Is Salsa Keto?

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Jennifer Olejarz

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When it comes to low-carb snack dips, each of us has a personal favorite. Many tasty options are available, including cheese dips, sour cream, and guacamole, among others.

This article tells you everything you need to know about salsa and if it fits your keto regimen.

We'll discuss the most important aspects surrounding it. What exactly is it? What is its nutritional composition? Does it fit into the keto diet? Which types can you have? Are there any alternative keto-compliant choices? 

Let's get started.

What is salsa?

It is a type of sauce or dip that is typically made from a base of tomatoes and onions, with a variety of additional ingredients added to give it flavor and spice. Common additions include garlic, chili peppers, lime juice, and cilantro. While salsa is often associated with Mexican cuisine, different versions have been enjoyed throughout Central America for centuries. 

The word “salsa” means “sauce” in Spanish, but it comes from the Latin word “sal,” meaning “salt.” This refers to the ancient practice of preserving food by salting it. 

Salsa may have originally been created as a way to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, but it quickly became a popular condiment due to its flavorful and versatile nature. These days, it is enjoyed all over the world, on everything from tacos to chips.

Salsa nutrition facts

2 tablespoons of this sauce contain the following nutrients:

  • Serving size: 35.7 g (2 tbsp) -
  • Calories: 12.1 kcal
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Net carbs: 1.8 g
  • Total carbs: 2.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g


It's a low-calorie sauce. Only 12 calories are found in a 2-tablespoon serving (35.7 grams) of salsa. Those who are looking to lose weight don’t have to worry about the calorie content of this sauce.


As you can see, it contains a negligible amount of fat. Even though a keto diet primarily consists of high-fat foods, you can also include low-fat foods as long as they are low in carbs and can be included within your daily carb allowance.


Because it contains only 0.5 grams of protein, it cannot be considered a good protein source. Combining it with high-protein foods like chicken, meat, or eggs will add nutrients to the dish.


Two tablespoons of salsa have less than 2 grams of net carbohydrates, which is not much, making it perfect for keto dieters.

Essential nutrients

The tomato, pepper, onion, garlic, and herbs in it contain several vitamins and minerals. It also contains a compound known as lycopene, which plays a protective role in the body. Lastly, it has a modest amount of vitamins A, E, and B6, as well as potassium.



Can you have salsa on a keto diet?

Yes, salsa is keto-friendly. Due to the fact that it is usually prepared with low-carb vegetables, it remains low in both calories and net carbs. 

Furthermore, because it contains many different vegetables, it's a remarkably nutrient-dense dip. It contains many different antioxidants and micronutrients.

As shown above, in a 2-tablespoon serving, there are generally 1.8 grams of net carbs. It is recommended to stay between 20-50 grams of net carbohydrates daily on a keto diet, which makes salsa an ideal choice. 

While it is naturally low in carbs, it’s important to check the ingredients on the label to be sure it won’t kick you out of ketosis. Because it comes in many varieties, its total carbohydrates may vary depending on which type of store-bought product you choose. 

Or, even better, you can make it at home! That way, you know exactly what goes into it, and you can experiment with your own mixture of flavors.


How much salsa on the keto diet can you have?

You can be liberal with the number of servings you can have as it is very low in carbohydrates. Four tablespoons would still be under 8 grams of net carbs.

That being said, anything in excess is bad. You do want to keep track of how many carbs you’re having. Also, keep in mind that this dip doesn’t have much fat or protein, so you’ll need to add other ingredients to get these macronutrients.

While there are many different types of this sauce available in the market, most of them are relatively low in carbs and can be enjoyed on the keto diet. However, it's important to choose a salsa with no added sugar or artificial ingredients, as these are not ideal for a keto diet.

What kind of salsa can you have on keto?

There are many different types that you can have on a ketogenic diet. The most common type is made with tomatoes, onions, and peppers. This type is very low in carbs and calories, making it a great option for those on a keto diet. 

Other popular types include mango, pineapple, and peach. These may have too many carbs, so you need to check the label carefully. Even if you find low-carb versions, you’ll probably need to limit your portion size.

