This Pineapple Mango Salsa unites two of your favorite tropical fruits into one spectacular appetizer OR TOPPING!
This Pineapple Mango Salsa is a mesmerizing combination of sweet, tangy, spicy, fresh and is as delicious plain as it is with tortilla chips or on top of favorite grilled chicken, fish, pork, steak, tacos, etc. It’s made with juicy pineapple, sweet mangos, crunchy bell peppers, zingy red onion, zesty cilantro, spicy jalapenos and tangy lime for the perfect balance of sweet heat – in minutes! This pineapple mango salsa recipe is super simple to make and easy to customize with different add-ins or the spice level. It’s also guilt free, gluten free and dairy free for a snack or party appetizer win everyone will rave about!
PINEAPPLE MANGO SALSA RECIPE
It’s time for another intoxicating salsa recipe! Summer is synonymous for salsa in my book. You get the fresh rainbow of ingredients dancing together to create a bright, refreshing appetizer and you don’t even have to turn on your oven or stove!
Some of my favorite salsa recipes include homemade restaurant-style salsa, roasted salsa verde, strawberry salsa, mango salsa, pineapple salsa, corn salsa, avocado corn salsa, and black bean corn salsa; but this pineapple mango salsa might just be the most “summery” of them all with its vibrant, refreshing tropical fruits that whisk you away to the islands. Because honestly, does it get any better than PINEAPPLE and MANGO – together? These two fruits are a match made heaven and just begging to be paired together, eaten together, loved together.
More Reasons to Love this Mango Salsa Recipe:
- Delicious! I made this pineapple mango salsa specifically to pair with my mojo steak tacos coming up this week. The salsa’s juicy sweetness cuts through the tangy, spicy steak to create the perfect bite. I loved the salsa so much plain, however, that I had to slap my hand from eating it into oblivion before the tacos were done. So yes, it’s amazing on steak, chicken, fish, etc. but also stand alone spectacular. It’s a favorite dish for potlucks, pool parties, picnics, barbecues, and just to snack on at home.
- Healthy. This pineapple mango salsa tastes like an indulgence because it’s unbelievably delicious but is deceptively healthy! Mangos are a natural superfruit that contain 20 different vitamins and minerals, are fat free, sodium free and cholesterol free. Pineapple is bursting with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease.
- Easy. This pineapple mango salsa is quick and easy to make. You just need 25 minutes and to know how to chop!
- Customizable: You can customize your pineapple mango salsa with any of your favorite add-ins such as strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers or avocados.
- Make ahead: You can make this pineapple salsa days in advance then bring it out when it’s time to serve for stress free entertaining, lunch or dinners.
INGREDIENTS FOR PINEAPPLE MANGO SALSA
This pineapple mango salsa is made with simple, fresh ingredients. You will need:
- Pineapple: use a ripe pineapple for juicy, sweet freshness.
- Mangos: use 2 ripe mangos; I’ve included tips on how to choose mangos below.
- Red Bell pepper: I use red bell pepper because it is sweeter than other colors, but feel free to substitute for whatever color bell pepper you have on hand. Chop your bell pepper small to create a salsa texture.
- Red onion: I like the fresh pop of red onion but if you would like to soften the bite, you can submerge the diced onions in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
- Jalapeno: remove the seeds and the white veins of your jalapenos because these pack the fieriest heat. You can add the seeds back in after you taste the salsa and still want more heat.
- Fresh Cilantro: adds a bright, fresh, citrus pop. You can use more or less to taste.
- Lime Juice: you can use fresh or bottled lime juice but fresh is best. Use more or less to taste depending on how sweet your pineapple is and how tangy you would like your pineapple mango salsa.
- Apple cider vinegar: I like using cider vinegar in connection with lime juice as I it pumps up the flavor profile without adding too much acidity. If you don’t have cider vinegar you may add additional lime juice.
- Garlic: 2 finely minced garlic cloves or you may substitute ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Use more or less to taste.
- Seasonings: awakens all the flavors! Salt, pepper, chili powder and ground cumin round out the flavor profile.
