Perfect with crisp tortilla chips or pretty much anything else, you can make your own authentic fresh pico de gallo with only six ingredients!
Fresh red tomatoes, crisp onion, spicy jalapeño peppers, juicy lime, and leafy green cilantro combine to make this authentic pico de gallo. Beyond tortilla chips, pico de gallo is a perfect topping for tacos, burritos, scrambled eggs, Mexican rice, beans – you name it. It’s so versatile and flavorful. I love the freshness it adds to burrito bowls, nachos, sheet pan breakfast tostadas, or pork carnitas.
Originating in Mexico, pico de gallo translated means “beak of the rooster.” Apparently there’s some discussion about why it’s called that. I’ll leave that up to your imagination. I will say, pico de gallo is very colorful, much like a rooster.
This mixture is a nutritional powerhouse. I just read recently we should try to eat twenty different kinds of food derived from plants PER DAY! That’s a lot. This combination of vegetables and herbs will get you well on the way to that goal. It contains no fat, very little salt, just lots of good flavor from tomatoes, onions, peppers, lime juice, and cilantro (that’s five!).
Make a batch today. You’ll love the freshness and flavor it adds to so many dishes. I could eat it by the spoonful!
About this pico de gallo recipe
To make this easy recipe, all you’ll need is a sharp knife and a cutting board. I like to use Roma or plum tomatoes because they are firm and have fewer seeds and juice. Buy the freshest tomatoes you can find – since tomatoes are the backbone of this recipe, you’ll want only the best.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and scrape out the excess juice and seeds. No need to get every seed out, but the texture will be better if you remove as much as you can. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
Next chop a red or white onion, a couple of jalapeños, and fresh cilantro. You can vary the texture of pico de gallo by how coarse or fine you chop the ingredients. It’s up to you. Do you like big chunks? Go for it!
Add a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of salt, mix everything together, and that’s all there is to making your own fresh pico de gallo. So easy!
Make ahead: This recipe actually tastes better if you make it at least an hour or two in advance.
What is the different between salsa and pico de gallo? While salsa and pico de gallo are made of pretty much the same ingredients, salsa is usually cooked and pico de gallo is always fresh. Salsa has more of a sauce consistency, while pico de gallo looks almost like a very finely chopped salad, with each component clearly visible.
Make it Your Own
This is a very basic easy recipe but there are lots of ways you can make it your own.
- Like it spicier? Add more jalapeño peppers or leave in the seeds and ribs of the peppers. Or use serrano peppers which have more heat.
- Do you think cilantro tastes like soap? Substitute chopped parsley. Keep in mind, this will drastically alter the flavor.
- Increase the amount of salt. This recipe has only 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Taste the finished product, and add more salt, if desired.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. You’ll love the way cumin enhances the flavor.
- Looking for even more vegetables? Add finely chopped cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, or fresh corn. I love to add avocado.
- Try adding chopped fruit, like mango, strawberries, apple, or pineapple. I love this mango and pineapple salsa.
This pico will keep well refrigerated in a tightly covered container for up to a week.
Southwestern sauces and dips
Looking for more recipes like this? Try:
- Salsa verde – green salsa made with roasted tomatillos
- Citrus Salsa — great on chips or fish tacos!
- Mexican spinach dip
- Mexicali dip
- Seven layer dip – a party favorite
- Jalapeño ranch dip
- Mexican corn dip
- Queso blanco (make it your slow cooker) or healthier Queso dip with butternut squash
- Tequila lime flaming cheese dip – by The Cookie Rookie (yes, you actually light it on fire!)
- Shrimp Ceviche – by Natasha’s Kitchen (can’t wait to try this!)
- 2 cups finely diced tomatoes, seeds removed (about 10 Roma tomatoes)
- ½ cup finely chopped red or white onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Mix all ingredients together. Taste and season with additional salt if desired.
- Serve immediately, or for best results, let flavors meld for an hour before serving.
- Makes about 3 cups.
- Like it spicier? Add more jalapeño peppers or leave in the seeds and ribs of the peppers.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.