Guy Fieri Original Salsa Old Skool Review

Second in our series of the Guy Fieri Salsa line-up is his Original Salsa Old Skool– “his go-to signature salsa, full of big tomato flavor, cilantro and zesty lime with a touch of hot pasilla pepper… it’s off da hook!


Ingredients: tomato puree (tomato paste, water), tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, yellow onion, canola oil, sea salt, garlic, cilantro, pasilla pepper, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, spices

Texture & Appearance: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – bright red color, very chunky and thick with seeds and dark bits of the pasilla pepper. Think “Pace” style texture – thick and saucy.

Old Skool is thick and tomatoey

Taste Straight Up: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars – now stop thinking “Pace”… this is so much better. There is a heavy tomato sauce feel in the mouth, with only a slight hint of heat – mild at best. I like the fresh taste from the quality ingredients, but the cilantro and lime could be more pronounced. The overall taste profile is well rounded and satisfying. A good amount of sweetness from the red and yellow onions round out a good, balanced flavor.

Chips and Old Skool Salsa

Heat Level: Rated 1 out of 5 Stars – A pleasant, mild heat that I find refreshing, along with a big fresh taste for a jarred salsa, the gentle heat of the pasilla pepper is boosted from the jalapeno peppers.

Label/Graphics: Rated 3.5 out of 5 Stars – On a clear label, big block letters proclaim “Original Salsa” and “Old Skool” alongside one of the tamer pictures of Chef Guy that you will ever see. You can tell at a glance what this product is. The back label claims this salsa to be “Medium” on his “heat-o-meter”, but we are talking about salsa for the masses. For us chileheads, this is nowhere near “Medium”.

Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – I give this salsa and overall 4 Stars rating based on the fresh taste, big flavor, and quality ingredients.
If you are at your grocery store, and you have a choice of Old El Paso, Chi-Chi’s or Pace salsas, *this* is the one to grab. Perhaps your wimpy friends/family ask you to bring the chips and salsa to your next gathering. “But not YOUR kind of hot salsa, Mr Chilehead!” they say. This is one that would please most everyone there. Besides, you always have that favorite bottle of hot sauce in your pocket, right?

Conclusion: Guy & Company are not out to become the next Blair’s or Mad Dog – they seem focused on putting out quality mainstream products that hopefully will find their way onto major grocers shelves right next to the old stalwarts of Pace and the like. Surely this salsa lineup, in big 16 ounce jars, could give the big corporate boys a contest for best salsa on “Isle 4 Chips & Snacks”.

Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.

Our second in a series of Guy Fieri Salsa reviews

First: Guy Fieri Salsa Verde Mean & Green

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  1. For a “jarred” salsa, this really is a refreshing new addition to the shelves. Kudos to Guy & Co.

  2. As much as we usually discount off-the-shelf salsas, this is one of my favorites. Great ingredients, great flavor, great texture. If it tells you anything, we fought over whether I would take this to work or save it for our own use…..it’s that good! And I left it at home 🙂

  3. I’m looking forward to trying his line of stuff as soon as it hits the stores. I’ve heard some good things about the sauces and salsas from the testers.

  4. Perfect! Just perfect! I’m looking for this type of salsa thanks for writing a review for it. My partner just couldn’t handle food that is a bit too hot (which is mild for us chili lovers) and anything beyond mild will already make my partner sweat like crazy. Thank you so much! *shoots out of the door to the grocery store*

  5. This salsa blows. Tastes more like pasta sauce than salsa. Even by jarred sauce standards, it is weak, overly sweet, and overall lame.

    1. It is kind of tomato-y tasting, which may be why you say “pasta sauce”, but then again, so many jarred salsas at your local Supermarket are like that.

      We’re simply saying it’s among the better of those products.

      Either way, we appreciate you comenting, RS. Hope you come by again.

  6. This review is a joke, this salsa tastes like marinara sauce, it should have a 1 star at best for taste. This does not taste like salsa.

    1. @Rob – the review is our opinion, therefore it can’t be a “joke”.
      You may think the product is a “joke” and you are entitled to that.
      I dare you to say this salsa is worse than say, oh, Chi-Chi’s, or Frito-Lays, when it comes to jarred salsas. 🙂

      Next time, how about letting us know what you like in salsas as an alternative to this one? Yea. That would be helpful.

      1. I would take chi chis over this any day, at least i can taste the onion and even some peppers in their hot salsa. Eating a can of tomato paste would have the same effect as disgracing a tortilla chip with this garbage. I love Guy Fieri, he’s the man, and I can’t knock him for one product, but I cant help it if I would enjoy this “salsa” more on spaghetti than on a tortilla chip.

        As for salsas I like, besides any of them that I can taste more than one ingredient, I would have to point you towards Jardine’s 7j ranch line of salsa, especially their “Garden Reserve” blends. Plenty of mild salsas with FLAVOR out there.

        1. Once upon a time I used to buy Chi-Chi’s salsa… this was when the shelves only had 3 or 4 varieties on them. Way back when. But, and I don’t know if you’ve actually had Chi-Chi’s lately, but it’s changed to a more homogenous, tomato-y run of the mill recipe.
          Well, we’re certainly not knocking “Guy Fieri” the man himself… but we all know these chef’s put their name on mass produced corporate approved products. Sometimes they’re a hit, sometimes they’re not.

  7. If you want lame, flavorless red goo, you’d be better off buying Chi Chi’s or your local store brand because at least its cheaper. This is what salsa tasted like years ago when it was first mass marketed. Guy Fieri continues his quest to become the 21st century version of Chef Boyardee.

