The Canned Ingredient You Need For Perfect Copycat Chili's Salsa

It's a testament to the quality of Chili's that it serves southwestern food while being the most popular chain restaurant in Texas in 2022. Simple things like service, a smile, and the salsa keep us all coming back. What's the secret to achieving the perfect mild, yet moreish, tang of Chili's salsa? According to Mashed recipe developer Kristen Carli, it's jalapeños, but not the pickled kind you get in a jar. The chilis for a perfect copycat Chili's salsa come in cans.

People love Chili's salsa so much that they find ways to include it in key life events. For example, Redditor @GalacticHitchhiker told r/SalsaSnobs an unusual story of last-minute wedding catering. They went into their local Chili's location and asked if it was possible to order some salsa for their rehearsal dinner.' According to the post, the manager went on to "literally grab one of their giant catering salad bowls, fill it to the brim with salsa, hand me a couple of giant bags of chips, and tell me to have a dope wedding." What service!

If you don't live near a Chili's or are too embarrassed to ask for giant bowls of salsa to go, this copycat Chili's salsa recipe surprisingly uses a few canned storecupboard staples to create a faithful facsimile of the chain's secret salsa.

The canned secret to copycat Chili's salsa

Once you learn the method of making Chili's salsa at home, you'll never want to buy salsa from the store again. Kristen Carli, the Mashed recipe developer who created this copycat condiment for us called it "very healthy and not to mention incredibly easy." It's a recipe that makes meal planning simple as well. With so many of the ingredients needed to get the taste of Chili's at home being sold in cans, you can have the prerequisites waiting in the cupboard for months until you need to whip up some impromptu nibbles.

There are two really key ingredients that Carli has used to create the Chili's salsa effect. Both of them contain jalapeños, the mild chili that looks a lot like the Chili's logo. First, instead of reaching for the sour tang of jarred, pickled peppers, Carli opted for the canned variety. These are just as spicy and still slightly sour but don't have the same briny bite. Carli used canned diced tomatoes with green chillis to add a slightly different sense of spice that's still safe to serve to almost any audience. The salsa layers these spicy components with canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings to create a quick and incredibly flavorful salsa that uses mostly shelf-stable ingredients. Carli suggests serving the salsa with "burritos, tacos, and rice," but ever the dietician, Carli enjoyed hers on top of a "baked sweet potato and black beans." Yum indeed!