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Blackened Fish with Mango Salsa is a simple combination that adds up to a fantastic dinner: flavorful, healthy, and super satisfying. We enjoy this any time we crave tropical vibes, no matter if the weather is cooperating or not, and it’s easy to whip up in about 25 minutes.

Small white plate with a serving of blackened fish topped with mango avocado salsa and white rice on the side.

If you’ve checked out my weekly “real life menu” posts, this is the dinner I raved about most from last week. And proof in the pudding – I loved it so much I made it again almost immediately, both so that I could photograph it and so that I could personally enjoy it for more lunches!

So much to love here:

  • Super quick and easy. This can be on the table in about 25 minutes, give or take 5 minutes if you have to dice a whole mango versus starting with pre-chopped fruit.
  • Bursting with flavor. The savory blackening seasoning is so easy to make yourself and adds incredible flavor to any protein. Pair that with a salsa that’s a little sweet, a little kicky, and all kinds of delicious? Heaven.
  • Versatile and relatively kid-friendly. It’s easy to keep some mango and some avocado to the side to serve individually to choosy kids. If mine aren’t in the mood for blackened tilapia (sigh) it’s pretty straightforward to serve them plain a separate piece of plain baked or breaded tilapia (I buy this pre-made at Trader Joe’s) and not feel like you’ve made a massively different meal.

The recipe is just a simple mash-up of my go-to blackened tilapia, made with lime instead of with lemon, plus my favorite fruit salsa. If you ask me, this is hands down the best mango salsa recipe for fish – and for snacking and pretty much anything else! 🙂

Related: Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa

Ingredient Notes

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need. Find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  • Fish fillets – Any firm, white fish works here. I usually default to tilapia, an economical, relatively sustainable fish that is an easy contribution to the average person’s recommended intake of two portions of fish per week. Cod, bass, or haddock are also great options.
  • Spices – brown sugar, paprika (can be sweet or smoked), oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Craving extra heat? Add a pinch of cayenne to the blend that goes on the fish.
  • Fresh mango – tender and sweet.
  • Fresh avocado – creamy and satisfying.
  • Red onion – adds a little crunch, tang, and color.
  • Jalapeño – adjust to taste to control the heat in the salsa. 
  • Cilantro – if cilantro gives you that soapy aftertaste, just leave it out of the salsa. No problem.
  • Fresh lime juice – a squeeze over the cooked fish and in the salsa pulls all these great flavors together.
  • Olive oil.

Can I use off-the-shelf blackening seasoning?

Absolutely! While we usually just make a quick blend on as-needed basis, I know that Zatarain’s blackening seasoning is a popular choice. If using this or another pre-packaged blackening or Cajun spice blend, simply rub it directly and generously onto the fish and proceed.

What is a white fish?

“White fish” isn’t a specific kind, per se. As The Kitchn explains, in recipes this generally means any type of light-colored fish that cooks quickly and has a relatively mild flavor. Tilapia is a prime example, as is haddock, cod, or bass.

Can I use butter instead of olive oil?

Sure! It’s actually more traditional to cook blackened proteins in a generous slick of butter, because the milk fat helps the exterior develop that dark, rich crust. I just prefer the neutral flavor of olive oil when pairing fish with citrus and salsa, plus its heart-healthy benefits, and you will still be able to get that blackened crust as long as your pan is hot before you place in the fish. So yes, butter is a fine substitute, as is canola or another vegetable oil. Experiment or just use what you like.

How To Make Fish with Mango Salsa

  1. Season the fish. Whip up a quick spice blend and rub it all over both sides of the fish filets. It should be a substantial coating on both top and bottom. Set aside.
  2. Make the salsa. Chop the mango, dice the avocado, and toss together with everything else.
  3. Pan fry the fish. The key here is to get the pan nice and hot before adding the filets, then allow them to cook on one side without moving them around until they develop nice blackened spots on the bottom. Flip and continue to sear until they are cooked through.
  4. Plate and serve. Spoon salsa generously over the blackened fish, add rice or anything else that you like, and dinner is done!

How To Tell When Fish is Done

You’ll know tilapia is fully cooked when it is opaque throughout and flakes easily when pressed with the side of a fork. If you have an instant read thermometer, this cuts out all the guesswork: the FDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145° F.

For this recipe, an extra tell of course is the crispy blackened bits on the fish’s exterior. Yum!

Angled view of a plate holding white rice, blackened tilapia, and mango avocado salsa, ready to eat.

Storage & Reheating

Store leftover tilapia and mango salsa in separate containers. If storing with rice or another grain, package that together with the fish. Fish will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and can be most easily reheated in the microwave on 50% power for 1-2 minutes per filet. Top with the cold salsa and dig in.

The avocado in the salsa begins to brown after the first day or so in the fridge, but in my opinion still tastes good enough to eat. If you are making this as a meal prep or just expect a large amount of leftovers, consider reserving some of the avocado to dice and serve fresh with individual portions.

Related Recipes

Looking to incorporate more healthy fish into your weekly menu? We love baked lemon tilapia for a super easy dinner! These quick and healthy fish tacos are always a hit, and a sheet pan of simple lemon herb roasted salmon is ready in 15 minutes.

Last but not least, ever try the “cold oven” salmon trick? It’s such a simple thing but yields amazing, consistent results!

If you try this Fish with Mango Salsa recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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5 from 1 vote

Blackened Fish with Mango Salsa

Super fast, super healthy, and super flavorful!

Ingredients

For the Fish

  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar light or dark
  • 2 teaspoons paprika sweet or smoky
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3-4 fish filets tilapia or any other firm white fish, about 6 ounces each
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • squeeze of lime juice

For the Salsa

  • 1 mango about 1.5 cups, cut into very small cubes
  • 1 avocado about 1 cup, cut into very small cubes
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  • Combine brown sugar, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, garlic powder, and cumin in a small bowl. Mix until evenly blended. Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of fish and rub in gently with your fingers.
    3 teaspoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 3-4 fish filets
  • To make the salsa, combine mango, avocado, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, juice of 1/2 lime, and a pinch of kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Sample and add extra lime juice and/or salt to taste.
    1 mango, 1 avocado, 1/2 jalapeno pepper, 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, 2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, juice of 1/2 lime, pinch kosher salt
  • To cook the fish, place a large enamel-coated or non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in a thin layer of olive oil. When hot, place fish in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are cooked through (145 degrees F and easy to flake with a fork) and have a dark reddish-brown crust on the outside. Spritz with lime juice.
    drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lime juice
  • Remove fish from pan, plate, and top with generous spoonfuls of mango salsa. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For more heat on the fish: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the blackening spice mixture used on the fish.
  • For more heat in the salsa: Add more jalapeno! Conversely, you can leave it out entirely for a truly mild salsa.
  • Cookware: You can use a large cast-iron skillet, rather than a non-stick pan, but be sure it is well-seasoned and has a good slick of cooking oil, else it will be more difficult to flip the fish and to clean up afterwards.
  • Make the salsa ahead: Mango avocado salsa tastes best freshly made, but to prep ahead, combine everything except the avocado, store tightly-covered in the fridge, then cut and mix in the avocado cubes immediately before serving. If it will be out for a little while, you can also spritz the avocado directly with lime juice to help reduce browning. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 297 kcal, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Protein: 36 g, Fat: 11 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 85 mg, Sodium: 677 mg, Potassium: 905 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 11 g, Vitamin A: 1157 IU, Vitamin C: 27 mg, Calcium: 47 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!