Add Nut Butter To Salsa For A Creamy Texture And Unique Flavor Profile

Nut butter is a versatile, creamy ingredient that we slather onto sandwiches, stir into cookie batters and pie fillings, blend into smoothies and sauces, and drizzle over breakfast porridges. Sweet, savory, spicy, and tangy dishes all benefit from the richness of nut butter. As if the list of possible applications for nut butter isn't long enough, spicy salsas will be your new favorite dish to add a spoonful or two of your favorite nut butter.

Mexican salsas are known for their spicy, smoky, and zesty profiles. If salsa is too spicy or acidic, it's often recommended to add a dash of heavy cream or Mexican crema to temper the spice with the richness of dairy. Nut butter is the perfect plant-based alternative to cream, bringing both a creamy texture and a rich nutty complement to the spice and heat of chilies.

Nut butter's heft and savory depth will clash with the chunky, juicy, and crunchy tomato-based salsas like salsa verde, Rojo, or pico de gallo. Because nut butters are rich in oil, they will not break down as easily into chunkier, thinner watery salsas. While you can use a blender to emulsify them into tomato-based salsas, you'd lose the delightfully chunky consistency. Nut butters are thus best suited for dried or adobo chili salsas and creamy bean salsas.

Tasty nut butter and salsa combinations

Any nut butter, from peanut to cashew to tahini will give spicy salsas a creamy, nutty upgrade. However, it's best to use all-natural peanut butter brands with no added sugar or hydrogenated oils for a purer nutty flavor and easier emulsification.

Cashew, almond, sesame, and sunflower butter are mostly all-natural products. You can even make your own nut butter by blending your favorite nuts and seeds with a pinch of salt in a food processor. Their fat content is enough to create a buttery paste that you can then stir or whisk into salsa.

Since peanuts and almonds are common ingredients in mole, you can add peanut and almond butter to store-bought mole sauces to enhance their nuttiness and complement the spicy blend of chilies. Peanut or cashew butter would bring a buttery, subtly sweet complement to chipotle salsa.

Another chili-based salsa famous for nutty additives is salsa macha, a Mexican chili oil often elaborated with whole sesame seeds, pepitas, and peanuts. You could thus stir a few tablespoons of peanut butter, pepita paste, or tahini into store-bought salsa macha for a classic nut and chili duo. Even if you can't find salsa macha, you could stir nut butter into Chinese chili crisp or even Sriracha.