This post was created in partnership with the National Mango Board. All opinions are our own.
Alex and I used to only use mangos for one thing: mango salsa. After we got married 10 years ago, it was one of the first recipes we made together. The way the sweet, tropical mango flavor melded with the red onion, cilantro and lime won me over instantly. But now, Alex and I are trying to get a little more creative with our mango use. Because mangos aren’t just for salsa; they can be the main event!
This recipe came from a crazy idea: what if mangos were at the front and center of a taco? Instead of diced for salsa, what if they were cut into strips and grilled? Turns out, grilled mangos are incredibly delicious. And placed in a tortilla over a layer of refried black beans, with a drizzle of a creamy cilantro lime dream sauce–they’re pretty heavenly. Thus, grilled mango tacos were born! The variety of mango we used for these mango tacos is called a Honey mango, one of the six main varieties of mangos sold in the US. A few fun facts about the Honey mango:
- When it’s ripe, the skin turns to a deep golden color and small wrinkles appear. So, wrinkled equals ripe!
- It’s smaller, sweeter and more tender than the larger varieties of mango more common in the US.
- Native to Mexico, it’s also known as the Champagne or Ataulfo mango (so look for any of those names in the grocery!)
- Like all mangos, the Honey mango is very high in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A and fiber. One cup of diced mangos provides 100% of your daily vitamin C.
Now back to this dream sauce. You might think there’s enough mango in these mango tacos already, but guess what? It’s also in the dream sauce. Instead of dairy, the dream sauce uses mango to make its creamy texture. Pureed with cilantro and lime, the mango adds a creamy, lightly sweet body to the sauce. You only need a few drizzles, but the dream sauce packs in great flavor. Aside from mango tacos, you can use the dream sauce for just about anything: a dip for roasted veggies or homemade fries would be our pick!
While the ingredient list for these mango tacos may look a little long, there are only 10 grocery ingredients outside of salt, pepper and oil. The tacos are also vegan, and they’re a great fit for Meatless Monday AND Taco Tuesday. We’re head over heels about these grilled mango tacos, and we hope you are too!
PS If you’re into celebrating Cinco de Mayo, these would be a great Cinco de Mayo recipe too!
For more vegan tacos…
- “Verde” Lentil Vegan Tacos
- Refried Bean Tacos with Chipotle Cashew Cream
- BBQ Bean Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, and dairy-free.
For the refried beans
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper
For the mango dream sauce
- 2 Honey* mangos (1 cup diced)
- 1 green onion
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
For the tacos
- 3 Honey* mangos
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chipotle powder
- Kosher salt
- 8 tortillas
- Sliced radishes, for the garnish
- Torn cilantro leaves, for the garnish
Make the refried beans: Mince the garlic. Drain the beans and reserve the can liquid in a glass measuring cup. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant but before it browns. Add the beans, 1/2 cup of the reserved can liquid, the kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often and smashing the beans toward the end of the cook time, until most of the liquid has cooked out and the texture is mashed and thick, but not dry. Add additional can liquid as needed. Taste and season with additional salt as desired.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: Dice the mango. Chop the green onion into rough chunks. In a blender (high-speed if possible), add all sauce ingredients and blend on high until a creamy green sauce forms. Pour into a bowl and reserve until serving.
Make the grilled mango: Slice the mango into strips. Place the strips into a bowl, then add a small drizzle of olive oil (just enough to coat) and a light sprinkling of chipotle powder and kosher salt. Heat a grill pan (or skillet) to medium high, then add the mango and grill for about 2 minutes per side, until blackened. (You also can use a charcoal or gas grill.)
Assemble the tacos: Warm the tortillas, or char them by placing a tortilla on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until slightly blackened and warm. Spread a generous amount of refried beans onto a tortilla, then top with about 3 grilled mango strips, sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, and a small drizzle of dream sauce.
*Honey mangos are also labeled as Champagne or Ataulfo mangos. This variety of mango is ripe when the skin is wrinkly–it doesn’t mean that it’s overripe. Just give it a squeeze and if it gives – it’s perfectly ripe!
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.