I love how homemade Pico De Gallo adds a citrusy, fresh punch to almost any Mexican dish. It's a healthy, fresh, low-calorie addition that brings a burst of authentic Mexican flavors with almost little to no effort.
Serve this with tortilla chips or use it as a topping on tacos or burritos.
What does pico de gallo mean literally?
Literally Pico de Gallo translates to "Roosters Beak". I know it sounds quite funny.
However, here's what I've decoded.
Typically Pico de gallo is used as a garnish in most Mexican cuisines. When we talk about garnish we mean, something that we add on top just for that extra punch. And, Pico de gallo is exactly that.
But, most commonly we use the term pico de gallo for fresh Mexican Salsa. And, that's totally okay. With fresh diced red tomatoes, green chile or (New Mexico chile), red chile, and white onions Pico de gallo will always be a favorite within the family.
Pico de gallo is also known as Salsa fresca (fresh sauce), Salsa cruda (raw sauce) or Salsa Bandera (flag sauce).
Ingredients - What you need to make Pico de Gallo
- Freshly Diced Ripe Tomatoes
- Red Onion
- Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly chopped cilantro
See recipe card for quantities.
Instructions - How to Make Pico De Gallo
Step 1: Prepare ingredients
Pico de gallo requires some chopping. Dice ripe tomatoes, chop white onions and jalapenõs. Basically, you need the same ingredients that you use to make a Traditional Roasted Red Salsa. Chop your Ingredients finely for best texture and flavor. I know it takes time but it is totally worth it.
Step 2: Marinate Onions and Jalapenõs with Lime Juice and Salt
Marinate finely chopped onions and jalapenõs with freshly squeezed lime juice and kosher salt.
Step 3: Combine Diced tomatoes and Freshly chopped cilantro
Combine finely diced ripe tomatoes and freshly chopped cilantro with everything else. Give it a good mix.
Step 4: Let your Pico de Gallo rest for a couple of minutes
Give your Pico de gallo some time to rest for a couple of minutes. This is crucial. It makes the tomatoes soak in all the flavors.
Make your Pico de gallo in a way that pleases your taste buds. The best thing about making pico de gallo is how much you can tweak it.
You have plenty of room to experiment to come up with our own perfect version of pico de gallo.
So to get you started we’ll let you know some basic variations you can do with any basic pico de gallo!
- Garlic - add some freshly chopped cloves of garlic to give a nice little kick to your Pico de Gallo.
- Red Jalapenõ - Although red Jalapenõ are spicier, and hotter when compared to its green counterpart, but, if you love some heat then go ahead and add some seeded and chopped red jalapenõs.
- Sweet Pico de Gallo - You can also make a sweeter version of pico de gallo to compliment your spicy tacos. Just add chopped pineapples, peaches or even mangoes for a fruity pico de gallo!
- Cheesy - You can also make a cheesy pico de gallo! You just need to adjust the lime juice and tomatoes to keep it less watery. Then just add some fetta or Cotija cheese to complete the pico de gallo!
Pico de gallo is best eaten while it's fresh. So we really suggest you to avoid storing it and instead use it up immediately after you make it and finish it off as soon as possible. But if a situation arises where you have to store the leftover pico de gallo or have to make it ahead of time for some event, then there are a few options for you as well.
- Store your pico de gallo in a large bowl and seal it tightly with a saran wrap. You can keep your pico de gallo in the fridge for about 4 days with this method. The saran wrap will keep the air away from the fresh veggies inside and prevent oxidation. You can also increase the lime juice to preserve the pico de gallo longer.
- You can freeze pico de gallo but we suggest you don’t do it. Pico de gallo is watery thanks to some of its ingredients like tomatoes and lime juice. Freezing pico de gallo will just make it a mushy mess that tastes bland and flavourless.
I know this is a pretty basic recipe. But, you need to keep in mind these key points to make sure that you get the BEST Pico de Gallo.
- Finely Chopped Ingredients - This is IMPORTANT. The trick to make the BEST Pico de gallo is to use finely chopped ingredients. The finer you chop the better they taste.
- Use Fresh Ripe Tomatoes - I know it is very easy to substitute 2 freshly diced ripe tomatoes with one 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes. In fact, I always keep a can of Hunt's diced tomatoes in the fridge. But, no matter how hard it is for me, I never use canned diced tomatoes for this recipe. There is something so amazing about freshly diced ripe tomatoes!
Pico de Gallo Uses
Pico de gallo can be used for so many recipes. To name a few:
Is pico de gallo Vegan and Gluten free?
This version of pico de gallo is completely vegan and free of gluten. It contains healthy veggies like tomatoes, onions and jalapenos. It also has lime juice which is a great source of vitamin C! So not only is this pico de gallo vegan and gluten free, it is also packed with healthy nutrition for you!
Easy Pico De Gallo Recipe
- 1½ pounds Fresh ripe tomatoes diced
- 1 cup red onions finely chopped
- 1 medium Jalapenõ seeded and finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice or 2 lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt or as per taste
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
- In a bowl combine finely chopped onions and Jalapenõs with fresh lime juice and sea salt. Marinate them and allow them to sit for few minutes while you chop tomatoes.
- Combine diced ripe tomatoes and finely chopped cilantro with other ingredients. Toss well and taste. Adjust seasoning as per taste and let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve as a dip or with a slotted spoon. You can keep your pico de gallo in the fridge for at least a week.