Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

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Open bottle of homemade habanero hot sauce on a plate with ingredients used to make it

This is the hot sauce we’ve been swooning over for months now and could hardly wait to share with you all! It’s adapted from the Mango Habanero Hot Sauce from the Afro-Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry (a book we’re huge fans of!). We love the original recipe and have been paring it down for ease without sacrificing on heat.

If you love hot sauce and mangoes, this is a must-try. The color is vibrant, the flavor is a delicate balance of spicy, sweet, and tart, and it’s so versatile and delicious on just about everything (plantains anyone?). Plus, it comes together in 25 minutes with just 8 simple ingredients. Let’s make hot sauce!

Plate with salt, limes, habaneros, mango, cumin seeds, lime zest, water, onion, and garlic

Origins of Mango Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is enjoyed around the world, and many different variations exist. But the common ingredient in them all? Chili peppers — which have been around for more than 6,000 years in Mexico and Central and South America.

But who came up with the genius idea of combining sweet mangoes with spicy peppers? Our search didn’t result in a clear answer, but mango in hot sauce seems to be common in the Caribbean, particularly in Jamaica and Belize.

The following is an oil-free, wonderfully spicy version adapted from the talented chef and author Bryant Terry.

How to Make Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

This hot sauce begins with sautéing onion and cumin seeds in water until the onions are tender and the seeds fragrant.

Sautéing onion, cumin seeds, habanero, and garlic in a saucepan

Next come the garlic and habaneros for mega flavor and heat, plus all of their health perks!

Capsaicin is the compound in habaneros (and other chili peppers) that makes them HOT! It’s been shown to be a pain reliever, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, promoter of beneficial gut microbes, and more. One study even found those who consumed spicy foods 6-7 days per week had a 14% lower risk of death. Give mama some peppers!

But capsaicin is irritating to the skin and eyes, so wear kitchen gloves or wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face after chopping hot peppers.

Saucepan of mango, sautéed onion, cumin seeds, lime zest, lime juice, water, and vinegar

Once we’ve gotten the pepper chopping out of the way, we’re ready for the remaining ingredients: lime juice and zest, sweet mango to balance the heat, salt and vinegar for hot sauce classics, and water to help it blend.

Sautéed onion, cumin seeds, habanero, mango chunks, lime juice, and water in a blender

Blend it all up and you’ve got hot sauce! You can give it a taste (careful, it’s spicy!) and balance the heat with a little maple syrup, if needed. Keep in mind it will also mellow out a bit after a day or two. When using a ripe, sweet mango, we find it doesn’t need the maple syrup.

Freshly blended mango hot sauce in a blender

We hope you LOVE this mango habanero hot sauce! It’s:

& Delicious!

It’s the perfect condiment for Spicy Black Eyed Pea Nourish Bowls, Roasted Plantain & Black Bean Vegan Bowls, Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant, Grilled Fish Tacos, and beyond!

Into Spicy Food? Try These Next!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Jar and bowl of mango habanero hot sauce next to ingredients used to make it

Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

A zesty, vibrant habanero hot sauce infused with ripe, juicy mango, fresh lime juice, smoky cumin seed, and garlic. So versatile and just 8 ingredients and 25 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bottle of mango habanero hot sauce next to limes, habaneros, and mango
3 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Condiment
Cuisine Caribbean-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 2 Months (frozen into ice cubes)
Does it keep? 2 Weeks (in the fridge)


  • 2 Tbsp water, plus more as needed (for sautéing // or sub half the amount in oil)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds (or sub slightly less ground cumin)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 habanero chiles*, seeds removed, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced ripe mango (we prefer champagne mangoes)
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp white wine vinegar (or sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp maple syrup (optional for extra sweetness depending on ripeness of mango)


  • To a small saucepan over medium heat, add water, onion, and cumin seeds. Sauté for 4-5 minutes covered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Turn down heat and/or add a bit more water if browning too quickly.
  • Add garlic, habanero, and salt and sauté covered for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add mango, lime zest, and lime juice (starting with the lesser amount), vinegar (starting with the lesser amount), and water (starting with the lesser amount) and simmer covered for 3-4 minutes more.
  • Let cool slightly then blend until creamy and smooth (use a small blender safe for blending hot foods, such as a NutriBullet or Vitamix with a narrow base). Add more water to thin if too thick, then blend again.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt to taste, lime juice for brightness, vinegar for acidity, or some maple syrup (optional) to balance the heat and salt with a little sweetness (will depend on ripeness of mango).
  • Use immediately or store well sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze into ice cubes (using a mold) and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.



