Featuring classic pico de gallo salsa.
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Fresh Pico De Gallo

Instantly elevate almost any dish with the sweet pop of tomatoes, sharp bite of onion, tangy burst of lime, and bold kick of jalapeno from this Fresh Pico de Gallo. The fresh flavors and vibrant colors combined with the simple process of this healthy salsa will have you reaching for this classic taco topper again and again.

Break out your favorite chef’s knife and slice it into a crimson tomato. With no cooking required this salsa fresca is the ultimate accent, exclamation point, and finishing touch for all of your favorite dishes.

Combining garden fresh ingredients with a simple process, it’s the ideal garnish for everything from Grilled Poblano Broccoli Cheese Soup, to Smoked Brisket Chili, or even Smashburger Tacos.

Need more salsa recipes? Try one of our favorites such as Pickle De Gallo, Fire Roasted Santa Maria Salsa, or Hatch Chile Salsa Verde.

Chips are the best way to transfer fresh pico to your mouth.

What is Pico de Gallo?

We’ve all scooped, piled, topped, and devoured our share of fresh pico de gallo, but this ubiquitous fresh salsa traces as far back as ancient Aztec cuisine, specifically the Yucatan peninsula, Sonora, Oaxaca, and Guanajuato regions. 

While no one can entirely agree on the origin of its name, which translates to “rooster’s beak”, there are multiple theories. Some believe that originates from the way it was originally eaten, pinched together between the thumb and forefinger, like a beak. Many residents of the Sonoran Mexico region believe it’s due to the beak-like appearance of the serrano pepper commonly used. Rick Bayless and Deann Groen theorize it’s due to the bird feed-like texture of the finely diced vegetables. 

This raw salsa, or salsa cruda, also goes by other names such as salsa bandera, as it contains the colors of the Mexican flag. Unlike more liquid-based salsas, this healthy dish can be used in other ways than simply a topping. Its drier and chunkier texture makes it ideal for use as a filling such as tacos or quesadillas.

Use fresh ingredients such as roma tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro to make this salsa.

How to Make Pico de Gallo

  • Mise en place. Dice all of your ingredients. Remove the seeds and core from the tomatoes. They will be your largest dice. Make your onions a smaller dice, and the jalapenos the smallest. 
  • Season and macerate. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl. Give them a stir. Allow the pico de gallo to rest for at least an hour before serving so the lime and salt can permeate all of the ingredients and mellow the onions and jalapeno.
  • Taste and adjust. Give the salsa a taste before serving. As the juices come out of the vegetables you may need to add a little additional salt. 
  • Serve and enjoy. Make sure to serve the pico with a slotted spoon so you get all of the glorious chunks of fresh vegetables without the excess liquid.

Important Tips

  • Skip the burn and wear gloves while chopping your chiles. Nothing is more painful than rubbing your eyes with jalapeno juice!
  • Using juicier tomatoes will give you a more watery finished product than a fleshier tomato like Roma tomatoes.
  • Don’t skip the step of removing the seeds and core from the tomatoes. This will give you a less watery finished product.
  • Taste your jalapenos before adding them. Some jalapenos can be mild while others pack a serious kick. You may need to cut back or add additional depending on your preferred heat level.
  • Always allow your pico de gallo to rest before serving it. This will allow the lime and salt to work their magic and mellow the onion and jalapeno while marrying all of the flavors.
  • Always serve your fresh pico de gallo with a slotted spoon so you can drain off the excess liquid. No one wants watery tomato juice making their tortillas soggy.
  • Don’t toss out that pico de gallo juice! Use it in the same way you would a squeeze of lime. It is a great addition to cooking rice, added to soups, and as a bold addition of flavor to a michelada.
  • The only real labor in making this is the chopping. Take your time. You want the tomatoes to be the largest dice with the onions and jalapenos being more fine.
  • Tomatoes taste better at room temperature. Let your pico de gallo sit out before serving.
Dice all of the ingredients to an even size.

Variations for Flavors

  • Add roasted poblanos or other chiles for a smoky flavor like the Charred Poblano Pico De Gallo recipe from my cookbook.
  • Swap the white onion for red onions, or even add some scallions.
  • Add diced avocado just before serving. 
  • Stir in grilled corn for a pop of sweetness. 
  • For more heat swap the jalapeno for minced serrano pepper.
  • For fruity heat add finely minced habanero and swap the lime juice for a combination of orange and lime juice.
  • Give an acidic punch with Smoked Pickled Jalapenos.
  • Bring a taste of the tropics by adding diced mango or pineapple. 
  • Swap out some of the diced tomatoes for diced tomatillos.
Dig in to this fresh pico de gallo and have the chips ready.

How to Serve Pico De Gallo

You should open a bag of chips and start there. However, we do have some other creative options for you!

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Featuring classic pico de gallo salsa.

Fresh Pico De Gallo

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Elevate any dish with sweet tomatoes, a sharp bite of onion, a tangy burst of lime, and a bold kick of jalapeno from this fresh Pico de Gallo.

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 Cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, seeds removed (about 8 Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Serve and enjoy. Make sure to serve the pico with a slotted spoon so you get all of the glorious chunks of fresh vegetables without the excess liquid.

Notes

  • Always allow your pico de gallo to rest before serving it. This will allow the lime and salt to work their magic and mellow the onion and jalapeno while marrying all of the flavors.
  • Tomatoes taste better at room temperature. Let your pico de gallo sit out before serving.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sauces & Salsas
  • Method: Chopping
  • Cuisine: Salsa
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