burgers, and sausages
  • Heartier dishes like burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and nachos
  • Baked or mashed potatoes, fried rice, quinoa, etc.
  • Grilled veggies like zucchini, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, etc.
  • Pizza, flatbreads, paninis, and melts as a spread
  • Bloody Marys, margaritas, and other cocktails

Make Your Own Custom Salsa

Want to control the spice level even more? Making your own salsa at home lets you customize it exactly how you like.

Adjusting Heat

To make it milder, use fewer hot peppers or remove the seeds and ribs. For more heat, add more hot peppers or hot sauce.

Balancing Flavors

Add more lime juice and cilantro for freshness, or extra onion and garlic for savory depth. Sweetness comes from tomatoes and fruit additions like mango or pineapple.

Texture Change-Ups

Leave the ingredients chunky for a thick, chunky salsa, or blend smooth for a thinner, pourable salsa.

So put your own spin on it – make it mild or medium, smooth or chunky! With so many ways to mix and match flavors, the salsa possibilities are endless.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mild vs Medium Salsa

Still have some lingering questions about mild and medium salsa? Check out these commonly asked FAQs:

Is mild or medium salsa spicier?

Medium salsa is spicier than mild salsa since it contains more hot peppers like jalapeños and serranos. Mild has just a subtle heat.

What’s the difference in flavors?

Mild salsa focuses on the bright, fresh flavor of the vegetables. Medium salsa has a more robust, complex taste from spices and ingredients like smoked peppers.

Which one is better for dipping chips and appetizers?

For dipping, mild salsa is usually the best choice. The gentle spiciness won’t overpower the chips or veggies.

Is medium salsa too spicy for kids?

It depends on the child’s tolerance, but medium salsa may be too hot for some young palates. Mild is a safer kids’ choice.

What salsa is the least spicy?

Fruit-based salsas with pineapple or mango tend to be the mildest in heat level. Traditional mild salsa is the next least spicy.

Spice Up Your Meals with Mild or Medium Salsa

When it comes to salsa, the choice between mild and medium comes down to personal taste – and there’s no right or wrong!

Mild salsa lets the fresh flavors shine through, while medium salsa turns up the heat and flavor complexity. Whichever you prefer, salsa is an awesome way to add a flavor punch to snacks, meals, and more.

So try out some new store-bought brands or get creative making your own. Find your perfect spice level and salsa your way!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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