Pico de gallo is a classic, traditional Mexican dip (or topping, or sauce, or slather-it-everywhere zesty and fresh flavor explosion). Five ingredients, plus some fresh ground salt and pepper, and you’re on your way to pure joy!

Basically, this pico de gallo is an incredibly simple, chunky and vibrant chopped salsa, and it’s ready in just minutes.

A white bowl of pico de gallo
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Pico de gallo goes by a variety of names. It’s known as salsa fresca, salsa cruda, and more. In my eyes, it should just be known as delicious. It’s a fresh, healthy, low-cal way to enjoy some of the most vibrant flavors around!

It’s a fresh Mexican salsa that is chopped and served in all the same ways you would use a traditional salsa. Made of just five simple ingredients and a dash of salt and pepper, it’s full of knock-your-socks-off flavor that can’t be duplicated!

I love bringing you all my favorite Mexican-inspired dips and sauces. Have you tried my chipotle corn salsa, cream cheese bean dip, creamy salsa guacamole, mango guacamole, or cilantro crema? I could talk about (and eat!) dip for days!

Love salsa as much as we do? Don’t miss this incredible round-up of salsa recipes… there’s one for any occasion!

Today though… today is dedicated to pico de gallo. It’s a classic that I can’t believe I’ve never shared before.

Let’s dive in!

A white bowl of pico de gallo
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Why You’ll Love this Pico de Gallo

  • Zesty
  • Fresh Garden Flavors
  • Easy to Customize
  • Vegetarian (AND Vegan)
  • Low Calorie and Low Carb, too
  • Minimal Ingredients, Maximum Flavor
A white bowl of pico de gallo

Shopping List

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  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Jalapeño
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt and Pepper
ingredients for pico de gallo on a white surface

Substitutions and Variations

  • Tomato – Ripe Roma or heirloom tomatoes are best here. In the winter, cherry or plum tomatoes work well. Optional: fire roasted!
  • Onion – Sub with white onion if you’d prefer.
  • Jalapeño – If you like it hot, keep the seeds, if not, remove the membranes and seeds prior to dicing. Serranos also work well. Learn how to cut jalapeños here.A marble surface with a knife and a split sliced jalapeno pepper.
  • Cilantro – If you’re not a fan, you can decrease or omit.
  • Lime Juice – Freshly squeezed lime juice gives fresh, authentic flavor. You can substitute fresh squeezed lime juice purchased near the limes in the produce section if needed. Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar also work in a pinch.
  • Instead of Tomatoes – Replace the tomato with your favorite fruit or avocado! Consider using peaches, strawberries or mangoes!
A white bowl of pico de gallo

Tools to Use

We like to chop our pico by hand, but if you prefer, take a shortcut!

A white bowl of pico de gallo
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Tips

  • Choose quality ingredients. Because pico is a combination of fresh, raw ingredients, each flavor and texture will shine!
  • Want to make chopping tomatoes SO EASY? Get yourself a quality tomato knife – you won’t know how you lived without one.
  • Chop your ingredients chunky or as finely as possible, your preference!
  • Marinate for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon. Your tomatoes will of course leave some juice in the bottom of the bowl, so it’s easiest to serve this way!
  • Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!
A close up of homemade pico de gallo

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pico de gallo in English?

From Spanish, pico de gallo translates directly as “beak of rooster.” There are many theories on where this name came from – but one thing’s for sure, it has nothing to do with chicken. In fact, it’s vegan!

What’s the difference between pico de gallo and salsa?

While pico shares the same ingredients as traditional salsa, pico de gallo focuses on the chopping and dicing of raw ingredients.
Whereas salsa is more of a wet, stewed or roasted texture in the finished product, pico de gallo is finely chopped and served completely raw.

A white bowl of pico de gallo

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – This pico de gallo can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving. After that, refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate – Fresh pico de gallo will keep in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to three days. However, it would never last that long in our house!
  • Freezer – Pico de gallo can be frozen! However, keep in mind that the texture will change and it won’t taste quite as fresh, of course. It’s great to use in soups, sauces and more – but maybe not as a fresh topping or dip like the original fresh version.

Nutritional Considerations

  • Nut Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Calorie
  • Low Carb
  • Keto and Whole 30 Friendly
  • Vegan
A white bowl of pico de gallo
A white bowl of pico de gallo
5 from 4 votes

Fresh Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is a classic, traditional Mexican dip (or topping, or sauce, or slather-it-everywhere zesty and fresh flavor explosion). Basically, it's an incredibly simple chunky, vibrant chopped salsa, and it's ready in just minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 
 

  • 6 large roma tomatoes finely chopped – approximately 1½ pounds of tomatoes (or 2¼ cups)
  • 1 onion white or red, chopped (approximately 1 cup chopped red onion)
  • 2 jalapeños finely chopped (1/3 cup chopped)
  • ¾ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice freshly squeezed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Chop – I like to chop the ingredients by hand to give a rough, hand made quality to our pico de gallo. However, you're also welcome to use your food processor, although the results will be a little more salsa-like.
  • Combine – Gently stir and mix everything in a large bowl. Don't be too aggressive, as you don't want the tomatoes to break down much.
  • Marinate – marinating is not a requirement, but it does give the pico a little time to help all those savory flavors combine. You can make this recipe up to 24 hours in advance to allow the flavors to marinate!

Julie’s Tips

Variations

Replace tomatoes with Peach, Strawberry, Mango, Pineapple, Avocado or Corn

Tips

  • Choose quality ingredients. Because pico is a combination of fresh, raw ingredients, each flavor and texture will shine!
  • Chop your ingredients as finely as possible!
  • Marinate for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon. Your tomatoes will of course leave some juice in the bottom of the bowl, so it’s easiest to serve this way!

Video

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.05g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1211IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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How to Make

Did I mention it’s quick and easy? Ready in just minutes!

  1. Chop – I like to chop the ingredients by hand to give a rough, hand made quality to our pico de gallo. However, you’re also welcome to use your food processor, although the results will be a little more salsa-like.
  2. Combine – Gently stir and mix everything in a large bowl. Don’t be too aggressive, as you don’t want the tomatoes to break down much.
  3. Marinate – marinating is not a requirement, but it does give the pico a little time to help all those savory flavors combine. I understand if you can’t wait, though… go for it!

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