Looking for a unique salsa recipe with the perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavors? This homemade mango habanero salsa recipe is going to bring the heat. Hot habanero chilis and ripe mangoes pair up for the most flavorful fruit salsa you have ever tasted.
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I am a big fan of homemade salsas. Whether you are making traditional salsa recipes or putting your own spin on it, like making salsa without cilantro, homemade salsa always tastes better thanks to the fresh ingredients and the ability to adjust the seasonings to your preferred taste level.
In This Post
📖Why This Recipe Works
When making a fruit-based salsa it is important to take into account both textures and sweetness.
Fruits like mangos and peaches tend to be softer so when mixed with tomatoes you get a mushy dip. Not good. Instead, we add red bell peppers so you get a different type of sweetness and some crunch.
To balance the sweetness, we are obviously adding spicy habanero peppers but also olive oil. The fat in the small amount of olive oil helps move the flavors around so you don't get big overly spicy bites mixed with mild ones.
That little splash makes this the best homemade mango habanero salsa.
Mango and habanero chili are obviously the stars of the show. For this recipe, I use 2 large mangos, if you use a different variety you may need to use up to 4 mangos.
I typically use 1 habanero pepper but always buy two. Just in case it isn't as hot as I would like.
How to Pick a Ripe Mango
This recipe is best with ripe juicy mango. Squeeze the mango gently, a ripe mango will give slightly. If it is hard as a rock the mango is not yet ripe and needs to sit for a few more days before cutting into.
To speed up the ripening process place the mango in a brown paper bag, roll it shut, and store it at room temperature. Mangoes release an odorless gas that speeds up the ripening process.
Ripe mangos are generally available all year round as they are grown in different regions with staggered growing seasons.
How to Pick a Hot Habanero Pepper
Habanero peppers typically turn bright orange when fully mature. But they get hotter if they stay on the vine and turn to their final orange or red color.
In addition, you will need:
- Red Bell Pepper
- Red Onion
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Garlic
- Olive Oil
I do not recommend substituting white onion in this recipe. The flavor is too strong for the delicate mango.
You need to use fresh lime as this recipe uses both fresh lime juice and the zest of the lime.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Spicy Mango Salsa
Making salsa is a relatively quick process with the longest time commitment is in the chopping of the ingredients. The most important trick to this recipe is getting the diced right on the different ingredients.
This is a chunkier salsa recipe, but certain items need to be bigger than others in order to achieve the perfect texture and to get all the flavors in one bite.
Step 1- Cut the Mango
The mango will be the largest diced piece in the salsa. The pit of the mango is large and flat. Cut down lengthwise about one-third of the way towards the center. Repeat on the other side.
Use your knife to make a cross-hatch pattern. Turn the mango inside out and scrape out the flesh. Depending on how large the mango is you may need to dice it up more.
Step 2- Cut the Habanero
There are two ways to cut hot habanero peppers. The first is with a knife and cutting board. For which I highly recommend wearing gloves. Either latex gloves or kitchen gloves.
The second is in a food processor. The downside of using a food processor is that the pepper will leave behind a very spicy oily residue that is hard to clean.
Whichever method you choose, cut off the top and carefully devein.
Finely dice the pepper with the knife. Or, if you go the food process route, pulse until the habanero is very finely diced.
To clean out the food processor use the juiced lime from this recipe to wipe down the inside before washing thoroughly.
The acid will help neutralize the heat of the pepper.
Step 3- Combine
Add the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro into a large bowl and gently mix. It will have a brighter flavor if you add it right before serving.
Allow the salsa to sit at room temperature for one hour to develop the flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If you want a spicier salsa you can add jalapeno peppers or extra habanero at this time.
Stir in the cilantro and serve.
🥗What to Serve with Chunky Mango Habanero Salsa
Your favorite tortilla chips are the obvious choice. But I also like salsa on pieces of endive spears as a snack.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
I can't emphasize enough how small you need to cut the pepper! This is the only way to get the spice level consistent in every bite.
This flavorful salsa can be made with any fruit in place of the mango. You can try it with pineapple, peaches, or even cherries.
If you keep the salsa in a covered container, it will last 2-3 days in the fridge. It’s essential to keep it in an airtight container so the mango doesn't go bad.
Serve the leftover salsa slightly chilled or at room temperature.
Obviously, you know these are very spicy peppers. Please wear gloves and be sure not to touch your eyes or face. Or anyone else, for that matter including your pets.
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can substitute frozen mango for fresh in this recipe. However, for best results use fresh mangoes. Fresh mango has a better texture for this type of salsa.
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Mango Habanero Salsa
- Combine all the ingredients, except the cilantro, in a bowl. Stir well to evenly distribute the hot habanero pepper.2 ripe mangos, 1 red bell pepper, ½ red onion, 1 habanero pepper, 1 clove garlic, 1 lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Cover and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Stir in the cilantro, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, and serve.⅓ cup cilantro
- Wearing kitchen gloves or a latex glove when chopping the habanero pepper is highly recommended.
- The pepper and the garlic should be finely minced to help evenly distribute the heat.