Mango Habanero Sauce: Bring on the Sweet Heat

August 9, 2023
Written by John Smits

I think mango habanero sauce is the nectar of the gods – I’m sure Zeus is perched on Mt. Olympus right now, dredging some chicken wings in the spicy sauce or slathering it on top of his pulled pork sandwich. The sweet mango, hot peppers, fragrant garlic, and other ingredients blend together for a flavor that can only be described as 5 stars (out of 5).

I got hooked on mango habanero sauce when I first tried it at Buffalo Wild Wings. The delicious flavors of the sauce and the high heat level blew me away. Afterward, I was determined to make mango habanero sauce of my own. Mission accomplished. I’m sharing my mango habanero hot sauce recipe that blows store-bought hot sauce bottles out of the water.

Ready to make your taste buds come to life? Let’s get after it.

Mango habanero sauce

Wear Gloves When Handling Fresh Habanero Peppers

Before we get to my mango habanero sauce recipe, I want to warn you to wear disposable gloves when handling hot peppers. (This advice applies to other peppers like Scotch bonnet and Carolina reapers, as well.) Habanero chilies are intensely hot, and if any of the pepper liquid touches your skin, particularly near your eyes or nose, you’re in for a world of pain.

Putting on a pair of latex gloves on your hands makes it super easy to keep the heat away from your skin. Just avoid touching your face with the gloves on. Okay, let’s get to cooking.

Mango Habanero Hot Sauce Recipe

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you – this recipe comes together in no time, and it’s a game changer for spicy food – so tasty!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 2 cups (at least 12 servings, depending on how you use it)


  • 3 habanero peppers. Remove the green stem from the habaneros. Most of the heat in peppers comes from the white pith – called “capsaicin” – not from the seeds. Remove the pith for less heat.
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mango (approx 2 fresh mangos)
  • 1 cup fresh mango juice (juice a ripe mango)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
Ingredients of Hot Sauce

Cooking Directions for Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

  1. Roast the garlic and onion. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil (vegetable oil can be substituted in a pinch). Roast the garlic and onion until (for a few minutes) they smell fragrant and the onion is clear.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Stick the habanero chilis, mango, lime juice, mango juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar, salt, ginger paste, and smoked paprika in a food processor. Throw in the onion and garlic, too, and pulse until smooth.
    You can also use an immersion blender if you prefer. Blend until smooth.
  3. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Put all the ingredients in the small pan over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer gently. Reduce heat until barely simmering. Boil. Stir occasionally until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. It should be thick enough to cling to the back of a spoon. Give it one last good stir.
  4. Pour the mango habanero hot sauce into an airtight container. I like to use a mason jar but use whatever bottle you’ve got on hand. This hot sauce recipe will keep in sterile jars in the refrigerator for at least a week. Toss it if it smells funny, or you notice mold growing on top.

For longer storage, stick the jars in your freezer. To avoid cracked jars, I leave around a half inch of space at the top to allow for expansion and contraction. Let the sauce cool fully before freezing, too. 

The sauce should last for a few months to a year, depending on storage conditions.

What to Use Mango Habanero Hot Sauce On?

Use my hot sauce recipe on anything that’s flavor profile could use a boost from the extra heat. The beauty of the sauce is that it’s so versatile. Once you’ve got a jar in your fridge, it won’t last long – this stuff is your new secret weapon. I go through about a batch every month – I love the balance of sweet mango and the spiciness from the habanero.

Level up your morning eggs by drizzling them with a blast of mango and habanero. 

Use it as a salsa and dip some cold shrimp in it for shrimp with a bright, fruity kick. 

Habanero peppers have an affinity for pork. Slather a rack of ribs with this fiery hot sauce as a glaze, and you’ve got a sure crowd-pleaser. Serve as a dip with pork chops or tenderloin to add some wonderful flavor to an otherwise pretty mellow cut of protein. 

Give taco night a whole new meaning, and drizzle some of this mixture over chicken tacos – the spice will take that protein to another level. Mix some mango habanero sauce in with guacamole, and your side just became the star of the table.

Personally, I like this amazing sauce with fish tacos. There’s no better way to beat back the Summer heat we get from June to August than some fish tacos slathered in mango habanero sauce. Garnish with some cut-up cilantro and raw onions, served on corn tortillas with a wedge of lime, and I’m a happy man.

Mango Hot and Spicy Sauce

Play Around with the Recipe Card

Ok, so I’ve shared my recipe for mango habanero sauce. And while I love the great flavor my sauce offers (it’s one of my favorite dishes – make it, and you’ll get compliments from friends and family, I promise), you might find it too spicy. Or too sweet. I’ll level with you – recipes are made to be tweaked. 

If you want to play around and substitute different peppers, more vinegar, more sugar for a sweeter flavor, or fewer habanero peppers for a milder spice – please do! While I love the consistency, sweetness, and spicy bite of my recipe, you can adjust the spices as you see fit. Make this recipe yours. 

Want more of that fruity mango flavor? Toss in more mangos! A little more lime? Squeeze in more juice. I love this recipe but think of it as a framework to play around with. Try tweaking some different sauces until you’ve got one you can call your own.

Final Thoughts

Habanero peppers are a great way to give a blast of fiery flavor to your food. Remember, if you like it hot, don’t de-seed. When the peppers, mango, and other ingredients are blended together, you’ve got a mango habanero hot sauce that can transform any cut of meat into a special dish.

Feel free to make some substitutions – that’s the joy of cooking. Toss in some jalapeños, substitute a fruit that’s in season (how about pineapple?), and stick it in a jar when you’re done. You’ll be adding a touch of this sauce (or your version of it) over just about everything. Happy cooking!

By John Smits
John bought his first home in 2012 and bought his first grill shortly afterward: the ubiquitous Weber kettle grill. He’s been hooked since the first time he fired up some coals. Now, after over a decade spent making countless delicious meals, John is a passionate advocate for live-fire cooking.
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