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Homemade Pico De Gallo Recipe

This classic and authentic homemade Pico de Gallo recipe is the best fresh tomato salsa that you can make. 5 ingredients is all you need for this easy recipe and it’s great on a variety of dishes or just scooped with chips!

chip and pico de gallo

When it’s time to eat out during the week because I am just over cooking, my go-to is Mexican food. Not just because the food is good but because there is something that everyone loves.

What is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a fresh, raw salsa made with just a few simple ingredients. Pico literally translates to “ rooster’s beak ” because of the way that it is eaten.

The meaning comes from the pico being picked up with the fingers and pinched between the thumb and the index finger.

In doing so, your hand forms the shape of a rooster’s head and beak. So funny to learn where we get the names of foods from isn’t it?

I don’t really care where it came from or what you call it, because it is down right delicious! Sometimes pico is called “salsa fresca” or “salsa cruda” which means fresh salsa because everything is ripe and fresh. The best way to eat salsa in my opinion.

Read on to grab this authentic pico de gallo recipe and see how to make it. You will rival your favorite Mexican restaurant!

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tomatoes, cilantro, and onions on marble

The handful of ingredients are few in number but large in flavor! Because you only need 5 ingredients it’s you need to pick the best of them.

Ingredients Needed

  • tomatoes
  • onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • jalapeño
  • lime

Tomatoes – Grab the freshest and ripest tomatoes that you can find. I like to use Roma tomatoes but heirloom ones are great too. You can also use cherry tomatoes or fresh plum tomatoes.

Onion – Authentic pico de gallo, or salsa fresca, uses raw onion (white onion specifically) but for this recipe I chose red onion. It adds a little color and a little more bite. Yellow onion is also an option although a sweet onion will change the flavor profile.

Jalapeño and Cilantro – Make sure your jalapeño is ripe and firm and your cilantro is bright green. If you don’t have a jalapeño try a Serrano pepper.

Lime – Lastly, roll the lime a few times to get the juices flowing. Fresh lime juice is the perfect way to brighten up the fresh tomatoes.

If you like your fresh salsa like I do, a pinch of salt will round out the whole recipe and enhance the flavors of each of the ingredients!

How to make Pico de Gallo

First: Wash and dice your tomatoes into small, bite sized pieces.

Second: Dice and add the onions. Give a quick stir.

Third: Chop the cilantro and jalapeno. Add to the mixture. Add the lime juice and salt. Give a stir to mix.

Fourth: Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Serve with chips and enjoy!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

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pico in a bowl

What is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?

While they have basically the same ingredients, pico is made with raw, fresh ingredients, diced to give them more texture, and is not as wet as regular salsa. It is a version of chunky salsa that is a great recipe for dipping and as a topping on other dishes.

Is Pico de Gallo healthy?

Yes it is! All fresh basic ingredients and no sugar make this recipe healthy! It’s also an uncooked salsa so you don’t lose any of the nutrients in the cooking or preserving process.

Is it Keto, Paleo, and Whole 30 friendly?

Yes it is! Add it to just about everything! You are going to love this recipe as it is very “healthy eating” friendly.

bowl of pico de gallo and chips

Can I freeze it?

I would not recommend it. Freezing will make the tomatoes and onions mushy. If you freeze it and thaw it, then I would puree it into a “smooth salsa” for chips.

How long does it last?

It will last a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge. You might need to drain some of the juice from time to time.

Uses for Pico de Gallo

  • tacos (carne asada and fish tacos are my fave!)
  • burritos
  • chicken
  • nachos
  • quesadillas
  • fish
bowl of pico

Tapas Tips & Tricks

  • Use the best and freshest ingredients at room temperature.
  • Dice small pieces in all the same size so it’s easy to eat. Some like them finely chopped but that is optional. You can use a food processor but I like to chop them myself so the pieces don’t get too small or mushy.
  • If you are not a fan of raw onion, you can use less onion but I would not leave it out all together.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon to drain any excess liquid at the bottom.
  • Let the flavors mix together for at least 15 minutes before serving.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

pico de gallo in a bowl

Keep a batch of this easy pico de gallo recipe stored in your fridge at all times! You never know when you will have a taco emergency and need a great recipe… Perhaps Cinco de Mayo!

More Easy Appetizers

bowl of pico de gallo

Pico de Gallo

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This classic and authentic Pico de Gallo is the best fresh tomato salsa that you can make. 5 ingredients is all you need and it's not just salsa either!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 large red onion (appx 1 cup)
  • 5-7 ripe Roma tomatoes (appx 3 cups)
  • 1 large jalapeño, ribbed and seeded
  • juice of 1 lime (~1/3 cup)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the tomatoes and onion in a small dice so they are all the same size.
  2. Add the chipped cilantro.
  3. Add in the seeded, ribbed, and finely diced jalapeño
  4. Squeeze in the lime juice.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Stir and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the best and freshest ingredients at room temperature.
  • Dice small pieces in all the same size so it’s easy to eat. Some like them finely chopped but that is optional. You can use a food processor but I like to chop them myself so the pieces don't get too small or mushy.
  • If you are not a fan of raw onion, you can use less onion but I would not leave it out all together.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon to drain any excess liquid at the bottom.
  • Let the flavors mix together for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 12Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

    This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can bot be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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    Jenny

    Friday 5th of June 2020

    Best recipe!!!

    Instant Pot Carnitas | Crispy Instant Pot Carnitas

    Sunday 15th of March 2020

    […] Instant Pot Carnitas is the perfect recipe to feed a crowd. Carnitas tacos are always a favorite and can be served with many toppings like guacamole and pico de gallo. […]

    Sandy A.

    Friday 6th of September 2019

    Just made this. Delicious! Serving it with fish tacos and Arroz Verde tonight.

    Michaela Kenkel

    Tuesday 18th of June 2019

    My weakness!! I made this yesterday - and it was perfection! I couldn't leave this pico alone! Thank you for the great recipes!

    Sandra Shaffer

    Monday 17th of June 2019

    Nothing beats a fresh bowl of pico de gallo when entertaining! This is a crowd pleaser and love that it can be made in advance. I love adding a scoop over eggs or rolled up in a burrito!

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