Mango Avocado Salsa

AppetizerSnackSalsa

This quick, easy, healthy, and vibrant mango salsa will dress up any backyard barbecue. Move over toast—avocado has a new best friend!

Photography Credit: Marta Rivera

Because summer is also outdoor cooking season, I always like to have a quick salsa recipe on hand. It helps tide my guests over while I’m showing them my moves on the grill!

This chunky mango avocado salsa is a back-pocket, show-stopping starter. Cut up some ripe fruits, and this recipe is ready in no time at all.

WHAT ARE THE BEST MANGOES TO USE FOR SALSA?

Tommy Atkins, the most common type of mango (at least here in the U.S.), is the best type of mango to use in recipes like this. Their peel is typically green with a yellow or red blush, and their firm, sweet-tart flesh contrasts well with the creamy, softer flesh of the avocado.

Francis mangoes would be my second recommendation if Atkins aren’t available, that’s if you can find them. The former have a tangier flesh and look almost exactly like the latter, with the exception of their peel. When ripe, Francis mangoes have a yellower peel.

The small, yellow Ataulfo, which is also known as a champagne mango, are too fibrous (and often sold overripe) to use in this recipe.

Salsa with Mangos and Avocado - - bowl of mangos and avocados with chips in the backgroun

MANGOES: HOW RIPE IS TOO RIPE?

Having pilfered many a mango from my family’s trees in Puerto Rico, I consider myself a mango aficionado.

The mango you want for this particular recipe is not overly ripe. It should have minimal green on its peel, but it will not easily give way when pressed with your fingers. The mango you want to use for this salsa still needs to have a slight firmness to it in order to avoid leaving behind “mango mush” in your salsa when it is stirred.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CUT A MANGO?

While there are many different ways cut a mango, the least cumbersome is to lop off the fleshy “front and back” of the fruit and score it while it’s still in its peel. Here’s a great visual on that process.

Salsa with Mangos and Avocado bowl of mangos and avocadoswtih chips and person's hand dipping a chip into the salsa

HOW TO PICK THE BEST AVOCADO

Much like picking the perfect mango, the best avocado to use in this chunky salsa is not extremely soft. Choose an avocado that still has the nubby stem attached, as this is more ripe, but still firm enough to hold its shape. The color will be dark (not brown), and still have flecks of green on the peel.

When gently pressed, the avocado should feel like its flesh just barely wants to give way. If you find that your fingers are sinking into the peel, hide it away in the bin and choose a firmer avocado. On the other hand, if the avocado feels rock-hard when you attempt to press into it, you can still take it home; it will just need to hang out on the counter for a couple of days before you cut into it.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR SALSA FROM BROWNING

The lime juice used in this recipe is our secret weapon in preventing the avocado in the salsa from discoloring. But while it’s a necessary ingredient in the fight against browning, it’s not a cure-all. Avocado, when exposed to air, will eventually brown, no matter what tricks you employ.

Cut the avocado at the last minute, toss it gently in the acidic juice, and keep it covered until you’re ready to enjoy it.

Oxygen is the enemy of a cut avocado. The acid in citrus juices help inhibit browning, but it won’t work forever. A combination of juice, covering the salsa with plastic wrap pressed against the fruit and a lid, and eating it quickly will keep your mango avocado salsa in tip-top, eye (and stomach) appealing shape.

Mango Guacamole - - bowl of mangos and avocados

BEST TIPS FOR STORING THIS SALSA

Prepare your mango avocado salsa 30 minutes before you plan to serve it. This way, the salsa’s flavors have enough time to meld, while avoiding that dreaded browning.

If you’re pressed for time, or worried you’ll be wrist-deep in salsa making when your guests arrive, prep all of the ingredients except for the avocados ahead of time. Then cut the avocados and a quickly toss everything together when everyone arrives.

Keep the salsa in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. This mango avocado salsa, once prepared, covered and refrigerated, will keep well for up to two days.

NEED MORE AVOCADO IN YOUR LIFE?

Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 large mango (14 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch chunks, about 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced about 1/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 medium, ripe Hass avocados

Method

1 In a large mixing bowl, combine the mango, cilantro, and red onion. Toss them together with a large spoon.

2 Prepare the avocados: Thirty minutes prior to serving, peel and cut the avocados into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks. Add the avocado, lime juice, and salt to the bowl with the mango. Gently fold the avocado into the mango mixture.

Mango Guacamole - - bowl of mangos and avocados

3 Refrigerate and adjust the seasoning: Chill the salsa for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. After 30 minutes, taste the salsa and adjust the salt to suit your preference.

4 To serve: Serve the salsa with warm tortilla chips. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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Salsa with Mangos and Avocado - - bowl of mangos and avocados with chips in the backgrounMango Avocado Salsa