For a fun twist on classic black bean salsa, I love this recipe with lump crab and mango. It’s bright, briny, and sweet and packed with tons of protein and fiber. This is a summer salsa recipe that’s guaranteed to please at your next picnic or potluck.
Ahem. The warm weather has firmly settled in, and that means I have a very important announcement – it’s officially SALSA SEASON! Woot!
I love salsa almost as much as I love my kids (okay, maybe sometimes it’s a tie). It’s one of my favorite recipes to bring to a picnic or potluck, or to tuck into on a Friday night on the patio with an ice cold cocktail.
If you find yourself thinking “ugh, not another black bean salsa recipe” then sit up and tune in, because this is so not that. This black bean salsa with crab and mango is a super fun, protein packed twist on the classic. It’s loaded with flavor and texture, with big briny bites of crab perfectly paired with sweet chunks of mango.
This summer salsa recipe is easy enough to whip together in under twenty minutes, but fancy enough to impress. Because crab makes everything all “ooh la la”, now doesn’t it?
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Black Bean and Crab Salsa Recipe Notes
Y’all ready for this? Of course you are.
This salsa recipe is easy, fresh, and so fast. There’s a lot of choose your-own-salsa-adventure happening here, so let’s go ahead and cover the basics. The base of this salsa is (obviously) black beans, lump crab meat, and diced mango, and you have a few options when it comes to selecting your ingredients.
What Kind of Black Beans Should I Use?
Both canned and cooked from scratch black beans will work, but I like to use canned (I know) in this recipe because they’re a bit firmer than scratch cooked.
What Kind of Mango Should I Use?
The Tommy Atkins variety of mango are what’s commercially available in most grocery stores, and work perfectly here. They’re mild and sweet, and quite large. I can usually get a full cup of fruit from one mango.
I also really love the smaller, sweeter Ataulfo, or champagne, mangoes pictured above. I commonly find these at my local co-op and also see them frequently at higher end grocers like Whole Foods and Mom’s Organic Market.
Champagne mangoes are like regular mangos on overdrive – they’re super sweet, incredibly tender, and exploding with flavor. If you can get your hands on these guys, definitely try them. Since they’re on the small side, you’ll want two for this recipe, and your tastes buds will thank you.
What Kind of Crab Meat Should I Use?
My preference when sourcing fresh fish and seafood is always, always, always quality over quantity. Fresh lump crab meat is the jam in this salsa. It’s sweet, briny, and mild, and it will last for a couple of days in the fridge in the prepared salsa recipe.
Now, that does not mean you need to buy some crab legs, steam them, and pick them yourself. You can (always be you), but pre-picked and freshly packed crabmeat is fair play, and that’s exactly what I did here – Mama ain’t got the time for 100% DIY. The seafood counter at your local grocery store should have at least one option.
If fresh crabmeat is out of bounds, opt for canned. Drain it before using, but it doesn’t need to be rinsed. Whatever you do, avoid imitation crabmeat. It’s highly processed with a nutritional profile to match. Just say no.
How to Make Black Bean Salsa
Rinse your black beans and drained them really well, and toss ’em into a bowl with the lump crab meat and diced mango.
The proportions are pretty flexible, but I like to use equal portions of crab and black beans, and a half portion of mango (it shakes out to about 2 cups each of the former, and 1 cup of the latter). If you want a sweeter fruit salsa, go heavier on the mango. I won’t judge.
Dice up some cherry tomatoes, sliver some green onion, chop up some cilantro, and toss it all in the bowl.
And now we dress. Zest a lime, and then juice it (so much limey goodness!) and finish with a glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Then toss that baby up!
Yeah, baby! Doesn’t this look just perfectly dippable?
Black Bean and Crab Salsa Substitutions
Make this summer salsa completely your own with any number of substitutions:
- Add diced avocado, diced cucumber, or diced bell peppers
- Substitute the cilantro for parsley, chives, or half of each
- Swap diced red onions for the scallions
- Substitute the mango for peaches, pineapple, cantaloupe
- Skip the fruit and add a teaspoon of cumin or Old Bay for a smokey profile; if doing so, consider subbing in bell pepper for the mango
Looking for more summer picnic and potluck recipes? I’ve got loads of easy to make and perfectly portable options! Check out my recipes for cauliflower hummus, broccoli and asparagus pasta salad, white bean bruschetta, and no mayo potato salad with basil vinaigrette.
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Black Bean Salsa with Crab and Mango
For a twist on classic black bean salsa, try this easy and healthy crab salsa recipe! Made with lump crab, mango, tomato, and cilantro, this is a bright and fresh summer dip recipe that's sure to wow your friends at your next picnic or potluck.
- 1 can black beans rinsed and thoroughly drained
- 1 c mango (about 1 large mango or 2 small)
- 8 oz lump crab meat
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 c loosely packed chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lime juice about 2 limes, juiced
- 1 tbsp lime zest from 1 lime
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- tortilla chips for serving
Place the black beans, mango, crab meat, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
Zest one lime over the salsa, then juice and add the juice to the salsa. Juice a second lime and add to the salsa.
Add the extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to the salsa. Toss to combine and serve immediately with tortilla chips. Store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to three days.