How Many Mangoes Do You Need to Make a Recipe?

Aaron McCoy, Getty Images, reprinted with permission

There’s just something about the sweet juiciness of mangoes that makes them perfect for everything from stir-fries to smoothies. But cooks new to mango cooking may wonder just how many mangoes they need. It can be unclear how the cup measurement in the recipe translates into the number of mangoes.

A ripe, 12-ounce mango will provide about 1 cup of fruit. Slightly larger (13- to 14-ounce) mangoes will leave you with a bit extra if you want to add a few slices of mango for a garnish.

How To Tell if a Mango Is Ripe

If you’re planning to prepare the recipe the same day, you’ll need to pick a ripe mango (unless the recipe specifically calls for unripened mangoes). It’s best not to judge a mango’s ripeness based on color: while all unripe mangoes have a green skin, the exact color and shading of a ripened mango depend on the cultivar.

For example, ripened Tommy Atkins mangoes have greenish/golden skin with red highlights, while Mexican-grown Ataulfo mangoes have a yellow skin with no red at all, and ripe Kent mangoes retain a large amount of green with some red shading. Mango growers continually struggle with consumer's misperception that mangoes with partially green skin cannot be fully ripe.

The best way to test a mango’s ripeness is to judge its aroma and texture. Ripe mangoes have a fragrant smell and should gently yield to gentle pressure (think of a ripe peach). Avoid a mango that feels too soft (likely overripe) or has brownish spots on the skin.

If you don’t need to use them immediately, unripe mangoes will ripen within a few days if left on the counter at room temperature.

A Note About Thai Green Mangoes

The sour green mangoes featured in Southeast Asian cooking fall into its own category; picked when immature, they don’t ripen further. Cooks rely on their tart flavor to add a sour kick to dishes.