Easy, healthy and flavorful with just a few simple ingredients, this Mango Salsa Chicken will be your go-to for busy nights!
Did you know that you can use fruit in a salsa? Okay, technically tomatoes are a fruit, but I’m talking the typical produce we regard as fruit. Tropical fruits are especially good to try in salsa toppings, like pineapple and mango. These fruits also pair well with other salsa ingredients, like onion, peppers, cilantro, and lime.
The acids in the fruits and the juices complement fish and chicken as well. It’s just something about the tanginess of mango salsa with chicken in particular that just tastes divine to me. It also reminds me of summer evenings spent outside, firing up the grill and serving this mango salsa on the side of chicken or on top of tacos. Luckily, we do not only use the grill in the summers. We are year-round grillers. Though I do draw the line on sitting outside when it’s cold out, we can still bring the grilled goodness of warmer months indoors and pretend it’s not freezing.
You may have also notice that I might have a slight love affair with mangoes. Although they can sometimes be a pain to peel, the taste is well worth it. If you’re lucky, your grocery store will sometimes also have fresh-cut mango all ready to go for you. On those days, I do a little happy dance because buying pre-cut anything only makes an already quick dinner go that much faster. And that means more time for other things — like eating and enjoying the dish.
WHAT OTHER FRUITS ARE GOOD SUBSTITUTES FOR MANGO?
The other good thing about this recipe is that you probably have a lot of the ingredients already on hand. If you have most of them but not the mango, you can get creative and substitute another fruit.
Pineapple, papaya, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and cantaloupe will also do in a pinch. You can also often find peach or mango salsa already made and jarred in the international foods section of your grocery store.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO CUT A MANGO?
Mangoes can be hard to cut. They are slippery, the skin can be tough, and the seed runs right down the middle and is rather large and hard to cut around. Have no fear, I have found a way that works for me and I think that you’ll find peeling them isn’t too terrible once you get the hang of it.
You’ll need a vegetable peeler, either a flat or Y-shaped one will work. Peel all the skin off the mango till you get to the bright yellow part. Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to hold the mango if it’s too slippery. I then like to cut about a half an inch off the bottom so that I can hold the mango upright.
Make your first slice from the top down, slightly offset from center, to one side of the seed, then make the same cut on the other side of the pit. Cut as much as you can from the smaller sides around the pit. Then, take the big chunks and dice them up like any other fruit.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A MANGO MARINADE?
If you’d rather marinade the chicken in a mango sauce than make a salsa topping (or do both for a double-mango whammy), the easiest way is to take these salsa ingredients and…are you ready for this? …blend them all up into a marinade!
You don’t have to worry about chopping everything up too fine or perfectly either if you’re just going to blend it all together. If the marinade is too thick, you can add some water or a sweet white wine or white wine vinegar to thin it out. I would only add about an eighth of a cup at a time so it doesn’t get too thin.
This would also make a good salad dressing too! (Just remember, it’s important to not reuse any marinades and to throw any leftovers out if it has been in contact with meat.
Mango Salsa Chicken
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to even 3/4 inch thickness or less
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning (or make your own with dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano)
- 2 mangoes
- 1/2 red or white onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- juice of 1 lime
- In a medium bowl stir together all of the ingredients for the mango salsa, set aside.
- Drizzle chicken with oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir together cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. Season chicken with spices.
- GRILL chicken over medium-high heat, or BAKE at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately with mango salsa.