Sweet and Spicy Mango Habanero Salsa

Despite the fact that it’s the dead of winter right now, this mango habanero salsa brings a little summertime warmth into your kitchen!  It’s a little sweet, has a great amount of heat, and tastes downright delicious.  Try spicing things up – quite literally! – in your kitchen.

A bowl full of colorful mango habanero salsa

How to make mango habanero salsa

This recipe is so simple! You’ll just gather your ingredients – mango, tomato, red onion, lime, cilantro, habanero, salt, and olive oil.  Chop up what needs to be chopped, then mix everything together.  Couldn’t be easier, right?!

Here’s a few recommendations that I have when it comes to those ingredients:

  • Aim for just-right ripe mangos.  When they’re not-so-ripe, the texture is a bit tough and they don’t have as much sweetness.  If they’re over-ripe, the texture is a little too mushy.  When you’re at the store, the mango should have a slight give if you press lightly on the skin.
  • During the summer, look for fresh local heirloom tomatoes for this recipe.  Unfortunately you won’t be able to find them in the winter, but once it’s warm I love to grab them from our local farm and get tons of different varieties.  They taste amazing!
  • Don’t get habanero pepper all over your hands when cutting it.  Even after washing your hands, you’ll feel a burn if you touch your mouth, eyes, nose, etc.  Instead, chop it well with the knife and use that to add it into the salsa, or wear a glove if you need to handle it.

Mango Habanero Salsa

Substitutions for habanero peppers

If you can’t find a habanero, a scotch bonnet pepper is a perfect substitute.  Both are relatively similar in terms of heat on the Scoville scale.

If you’re looking for something a bit milder to suit the kiddos – or if you need a tamer version of the heat – you can grab jalapeno instead.  This is far lower in heat and quite easy to find at any supermarket.  Use half of a jalapeno (seeds removed) chopped very finely for a more kid-friendly version of this salsa.

Can you can mango habanero salsa?

You may be able to, but would require a bit of adjustment to the recipe and a solid knowledge of proper canning procedures.  Because of this, I don’t recommend trying to can it on your own unless you’re an expert.  Here’s why (I’m about to get nerdy with science, haha):

Most experts recommend water bath canning for products that fall below a 4.6 on the pH scale.  This is because a certain bacterium – Clostridium Botulinum – can grow above this, and produce a toxin in the food.

Mangos can be a bit of a challenge to can at home, since they may fall above this critical pH level for home canning in a water bath.  Similarly, some varieties of tomato may also have a pH a bit above the critical level – in particular, very ripe heirloom tomatoes like I used in this recipe.

As written, this recipe does contain the juice from one lime, which adds some acid.  However, this may not be enough to bring the acidity to the correct level.  In addition, recommendations call for you to use bottled lime/lemon juice in canning recipes, as these have a standardized acidity.

Because of this, the recipe as written wouldn’t make a good option for canning.  If you’re an expert, you can try alterations to the recipe using bottled lime/lemon juice or vinegar to achieve the proper pH – but again, this should only be done if you’re an expert with access to a pH meter for food safety reasons.

Don’t worry, though – this mango habanero salsa is so delicious, you and your family won’t have any problems polishing it off quickly!

A bowl of mango habanero salsa next to tortilla chips

Ideas for serving

Obviously, the go-to is tortilla chips.  The salty, crispy corn-based chips taste great with this salsa.  It’s a perfect dip to make for a party because it’s easy, minimal ingredients, and has a surprising flavor profile that many people haven’t tried.

But that’s not the only way you can use this, of course!  Here are a few other ideas for this salsa:

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  If you tried it, definitely leave a recipe rating and comment to let us know how you liked it.

A bowl of mango habanero salsa next to tortilla chips
5 from 1 vote
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Mango Habanero Salsa

This mango habanero salsa is a little sweet, has a great amount of heat, and tastes downright delicious. Try spicing things up – quite literally! – in your kitchen.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 50 kcal
Author Comeback Momma

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mango, diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1-2 small habanero peppers, minced (depending on heat preference)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Do not handle chopped habanero with bare hands. Use a gloved hand, or use your knife to transfer the chopped pepper to the bowl.
  • If you’re unsure of the spice level of a habanero, I recommend only using one to start. Then eat a few bites and see how you like it (the heat level tends to build over a few bites). If it’s not spicy enough, you can add a second pepper.

Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving):

50 calories, 2 g fat, 149 mg sodium, 8.5 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 1 g protein, Vitamin A: 13%, Vitamin C: 40%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 2%

Share:  Are you a fan of hot peppers?  What’s your favorite way to enjoy salsa – on chips or on a protein?  If you tried this mango habanero salsa, what’d you think? 

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