- Green onions or another variety of onion can be used in place of the red onion.
- Fresh pineapple is a must for this recipe in my opinion. If you have to use canned pineapple, then make sure to use pineapple packed in juice and not syrup.
- Any color bell pepper will work in this recipe but red is my favorite. Red is the sweetest, with yellow and orange being the next sweetest. Green bell peppers are the strongest in flavor.
HELPFUL MANGO TIPS
In order to make pineapple mango salsa, here is some helpful information including how to select, store and cut mangos.
TO CHECK IF A MANGO IS RIPE:
- To check for mango ripeness, focus on FEEL not color because every variety is a different color when ripe. For example, red doesn’t necessarily mean ripe.
- Squeeze gently to judge ripeness. A ripe mango will give slightly, indicating soft flesh inside.
- Use your experience with produce such as peaches or avocados, which also become softer as they ripen.
- Ripe mangos will sometimes have a fruity aroma at their stem ends.
HOW TO RIPEN MANGOS:
- Unripe mangos should be kept on the counter and not refrigerated otherwise they will not ripen.
- To quicken the ripening process, place mangos in a paper bag with a couple of apples in a warm place. These climacteric fruits (meaning they ripen after being harvested) will release ethylene. The ethylene will be trapped in the bag, causing it to build up and speed up the ripening process.
- Once ripe, mangos should be moved to the refrigerator, which will slow down the ripening process.
HOW TO CUT A MANGO:
If you aren’t sure how to cut a mango, don’t be shy, it is much easier than you might think! Check out my detailed tutorial on How to Cut a Mango.
Helpful Pineapple Tips
You will also need one sweet, juicy pineapple for the best pineapple mango salsa. Here is what to look for:
HOW TO SELECT A PINEAPPLE:
- Select a pineapple without any blemishes such as indentations, squishy spots, wrinkles or cracks.
- Choose a pineapple with bright green leaves as opposed to brown and stiff.
- The diamonds on the surface of the pineapple are called “eyes.” Look for a pineapple with flat eyes, this indicates the pineapple is sweet.
- The pineapple should feel heavy for its size. This means it’s juicy.
- Choose the pineapple with the largest eyes, this means the pineapple was allowed to ripen the longest on the branch.
- Look for a pineapple with flat eyes – meaning the spiky points are pressed against the pineapple instead of sticking out. Flat eyes mean the pineapple is sweeter.
- If choosing a ripe pineapple to use immediately, select one in which the yellow reaches high up the pineapple. The higher the yellow, the more evenly flavored the pineapple. More tips on how to know when a pineapple is ripe below.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN A PINEAPPLE IS RIPE:
You can purchase a ripe pineapple if making pineapple mango salsa immediately, but more often than not, you will have to first select a pineapple and wait for it to ripen. Here is how you know your pineapple is ripe and ready to use:
- Touch: Squeeze the pineapple gently. The skin should give a little, but it should still be firm.
- Smell: Put your nose close to the bottom of the fruit. It should smell sweet; that indicates it is ripe.
- Sound: Tap the pineapple. Unripe fruits will sound hollow whereas ripe pineapple will sound dull and solid.
- Color: It is possible for a green pineapple to be ripe, but more often than not, look for yellow coloring around the eyes and base.
- Shape: When a pineapple is ripe, the eyes will be uniform in size as opposed to small on the bottom and large in the middle.
HOW TO RIPEN A PINEAPPLE QUICKLY:
If you are eager to make pineapple mango salsa and your pineapple isn’t ripe yet, you can help speed the process along. Place the whole pineapple into a paper bag along with a whole apple, and fold over the top of the bag. Leave at room temperature for 1-2 days or until the pineapple is ripe.
HOW TO MAKE pineapple MANGO SALSA
Are you ready to see just how easy it is to make pineapple mango salsa?
- Chop fruit and veggies: The size of the chopped ingredients comes down to if you like a chunkier salsa or finer salsa. I personally like my pineapple and mangos chopped about 1/2,” bell peppers 1/4,” and jalapenos 1/8”.
