Mango Habanero Salsa
on Feb 10, 2022, Updated Jul 08, 2022
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With the perfect combination of tropical fruit, tomatoes, onions and peppers, this mango habanero salsa has a touch of sweet flavor to balance out lots of spicy heat.
I am never without a jar of salsa in my fridge, at least one. There are so many different varieties to choose from at the grocery that it can be overwhelming to make a decision about what to put in your cart.
Sometimes I take this as inspiration to make homemade versions in my own kitchen. That involves adding different, perhaps less expected, fresh ingredients to traditional salsa. And fruity mango often makes the list of additions.
But don’t think of fruit salsa as overly sweet. The base of tomatoes, onions, and of course, a habanero chile (or two) dominates with bold flavors. But they all come together in just the right mix with lime juice, garlic and cilantro in this easy recipe.
And to add another level of flavor, I broil the fruit, tomatoes, onions and peppers before pureeing everything together.
How Hot Are Habanero Peppers
The heat level of chilies and peppers is measured on the Scoville scale. At one end, you have bell peppers, which score a zero because they have no spice or capsaicin, which is what makes peppers hot.
Toward the other end, habanero peppers, score 150,000 scovilles, which is much higher than jalapeno peppers at 5000. But that should give you an idea of mild, medium and hot for this spicy salsa if we want to put it into grocery store jarred salsa terms.
I would count this recipe as hot. With their sweetness, the mangoes do offset some of that, but there’s no question that this spicier salsa has a kick.
Wear gloves when you prep habanero chilies. It’s just a way to be extra safe, so you don’t end up touching your eyes or nose later and really regretting it.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you’ll need:
- Mangoes that are ripe should have a subtle fragrant smell from their stem end. They also should give a little when you press them. As mangoes ripen, they turn softer. Feel is a better sign of ripeness than color.
- Habanero peppers are hot, so I limit it to two in the recipe. If you are concerned that it will be too hot for your taste if you’re not that into spicy food, you can just use one, which will take it down to medium heat. Or use a jalapeno instead.
- Tomatoes: Broiling the tomatoes with the onions gives them some charred flavor. It also makes up for out-of-season tomatoes, which tend to be bland.
- Onions in any color will work. Red are my preference for their color and crisp texture.
- Garlic is more of a background ingredient, but a good salsa has layers of flavors.
- Cilantro: No salsa would be complete without fresh cilantro for fresh herbs.
- Fresh lime juice adds bright acidity and is the most obvious choice for citrus.
- Salt & pepper are important seasonings to round out the salsa.
How To Make Mango Habanero Salsa
- Preheat the broiler on high. The rack should be in the top position. Line a baking sheet with foil. This makes cleanup much easier.
- Put the tomatoes, onions, habaneros, red onions and ripe mangoes on the pan. It’s best to arrange the tomatoes and onions in the center with the mangoes and habaneros on either side. That’s because then the tomatoes and onions will be closest to heating element in the middle of the top of the oven.
- Broil everything until charred in spots. Shift and rotate the pan as needed to expose the ingredients to the heat source.
- Remove the loose skins from the tomatoes.
- Puree the tomatoes, onions, habaneros, mangoes, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. If you like chunkier salsa, don’t puree it too long.
- Serve the salsa with tortilla chips.
What To Eat With Salsa
Chips! But that is too obvious. One of the things I love most about this condiment is how versatile it is. This mango habanero salsa recipe is generous, so think beyond dip, and put it to use with something else too:
- Eggs are always a good choice. You can stir the salsa in as you crack them in a bowl and whisk them together for a scramble. Or wait and spoon salsa on top of a final dish.
- Fish: Speaking of spooning in salsa, try it as a garnish on baked or grilled fish. Bonus points if it involves fish tacos.
- Cooked grains: Salsa is an instant flavor booster for barley, pearl couscous, rice or pretty much any cooked grains. It works better with something more plump than fine-grained quinoa. Add black beans too.
- Salad dressing: If you stir salsa into grains, why not greens? Go for sturdier leaves like kale. You can mix it with a little olive oil, so it has a more vinaigrette-like consistency.
- Marinade: Pour some salsa into a bag or low wide bowl and marinate meat or chicken.
- Baked potatoes: Sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, salsa is a healthier and more interesting topping than butter or sour cream.
- Grilled or roasted veggies: If you’re looking to change up your usual cooked veggies, spoon on salsa or serve it on the side.
Leftover salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
Store salsa in the freezer up to 2 months. When you thaw it, the salsa will have more liquid, so you will need to pour that off. Fresh salsa tastes better than thawed frozen leftovers, which are best stirred into something like soup or cooked grains.
More Dip Recipes
Mango Habanero Salsa
- 3 medium tomatoes quartered (about 1-3/4 pounds)
- 1 red onion quartered
- 2 habanero peppers halved lengthwise, de-stemmed and de-seeded
- 1 mango peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-wide slices
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Preheat the broiler on high with the rack in the top position. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
- Arrange the tomatoes and onions, cut side down, in the center of the sheet pan. Put the mangoes and habaneros on either side of the tomatoes and onions. Broil for 7-9 minutes until charred in spots. Move the pan on the rack as needed to be closer or farther away from to the broiler-heating element.
- Remove and discard the loose skins from the tomatoes. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or food processor and add the onions, habanero peppers, mangoes, lime juice, garlic salt and pepper. Puree the ingredients into salsa. For chunkier salsa, puree it for less time. If your blender has a pulse function, use that.
- Serve the salsa with tortilla chips.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.