Can you freeze salsa? Many people who make their own salsa would love to make a big batch of it, but most of them don’t really know whether salsa can be frozen. Sometimes there’s this sale where you can buy good salsa for cheap and you’re not sure if buying a couple jars really makes sense. Fortunately for you, you can freeze salsa, both fresh homemade salsa and a store-bought one. There are, however, a few things you need to know about freezing salsa, so you’ll know whether freezing it makes sense in your case.
When freezing salsa makes sense?
Salsa is made mainly from vegetables (unless it’s a fruit salsa of course) and as you probably know, many vegetables don’t freeze that well. When it comes to salsa, tomatoes are probably the most important veggies (meaning they’re the main ingredient) and they really don’t freeze very well. That means that when you’ll thaw the salsa, the tomatoes will have a little changed texture, so the salsa will become a little watery (you can pour off the excess liquid after thawing).
Salsa’s taste after thawing will be (in most cases) fine, but the consistency won’t be that good. Please note, however, that few people find thawed salsa’s taste not that good, mainly because the flavors of various ingredients tend to meld together. Because of the changed texture, it’s suggested to use it as an ingredient, e.g. in cooked dishes (soups, chili), rather than straight, as a condiment (e.g. with chips). If you’d like to add frozen salsa into a soup, you don’t really have to thaw it, just transfer it into the pot.
Image used under Creative Commons from thisisbossi
There are a few ways you can freeze salsa, depending on your needs. Pick one that’s the best for your needs.
Freezing salsa in the original jar
If it’s a store-bought salsa, there’s always have a little head space in the jar, so you can simply put it into the freezer. If you’ve already opened the jar, make sure to close it tightly before putting it into the freezer. One thing to note – if you’ve already used some of the sauce, in many cases it’s a good idea to transfer it into a smaller jar or container, so there will be less head space, especially if you plan to keep it in the freezer for more than a month. The less air in the jar/container, the less the freeze burn.
Freezing salsa in an airtight container or a jar
If you have your own salsa, or you have some leftovers from a big store-bought jar, you can freeze it in a container or a jar. Just transfer the salsa into the container, close it tightly, label it and put it into the freezer. Make sure to leave some head space, but not too much. As I’ve mentioned in the previous paragraph, the more air in the jar, the worse the freeze burn.
Freezing salsa in small portions
For most people, the most convenient way to freeze salsa is to do it in small portions. This way one can easily thaw only as much salsa as he or she needs at a time. You can do that using small jars or containers following the advice given in the previous paragraph. Another way to do that is by using an ice-cube tray. Pour the sauce into an ice cube tray and put it into freezer. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into containers or a heavy-duty freezer bags and put them into the freezer. This way you’ll be always able to easily thaw only an individual portion of salsa.
Freezing salsa for an extended amount of time isn’t recommended. It’s said that salsa’s taste starts to slowly deteriorate pretty soon, after a month, maybe two. It won’t go bad after a few months, but its taste might not be that great as after a month after freezing it. If you’ve prepared a fruit salsa, make sure you’ll spray it or add some lemon or lime juice. It’ll prevent the fruits from turning brown due to freezing. Also, many people suggest that one can can salsa instead of freezing it. If you’re not satisfied with frozen and then thawed salsa, it’s a good idea to try caning it.
As you should know by now, salsa can be frozen. What’s important to remember is that freezing and thawing changes its texture and it might not work as good when used as a straight ingredient (e.g. with chips), but should be fine when used in cooked dishes and other meals where it’s used as an ingredient.