*Recipe as written makes ~1 cup (240 ml).
*Recipe adapted from the Mango Habanero Sauce in the Afro-Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry.
*If you don’t have habanero peppers, you can substitute another spicy chili or 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste.
*Use gloves or rinse hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes or face after handling hot peppers.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amounts where ranges are provided and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 Tablespoon Calories: 11 Carbohydrates: 2.5 g Protein: 0.3 g Fat: 0.1 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 74 mg Potassium: 42 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 1.4 g Vitamin A: 85 IU Vitamin C: 7.5 mg Calcium: 6.1 mg Iron: 0.2 mg

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  1. Matyas Marek says

    The conversion regarding the amount of onion from US units to metric is not correct….according to Google 1 cup of diced onion is 52 g and 1 cup of diced mango is 165 g …..sooo 1/2 cup of diced onion is not 80g as stated in the recipe. I ended up with an equal amount of onion and mango which is certainly not right. Unluckilly I have to learn this the hard way….sauce is not mango at all. Very dissapointed. Do it right or do not do it at all, I trusted the recipe, it was a birthday gift and it sucks. :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Matyas, we’re so sorry you had a negative experience with the recipe. We’re not sure why Google is giving you those metric measurements. We’ve double checked our metrics and found them to be accurate. Is it possible you didn’t sauté the onion? That would give it an overpowering onion flavor.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sibylle, we don’t have much experience with canning, so we’re not sure! Let us know if you try it!

  2. Ariel says

    Do you think this would still be good if we swapped out the mango with pineapple? I can’t have mango ;(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ariel, We think that would work! But hard to say for sure without trying it ourselves. Let us know if you try it!

  3. Paula Mance says

    Just finished my 1st batch of this deliciousness! I know I will do it again.
    I bought 2 mangos and 3 habaneros. I just love their flavor. But my manges needed a week on the counter to get to a respectable degree of ripeness and by that time 2 of my 3 habaneros were moldy, arrrghhhh.
    I have a pretty good tolerance for heat so I rooted around in the cabinet and found a dried habanero and added 1|3 of it….and wished I had added more.
    Anyway flavor is great it is pleasently warm has a nice sweetness from the fruit.
    When I do it again: 2 -3 peppers, a little less cumin and that’s it.
    Thanks for the great idea, have lots of hot sauces on hand never tried to make one before.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you gave it a try and enjoyed the result, Paula! Did you store the habaneros in the fridge? We haven’t had them get moldy so quickly!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brittney, the next best option to fresh mango would be frozen. We think canned might be too sweet. Hope that helps!

  4. Marie Biddix says

    OMG soooo good! Just give me a straw! I did not have habanero peppers so I subbed with 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. YUMMY. We poured this on the Spicy Black Eyed Pea Nourish Bowl and it was amazing! I used a regular mango and added a little more maple syrup to compensate for the sweetness that a champagne mango would have brought. You are all kitchen magicians and I want to sit on your counters and watch you create your magic. Thank you for every single recipe you create and share!

  5. Kate says

    I’m a hot pepper wimp. I’ve worked my way up to jalapenos in moderation. Any suggestions for getting the spice and flavor without so much heat? Love your recipes!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kate, one idea would be to add roasted yellow bell pepper in place of some of the habanero. You can find roasting instructions for bell peppers here. Hope that helps! Let us know if you try it!

  6. Jenn C says

    Made this today!! OMG I am so excited. First of all, I can’t usually tolerate crazy spice. I used to be able to but then I destroyed my tongue with an out of control ice addiction. It’s feeling better now and I’ve been trying to build up my tolerance but, I’m still a baby. I used one pepper. It is spicy but tolerable and so tasty! I made it exactly as stated and ended up adding another half a lime of juice. Everyone was so impressed. And I love it! I can eat it, and it’s spicy sure, but it doesn’t kill me. think I’ll try 2 peppers next time. Thanks again!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lee, you could try more lime juice, but it won’t have the classic hot sauce tanginess. Hope that helps!