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Mango Habanero Salsa Recipe

This vibrant, sweet, and spicy Mango Habanero Salsa Recipe is easy and quick to make. Its fresh and bold flavors are a refreshing change from traditional tomato salsa. Fresh lime juice and ripe mangoes tossed with spicy habanero peppers, onions, and spice are the perfect combination and make a truly refreshing, but still spicy salsa.

Sometimes you just need to mix things up!

I do love my traditional salsa and guacamole with tortilla chips but after fifty (mumble mumble) years, I was ready to try something new.

And now, I have only one thing to say…why did I wait so long for a fresh mango salsa?!

I tend to be a traditionalist…I like what I like. But the downside of that is that I sometimes miss out on certain foods because I tend to make the same things.

This Habanero Mango Salsa Recipe is a perfect example; it took the stars aligning just so for me to try it. And now, I love it. No joke, I eat this fruit salsa by the spoonful! That is something I don’t do with traditional tomato salsa…for what that’s worth!

If you are preparing this Habanero Mango Salsa for a Latin-inspired meal, then you really must include my dad’s famous Margarita recipe (famous because it is fresh and delicious and always one of the most popular recipes on the blog!) It is hands down the best Margarita. The only downside is that you will henceforth be a Margarita Snob!

So, let’s talk about Hot Peppers

If you aren’t familiar with the Scoville Scale, in a nutshell, it is a universal measurement of the heat of peppers developed by American pharmacist, Wilbur Scoville. Scoville Heat Units (SHU) are the measurement used by the scale. SHU represents how many times the capsaicin in the pepper needs to be diluted by sugar water so that it is barely detectable.

At the one end of the Scoville Heat Scale you have bell peppers and pimento which measure in the 0 – 100 SHU range. At the opposite end of the scale, you have your very hot and spicy peppers, like Carolina reaper and Law Enforcement pepper spray, which clock in at the 1,500,000 – 3,000,000 SHU range.

Fiery habanero peppers falls in the 150,000 to 350,000 SHU range…so…Hot! But, not 🔥🚒🔥HOT🔥🚒🔥!!!

sliced habanero.

I like hot food, but not uncomfortably hot foo; I don’t like my sinuses to seize up and break out in a sweat, which I know some people (my son) seem to enjoy. One habanero pepper, on the small side, is what I used in my Mango Habanero Salsa, but feel free to add more.

If you are looking for something a little milder, consider swapping out the habanero for a serrano pepper (10,000 – 25,000 SHU) or jalapeño pepper (2,500 – 10,000 SHU).

I am able to find all the ingredients at my local grocery store. If yours doesn’t carry habanero peppers, experiment with another pepper and make it your own version!

Handling Hot Peppers

Always Wear Rubber Gloves when chopping habaneros, or any hot peppers. The oil from the peppers is not easily washed off your hands, although an oil-cutting dish soap or rubbing alcohol can cut through it.

Fresh or Frozen Mango for this Mango Habanero Salsa?

This recipe works well with either fresh or frozen mango. Just thaw your mango before dicing it.

In fact, the entire recipe freezes well after it is all mixed up! Just store it in an airtight container.

Diced Mango with lime zest.

Don’t have Mango?

I like the tropical flavor that fresh mango brings to this salsa. As such, I can easily see swapping out or adding in other tropical fruits like pineapple or kiwi. My only suggestion would be to keep the dice small and similarly sized.

Other Substitutions

My husband doesn’t like bell peppers; otherwise, I would add some diced red bell peppes for added color and crunch to this spicy mango salsa. I’d start with about two tablespoons of red pepper, the same quantity as the onion.

Easily Double or Triple this Flavorful Mango Habanero Salsa

If you double or triple it, consider using a small food processor to chop up your Habanero pepper. I don’t have a food processor small enough for just a single pepper, but multiple peppers would chop well in a small food processor.

