Pico de Gallo
This Pico de Gallo recipe features fresh and flavorful ingredients that come together to make the best fresh salsa! Serve it as a topping for your favorite Mexican foods or enjoy it as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
I’m powerless to resist a bowl of salsa and crunchy tortilla chips, especially if the salsa is this homemade pico de gallo!
Like our Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe, this pico de gallo is bursting with fresh flavor. This addictive salsa is a colorful combination of juicy tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juice, with finely chopped jalapeño for a bit of heat. You can skip the jalapeño if you’re sensitive to spice, or double up on it for a spicy salsa!
Making this recipe requires no cooking, since the ingredients are simply chopped and then stirred together. It’s a breeze to whip up, and usually disappears just as fast!
What is Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo (also called salsa fresca) is a chunky fresh salsa recipe, made with fresh ripe tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño or serrano pepper and lime juice. The ingredients are typically finely chopped by hand to make the ideal chunky texture, ready for spooning on tacos or scooping up with tortilla chips. The name pico de gallo translates to “rooster’s beak,” and there are various theories about how it got its name. Pico de gallo is incredibly easy to make, and perfect for serving with your favorite Mexican recipes.
Pico de Gallo Ingredients
Since fresh tomatoes play a starring role in this pico de gallo recipe, be sure to use the best ripe, bright red tomatoes you can find. Besides the tomatoes, you’ll need just six ingredients, including salt.
- Tomatoes: Use ripe red tomatoes such as plum tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.
- White Onion: For a bit of sharp flavor to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
- Fresh Cilantro: Adds fresh herby flavor. If you don’t like cilantro you can leave it out.
- Jalapeño: For heat. Remove the seeds and ribs or the pico will turn out too spicy.
- Garlic: A clove of fresh garlic adds another flavor dimension to this pico recipe.
- Lime Juice: A squeeze of bright citrus adds zippy flavor.
- Salt: Makes all of the flavors pop!
How to Make the Best Pico de Gallo
Making pico de gallo is as simple as chopping the ingredients and stirring everything together. It couldn’t be easier! Follow these tips for making homemade pico with the best texture and flavor:
- Before chopping the tomatoes, I like to remove the core, tomato seeds and juice so that they don’t water down the salsa.
- Pico de gallo will be best when made with tomatoes that are are ripe and flavorful. Make this recipe during tomato season!
- Chop everything up finely so that you get a little bit of everything in every bite. It’s best to chop by hand, as using a food processor won’t give you the chunky texture of authentic pico de gallo.
- Taste it and adjust the seasonings to your tastes. Sometimes a little more salt or lime juice, for example, can make all the difference!
- You can serve the salsa right away or chill it in the fridge for an hour or two to let the flavors meld together.
You can play with this basic recipe to make all sorts of delicious variations! Try adding:
- Diced avocado for creaminess and healthy fats.
- Diced peaches or mango for a fun and fruity twist.
- Chopped cucumber or bell pepper for extra crunch.
- Swap the white onion for red onion for a slightly different flavor.
Ways to Serve Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo makes a delicious topping for tacos, burritos, enchiladas and Mexican casseroles. It’s also perfect for serving as an appetizer, with tortilla chips for scooping. Make a batch of pico and some of our Best Guacamole and dig in! Serve this homemade pico with:
- Tacos: Try Carnitas or Fish Tacos.
- Enchiladas: Spoon it over Chicken Enchiladas or Beef Enchiladas.
- Casseroles: Use it as a topping for an Enchilada Casserole, Mexican Casserole or Taco Casserole.
- Burritos: Serve it with your Breakfast Burrito or add a spoonful to a Burrito Bowl.
Store pico de gallo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The tomatoes may release some liquid over time, which you can drain off if desired. Give the salsa a stir to recombine the flavors before serving.
Pico de Gallo Recipe
- 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (plum/roma), about 6 tomatoes, diced small*
- 1 ¼ cup finely chopped white onion
- ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro, tough stems discarded
- 1 medium jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup lime juice, from 2 limes
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently stir to mix everything together. Then taste and adjust the ingredients to your tastes, if needed.
- Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two to let the flavors meld together.
- Use the best ripe tomatoes you can find. I like to remove the core, tomato seeds and juice so that they don't water down the salsa.
- Store pico de gallo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The tomatoes may release some liquid over time, which you can drain off if desired. Give the salsa a stir to recombine the flavors before serving.