- Add ingredients to a large bowl: Choose a bowl that gives you some wiggle room to toss, so everything can get evenly combined.
- Add lime juice and seasonings: Toss with lime juice, garlic, chili powder and salt.
- Taste and adjust: Taste your salsa with a chip if you’re serving with chips (because chips add saltiness) or with a fork if not serving with chips. Add additional lime juice for tangier, salt for more flavor, jalapeno for spicier (and more flavor).
- Chill and/or serve: I recommend chilling pineapple mango salsa for at least 30 minutes, but if you don’t have time, then you may serve immediately.
TIPS FOR MAKING pineapple MANGO SALSA:
- Use ripe fruit. Make sure your pineapple and mangos are ripe so they are sweet, flavorful and juicy. Mangos that aren’t quite ripe will be fibrous and bland; pineapple that’s underripe can be sour.
- Stall ripening. If your fruit is ripe before you’re ready to make your salsa, then refrigerate them to stall the ripening process.
- Uniform piece. Chop each of your ingredients within half of an inch of each other for even distribution.
- Jalapeno to taste. I recommend 1 large jalapeno or 2 smaller jalapenos to balance the sweet fruit otherwise it might taste like your pineapple mango salsa is missing something. You can start with less jalapenos but add more to taste if your salsa doesn’t have enough kick or I like to reserve the jalapeno seeds and stir them in to taste for a spicier salsa.
- Avoid eye contact. Take care not to touch your face after handling the jalapeño. You don’t want any of the pepper juice to get on your skin or in your eyes!
- Cilantro leaves. There is no need to pick off and separate the fresh cilantro leaves from the stem. When chopping any fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and oregano (those without a woody stem, unlike rosemary and thyme), chop the leaves with the stem. The stems offer substantial flavor and texture.
- Modify ingredients. The ingredient quantities are just a guideline, feel free to add more/less of anything to make it YOUR perfect pineapple mango salsa.
- Add honey. If you have the misfortune of a bland pineapple that’s not very sweet, then try adding a teaspoon or so of honey. You may need to microwave the honey a little so it combines easily, especially if adding honey after the salsa is tossed.
You can mix up your pineapple mango salsa with any of the below add-ins, or anything else you can dream up!
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries, etc. add extra juicy sweetness.
- Stone fruit: add chopped peaches, nectarines, plums, or apricots.
- English cucumber: add a delightful crunch. I like English cucumbers so you don’t have to peel them, but you can certainly substitute with a peeled cucumber.
- Avocado: chop and add just before serving. Use avocados that are ripe but on the firmer side so they don’t get mushy in the salsa. If you add avocados, keep in mind the leftovers will not keep for as long or as well because the avocados will brown and get mushy. You can even combine pineapple mango salsa with guacamole – yum!
- Tomatoes: I like to use cherry tomatoes and slice them in half or you can use Roma tomatoes and remove the fleshy part so the salsa doesn’t become watery.
- Corn: add corn from 1-2 ears sweet corn or from one 15 oz. can rinsed and drained. Try grilling the corn or charring in a skillet for extra flavor.
- Black beans: rinse and drain one 15 oz. can black beans. Black beans will drastically change the flavor profile of your salsa into a hearty, savory salsa.
- Coconut: amps up the tropical vibe. Try adding toasted coconut like I do in my Pina Colada Fruit Salad.
- Mint: fresh mint adds another dimension of flavor.
CAN I MAKE SALSA AHEAD OF TIME?
Pineapple mango salsa is best served the day it is made because the pineapple releases a lot of juice so the fruit will continue to soften. I recommend making your salsa 30-60 minutes in advance and chilling in the refrigerator to give the flavors time to build and meld.
How to store
You can store pineapple mango salsa up to two days in an airtight container in your refrigerator but be aware that the fruit will become increasingly soft and change the texture of the salsa. Softer mangos and pineapple doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad, they’re just not as appetizing.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH LEFTOVER SALSA?
