Mango or Papaya Salsa

There is something about a Mango or Papaya Salsa with spicy foods, like my Jerk Chicken – it lends just the right cooling effect. Add a little spice or hot pepper and it turns fiery, itself. Either way:  delicious, easy and cost-effective.

Salsas like this Mango Salsa or a Papaya Salsa are always a way to sneak just a little extra vegetable or fruit on the table, and great use of bits and pieces that might be hanging around the fridge.

Ever since I really started thinking of Salsa as “salad” and started fiddling around with recipes, I found that Salsas can be adapted to almost any ingredients: everything from apples to watermelon.

Mango or Papaya Salsa

There are no hard and fast rules – just put in what you like to eat in combinations that please you and your family. Dice them small, keep them chunky, you’re in the driver’s seat here.

Change up the vinegar, add a little olive oil if you like, and consider a sprinkling of any herbs you might think look good. A little of your favorite hot pepper or hot sauce can be great, too. Here’s my favorite version:

Mango or Papaya Salsa

Mango or Papaya Salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 ripe Mango or Papaya
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled)
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons light (white wine or rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice (or lemon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (if desired)
  • Hot Pepper – your choice, your heat level, optional

Dice all vegetables in 1/2″ or so dice – red onion should be a small dice. Mix dressing ingredients:  vinegar, lime, salt, pepper and sugar. Pour over the rest of ingredients. Best after sitting for at least an hour.

Add finely chopped hot pepper (jalapeno, Habanero, serrano, etc.) if you’d like.

from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Left Over?

Drain off liquid, put in blender with a bit of honey and yogurt and make a fun little lassi type smoothie. The cucumber is refreshing, the mango tart and creamy and the red bell pepper ads it’s own nuance, but none of the flavors are too savory to blend and enjoy.


Cal 129.55; cal fr fat 1.91 (1%); tot carb 15.43g; fib 6.63g; sug 2.01g; prot .43g

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • As mentioned above, you can add hot pepper to this or if you don’t have any on hand, a few red pepper flakes.
  • All lime can be used in place of the vinegar, lime zest is a good addition.  Papaya is really good in this salsa, as well.  You can’t go wrong with adding in some pineapple.  Nectarine or Peach works well, too.
  • Depending on what you’re serving, cilantro, green onion, parsley can be added.
  • Olive oil will add richness and carry the flavor.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

If you’ve never cut up a Mango, it’s an odd one, but easy: Hold it up on end. There is a big, flat, fibrous side inside, and the fibrous parts don’t taste that great…let the knife guide you – press down to slice and if there is resistance, turn the mango and move the knife just a bit. You should be able to slice off several chunks attached to the skin, leaving the seed behind.

Lay the skin down, flesh side up, and cut the flesh into squares, just down, but not through the skin. Putting your knife horizontally, “skin” the mango skin off the flesh, much as you would remove skin from a fish…You can see in the photo below that the bits of skin in the jar still show my cuts…

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Spa Water:

If I were there while you were making this, I’d be looking over your shoulder and saying, “Are you gonna waste that?” referring to the hulls and seeds. Add that to a pitcher, pour in water, add a tea bag if you wish, and place in your fridge overnight. Strain the next day and enjoy. I call this “spa water.”

Flavored Spa Water

Flavored Spa Water

Recipe made July 2012

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