Looking for a fresh, sweet, and spicy salsa to elevate your tacos or enjoy as a dip with tortilla chips? You’ll love this easy mango habanero salsa!
It’s simple to make, with just 7 ingredients and no cooking required. It’s got just enough heat from the habanero peppers, and the juicy, sweet mango balances it out perfectly.
Fruit Salsa for Fish Tacos
Often traditional salsa is made with tomatoes or tomatillos, but this mango salsa without tomatoes makes mangos and habanero peppers the stars of the show!
It’s veggie-packed, with lots of fresh flavor – including lime juice and fresh cilantro. (If you’re not a cilantro fan, feel free to just leave it out – I know it tastes like soap to some people!)
This homemade mango salsa is especially perfect for summertime, when mangos are in season (May through September is their peak deliciousness zone). But not to worry: you can use thawed frozen mango, if needed, to enjoy this salsa any time of year!
Here are more delicious mango recipes to try!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this mango habanero salsa recipe:
- mango (You’ll need either 2 medium fresh mangos, or you can also use frozen mango. If using frozen mango, I recommend getting pre-diced frozen mango for ease of use. Let the frozen mango thaw completely in the refrigerator ahead of time, and drain any excess liquid before using.)
- red onion
- red bell pepper
- fresh cilantro (optional but awesome)
- lime (I highly recommend using fresh lime juice – as opposed to bottled lime juice – for better flavor.)
- habanero pepper (You can control how spicy the salsa is by including the seeds (spicier), or leaving them out (less spicy).)
What are habanero peppers?
Habanero peppers are small, spicy chile peppers (spicier than jalapeños). They originate from South America. Once ripe, they are often orange or red in color.
If you don’t want any spice in this recipe, you can always leave it out, and/or replace it with additional diced bell pepper for a similar texture without the heat.
How to Make Mango Salsa with Habanero
To make this fresh mango salsa, start by finely chopping mangoes, red onion, bell peppers, and cilantro.
Next, you’ll need to finely dice the habanero pepper. (I recommend wearing kitchen gloves or disposable gloves for this, so you don’t get the spicy juices on your hands and then accidentally touch your face!)
Core and deseed the pepper before chopping if you want the salsa to be less spicy. Or, leave in the seeds for some extra heat.
Then, add everything in a large bowl. Squeeze lime juice on top and season with salt, then toss well.
Feel free to add more lime juice and/or salt to taste. Then, serve and enjoy!
How to Cut Mango (Easy Trick)
Here’s a simple trick for cutting mango:
- Start by slicing off both ends of the mango (on either side of the pit in the center)
- Push each mango end along the edge of a glass cup (with the skin facing out) to separate the flesh from the skin
- Dice the separated mango flesh
Easy peasy! Cool, right?
Tips for Chopping a Habanero Pepper
It’s best to use latex or plastic gloves to avoid touching the habanero. Otherwise, the habanero juices can linger on your hands and fingers, and if you touch your eye or skin it will burn and can be painful!
Alternatively, you can use a small food processor to chop the pepper. That way, you barely have to touch it at all. Scoop the chopped habanero out with a spoon.
While this salsa is best when made fresh, you can keep it stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can be served chilled or at room temperature.
Is this mango salsa spicy?
I used half of a habanero pepper without seeds in this recipe and it had the perfect hit of heat for me. If you like a spicier salsa, use the full pepper without seeds, and if you like it extra hot, include the seeds too.
If you want it less spicy, feel free to swap out the habanero pepper with jalapeno pepper or serrano pepper, which are not as spicy. You can control the spice level further by using more (spicier) or less (not as spicy) of the seeds.
Or, feel free to leave out the habanero entirely and simply replace it with some extra bell pepper for zero heat!
Is this mango habanero salsa gluten free or vegan?
Yes, this mango salsa recipe is both gluten free and vegan! It contains no dairy, gluten, or animal products – just fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs.
What to Serve With Mango Habanero Salsa
This salsa would make a delicious topping for any taco or Mexican dish, such as:
- Blackened Salmon Tacos
- Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos
- Loaded Vegetarian Nachos (Sheet Pan)
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos
- Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
Or, add it on top of roasted salmon or white fish.
Lastly, you can always enjoy it as a snack or appetizer with some tortilla chips!
Want to switch things up? Try using peaches or pineapple instead of mango for a similar, yet slightly different-tasting fruit salsa.
If you’re not big on spice, omit the habanero or replace it with jalapeno (using seeds or no seeds for different spice levels) or serrano pepper.
To make this a smooth mango salsa, roast the habanero pepper in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Then, add everything to a blender and blend until smooth!
I hope you love this salsa! I know we’ll be eating it on repeat all summer long. 🙂
More salsas and taco toppings to try:
- avocado crema with lime
- pickled / fermented veggies (including sliced jalapenos!)
- homemade salsa verde (with pork tenderloin tacos)
- watermelon salsa (with roasted salmon)
- apple cabbage slaw with white beans
- pineapple salsa (with Jamaican jerk turkey burgers)
- 2 medium mangos, finely chopped (about 2 cups)*
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 to 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped (with or without seeds, depending on how spicy you want the salsa)**
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Make the salsa: combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt or lime juice as needed.
*You can use fresh or frozen mango. If using frozen mango, be sure to thaw it completely and drain any excess liquid before using.
**I highly recommend wearing kitchen gloves while chopping the habanero pepper. This keeps the spicy juices from getting on your hands. (If you accidentally touched your face/eyes, it would hurt!)
For a less spicy version of this salsa, swap out the habanero pepper with jalapeno pepper or serrano pepper, or leave it out entirely. You can control the spice level further with the amount of seeds you choose to include in the salsa. More seeds = more spicy.