This pico de gallo recipe is a family favorite - just enough heat from the jalapeno without overwhelming the delicious, fresh ingredients! It is made with the freshest ingredients and combines onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, lime, and cilantro in the perfect proportions for the most amazing homemade salsa! Let the flavors combine overnight for the best and easiest ever homemade salsa to serve with your favorite Mexican food meals and chips!
Best Pico De Gallo Recipe
My pico de gallo is the perfect side for your taco night dinners, Mexican casseroles, carne asada, or it goes just deliciously with a bag of tortilla chips! I love to top my prime rib street-style tacos with this tasty salsa!
The secret to the best pico de gallo ever is to combine the pico, then cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors really come together! You can enjoy it in so many different ways!
🤔 What Is Pico De Gallo
Pico de Gallo (which translates to 'beak of rooster'), salsa fresca (which means 'fresh salsa'), or salsa cruda (which means 'in sauce'), is a Mexican salsa made from fresh ingredients. The ingredients are chopped and combined, then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
Most of my favorite Mexican cooks use white onion when making salsa or cooking, but I like the flavor of red onion and also tend to use whichever onion I have on hand.
🔎 Difference Between Salsa and Pico de Gallo
If pico de gallo is a Mexican salsa, why isn't it called salsa? Because most salsas are sauce based. The ingredients in salsas are typically blended together, either raw or after roasting.
Pico de gallo uses fresh chopped onion, tomato, and jalapeno (although authentic pico de gallo would usually be made with serrano peppers), cilantro, and squeezed lime juice.
🥘 Pico de Gallo Ingredients
This easy-to-make condiment is made with raw ingredients, no cooking is required! All you need is to gather some fantastic fresh ingredients to get started!
- Tomato - 4 medium-sized tomatoes. Fresh Roma tomatoes or vine-ripened tomatoes that are firm and have more flesh are best for dicing! The ratio of tomato to onion is generally 1:1 in a great pico de gallo.
- Onion - 1 medium white onion, chopped. White onions are traditionally used in authentic pico de gallo, but red onions are equally delicious! If your pico tastes too strongly of tomato, add a bit more onion to balance the flavor.
- Jalapeno - 1 jalapeno pepper with the seeds removed and finely chopped. Just a bit of jalapeno to add a delightful kick to your pico! If you'll be serving the pico to kids and want to omit the jalapeno, go right ahead. If you want a spicier salsa, add more jalapeno. Yum!
- Cilantro - ½ cup of coarsely chopped cilantro. Fresh chopped cilantro is just as important as tomato and onion in this easy recipe! The combination of these ingredients is enhanced by the cilantro for the perfect pico de gallo!
- Lime Juice - 1 lime or 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Squeeze some lime juice into your salsa to make the flavors really come together!
- Seasoning - ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper to taste. Freshly ground pepper is my favorite, with a healthy pinch of some fabulous Himalayan or sea salt!
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Make Pico de Gallo
Combine your pico ingredients for the perfectly balanced salsa following these instructions! You'll only need a bowl and a spoon to stir it all together!
This recipe is for 8 servings, but it really depends on how much pico you like to add to your dishes!
- Chop. Clean, dice, and chop 4 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 jalapeno, and ½ cup of cilantro.
- Combine. In a small to medium-sized glass, stainless steel, or ceramic mixing bowl combine the chopped ingredients.
- Season. Squeeze lime juice from 1 lime into the mixture, and season with ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper. Stir and taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Chill. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
💭 Tips & Notes
- I recommend glass, stainless steel, or a ceramic mixing bowl. These are nonreactive materials to combine your salsa in. The tomato can react with other materials and take on a metallic or 'tinny' taste.
- Use gloves when handling the jalapenos. It makes it much easier to clean your hands afterward. Trust me, you don't want to touch your eyes after slicing your jalapenos!
- Remove the jalapeno seeds for a more mild jalapeno flavor in your pico.
- Refrigerate your pico de gallo overnight to really let the flavors 'marry' and come together. This will yield the absolute best-ever pico flavors!
Keep your pico de gallo stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.
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The level of spice really depends on how much jalapeno you choose to add! It is completely customizable and you can make it mild or hot. If you want to make it even spicier, swap out the jalapeno for a spicier variety of pepper such as serrano!
I definitely recommend using Roma tomatoes! They are firm and hold up well to being diced and mixed together with the other ingredients.
Yep! I'd recommend making it either the night before you need it or the morning of. You'll want a few hours for the flavors to meld but not too long so that it becomes watery.
🌮 More Taco Night Essential Condiments
- Salsa Verde - This salsa is made with raw or roasted tomatillos, onions, and jalapenos and is oh-so-tasty! This is one of my favorite Mexican condiments and something I enjoy whenever I can find plump tomatillos!
- Salsa Roja - A delightfully roasted salsa with deep flavor! There are so many delicious choices, it's always hard to pick which salsa I'm serving with our taco night!
- Guacamole - A delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make guacamole is the perfect use for overripe avocados! If you're like me, I go into the grocery store on a mission for both firm and super soft avocados for making this naturally buttery, creamy dip!
- Taco Seasoning Mix - If you love tacos but aren't so enthused about all of the 'extras' in packaged mixes, this simple taco seasoning mix is for you! All of the flavors you love, without any unnecessary extras!
- Creamy Guacamole - If you love guacamole, but have little ones in your home that won't normally eat it, try this guacamole recipe! The addition of sour cream and flavors made this a two-thumbs-up guacamole for our daughter when she was in her picky eating phase!
- Hatch Guacamole - The addition of the incredible hatch chile to this guacamole recipe takes the dip to a whole new level! I'm a big fan of hatch chiles, and absolutely love the flavor that is added!
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📖 Recipe Card
Pico De Gallo
- 4 medium tomatoes (3-4 vine tomatoes or 4-6 roma tomatoes - chopped)
- 1 medium white onion (or red onion - chopped)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (seeds removed, chopped finely)
- ½ cup cilantro (coarse chopped)
- 1 lime (2 tablespoons freshly squeezed)
- ½ tsp each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- Combine chopped tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Squeeze juice from lime into mixture, add salt and pepper. Stir well until all ingredients are coated with lime juice and seasoning.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!