Wondering how to cut a mango? This helpful guide will show you the best way to peel and cut an mango into cubes or slices! You'll love these fast, time-saving tricks, and the step-by-step photos and video will walk you through the simple process!
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Mangos are one of my favorite fruits! I just love their sweet flavor and juicy texture, not to mention the fact that they're super versatile and taste amazing in everything from desserts to savory dishes.
When it comes to enjoying this tropical fruit at home though, preparing it is often the most challenging part. But it doesn't have to be!
The good news is that, with a few tips, peeling and cutting mangos can be quick and easy! And my simple method, along with helpful step-by-step photos and a video, will show you how to eat a mango with no fuss.
Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn how to peel, slice, and chop / dice this tasty fruit. Plus, you'll find tips for how to pick and ripen them, get delicious recipes ideas, and more!
Tip: To read the whole guide, just keep scrolling! OR use the links below to jump to the section you're looking for:
Types of Mangos
There are are hundreds of mango varieties grown world-wide, but in U.S. markets you're most likely come across one of the following types:
- Tommy Atkins - This extremely popular variety is on the medium to large side and has tart-sweet flavor and firm, fibrous flesh.
- Ataulfo / Honey - These smaller golden yellow fruits (which are also very popular) have a tempting sweet and sour flavor and smooth, fiber free flesh.
- Kent - A green-skinned variety that has a sweet flavor with a hint of sour, and tender, juicy flesh with little fiber.
- Keitt - This dark green fruit (which sometimes has a pink flush) has a sweet, fruity flavor and firm, juicy flesh with minimal fiber.
- Francis - These yellow fruits have green undertones, a tropical peach taste, and soft, juicy, fibrous texture.
- Haden - This variety was first cultivated in Florida in the early 1900s! It has a sweet and sour taste and a firm texture with fine fibers.
- Other Varieties - Keep an eye out for Alphonso, Edward, Kesar, Manila, Palmer, and Mingolo varieties at your local store, too.
Mangos require a tropical climate, and the only places they'll grow in the U.S. are Florida, Puerto Rico, California, and Hawaii, although many stores also import fruit from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. If you want to learn more about these varieties, you can find pictures of the different types, plus availability info here.
Tip: The different varieties come into season throughout the year, so you can find fresh mangos year-round!
How to Tell If a Mango Is Ripe
Before you start cutting, let's talk about how to pick a mango. It's actually pretty easy to tell if a mango is ripe ... as long as you follow these tips:
- Ignore the color. Surprisingly, color is not a good indication of whether the fruit is ripe or not. There are many different varieties, and color has more to do with type than ripeness.
- Squeeze gently. The best way to tell if a mango is ripe, is by giving it a gentle squeeze. If it's ripe, the fruit should have a little give ... similar to how a ripe avocado or a peach would feel. If it's super soft, then it's probably over-ripened, and you should select a different fruit.
- Smell. Although the squeeze test is easiest way to determine ripeness, you can also smell the fruit before buying. Look for mangos that smell sweet and fragrant.
Once you bring ripe mangos home, store them in your refrigerator if you aren't planning to eat them right away. That way, they'll last longer, and they won't become over-ripe and inedible.
How to Ripen a Mango
It's not uncommon to find rock hard mangos at the grocery store, as shipping them this way makes them less likely to bruise and spoil before they're purchased. The good news is that it's easy to ripen them at home!
To ripen a mango, let it sit on your counter at room temperature for about two or three days, or until it softens and sweetens (remember that squeeze test). Placing the unripened fruit in a paper bag may also speed up the process. Once the fruit ripens, make sure to refrigerate it if you don't plan to eat it right away.
How to Peel a Mango
The most important thing to know before peeling a mango, is that there's a flat seed (pit) in the center of every mango, and depending on the variety, the flesh surrounding this pit is often fibrous and unpleasant to eat. So the first thing you want to do is remove this seed.
Start by holding the mango firmly on one of the long sides, then slice through the skin about ¼-inch on either side of the seed. Then repeat on the other side of the seed.
It can be hard to guess exactly where the pit starts, but practice makes perfect. Just keep in mind that the seed run the long way (avoid cutting cross-wise), and if your knife does hit the seed while cutting, don't force it. Just move the knife over slightly and start again.
Tip: The flesh of this tropical fruit can be quite slippery! To avoid cutting yourself, leave the peel on while slicing around the pit. It's much easier, faster, and safer to remove the peel during the chopping or slicing process (learn how below).
Once you've remove the seed, you should have three slices: the center pit, plus two "cheeks". These cheeks are the part of the flesh that you'll eat, and you can chop or slice them. Keep reading to learn how remove the fruit from the peel below!
Tip: If you're working with a variety that isn't very fibrous (like Ataulfo), you may also be able to remove and eat some of the flesh surrounding the seed.
How to Cut a Mango (Three Methods)
Once you've separated the pit from the edible flesh, it's time to cut the mango. I'm going to show you two simple methods: cubing (or dicing) and slicing. With each method, you'll cut the fruit while removing the peel at the same time (a major timesaver). Plus, you'll learn about a few popular hacks!
How to Cube + Dice
The easiest way to cut a mango into cubes (or to dice it), is by scoring the flesh first. Once you've done that, you simply slice it from the peel:
- Score the mango flesh. Start by using your knife to make a series of parallel slices through the flesh (without cutting through the peel). Next, use your knife to make a series of slices perpendicular to the original slices. The flesh should have a grid pattern when you're done (see photos below).
- Turn the peel inside out. Next, use your fingers to turn the peel inside out. As you do, the cubes should pop out.
- Remove cubes from peel. Finally, use your knife to slice the cubes off the peel. Make sure to watch your fingers, and be sure to keep the knife as close to the peel as possible. That way, you won't waste any fruit.
