Busy Moms’ Fabulous Fermented Salsa

If you haven’t tried lacto-fermenting, or if you’re like me, short on time – this is THE recipe for you! Not only because it’s so easy to make, but because it’s really delicious and since most kids like salsa, it’s a great way to introduce your kids/family to lacto-fermented foods, or add to your repertoire of fermented foods, if you’re already a fermentin’ momma.

Why fermented foods? Because they are chock full of healthy probiotics that help to build your gut health and it’s proven that great gut health goes a long way in ensuring overall good health and wellness!

This recipe is inspired by AnnMarie at Cheeseslave. She calls it “30-Second Lacto-Fermented Salsa.” I simply adapted her brilliant idea to work with my favorite homemade Pico de Gallo recipe. However, you could use any homemade salsa, or any other fresh store-bought organic salsa and adjust according to taste.

This salsa is terrific with homemade tortilla chips and as a delicious addition to your favorite Mexican-inspired recipes.

Busy Moms

Busy Moms


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh homemade salsa or pico de gallo (or fresh store-bought salsa)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of fresh whey (see note below)


  1. Add above ingredients to a pint-size mason jar and stir well to combine. Once combined, be sure that all of the chunks of salsa are submerged under the brine.
  2. Then add one tablespoon of filtered water to the top, do not stir.
  3. Cover the jar with a small dishcloth or napkin and secure it with a rubber band.
  4. Allow salsa to sit on counter for 30-48 hours, until desired level of fermentation is reached.
  5. Then remove dishcloth/napkin, seal with a lid and refrigerate.
  6. Salsa will keep several weeks in frig, but it's so good, it probably won't last more than a day or so! So you might want to double the recipe!


Where do I get whey? If you eat whole milk yogurt, you've probably noticed the yellowish liquid that separates from the yogurt after your yogurt has sat in your frig a couple of days – that liquid is whey and it's the foundation from which you can make tons of lacto-fermented foods. You can easily capture whey from whole milk yogurt by simply draining your yogurt – and the great thing is, you'll end up with delicious homemade yogurt cheese, or cultured cream cheese. Check out Katie's "how to" post at Kitchen Stewardship for tips. You can also get whey from straining whole milk kefir, check out AnnMarie’s step-by-step instructions at Cheeseslave.


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  1. Tanya says

    I made this using leftover fresh Pico de Gallo and another jar of Farmer’s Market fresh salsa that had been open for several days, following your instructions to the letter. When finished, there was a layer of white mold (?) on the top of both. I skimmed it off and cleaned the rims of the jars with a wet paper towel to make sure I got it all before sealing them with lids and popping in the fridge. I don’t want to through them away, but am not sure if something went wrong. I tasted them and they both taste amazing, but are they safe? Should I toss them? Or something I’m just now thinking about – should I have stirred the white mold (again, not sure if that’s what the snowy white stuff was) into the jars before storing them?

    • Kelly says

      Sometimes mold happens if the jar or the ingredients contained mold spores and if the salt content and acidity are not high enough to inhibit mold growth. Additionally, it’s critical that the food being fermented be completely submerged in the brine. Anytime there is mold involved, it’s best to throw out the ferment and not try to salvage it. Here’s an article that may help from Wild Fermentation. This is an excellent website and book. I also highly recommend Wardeh of GNOWFGLINS book on fermentation, her book answers so many questions and contains excellent recipes. There are also great jars (although a bit expensive) that make fermenting almost fail-proof. They’re called pickl-it jars and can be ordered online. Hope this helps, Tanya! Blessings, Kelly :)

  2. Amanda says

    I made fresh salsa yesterday and put it in my fridge to sit overnight. This morning it had “separated” and I’m not sure why. I used fresh garlic, fresh cilantro, cherry tomatoes, sea salt, lime juice, and a 1/2 a yellow onion. Do I need to throw it out? I’m a little concerned as I am having a dinner party early next week (Monday) and planned to serve it then.

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Amanda. Were you trying to lacto-ferment this? It doesn’t sounds like it, as you didn’t mention using whey. If you were trying to lacto-ferment, you need to include the whey and it needs to sit on the counter at room temp about 30-48 hours. If you just leave regular salsa out on the counter without the whey, it won’t have the probiotics in it to properly ferment (unless you use a large amount of salt to do a brine-style culture). So if you let it sit out without the whey, I would toss it. If you made it and put it immediately into the frig without attempting to culture it, it should be fine. I can’t explain the separation, as I haven’t come across that? Lots of blessings, Kelly

  3. Kaja says

    Greetings. Does it matter what kind of yogurt whey I use? I make matsoni yogurt. Will that work? Can I use the juice from my home made sauerkraut instead?

    Thank you.


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