Sweet and juicy mangoes pair with fiery habanero chiles to create a flavor explosion in this mango habanero salsa recipe.
Try topping all your favorite Mexican dishes with this incredibly creamy and versatile sauce, or simply serve it with homemade tortilla chips!
Don't be fooled by the beautiful color — this mango salsa packs quite the punch from hot habanero peppers.
With the help of onion and garlic, salsa de mangó con habanero is the perfect mix of sweet, spicy, and bold flavors.
The beginnings of salsa are not exact, but some version or another has been around since the times of the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas.
There were different variations enjoyed by each civilization (some combination of crushed tomatoes, chiles, and other vegetables). Usually, these sauces were used as a garnish for meat and seafood dishes.
It wasn't until the 1500s that the term "salsa" came to be. During the Spanish colonization of Mexico, it grew in popularity with the Spaniards and eventually became an internationally recognized food.
Fruit-based salsa seems to have started in the Caribbean as many dishes pair sweet and spicy flavors together. The tropical fruits that grow in this area (like mangoes and pineapples) perfectly complement the heat from chiles.
What is mango habanero salsa?
If you aren't already aware, salsa translates to "sauce" in Spanish. Contrary to what many North Americans believe, salsa in Mexico can be any number of sauces.
Salsa can be fresh or cooked, smooth or chunky, spicy or sweet. That's the beauty of Mexican food — there are never-ending options!
We wanted to keep this salsa recipe simple in order to highlight the natural flavors of mango and habanero chiles.
Pan-frying the ingredients helps to release flavors and soften the more pungent nature of fresh onion, garlic, and spicy peppers. It also helps to create a smoother texture once blended.
What you're left with is a fruit-forward, balanced, and creamy mango salsa (with a lot of heat).
We find this mango-habanero salsa recipe tastes the best after resting in the fridge for a few hours (the sweet spot is somewhere around 24 hours). But, don't let that stop you from eating it straight away! This sauce is delicious at any time.
Spicy habanero salsa goes extremely well with:
We know you're going to love this salsa recipe because it's easy to make, 100% plant-based, and gluten-free.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: with a tropical, sweet, and floral flavor, mangoes also give a creamy texture to this delicious salsa. We tend to opt for Ataulfo mangoes because they're so delicious, but any type will do to balance out the spice.
Health: thanks to their high levels of magnesium and potassium, this golden fruit plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Your heart will definitely thank you for putting back a few creamy mangoes!
Taste: with floral, fruity, and sweet characteristics, habaneros have a very unique flavor profile from most other chile peppers. But, don't let their sweet flavor fool you — habaneros come in at 100,000-350,000 SHU (12-100 times hotter than jalapeño peppers).
Health: there is 100% of your daily vitamin C needs packed into just one single habanero chile, which means they contain more vitamin C per gram than oranges!
Taste: no salsa is complete without throwing a little garlic into the mix. We lightly sauté the cloves to tame their uniquely pungent and spicy flavors. This helps balance and blend all the flavors into a cohesive sauce.
Health: garlic has many health benefits and is currently used to treat conditions like atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Although more research is needed, garlic has been used for thousands of years in medicine.
Taste: with a sharper flavor than other varieties, white onions are a staple in Mexican cooking. You'll find raw onions are often served as a garnish with most dishes. For this mango salsa, we've subdued the strong flavor by cooking them.
Health: this may surprise you, but onions are quite nutrient-dense, meaning they contain a lot of nutrients in just a few calories. Topping the list are B vitamins, vitamin C, and fiber. We'll take any excuse to add more delicious health benefits to our cooking!
If you have questions about this mango habanero salsa recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: roughly chop the onion and garlic. Peel and cube the mangoes. Remove the green stem of the habanero chiles and slice them in half lengthwise. You can remove the seeds if you want to tame down the spice in this sauce.
Note: be careful to wash your hands or wear gloves when handling the chiles so you don't burn your eyes!
Step 2: heat the oil in a pan over medium, then add in the onion and sauté for a few minutes. Mix in the garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, or until fragrant.
