13 salsas and dips made from leftover fruit and veg

Posted by Ella Buchan on 11 August 2016

Wilting leaves, overripe tomatoes, half tins of white beans, browning avocados... Much of what we throw in the bin can be rescued. In fact, it can be chopped, blitzed and dressed up as one of these flavour-packed dipping delights.

Here’s how to revive your fruit, veg and pulses by ‘doing the salsa’.


Let’s start with the classic. Spicy, tangy, can’t-get-enough red salsa.

Be sure to stock up on tortilla chips.

Tomato salsa


Chop up the last of that mango for a salsa that’s just delicious with roast chicken or fish, especially cooked on the BBQ.

Leftover watermelon, tinned peaches and pineapple can also be used to add an exotic twist.

Mango salsa
Cookie and Kate


Try this sweet ‘n’ spicy summery delight with grilled meat and fish, or in tacos.

Strawberry salsa
Closet Cooking

Green herbs

Finely chop or blend any green herbs to make a salsa verde or chimichurri - delicious drizzled on steak or chicken, with a baked potato, tossed through a salad or just served as a dip for tortilla chips or empanadas.

Green herb salsa
Zing Nutrition


Wilting greens are given a new lease of life in this slow-cooker marvel.

Spinach dip
Gimme Some Oven


Still the best way to use up ripe avocados and miles better than any ready-made versions.

Keep it chunky for the real deal.


Black beans

Throw whole into salsa, just as you would sweetcorn, or blend into a naturally creamy, smoky dip. Healthy, too.

Black bean dip
Five Heart Home


Use up cream cheese, grated cheddar and any other cheeses you have in the fridge to make a gorgeously creamy dip, flavoured with spring onions and thinned with Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Got some crispy bacon left from breakfast? Crumble it on top. The ultimate guilty pleasure.

Cheese dip
Gimme Some Oven


A fab way to use up leftover grilled veg, baba ganoush is traditionally made with aubergine - but works wonderfully with sweet potatoes, squash or peppers, too. Try adding canned white beans for extra creaminess, and to bulk out the dip.

Aubergine dip
The View from Great Island


Stir chopped cucumber and mint into yogurt for a deceptively simple tzatziki, made for spicy foods and grilled lamb.

Cucumber dip

Pear and pomegranate

With crispy pear, coriander and rubies of pomegranate, this is an easy yet seriously impressive salad/salsa to add to your repertoire.

Pear and pomegranate dip
Gimme Some Oven

White beans

Blend any cooked or canned white beans with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic to make a hummus dip. We’ve heard chickpeas work rather well, too.

White bean dip
Shutterstock via: Elena Dijour

A bit of everything

Throw sweetcorn, tinned beans and chopped tomatoes, peppers, red onion - whatever you have, basically - into a big mash-up salsa. Chopped fresh chilli and coriander make it.

A great way to use up leftover mixed salad too. Just chop it up and throw it in.

A bit of everything salsa
Gimme Some Oven

Liked this? Then try these:

Get in a pickle: Easy guide to preserving your leftovers

12 things you didn’t know you could do with tinned tomatoes

Mediterranean veg on the turn