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This tropical mango and black bean salsa is packed with nutritious black beans, fresh herbs and sweet mango, all tossed in a vibrant lime dressing. It’s as healthy as it is delicious!
Enjoy this refreshing salsa on grilled chicken, fish tacos and salmon. Or try it as an appetizer with tortilla chips. This black bean mango salsa is so versatile it can even do double duty as a summer salad!
Why We Love This Black Bean Mango Salsa Recipe
During mango season in Mexico and the Caribbean (March to July) it literally rains mangos. The ripe fruit falls from the trees, bouncing off the pavement, often surprising the local dogs sleeping in the shade below.
The island of Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean even has a whole festival devoted to this luscious fruit!
With so many mangos available, the question then becomes what to do with them all? In Guatemala, a popular traditional dish is conserva de mango, while in India there’s a wealth of curries and lassis.
When mangos are ripe, it’s hard to improve on their natural perfection. I think it’s fantastic to show off their fresh flavour in a simple but deliciously healthy salsa.
- Scoop it on top of grilled fish, spoon it into Baja style-fish tacos or enjoy it as a healthy salad.
- You can make it in advance so it’s great for entertaining or meal prep.
- It’s a simple, low-fat recipe that takes just minutes to put together.
- The earthy taste of black beans is a perfect complement to the sweet and spicy combination of mango, mint and jalapeño pepper.
- It also happens to be vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free!
- This recipe for mango black bean salsa is the best because it uses black beans made from scratch. Not only do homemade beans contain less sodium but they don’t become soggy or mushy like canned beans often do. But if you’d like to use canned beans, no worries! I’ve got some handy tips on how to make them taste their very best.
The Best Mangoes for Mango Salsa
While there are well over 1,000 varieties of mango available in the world, choosing a that’s best for a salsa depends on the ripeness of the fruit. You want a mango that’s ripe and firm. It shouldn’t be overripe or too fibrous.
I like to use a Haden mango or an ataulfo mango as both varieties have a wonderful, custard-like texture that holds up well when combined with other ingredients. They also store well in the refrigerator.
Ingredients for Mango and Black Bean Salsa
- Jalapeño Pepper – Adds a bit of heat to the salsa. You can substitute poblano or bell peppers if you’d like your salsa to be milder.
- Red Onion – The red colour and mild flavour make them perfect for salsas.
- Mint or Cilantro – Both cilantro and hierba buena (mint) are aromatic additions to salsas. They add a bright flavour that complements many dishes such as grilled fish or chicken and tacos.
- Mangos – There are hundreds if not thousands of varieties of mangos in the world and availability varies by season. Sweet, firm, ripe mangos are best for this recipe. Fresh Honey mangoes, Haden or Ataulfo are a good choice as they have a firm flesh with few fibers.
- Olive Oil – Use the best quality, extra-virgin olive oil you can afford.
- Black Beans – For the best results, make the black beans from scratch. Drain and allow to cool before using in this recipe. Just be sure you’re buying black turtle beans. They’re called black turtle beans because of their hard shell-like appearance.These small, black and shiny beans are members of the Phaseolus vulgaris species which is quite a bit different than Glycine max, the black soya beans used for paste in Asia. Once you have your supply of dried black turtle beans on hand, store them in a cool dry place like a pantry.
Step by Step Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for full method and quantities.
1. The first step in making black beans from scratch is to sort them to remove any small stones. Then rinse them carefully.
2. While many people begin making their black beans by soaking the beans overnight, it’s actually not necessary.
3. However, pre-soaking beans and discarding the soaking liquid can help with the digestibility of beans as it removes some of the oligosaccharides, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort for some people. So, if you do want to pre-soak your beans discard the soaking liquid.
4. Combine water, salt and beans in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender but not mushy (about 1 ½ hours). Black beans are quite forgiving and don’t get mushy easily, so the cooking time is fairly flexible.
Drain and reserve the liquid to use in our recipe for Guatemalan Black Beans and Rice – Arroz Negro.
Allow the cooked black beans to cool on a baking sheet.
5. Remover stem and seeds of the jalapeño pepper (wear gloves to protect your hands) and dice finely. Mince the fresh mint or cilantro, and red onion into small pieces.
Tip: A food processor can burn the delicate leaves so do the chopping by hand.
6. Peel, seed and chop the mango into small pieces. Combine with the black beans, mint, jalapeño and onion in a large bowl.
7. Squeeze the limes. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil and salt together in a small bowl.
8. Pour over the black bean and mango mixture. Cover and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the flavours to blend.
9. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
How to Serve this Mango and Black Bean Salsa
This mango salsa will keep in the fridge (covered) for three days. Serve it with tortilla chips or with one of these healthy dishes:
- Healthy Baked Fish Tacos
- Salpicón de Pollo – Chicken Salad Tostadas
- Vegan Fajitas with Portobello Mushrooms
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Tips and Variations
- If you’re in a hurry and want to use canned black beans, try to choose good quality canned black turtle beans. Cheaper brands often contain a lot of broken beans which aren’t very attractive. Rinse the canned beans well to remove the starchy liquid and excess sodium. Drain, then spread them out on a baking sheet lined with paper towel while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Be sure to use fresh lime juice rather than lime juice concentrate.
- For a fun Mango Tango Salad, add one cup of charred corn kernels and one cup of avocado pieces.
- Swap the jalapeno for red bell pepper.
Best Mango and Black Bean Salsa
- 2 ripe but firm mangos peeled, pitted and diced
- 1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper seeds removed and diced (use less if you like)
- 1/4 red onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint or cilantro chopped
- 1 cup black beans
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice
- salt to taste
- The first step in making black beans from scratch is to sort them to remove any small stones. Then rinse them carefully.
- Combine water, salt and beans in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender but not mushy (about 1 ½ hours).
- Drain the beans, rinse and spread on a paper towel on a baking sheet to cool.
- Remover stem and seeds of the jalapeño pepper (wear gloves to protect your hands) and dice finely.
- Mince the fresh cilantro ( or mint) and red onion into small pieces. A food processor can bruise the delicate leaves so do this by hand.
- Peel, seed and chop the mango into small pieces. Combine with the cooked and drained black beans, cilantro/mint, jalapeño and red onion in a large bowl.
- Whisk the freshly-squeezed lime juice, olive oil and salt together in a small bowl.
- Pour over the black bean and mango mixture. Toss lightly until mixed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the flavours to blend.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- For the best results, make the black beans from scratch. Drain and allow to cool before using in this recipe.
- If you're in a hurry and want to use canned black beans, try to choose good quality canned black turtle beans. Cheaper brands often contain a lot of broken beans which aren't very attractive.
- Rinse the canned beans well to remove the starchy liquid and excess sodium.
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
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