Step 3: add the sliced habaneros and continue cooking, stirring frequently. Lastly, mix in the mango cubes and turn the heat down to just under medium. Sauté for about 3 minutes, then pour in the water and finish cooking until the mangoes are softened.
Step 4: transfer everything to a blender or food processor with lime juice and salt. Mix the salsa on high until it is well combined and smooth, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add lime for tang, salt for flavor, or more liquid if you prefer it runnier!
Step 5: transfer your sauce to a bowl or container to chill for a few hours before serving it. You can also enjoy your hot habanero salsa right away on tacos, with tortilla chips, in burritos, and more!
You will love how well this mango habanero salsa stores, especially because it seems to go with just about everything!
Transfer your sauce to a clean, airtight glass container or jar and this mango salsa will keep in your fridge for up to 1 week.
You'll be happy to know that mango habanero salsa freezes extremely well! Make sure it's in a freezer-safe container or baggie and it will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. Don't forget to leave a bit of room at the top for expansion.
💭 Tips & variations
We'd like to share some tips and variations we learned while experimenting with this mango habanero salsa:
- Add more spice. If you're an intense spice lover, try doubling the number of habaneros for an eye-watering heat level.
- Sweeten it up. If your mangoes aren't overly ripe, add some sugar or agave in a teaspoon at a time.
- Adjust your consistency. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add small amounts of water while blending.
- Add a garnish. We really love smooth salsa, so we use a Vitamix blender. But, make sure to save a little extra mango if you want something to top your salsa with!
🍴 Tasting notes
We serve this golden-yellow sauce on pretty much anything and everything. It's:
If you try this mango habanero salsa recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Mango Habanero Salsa
- Cutting board and chef knife
- Frying pan
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil ($0.09)
- ½ white onion, roughly chopped ($0.12)
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped ($0.12)
- 4-5 fresh habanero chiles ($0.12)
- 3 fresh mangoes ($0.96)
- 3 tablespoon lime juice ($0.27)
- ⅓ cup water ($0.00)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste ($0.01)
- 1-2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- First, roughly chop the onion and garlic. De-stem and slice the habaneros in half lengthwise. Peel and cube the mangoes. Set aside.
- Note: careful to wash your hands or wear gloves when handling the habaneros. Remove the seeds if you want to tame down the spice in this sauce.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a pan over medium. Add in the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then mix in the garlic and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add the sliced habaneros and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently. Lastly, stir in the mango cubes and turn the heat down to just under medium. Continue sautéeing for ~3 minutes, then pour in the water and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the mangoes are softened.
- Transfer all cooked ingredients to a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice and salt and mix on high until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add lime for more tang, salt for more flavor, or more water if you prefer it runnier.
- Transfer to a bowl or container to chill for 2-3 hours before serving. Alternatively, you can serve this salsa right away on tacos, with chips, in burritos, etc. Happy eating!
- Adjust the level of spiciness to your preferences. If you prefer a milder salsa, try using jalapeños in place of some of the habaneros or omit them altogether.
- We didn’t feel the need for sugar in our salsa because our mangoes are so ripe. However, if you have a greener mango, sugar will help balance the spiciness.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty sauces, check out our:
- Salsa roja so you can master a staple in Mexican cooking.
- Salsa verde for a zesty, spicy, and herbaceous tomatillo-based sauce.
- Salsa fresca if you want a chunky, bright, and refreshing salsa that comes together in minutes.
- Guacamole for an unbelievably creamy chip dip, taco topping, or burrito filler.
This mango salsa recipe is about a 7/10 on the spice scale (or medium-hot). You can always adjust the spiciness by adding or removing habaneros.
We use Ataulfo mangoes in this recipe because they are so creamy and sweet. But, any mango will do the trick! Just taste and adjust your sweetness level at the end since each mango variety differs slightly.
You do not have to de-seed the habaneros. If you want extra spicy salsa, do not remove them (like us). If you prefer a milder spice level, take them out. It's completely up to you!
Yes, you can also roast the habanero peppers for this salsa. We prefer pan-frying them to keep our recipe simple, but you can use whichever cooking method you are comfortable with.