Pico de gallo is a quick and easy fresh salsa that is perfect for scooping with tortilla chips or for topping tacos, burritos, fajitas, nachos, and more!
What is pico de gallo?
Pico de gallo is also known as salsa fresca, salsa mexicana, or salsa cruda and is common through out Mexican cuisine as a topping or side dish. It is made with simple fresh ingredients; tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeños or serranos and seasoned with salt and lime juice.
- Tomatoes - Fresh ripe tomatoes are the star of the dish. I prefer Roma or Plum tomatoes in pico de gallo. They have less seeds and pulp and a good amount of meaty flesh and are typically a good option year round. In the summer months when fresh tomatoes are in season, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes are also good choices.
- Onion - I'm not a big fan of raw onion but they are key in this dish so I go with white onion since they generally have a little less bite than red onions. You can also soak your onions in cold water for around 15 minutes then drain before using if you want to mellow out the flavor more.
- Peppers - One or two finely diced jalapeño or serrano peppers give it a bit of a kick. I'm usually cooking for kids so I usually leave it out. If you like it extra hot you can keep the seeds and the white membrane. Make sure to not touch your face while handling the peppers and wash your hands well afterwards.
- Cilantro - Another must for pico de gallo is chopped fresh cilantro. If you're like me and are not a cilantro lover, you can substitute parsley, but it won't have the same flavor.
- Lime juice - Go for fresh squeezed if possible!
- Olive Oil (optional) - this one's not traditional but I like a little drizzle of olive oil in my pico.
How to prepare the pico de gallo
This is the quickest and easiest homemade salsa recipe around. You'll simply dice the tomatoes, onions, and peppers and chop the parsley and put it all into a bowl. If you want less liquid in the end product, squeeze out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes before dicing. Then squeeze on some fresh lime juice and season with salt to taste. It's best to let it sit for around 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine if possible. The tomatoes can release a good bit of liquid after being salted and resting in the bowl so if you want it with less liquid you can drain off some of the excess liquid. I usually serve it with a fork or slotted spoon so I don't typically bother draining it. Just before serving I like to drizzle on a little olive oil and give it a good toss but the olive oil is optional. It will keep for in the refrigerator for about a day but is best if used the same day.
What to serve with your salsa?
Pico De Gallo
- 4-5 roma or plum tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup white onion, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stemmed, cored and finely diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt, to taste
- 1-2 tsp olive oil, optional
- Combine all ingredients but the olive oil in a bowl and toss to combine. For the best flavor let rest for around 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving drizzle with olive oil and toss again.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.