Do you usually buy pre-made salsa at the store? The jarred kind, or maybe whatever your grocery store is selling as a fresh, refrigerated salsa? Those may be fine, but they're nothing like this fresh mango salsa that's so quick and delicious, you may not ever go back to store-bought.
What I love about this salsa:
No salt, oil, or added sugar are needed - and they aren’t missed!
The recipe only involves five whole-food ingredients - all produce.
With just 5 ingredients, it manages to have a bold flavor punch, with the sweetness of cherry tomatoes and mango paired with bright lime and balancing jalapeno and scallion.
It’s so quick and easy to make. Once the produce is prepped, you’re done!
This salsa is a crowd pleaser - there are rarely leftovers.
Homemade vs Store-bought
I used to buy jarred. That used to be all I could find at the store. At least most of the ingredients were real vegetables, but something made it taste...jarred. I imagine it's because most jarred salsas tend to be cooked. When I started seeing "fresh" salsas in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, I bought those instead. They are usually decent, much fresher than jarred.
But when I made salsa at home for the first time, I could see we'd been missing out. So light, bright, and flavorful! I was surprised how quick and easy it is to make, too, with just a handful of ingredients. I found that I could make it without the added sugars and oils that can often be found in the fresh store-bought - and it tasted better. I don't even find that I need to add salt.
My daughter and I came up with this recipe to help her Spanish class celebrate Cinco de Mayo. At that time, we made it with the variety of mango typically found at most stores here in the US, the large red ones with green and yellow accents called Tommy Atkins. The smaller Champagne (aka Ataulfos) mango can be used instead; it tends to be sweeter and the Tommy Atkins is also delicious and tends to provide more quantity - see which you prefer using.
While there are few ingredients in this recipe, each plays an important role. The acid in the lime is important to enhance the flavors and bring them all together, and prevents the need for adding salt. The cherry tomatoes also provide acid along with a slight sweetness that plays well with the peppery jalapeno and much sweeter mango. The mild spring onion adds balance and depth without the flavor-attack that garlic or yellow onion would likely bring. Red onion can be nice, too - instead of the scallion or in addition.
If you're feeding this to kids, go ahead and try it as is, with the jalapeno. If the seeds are removed, it shouldn't be spicy. The flavor it brings is pretty valuable here, and your kids may surprise you and go for it. If they don't like the flavor though, it can be left out and you'll have 4 Ingredient Mango Salsa. Organic jalapeno can be hard to come by, so if you only have access to non-organic, wash it really well to remove any pesticide residue.
So quick and easy!
It really only takes about 10 minutes to chop the ingredients. While the salsa is so deliciously fresh-tasting immediately after it's made, it's even better if it has time to sit in the fridge for an hour or overnight so that the flavors can combine well.
This mango salsa is of course wonderful with tortilla chips, and it’s also amazing on a salad, burrito, or taco. It will last in the fridge for up to a few days - if it's not gone by then!
The image below shows two batches of fresh homemade mango salsa, the top made with Sungold and the bottom made with Indigo cherry tomatoes.
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5 INGREDIENT MANGO SALSA RECIPE
a whole-food recipe with no added oil, salt, or sugar • quick • easy • vegan
Mango salsa is great in a salad, with tortilla chips, in a burrito, taco or other dish, on top of a layered bean dip, or simply with beans.
Yield: 1 ½ - 2 cups (depending on type of mango used)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time, if desired: 1 hour minimum best
(or eat immediately if you can't wait - it will still be wonderful!)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 spring onion or scallion
Juice of 1 ½ limes
Boost options: chopped avocado, cilantro, and/or red onion
Slice the tomatoes in half and then each half into quarters. Place the sliced tomato in a medium bowl.
Chop the mango into even chunks. An easy way is to slice the mango lengthwise along each side of the pit, then crosshatch each half, slicing 3-4 times in each direction. This allows you to fan out the slice. From there you can slice off the pieces revealed when fanning out the mango. Slice off the peel around the pit and salvage what you can of the mango there, chopping into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl.
Mince the spring onion or scallion, including as much of the green as possible. Add to the bowl.
Chop the jalapeno. If you don’t want it too spicy, slice around the seeds and then mince. The more seeds you use, the spicier it will be. Add to the bowl.
Zest one of the limes and then juice them. (You can skip the zesting if you’d like- the salsa just won’t have as much lime flavor.). Add the zest and juice to the bowl and stir to mix the ingredients well. Add any other ingredients you’d like, such as avocado, red onion, and/or cilantro.
Serve and enjoy! Salsa is best when it's had at least an hour in the fridge to marinate. Will last in a sealed container in the the fridge for up to 3 days.
I use organic ingredients whenever possible for more nutrients, flavor, fewer toxins, and to support organic farmers. It’s what I want in the world, so I vote with my dollar. Experiment: If money that would normally be spent on processed foods went to the best organic, fresh, real food ingredients available, notice if your body prefers the change. Real food can be quick, easy, and even fun to make, like this recipe!