How to Slice
The easiest way to slice a mango is by scoring the flesh first, then cutting the slices from the peel. Here's how to do it:
- Slice the fruit. Begin by using your knife to make a series of parallel slices through the flesh (without cutting through the peel).
- Cut mango cheek in half. Cut the cheek in half (vertically) through one of your slices.
- Remove slices from the peel. Next, slide your knife along the inside of the peel to cut off the slices. Keep the knife as close to the peel as possible to avoid wasting fruit, and watch your fingers.
Tip: Cutting the cheeks in half after slicing the flesh (in step one), helps the peel lay flatter on your cutting board, making it easier to remove as much fruit as possible.
I find that a knife works best for cutting mangos. It's less likely to damage the fruit, and using just one tool saves on cleanup. However, there are a couple mango hacks that use a glass or a spoon to scoop out the cubes. And if you're into gadgets, you can even buy special a Mango Slicer that removes the pit and skin!
If you want to try the glass or spoon method, don't turn the peel inside out after scoring it. Instead slide the edge of the spoon (or rim of the glass) into the curved peel, and use it to scoop out the fruit cubes.
How you store mango will depend on whether it's whole or cut, ripe or unripe. Follow these tips for best results:
- Unripened Whole Fruit - Store on your countertop until the mango becomes ripe (about two days). After ripening, either eat the fruit right away or store it in your refrigerator.
- Ripe Whole Fruit - To prevent over-ripening, store in your refrigerator. Once refrigerated, ripe mangos will stay fresh for about five days.
- Chopped / Sliced Fruit - Store cut fruit in an air tight container in your refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for up to five days.
Mango can also be frozen! Here's how to do it:
- Cut the mango into chunks. (Following the steps above.)
- Place fruit chunks on a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze.
- Remove frozen pieces from foil and transfer to an air tight container. Store in your freezer until ready to enjoy. Eat within two to three months for the tastiest results.
Before eating, defrost the frozen mango in your refrigerator. It will have a slightly mushier texture, but will be perfect for using in smoothies and other drinks, baked foods, and more!
Tip: Freezing the fruit in individual pieces helps it to defrost faster, while also allowing you to remove the exact amount you need for a smoothie or recipe.
How to Eat (Recipe Ideas)
Wondering what to do with mangos? They really are versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes! Here are some ideas and recipes to try:
- Plain - One of the best ways to eat mango (and probably the most common) is to eat it plain just after cutting. Fresh mango has a wonderful sweet flavor, and it makes a deliciously healthy snack, light dessert, or meal accompaniment.
- Breakfast - Another tasty way to enjoy it is mixed with yogurt and / or granola for breakfast. Try this easy Mango Parfait or these Mango Overnight Oats for a morning treat! You could also dollop the fresh fruit over pancakes or waffles, or serve it as a topping for Baked Oatmeal or Fonio Porridge.
- Snack / Appetizer - Enjoy this tasty tropical fruit on its own for a healthy snack, top it with chili powder, lime juice, and a pinch of salt for a Mexican-inspired twist, or turn it into an irresistible appetizer, like this Mango Salsa from Cookie + Kate!
- Salads - This fabulous fruit is the perfect way to add a burst of flavor to your next salad! It would super delish in this simple Green Salad or you could swap it for the dried cranberries in this Kale Cranberry Salad. You can even use it to make salad dressing ... this Tropical Rice Salad features an amazing Mango Lime Vinaigrette!
- Main Dishes - Fresh mango also works surprisingly well in savory foods. These Jerk Tempeh Bowls from Dishing Out Health and this Thai Yellow Coconut Curry both feature this yummy fruit!
- Drinks - This flavorful fruit adds a wonderful flavor to drinks, too. Make homemade Mango Juice, blend some into your next smoothie, treat yourself to my fave Mango Mojitos, or sip on this Mango Lassi from Piping Hot Curry.
- Dessert - Mango also makes a wonderful end to your meal! Serve it fresh over ice cream, cakes, and cheesecake, or bake it into muffins, cakes, and more ... try this mouthwatering Mango Sorbet recipe for starters!
- Puree - You can also blend the fruit to make homemade Mango Puree. The puree can then be used to make drinks, desserts, and so much more!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still have questions? Check out these frequently asked questions about the best way to cut and peel a mango, plus some general tips:
You can tell if a mango is ripe by gently squeezing it. When ready to eat, the fruit should have a little give, similar to how a ripe peach or avocado would feel.
Mangos have a sweet, juicy, tropical taste, often with a hint of tartness (depending on variety). You may also detect a hint of peach flavor in some types of mangos.
Mangos have a large seed (pit) in the center. Instead of cutting through the middle, you need to slice along either side of the seed.
The best way to cut an mango is to slice the fruit on either side of the pit. Once you've done that, you can score the fruit into cubes or slices, then slice it from the peel.
While mango peel is technically edible, it can be tough, and it's much more pleasant to remove it before eating.
Technically, you can eat mango skin, although it can be tough. It's better to remove it before eating.
Because there are so many different varieties of mangos, and each has it's own growing schedule, you can find mangos in season year round in the U.S. Learn more about when mangos are in season.
How to Cut a Mango
- Sharp Knife
- Cutting Board
- Hold mango firmly along on one of its long sides.
- Slice through the skin about ¼-inch on either side of the seed. When you're done, you should have three slices: the seed + two mango "cheeks".
- Cut parallel slices through the mango cheeks (without slicing through the peel), first in one direction, then perpendicular to the first slices. The flesh should have a grid pattern when you're done.
- Turn mango skin inside out, then carefully slice cubes off skin.
- Eat mango cubes immediately or store in an air tight container in your refrigerator. Enjoy!
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