    1. I have to agree with you Bruce. I remember when salsas first showed up on grocery shelves, and I thought they were “good”.

      And I love the Chef Boyardee reference. Hilarious!

  8. So everyone agrees this salsa sucks? Even Brain now, right? Good.

    And I actually did try this on a bowl of angel hair pasta, and I can actually say it tasted alright. But don’t buy this for salsa, buy it for pasta suace.

    1. I have to add that this was the most edible of the four Fieri salsas we tried.
      @Rob, I would still pick this up over Chi-Chi’s any day. Jarred salsas that are mass produced, in my opinion, are almost always crap. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  9. I bought this salsa and both my wife & I are shocked at how blaa this is. To my wife it tastes more like chillie paste & I think of heavy seasoned pasta paste.

    Guy Fieri is the man & can’t believe he let’s us down this hard. I give him an A on packaging tho. Taste is D- to F+ range. I just can’t stress enough that you can not be a world renowned food moogle and show up with this sludge. Had it been a no name person I could see raising the grade to a flat D.

    Let me finish by letting anyone on the edge of buying this know, I tossed the rest of the jar and just ate my chips without salsa. I hate wasting food but my taste buds can only take so much.

  10. I tried Guy’s green and his red.
    Little heat, bland and tastes like spagetti sauce. I could taste the powdered spices that had been added. A very midwestern North Dakota kind of salsa, made for people who think salt is a spice.

    Gimme a break, who could say this tastes good, it’s right up their with the Paul Newman line of food products.

    Pedestrian at best and the red salsa tastes like processed food, it has none of the notes a good salsa should have.

    You can get other sauces (generic) for almost half the cost that are better.

    I like Guy’s style and love the fact he likes to eat good, I enjoy his TV show but there is no way Guy would have this in his fridge.

    Buy it for the label but you won’t buy it again for the taste.

    1. Yup, you really nailed it, Paul. There’s no way Guy would even serve this in his restaurants too!

      I like your style, have you ever written a review? Maybe you could do something about a salsa, (a better salsa), that is “local” to you in the midwest? Or a favorite “small batch” salsa available on the internet?

      Thanks for replying!

  11. I agree with Rob,Paul and others about the review . Does Guy pay you to pump up this salsa in the review. This salsa S***S. It is a waste of money . I might be able to add it to a pot of chili and use it . My fourteen year old son also agrees it is BAD. It tastes like a bunch of cheep ground chili powder. Chili powder does NOT go in salsa, use fresh chilies! I wonder if Guy even tasted this S*** before giving the o.k. for production. I will not buy any more of Guy Fieri products. I looked on the jar for a number to call to let him know we hate it but I guess he don’t want real reviews. Come on make some good bottled salsa!!!!!!!!

    1. Kim, I’m thinking the recipe must have changed since we reviewed it. We don’t get paid for doing reviews, but sometimes we do receive product for our review at no cost to us. (and you can see our disclaimer at the end of the post, stating that we were sent this product at no cost to us for our review) . That, however, does not affect our reviews. We always try to be honest with our readers, otherwise we would be doing a disservice not only to you but also to ourselves. As a grocery store product available almost everywhere, we found this to be an acceptable alternative to the run of the mill products found everywhere. I appreciate your honest feedback, and hope that folks out there will continue to go for the “craft” salsas vs. the mass-produced products.

  12. I threw away the whole jar after trying a few chips with salsa. It was horrible. I am a Texan, not sure if that makes me a salsa snob, but I have never tasted anything worse. I am very disappointed Guy put his name on the jar!

    1. Shiela, I’m afraid the whole Fieri lineup is a disappointment.
      Hailing from Texas, I bet you do get some food salsas! What are a few of your favorites?

  13. I agree with RS. I just got this salsa today to try. I normally get expensive ’boutique’ salsas or Newman’s own, or (shudder) Pace or other commercial salsas.

    I love Guy’s show (Diners Drive ins and Dives) so I was ready to like the salsa (though in retrospect this makes no sense).

    Anyway I tried it and I hate it. I was thinking it tastes like ketchup, but RS and others nailed it when they say it tastes like pasta sauce or marinara.

    It does NOT taste like salsa and the texture is ALL WRONG; no chunks of tomato, onion, or peppers, it’s just sort of a mushy mass of nothing.

    1. I agree it is a bummer to have the face of such a fun and exciting food show fall short in the salsa market.

      You gotta admit tho, the bottles sure do look good on the shelf. That packaging looks great!

      Still doesn’t make the contents taste better tho 🙁

  14. I thought the OLD SKOOL Original Salsa tasted like watered down chopped tomatos with a vague hint of chilli powder. I probably expected more of a flavor and more “heat” since I am a fan of Guy’s DDD show; but this stuff couldn’t enhance a rice chip. Nice packaging; but it won’t sell another bottle to me.

  15. I bought 3 of the 4 flavors today at Big Lots (that should tell you something !!) They all tasted like tomato paste flavored crap !!! Thank God two of them actually had heat … I would never recommend nor tell a friend to buy them ..

    1. LOL. So they’re now at Big Lots. Ha! Well, maybe this means they (the Fieri salsas) are on their way out.

  16. I was really hoping Guy Fieri himself would chime in on this review. Nah. Guess that’s not going to happen.

  17. Why oh why did I buy this terrible salsa, oh because I thought Guy wouldn’t put out this kind of tasteless mess! Wish I would have read this post first!

  18. help cannot find guy fieri original salsa in johnson city tenn can you help thanks

    1. I don’t think you want to find it. It is pretty horrible. Definitely tastes more like pasta sauce.

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