Give Now  »

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Repurposing Past-Its-Prime Salsa

When you think of Earth Day, does salsa immediately come to mind? Probably not.

But finding creative ways to use food that's past its prime or just isn't that tasty is important, as Americans throw out nearly one-third of the food that's available for consumption each year.

I grew up with parents who were raised during the Depression, and throwing away food is just not an option. I'm always looking for creative ways to get every last bit out of my food dollar. So when I recently bought a batch of salsa that turned out to be a watery, disappointing mess, I figured out a tasty way to use it up.

Happy birthday, Mother Earth!

Salsa Rice

Makes six 1/2 cup servings


  • 1 cup (225 g) brown rice
  • 1 cup (250 ml) watery or past-its-prime fresh salsa
  • 1 cup (250 ml) filtered water, or to fill out the cup


  1. Put the rice into a saucepan that has a lid, rinse well, and drain the water out.
  2. Drain the salsa into a measuring cup, pressing down with a fork or spoon to get most of the liquid out. Add enough filtered water to equal two cups and add to the rice, along with the salsa solids. Stir to combine.
  3. Put on the lid. Bring to a boil (about five minutes on the stove on medium-high heat), and then turn it down until it is simmering with a few bubbles. Do not stir. Put the lid back on and set the timer for 40 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let sit at least five minutes, leaving the lid on. Now take the lid off and fluff with a fork.
  5. Congratulate yourself on what a delicious dish you just made!

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Harvest Public Media