This sweet and spicy mango habanero salsa is made with fire-roasted tomatoes, peppers, onion, and garlic mixed with mango, citrus juice, and fresh herbs. It's a delicious summer snack!
Guys, my hot peppers are doing so well this year!
I've already made one big batch of homemade hot sauce, and plan on making more soon.
This past week, despite making hot sauce, I still had an overwhelming amount of hot peppers in my crisper drawer.
Since we also had tons of garden tomatoes, I decided to make this fire-roasted tomato salsa.
And then I realized something.
There were mangoes in the freezer.
If you follow along with my Instagram stories, you might remember when I had boxes and boxes of mangoes. Those mangoes became mango frozen yogurt, mango sorbet, mango popsicles, and the rest were cubed and frozen.
As you may know, mangoes and habaneros are a perfect match.
I quickly decided to make another batch of salsa.
And as much as I love fresh mango salsa, I knew that roasting it would bring out even more delicious flavors.
Oh, and I added tomatoes. After all, it is tomato season!
This mango habanero salsa is both sweet and spicy, and is the perfect summer chip dip!
How Hot Is This Mango Habanero Salsa?
It has the potential to be blazing hot.
But it doesn't have to be!
Habanero peppers are spicy, and the level of heat can vary from pepper to pepper.
For a milder salsa, here's what to do.
Remove both the seeds and the membrane after roasting. A lot of the heat is in the pepper membrane, not just the seeds!
You can also try adding half of the habanero pepper to the final salsa, tasting the salsa, and then adding more for extra heat.
For a hotter salsa, add leave the habanero pepper whole. For an even hotter salsa, add an extra pepper or two.
Keep in mind that with three whole habanero peppers, your salsa will be hotter than most store-bought hot salsa.
Habanero Safety Tips
There are a few things to keep in mind when cooking with these extra-hot peppers.
First, leave the pepper whole while roasting.
The habaneros will release fewer cough-inducing pepper fumes when roasted whole.
So even though in general I recommend cutting peppers before roasting, in this case I make an exception. Your lungs will thank me.
Second, turn on your oven hood vent, and if possible, open a window while roasting the peppers. You want to get rid of as many pepper fumes as possible.
And finally, if you choose to cut open the habanero after roasting (to remove the seeds and membrane), wear gloves. Hot pepper juices can burn your skin.
Did I scare you? I hope not.
If you follow the precautions listed above, your pepper experience should go flawlessly!
Are Poblano Peppers Spicy?
Poblano peppers are mildly spicy.
And I do mean mildly.
In general, poblano peppers are a little bit spicier than bell peppers. If you're very concerned about the heat level in this recipe, you can swap the poblano pepper for a sweet bell pepper.
What Kind of Tomatoes Should I Use?
I recommend using mostly Roma tomatoes (or any type of plum tomato).
Roma tomatoes are less juicy, so your final salsa will be less watery.
That said, the mango will also thicken the salsa, so if all you have are juicy tomatoes, they'll still work. Your final salsa might be a little bit more watery.
How to Make Fire-Roasted Mango Habanero Salsa
Start by broiling your vegetables.
Cut the tomatoes in half and set the cut-side down on a baking sheet.
Cut the poblano pepper, remove the seeds, and add it to the baking sheet.
Add a peeled, wedged red onion, unpeeled garlic cloves, and the whole habanero(s).
Drizzle the veggies with a high-smoke point oil (I used Primal Kitchen's avocado oil), and broil until the veggies are charred.
Next, peel as much of the skin off the poblano pepper as possible. Poblano skin tends to be bitter.
If a little skin is left on the pepper, it's fine.
Pop the garlic out of the peels. It should come out easily.
If desired, put on rubber gloves and cut the habanero pepper(s) in half.
Remove the seeds and membrane for less heat.
Next, add cubed mango and all the roasted veggies to the basin of a food processor. Alternatively, you could finely dice everything by hand.
If your food processor is a little bit too small to chop everything at once, work in batches. My KitchenAid 5-cup food processor is just a tiny bit too small to do everything in one batch.
Add the chopped salsa to a large bowl, and stir in lime juice, cilantro (or oregano), a little cumin, and some salt.
And now, the hard part.
If at all possible, cover the bowl and refrigerate it overnight. This salsa is good right away, but is SO MUCH better after it rests.
The flavors will mix together and create a sweet and spicy chip dip that just won't stop!
Mango Habanero Salsa
- 2 cups mango, diced (~½" cubes), fresh or frozen
- 1 pound Roma tomatoes, cored + halved See Recipe Notes
- 1 red onion, peeled + sliced into 6 to 8 wedges
- 1 poblano pepper, stem + seeds removed, cut in half lengthwise For less heat, use a sweet bell pepper instead
- 1 habanero pepper, whole (stem removed) For more heat, use 2-3 peppers
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled Use more or less as desired
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil Or use another high-smoke point oil, such as canola
- 1 lime or lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup cilantro, removed from stem + roughly chopped Or swap fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
- If using frozen mango, remove it from the freezer now to begin thawing.Move an oven tray about 3 to 4 inches from the broiler. Preheat the broiler to high.Place tomatoes, onions, and poblano pepper cut-side down in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the habanero pepper and garlic on the baking sheet.Drizzle oil over the veggies.
- Before broiling, create a well-ventilated space for the habanero fumes to exit the kitchen quickly. Turn on the oven hood vent and possibly open a window.Broil vegetables 5-10 minutes, or until they begin to blacken and char. (The broil time will vary depending on your oven's broiler. Gas broilers tend to cook more quickly.)Check on the vegetables often while broiling. If some vegetables seem to be cooking much faster than others, use metal tongs to either remove them from the baking sheet or move them farther from the heat source.
- When the vegetables are charred, remove them from the oven.Carefully remove as much of the skin from the poblano pepper as possible. (If you used a bell pepper instead, there's no need to peel it.)Peel the garlic. (The skin should slide off easily.)Leave the skins on the tomatoes.Optional, for a milder salsa: Cut the habanero in half and remove the seeds and membrane. Wear gloves when handling the habanero pepper.
- Add the mango and charred vegetables (and their juices) to a food processor basin, and use the chop setting until the vegetables are finely chopped and mixed together.If your food processor basin is too small, it's fine to work in batches and transfer the salsa to a large bowl as you work.If you don't own a food processor, finely dice the vegetables with a knife, and add them to a bowl. (Wear gloves when handling the habanero pepper.)If you're concerned about the heat level, add about half the peppers first, taste the salsa, and add the remaining peppers if desired.
- Move the salsa to a bowl, and stir in the lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Taste the salsa, and add more salt if desired.The flavor should be tasty right away, but will greatly benefit from resting for 24 hours in the fridge. Serve as desired.