This spicy, fresh mango salsa recipe is a tribute to my childhood memories of Indian mangoes (and my parents’ collection of larger-than-life photographs of my face with mango all over it). Made with just seven simple ingredients, this mango salsa is a perfect accompaniment for taco night, goes great with just about meat or seafood for the flexitarians in your family, and is just delicious!
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you’re successful in your first attempt. But if you’re in a rush, please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end!
Growing up in India, my dad’s family farm would send us burlap sacks full of fresh, juicy ripe mangoes, the size of which I can never find in the US. But when I do find those delicious, ripe mangoes, I’m ready to wolf them down. If you’ve asked yourself what you can make from mangoes, this recipe is a super quick and simple dish that will go a long way.
📋 Ingredients and variations
My recipe is easy, fresh and makes the best homemade mango salsa in just 15 minutes. You’ll need mangoes, red onions, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, lime juice and a dash of red chili powder (and salt, of course!) Slice all of them up, add to a bowl and give them a good mix and your salsa is ready.
I’ve seen and made mangoes with several variations to the ingredients listed above. I’ve included them below in case one of them strikes your fancy a bit more (or you don’t have the ingredients listed above).
- Bell pepper: Many folks like to use red bell pepper because it’s a good mix of spice and sweet, but I am not a huge fan of the raw taste. You can use any pepper in this salsa to boost the sweet flavors.
- Cucumber: Some folks like to use cucumbers – but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m deathly allergic. And I don’t like to post recipes that I don’t test and eat myself a few billion times but you can totally use them.
- Garlic: Some people prefer garlic in their salsa – either raw or the powder form. I’ve found that it tends to overpower the salsa, but I have friends who swear by it .
- Avocado: avocado makes a fantastic addition – but just make sure you use some that are a bit more “firm” so they don’t get mushy. If they start getting mushy, just make mango guacamole instead.
- Corn: Summer corn-on-the-cob is delicious, and occasionally, I’d add corn, straight up (or grilled and charred) into this salsa for an added depth of flavor.
🥭 Tips for picking, ripening and cutting mangoes
How do you pick ripe mangoes?
Okay, this mango salsa is an easy recipe, but it really does rely a lot on the fresh mango flavors to carry it through. Mangoes come in all different colors, shapes and sizes (the ones I grew up eating in India were massive, and a light golden color; Alfonso mangoes that India is known for are more on the orange spectrum). So, the first tip is to ignore the color entirely.
To check if a mango is ripe, squeeze it gently. It should feel much like a ripe avocado , soft, but not mushy. If you smell the edges, it should smell sweet.
How do you ripen mangoes?
I typically buy mangoes like I buy avocados, across a few different stages of ripeness. If they’re not ripe, I leave them on the counter, sometimes in a paper bag (ideally with some bananas but you can also use apples). Bananas tend to release ethylene which helps naturally ripen the mango. If the mangoes are already ripe, or they’ve turned ripe with your paper bag, banana magic, store them in the fridge. This will help keep them fresh.
How do you cut mangoes?
Here’s the thing. Growing up, we’d literally slice the mango in half, and just … eat the whole thing. Pretty presentation was not really something I cared about when it came to mangoes. But for this salsa, I suggest a nice trick. Slice the mango into three portions (the center one will have the hard seed). You might need to make a few slices with your knife to see where the seed actually is. But once you have your three portions, set the seed aside.
Take one of the “side” portions – with the skin and all. Then using your knife make a criss-cross pattern (much like you might for an avocado) and then use a spoon to scoop out nice clean mango bits. Now, for the seed portion. You want to place it flat on a surface and feel for where there’s mango flesh and use a knife or a spoon to take it out. I typically use those parts in a smoothie or lassi (versus adding them to the salsa).
🥄 Serving and storage suggestions
I try to serve my mango salsa chilled (typically 15 to 30 minutes in the fridge would get it to the perfect temperature). You can store this homemade mango salsa for one to two days in an airtight container in the fridge. However, because of the lime juice, and other components, I’ve noticed the mango slices tend to become softer in the fridge. You can still eat them (or puree the whole thing and then use them as a sauce).
If you’re wondering what you can eat with this mango salsa, it goes well with almost any Mexican recipe (tacos, enchiladas, etc.) and also with any meat or fish dish. Check out these recipes:
- 2 mangoes large, chopped (ripe and juicy!)
- 1/2 red onion medium size, chopped finely
- 2 tomatoes medium, seeds removed
- 1 jalapeno with seeds, chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped finely
- 1 lime for juice
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder can substitute with paprika
- 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
- Chop all the ingredients into small consistent sizes – check post for slicing mangoes
- Throw them all (mangoes, tomatoes, jalapenos, red onions and cilantro) into a mixing bowl and give it a quick stir to combine
- Add salt, red chili powder, and squeeze a full lime into the salsa bowl and mix well
- Chill the salsa for about 30 minutes (optional) and serve!
- Make sure the mango is ripe (based on how it yields to touch, similar to a ripe avocado) – this will ensure it’s sweet and delicious
- Chop all the ingredients consistently – it’s helpful to mix them all nicely and gives the salsa good texture overall
- Adjust the seasoning to taste – both salt and red chili powder. I use Kashmiri red chili powder which is quite potent. Taste as you go to make sure it’s perfect!
- I add one jalapeno, but keep the seeds in for a kick. You can omit this, or add up to 2-3 jalapenos in this recipe depending on your spice tolerance
- Have leftover salsa that’s gone soft? Just puree it up and pour it on your next fish dish, or use it as a salad dressing even!
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.