If you are looking for a high-fat option, you can try one with avocado, or add it yourself! You can also mix in sour cream or Greek yogurt for extra fat and a decadent creamy texture.


What can you have salsa with?

It is the perfect condiment for a variety of foods. It can be used as a dipping sauce, a marinade, or even a salad dressing. 

It is also a great way to add flavor to bland or boring foods. For example, plain cauliflower rice can be transformed into a delicious and nutritious meal with the addition of this sauce. Fish tacos are another example of how salsa can take a dish from ordinary to extraordinary. 

For something a little more indulgent, try adding avocado or a small amount of mango to the mix. It's also delicious served over grilled chicken or fish. Whatever ingredients you choose, it can be a healthy and flavorful addition to any meal.

Avoid pairing it with something high-carb. Instead of traditional tortilla chips or tortillas, look for versions made with a low-carb flour like almond or coconut, or make your own! 



Keto-friendly salsa alternatives

There are a variety of keto-friendly alternatives that can be used in place of the traditional kinds. 

  • Queso dip: A cheese-based dip typically made from shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and green onions. It is often served with chips or used as a topping for nachos.
  • Pesto: A sauce made from basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. It is often used as a spread on sandwiches or as a pasta sauce.
  • Guacamole: A dish made from avocado, lime juice, onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers. It is often served as a dip with chips or used as a condiment on tacos or burritos.
  • Sour cream: A dairy product made from cream that has been treated with lactic acid bacteria. This process gives it a thick, creamy texture and a tangy flavor. It is often used as a condiment or topping for savory dishes, but it can also be used in sweet recipes.
  • Tzatziki: It is a Greek yogurt-based sauce or dip that is flavored with garlic, dill, and cucumber. It is commonly served with grilled meats or vegetables, but it can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.

All of these salsa alternatives are keto-friendly and will not kick you out of ketosis.



Are you still unsure as to whether you should include this confinement in your diet? Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions.

  • Frontera Roasted Tomato -  This brand provides a savory blend of roasted tomatoes, onions, and spices. The tomatoes are slowly roasted over an open flame to bring out their rich flavor, and the onions are caramelized to add a touch of sweetness. The result is a delicious product that is perfect for dipping or topping your favorite dishes.
  • Naked Infusions - This brand makes its products with all-natural ingredients. The sauce is made with diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeños, and it is perfect for adding a zesty kick to your favorite recipes.
  • Naked Infusions Signature Extra Hot – With their extra hot option, this keto brand is one of the best on this list. This version is not for the faint of heart, but it adds a delicious depth of flavor to any dish.

It is usually made with fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro. This combination of ingredients provides a delicious and nutritious salsa that is low in carbs and high in healthy fats. 

Sometimes, other ingredients such as cucumbers or avocados can be added to the sauce to increase its nutrient density. 

For those on the ketogenic diet, it is important to choose a kind that does not contain any added sugars or corn syrup. Fortunately, there are many delicious sugar-free recipes available online.

Yes, it is keto-friendly, however, it also contains ingredients that are not ideal for your health such as refined sunflower and canola oil. Hence while it is low in carbohydrates it is not necessarily a healthy product.

For one, it is low in calories and fat, making it a great option for those watching their weight. In addition, it is packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, potassium, and iron. Furthermore, tomatoes and peppers in it are excellent sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. And finally, the vinegar in it can help to promote healthy digestion.

It has more carbs due to the mango, so it will depend on the brand. For example, Newman’s Own Mango Salsa has 3 g net carbs per 2 tablespoons. Make sure to keep an eye on your portion. 

It is a low-calorie food because it is mostly water. A cup of this food has approximately 88 calories and 4 of those are from fat. The fat in salsa is the healthy kind: unsaturated fat. It also has no cholesterol and is very low in sodium (depending on the brand). 

One reason why people think it is high in calories is that it is often used as a dip for high-calorie foods such as chips or fried chicken. However, when used in this way, it only adds a few calories to the overall meal. In fact, it can be a healthy way to add flavor to a meal without adding many calories.