Dicing Tip

While this is a chunky salsa, I caution you not to make it too chunky. Aim for small dice, like no more than 1/2″. You want to get a few chunks of this flavorful salsa on your tortilla chips without them being so big that they fall off.

Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy This Homemade Mango Habanero Salsa

Of course, it is great scooped up with your favorite tortilla chips. I am particularly fond of the combination of salty chips with the sweet flavor of mangos.

It is excellent on top of fish tacos, grilled fish, or grilled chicken. The salsa’s fresh flavor really complements grilled or blackened chicken and fish recipes.

We mix it with black beans as a salad or a taco filling.

Mango Habanero Salsa Questions and Answers

Can I make this salsa less spicy?

Absolutely! You can reduce the heat by using fewer habanero peppers or substituting them with milder peppers like serrano or jalapeño. Removing the seeds and membranes from the peppers also lessens the heat.

Is it possible to use frozen mango instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen mango instead of fresh mango for the Mango Habanero Salsa. Before using the frozen mango, make sure to thaw it completely. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight, or place the mango in a bowl at room temperature for a few hours. Frozen mango might release more water than fresh mango as it thaws. Drain any excess liquid to avoid a watery salsa.

The texture of frozen mango may be slightly softer than fresh mango after thawing. This shouldn’t significantly impact the salsa, but the chunks might not be as firm. Use the same amount of frozen mango as you would fresh. Once thawed and drained, measure it to match the recipe’s requirement.

How long can I store this salsa in the fridge?

The salsa should keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. The flavors will meld and intensify a bit over time.

Can I freeze Mango Habanero Salsa?

Yes, this salsa can be frozen. Store it in a freezer-safe container. It should last for up to three months. However, note that the texture may change slightly upon thawing.

What are some serving suggestions for this salsa?

This salsa is great with tortilla chips, over grilled chicken or fish, as a topping for tacos, or mixed with black beans for a hearty salad.

Is Mango Habanero Salsa healthy?

Yes, this salsa is quite healthy. Mangoes are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, while the capsaicin in habanero peppers has been linked to health benefits like pain relief and reduced inflammation.

Can I substitute lime juice with lemon juice in this recipe?

Lime juice is preferred for its distinct flavor, but lemon juice can be a decent substitute if you don’t have lime juice on hand. The taste will be slightly different but still delicious.

What’s the best way to chop fresh mangoes for this salsa?

Peel the mango and slice off the flesh from around the seed. Then, chop the flesh into small, even dice to ensure consistency in the salsa.

How do I choose the best fresh mangoes for this recipe?

Look for mangoes that are slightly soft to the touch and have a fragrant aroma. They should be a little yielding but not overly mushy.

Is Mango Habanero Salsa gluten-free?

Yup! Not only is it gluten-free, but it is vegetarian and vegan.

What is the best way to store leftover salsa?

Use airtight containers, such as glass jars or BPA-free plastic containers. Store the salsa in the fridge if you plan to use it within 5-7 days. If you need to store it for longer, consider freezing it. Portion it into freezer-safe containers or bags, leaving some space for expansion. Frozen salsa can last up to 3 months without significant loss of quality. Thaw frozen salsa in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of cold water if you need it more quickly.

mango habanero salsa in white bowl.

Mango Habanero Salsa Recipe

lynn
Vibrant, Sweet, Spicy, and Fresh, this Mango Habanero Salsa is a delightful twist on the classic salsa.
4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin
Servings 2 cups
Calories 86 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped mango 1/2″ dice (defrosted from frozen or from 2 fresh mangoes)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped onion yellow, sweet or red onion
  • 1 habanero pepper very finely chopped (see notes)
  • Zest from half of a lime
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients and lightly toss.

Notes

Wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes and nose after dicing habanero. One small habanero results in a mild to medium heat salsa, feel free to add more habanero chile for a spicier salsa… or less,

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cupCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 136mgFiber: 3gSugar: 18g
Keyword mango, salsa
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Hand holding a chip with Mango Habanero Salsa on the chip.
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