Papaya Salsa

Papaya Salsa ~ this juicy tropical salsa is equally at home with a bag of chips as it is at the side of a great steak ~ make a big batch today!

Papaya Salsa in a jar with spoon

If I had to pick one food that defines my summer cooking, I would have to say it would be salsa. And one of my goals this season is to make as many different kinds as I can. Salsa is really a wonder food. It’s incredibly healthy and low calorie, and it makes such a difference to so many different types of dishes. This is one I haven’t tried before. In fact I rarely use papayas, so this is a new experience for me all around.

Fresh papaya sliced in half, for papaya salsa

You can get papayas in the supermarket most of the year, but summer is their season, and that’s when they’ll be cheapest and best. Choose them like you would an avocado; look for firm fruit that yields with pressure. If it’s too soft, pass on it, you’ll be dicing the flesh, and you don’t want it to be mushy. You can actually eat those beautiful black seeds, they supposedly taste peppery, and in some places they’re dried and ground like pepper. Too bad I forgot to taste them before I cleaned up.

A jar of homemade papaya salsa

The classic salsa, Spanish for ‘sauce’, is made with tomato, tomatillo, and chili peppers, which are all technically fruits. If you think of salsa as basically a chunky, raw fruit sauce, you can branch out in so many directions, like strawberry, pineapple, cantaloupe or apricot. I love how each fruit creates a unique salsa…in the case of papaya the flavor isn’t as important as the velvety texture that it brings. I like to combine a little bit of hot pepper along with it for a nice contrast.

a small bowl of papaya salsa with spoon



More juicy salsas from tvfgi ~


Cherry Salsa

a bowl of cherry salsa with jalapeno

Kiwi Salsa

spicy kiwi salsa in a glass bowl on a wooden surface

Restaurant Style Salsa

overhesad photo of restaurant salsa ingredients in a bowl

Papaya Salsa in a jar with spoon
3.32 from 41 votes

Papaya Salsa

This juicy salsa goes with everything from chips to grilled meats, fish, and tacos!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Calories 25kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 papaya
  • 1/4 medium red onion finely minced
  • a handful of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 hot green pepper I used a Serrano thinly sliced, seeds and all
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Peel the papaya. A serrated vegetable peeler works well for this kind of job. Scoop out the seeds and dice the flesh.
  • Mix the papaya with the rest of the ingredients. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook's notes

Plan to make and eat this salsa the same day; the fruit doesn't hold up well overnight in the refrigerator. This is a good rule of thumb for all salsas.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 25kcal
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Papaya Salsa pin


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    5 stars
    I essentially made this tonight, but I recommend adding an additional fruit (preferably pineapple, but also apples) in a 1:1 or 2:1 papaya:other fruit ratio. Helps give a citric bite to the salsa and works great for carnitas or jerk chicken.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Can you freeze this recipe?

    • Reply
      March 28, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      I don’t recommend freezing salsa, Jessica, the texture really suffers when you thaw it.

  • Reply
    Facel Quetglas
    October 9, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Will make it tonight for the Rare Fruit Council club meeting. Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 9, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Oh how fun ~ I want to join the club!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    This is so delicious- we are snacking on it right out of the fridge.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2013 at 3:10 am

    This looks like a beautiful fresh salsa!

  • Reply
    Food to Fitness
    August 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

    This looks simple and delicious. Thanks for the recipe. And great pics!

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