This fresh Pico de Gallo recipe is a classic Mexican salsa made from tomatoes, onions, lime, chiles, and cilantro. It’s a delicious snack to enjoy with chips or as a topping on tacos, eggs, and burrito bowls!
Homemade Pico de Gallo is an easy summer snack you can whip up when you’re craving something sweet and flavorful. The perfect pairing to a Spicy Grapefruit Margarita, this fresh salsa is made with tomatoes, onions, lime, cilantro, and chiles.
This traditional Mexican recipe checks all the boxes: it’s vegan, gluten free, healthy, low carb, budget friendly, and delicious! Keep it in your back pocket to enjoy as a fresh snack or garnish all summer long.
What is pico de gallo?
Pico de gallo (pronounced “piko deh gahy-o”) means “rooster’s beak” in Spanish. While I wouldn’t call the translation an apt description of the recipe, it doesn’t take away from the quality and flavor!
This chunky salsa fresca is made with tomatoes, white onions, chiles (serrano or jalapeno typically), cilantro, salt, and lime juice. It can easily be made less or more spicy, with fresh fruit instead of tomatoes, or with or without cilantro.
Pico de gallo vs. salsa
While pico de gallo is technically considered salsa, it does stand out on its own. It’s made with similar ingredients as traditional red salsa but has a chunky texture and much less liquid.
How to make pico de gallo:
In a medium bowl, combine the chopped onion, serrano, lime juice, and salt. Leave them to marinate while you prepare the tomatoes and cilantro.
Toss the marinated onions with the tomatoes and cilantro. Either serve it immediately with tacos, chips, or burritos, or leave it to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Tips to make the best pico de gallo
- Cut the veggies into even, small pieces to make for easy scooping and eating.
- Letting the onions, chiles, lime, and salt marinate together before mixing the tomatoes and cilantro will tone down the onions’ sharp taste while enhancing the flavor.
- To lessen the spice, remove the seeds and veins from the serrano or jalapeno peppers beforehand.
- Not a fan of cilantro? Replace it with fresh parsley, basil, or chives instead.
- Add more savory veggies, like garlic, bell pepper, or roasted corn to the pico.
- To make a sweet pico de gallo, replace the tomatoes with mango, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, or watermelon.
Can pico de gallo be made ahead of time?
It’s even better when made ahead of time! Once it’s put together, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes so all of the flavors can mingle together. Otherwise, it can be left covered in the fridge for a few hours or up to 1 day before serving.
If you loved this Pico de Gallo recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Enjoy with these dishes
More Mexican recipes to try
Pico de Gallo
- 2/3 cup white onion (finely diced (½ large onion))
- 1 serrano pepper (or jalapeño, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed) (omit for less spicy version))
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 5 Roma tomatoes (deseeded and diced (or 2 cups diced cherry tomatoes))
- 1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped (about 1/2 bunch cilantro))
- In a medium serving bowl, combine the chopped onion, serrano, lime juice and salt. Let it marinate together while you prepare the tomatoes and cilantro.
- Toss the marinated onions with the tomatoes and cilantro and serve.
Be sure to season with additional salt at the end. I usually add another ½ teaspoon.