Turn your fresh mangoes into this gorgeous Mango Habanero Salsa. It's the best, sweet and spicy twist on a traditional salsa. You'll crave it all summer long. Enjoy as an easy appetizer, topping on your favorite protein, or a slaw substitute on BBQ Pulled Chicken or Instant Pot Pork Butt.
📋 About the Recipe
- It's the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. There's a hint of sweetness from the fruity mango, tanginess from the fresh lime juice, and a spicy kick from the fiery habanero peppers.
- It's ready in 30 minutes. This homemade salsa recipe is truly quick and easy and requires just 15 minutes to prep. Then it sits for 15 minutes in the fridge to combine all of the flavors. You'll have a delicious dip on the table in no time.
- Kid friendly option! If you're hoping to turn this mango habanero salsa into a family friendly appetizer, you can do so by omitting the habanero or dialing it back a bit to reduce the heat. Scroll down to my substitution recommendations for a few more ideas!
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Fresh mango - When making a fruit salsa, it's important to use ripe fruit that is slightly soft, but not overly ripe. If it's too ripe, it won't hold it's shape and will make the salsa more liquid-y. If you only have super ripe mango on hand, try making my Mango Mojito instead.
- Habanero pepper - If you've never cooked with spicy habanero peppers, they're between the scotch bonnet pepper and fatali pepper on the scoville scale. They are quite hot (6 peppers hotter than a jalapeño!) and you should only need 1 for this salsa. Shop for the small orange habanero peppers in your local grocery store in the produce section. If you'd like a milder mango salsa, check out the one in this salmon recipe!
- Red bell pepper - Red bell pepper adds a nice crunch and a hint of sweetness that helps balance out the heat from the habanero peppers. If needed, you can also use an orange or yellow bell pepper.
- Seasonings - This mango habanero salsa recipe is simply seasoned with cumin, chili powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Adjust these seasonings to taste, as needed.
- Cilantro - Fresh cilantro adds a distinct flavor and aroma to the salsa that makes it bright and refreshing.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Mango substitutions - Try diced pineapple or ripe peaches.
- Habanero pepper substitutions - If you can't find habanero pepper at your local grocery store, replace it with a scotch bonnet pepper, jalapeño pepper, or serrano pepper.
- Cilantro substitutions - If you don't enjoy the flavor of cilantro or coriander leaves, omit it completely or replace it with another fresh herb such as flat-leaf parsley, sliced green onions, or even fresh basil.
- Milder salsa option - For a mild heat, omit the habanero or use a less hot pepper, such as a poblano pepper, Anaheim pepper, or mild jalapeño pepper.
- Mix the salsa ingredients together. In a medium or large bowl, add the diced sweet mango, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, habanero, fresh cilantro, lime juice, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Pulse ⅔ of salsa in food processor. Scoop ⅔ of the mango habanero salsa mixture to the bowl of a large food processor. Blend until mostly smooth.
- Add blended salsa back to bowl. Transfer the blended salsa back into the bowl with the remaining ⅓ salsa mixture. Stir to combine.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips or refrigerate until chilled!
❄️ How to Store
To store: Store leftover salsa in the refrigerator in an airtight container or serving dish tightly covered with plastic wrap for up to 5 days.
To freeze: If desired, this spicy mango salsa can be frozen. Smoother salsas will freeze better than a chunkier salsa, so if you are planning on freezing this spicy salsa, I'd recommend blending the full batch until mostly smooth.
Then, transfer the salsa to a freezer safe container or zip top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, defrost in the fridge until completely thawed, stir, then enjoy as usual.
Aside from enjoying with your favorite tortilla chips, this salsa can be enjoyed with a number of dishes. Try it on Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breasts, grilled shrimp, fish tacos, or your favorite Wraps & Sandwiches. You can also add it to your favorite burritos, Loaded Burger Bowls, or add it to these Jerk Chicken Tacos for an extra spicy punch.
If you'd like to add a protein boost to the salsa, stir in a can of black beans or sweet corn (or both!) right before serving. This will make the smoother salsa more hearty and a good side dish or appetizer for hungry guests.
When stored in an airtight glass jar, this salsa should last for at least 5 days, but may last as long as 1 week. Since it is made with fresh ingredients, it's possible it can spoil before then, so before consuming, always check your homemade salsa for mold or a change in odor.
💭 One More Tip
Please wear gloves when handling habanero peppers! I highly recommend wearing disposable gloves when handling habanero peppers.
Also, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes and face after handling. Although habanero peppers are small, they are incredibly spicy and even the slightest amount can irritate your eyes, nose, and lips.
If you do touch the pepper directly or get the juices on your hands, wash your hands in cold water and use dish soap, instead of hand soap, to remove the oils left on your hands from the pepper. Scrub and thoroughly clean any knives or cutting board after contact with habanero peppers as well.
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Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I'd love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!
Mango Habanero Salsa
- 2 cups diced fresh mango (about 2 mangoes)
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion (about ⅛th of an onion)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 garlic clove)
- 1 tablespoon finely diced habanero, seeded (about 1 habanero) SEE NOTES
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 ½ tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- tortilla chips, for serving
- Add all ingredients to a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
- Scoop ⅔ of the salsa into the bowl of a food processor. Set the other ⅓ aside. Blend ⅔ of the salsa until well blended. It may not be entirely smooth, that’s okay.
- Pour blended salsa back into the bowl with the remaining salsa. Stir to combine.
- Serve salsa with your favorite tortilla chips or on top of fish or tacos.
- I highly recommend wearing disposable gloves when handling habanero peppers, as well as washing your hands thoroughly. You should also avoid touching your eyes and face after handling. These tiny peppers are incredibly spicy and even the slightest amount can irritate your eyes, nose, and lips.
- This salsa can also be served without blending - similar to a mango habanero pico de gallo, or it can all be blended for a smoother sauce-like texture.
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