If you have leftover pineapple mango salsa that is not going to be eaten before the texture softens, try pureeing it! Pureed salsa makes a fabulous sauce for chicken, fish, or pork and a dip for shrimp.
How to prep ahead
Pineapple mango salsa is best if chilled just one hour before serving but you can still prep the salsa ingredients ahead of time and just combine when ready. Here’s how to prep ahead:
- Fruit: chop mangos and pineapple and store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 24 hours ahead of time.
- Chop remaining ingredients: bell pepper, red onions, jalapenos, cilantro and garlic can all be chopped and stored in the same airtight container in the refrigerator up to 24 hours ahead of time.
- Combine: when ready to serve, drain the fruit in a fine mesh sieve and toss with remaining salsa ingredients.
CAN YOU FREEZE SALSA?
No, this fresh fruit salsa doesn’t freeze well EXCEPT if you decide to puree it first or plan on pureeing it after freezing to serve over chicken, fish, pork etc.
WAYS TO USE PINEAPPLE MANGO SALSA
This vibrant pineapple mango salsa goes with everything, not just chips! Here are a few serving ideas:
- Chips: all you need are tortilla chips to scoop up your delectable salsa and you have a winning appetizer. The salty crunch with sweet, tropical heat is perfection.
- Tacos: of course, salsa belongs with tacos and this pineapple mango salsa is no exception! It is incredible on shrimp tacos, carne asada tacos, pork tacos, chili lime chicken tacos, buffalo chicken tacos, blackened fish tacos, and honey chipotle chicken tacos just to name a few.
- Everything Mexican! In addition to tacos, this salsa is a welcome topping to so many Mexican favorites from chicken and steak fajitas to burrito bowls, tostadas to taquitos.
- Grilled proteins: any plain protein is instantly elevated with the addition of pineapple mango salsa. It is fabulous with mojo chicken, Hawaiian chicken, chili lime chicken, chipotle chicken, cilantro lime chicken, marinated flank steak and carne asada.
- Everything spicy! The refreshing sweet heat of the pineapple mango salsa pairs beautifully with spicy proteins such as Cajun steak, Cajun chicken bowls, jerk shrimp, buffalo chicken, Cajun honey mustard chicken, and honey sriracha chicken.
- Seafood: the salsa also pairs magically with seafood such as simple salmon or more exotic mojo salmon bowls, Cajun salmon, cilantro lime shrimp, chipotle salmon, salmon fajitas, and shrimp fajitas.
is pineapple mango salsa healthy?
This pineapple mango salsa isn’t only delicious, but it is healthy too! Mangos are a natural superfruit containing 20 different vitamins and minerals, are fat free, sodium free and cholesterol free. Mangos are a great source of vitamins A and C, B6, and also contain iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Pineapple contains high amounts of vitamin C and manganese and are a good source of dietary fiber and bromelain (an enzyme).
Here are just a few of the benefits of pineapple mango salsa:
- Vitamin C and A are important in the formation of collagen which protects the body’s connective tissue and is important for wound healing and skin elasticy, therefore mangos are sometimes called anti-aging. Vitamin C alsoa powerful antioxidant that protects the body from damaging free radicals and necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is also important for overall immune health.
- Vitamin A helps support eye health, cell division, immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs function properly. Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties which might protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
- Beta-carotene is a carotenoid that turns into Vitamin A in the body.
- Vitamin B6 is important for strong brain function.
- Iron in mangos can increase iron levels which can help eliminate anemia by increasing the red blood cell count in the body.
- Manganese is considered an essential nutrient required for aiding in metabolism, bone formation, regulating blood sugar, decreasing inflammation and immune response.
- Glutamine acid improves memory and concentration.
- Antioxidants in mangos help protect against diseases such as breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia.
- Vitamin C, fiber and pectin help control cholesterol.
- Tartaric and malic acid found in mangos help maintain the alkali reserve of our body.
- Fiber and other nutrients in mangos help you feel full and boosts overall digestive help. This, in turn, helps in losing extra weight.
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