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!
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 always one of the most popular posts 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.
Habanero chile falls in the 150,000 to 350,000 SHU range…so…Hot! but, not 🔥🚒🔥HOT🔥🚒🔥!!!
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 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.
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.
My husband doesn’t like bell peppers, otherwise, I would add some diced red bell pepper for added color and crunch. I’d start with about two tablespoons of the red pepper, the same quantity as the onion.
Easily Double or Triple this Flavorful Mango Habanero Salsa
If you do decide to 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.
While this is a chunky salsa, I caution you to not make it too chunky. Aim for small dice, like no more 1/2″. You want to be able 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 fresh flavor of the salsa 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 Recipe
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped mango, 1/2" dice (defrosted from frozen or from 2 fresh mangoes)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped, fresh cilantro
- 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
- Combine all ingredients and lightly toss.
- 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,