This mango habanero salsa is crazy delicious. It makes a festive dish full of zingy flavor, sweet mango-forward sensations, and finishes with a big kick of heat (that’s only for spice-lovers!). It’s a great way to serve up a party. It also happens to be naturally vegan and paleo.
You can serve this salsa with chips as a colorful sweet and tangy appetizer or enliven a chicken, pork or fish dinner. This easy salsa recipe has got zip and zeal and will turn any meal into a tasty explosion of spicy, sweet flavor.
- Red onion
- Olive Oil
- Lime Juice
- Habanero pepper
This sweet and spicy salsa is so quick and easy, you just prep all the ingredients, throw it all together, and stir.
Let it chill for at least an hour so that the flavors fully develop, and serve!
I prefer fresh ingredients, but if you want perfectly cubed bright orange mango bites, using frozen mangos may be the best option. Just dethaw the mangos and proceed as usual. It will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
How to handle habaneros?
This is an important must-read before you jump to the recipe!
It is extremely important how you handle habaneros. These peppers are very hot and likely to cause burns if handled without care. Don’t ruin your day – instead, take the necessary precautions.
Wear plastic gloves! And don’t touch your face or anyone else even with your gloves on!
Habanero has a 5-chili heat factor 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶 and can sting and burn your hands in seconds. They’re much hotter than jalapenos, and before the appearance of the ghost pepper, habaneros were considered one of the hottest peppers in the world.
But don’t be afraid, I’ve got solutions for properly handling these eye-opening peppers.
Put on gloves!
Put gloves on both hands. Put the peppers in a colander and rinse with cool running water. Place the peppers on a cutting board, cut the tops off and discard the stems.
Contrary to popular belief, the heat of peppers is not only in the seed pod, but the majority of the heat lies in the membranes of the inner walls.
How to deseed and devein habaneros
To deseed and devein peppers, after you cut the top off, use a small sugar spoon to dislodge and scoop out the seed pod, the white membranes, and the seeds. You can also use your thumb to scrape out the heat, as long as you are still wearing your gloves.
Once the pepper has been cleared of the bulk of the heat, you can add a little olive oil and rub out any residual heat from the flesh of the pepper.
How to carefully cut habanero peppers
Then cut the habaneros in half lengthwise, cut into thin strips, and then finely dice into smaller pieces.
For intense heat, you could leave the membrane, but even without the seeds and veins, the habanero will always add a spark to any dish.
Leaving the seeds can add a bitter taste, so it is best to remove as many as possible.
Clean up carefully
And don’t forget to wash utensils, cutting boards, and any surface you used to minimize coming into contact with residual oils.
In short, handle with care, and remember, to get a fabulous salsa, it’s all about balancing the flavors.
What if you feel the burn
Capsaicin is the active oil in peppers that brings on the heat. Unfortunately washing with soap and water won’t always stop the stinging burn because this oil doesn’t dissolve in water.
To help neutralize the burning sensation and get some relief, wash your hands with rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and water. These have properties that dissolve the oil. Just put it on your hands and wash with water repeatedly until the burn stops. You can also use olive oil to soothe the burn.
If by chance, one of your guests can’t take the heat – milk, yogurt or sour cream dilutes the capsaicin as it dissolves the fats in these dairy products. It’s an effective solution for reducing heat when your mouth is on fire. But the key here is the fat, so low-fat dairy will not do the trick.
Want to remove all the heat?
If you want to take ALL of the heat out of these peppers and leave only the flavor of the habanero, then soaking it in alcohol works best.
To do that, once you have completed the deseeding process, completely submerge and soak the pepper in Tequila or vodka for 3 hours.
This will completely remove the heat left in the flesh and leave you with only the smoky citrus flavors of the pepper. If you soak it for 2 hours, it will have the heat of a jalapeno. As a bonus, using this method you can take the habanero-infused tequila and slip it into a spicy adult cocktail.
If you don’t do dairy, drinking tomato juice or eating a fresh lemon or lime will help neutralize the sensation.
If you get it in the eyes, don’t rub them! You may have oil on your hands, and you don’t want to make it worse. Blink rapidly to start tear production which will help flush out the oils.
You can use a saline solution to reduce the burning. It doesn’t remove the oils, but it does temper the sting.
All that being said, this luscious mango habanero salsa has a sweet side.
Don’t want to use a habanero pepper?
This salsa is a 10 out of 10 on the spiciness scale. If you don’t want it that spicy, you can use half a habanero. No much how much you use, be sure to chop it very finely so you don’t get any large bits of habanero in there.
For something less spicy, jalapeno also works! Or try this Strawberry Salsa!
What to serve with this mango habanero salsa
This zippy mango habanero salsa is great with chips (how about these Plantain Chips?!). It also goes well with just about everything from grilled chicken to tender pork loin, and it’s especially nice with grilled fish.
- While you’re making the salsa and firing up the grill, sip on this refreshing Frozen Pineapple Margarita.
- Vegan Tortillas. work well with fish tacos, chili-lime chicken wraps, or slow cooker pork carnitas. Topped off with this amazing salsa, it’s sure to be great.
- If you’re thinking about grilling salmon, I found some tips that might help you grill it to perfection. From Foodie Crush The Best Grilled Salmon.
- If mangos are on sale, you’ll need 3 more mangos to serve these popsicles for dessert Mango Lassi Popsicles.
- Or with just two extra mangos with some pineapple, bananas, and orange juice, you can try these Tropical Sunrise Popsicles.
- If you’d rather have a cookie for dessert, these Coconut Lime Macaroons should pair well with the tropical setting you created with this spectacular salsa.
Spice up your drinks
If you decide to soak the habaneros to remove a little heat, pour the lightly infused habanero tequila into your favorite spicy cocktail and kick it up a notch.
If you have a habanero pepper leftover, you can infuse a bottle of alcohol overnight. Add a shot to some lemonade with a sugar rim and you’ll be dancing all day long.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy this salsa! If you make it or any other recipe you find here, I would love to see pics of your fine creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Just tag #fooddoodlesrecipes so I can easily find them! 😉
Mango Habanero Salsa
- 2 mangos diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 habanero pepper pitted and finely minced
- Put on plastic gloves. And don’t touch your face or anyone else even with your gloves on!
- To deseed and devein the habanero, after you cut the top off, use a small sugar spoon to dislodge and scoop out the seed pod, the white membranes, and the seeds. You can also use your thumb to scrape out the heat, as long as you are still wearing your gloves. Once the pepper has been cleared of the bulk of the heat, you can add a little olive oil and rub out any residual heat from the flesh of the pepper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.