This easy Pico de Gallo recipe is a classic Mexican recipe made with fresh tomatoes, onions, herbs and fresh lime juice! Make it mild or spicy and enjoy this popular dip with all your Mexican dishes!
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Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe
This easy pico de gallo recipe is a simple combination of fresh ingredients and zesty flavors that adds a little something extra to all kinds of Mexican food!
It’s a chunky salsa that makes a great topping for things like tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, you name it. It also acts as a dip and is great on its own with just a bowl of chips for scooping! This recipe and Homemade Guacamole are a both so easy to make!
It’s so easy to make with just 7 simple ingredients. You can make it spicy or mild or even use it as a base for mango salsa or pineapple salsa too. I may be biased but I do think this classic version is the best and most authentic I’ve ever had.
What’s the difference between Salsa and Pico de Gallo?
They do look similar, don’t they? That’s because they are! However, there is one major difference and that is salsa is a sauce, which means there is more liquid and juices. It’s just overall saucier. That’s my technical term 😉
This easy pico de Gallo recipe, on the other hand, uses mostly hollowed-out tomato flesh, with the watery seeds removed and cut into small pieces. This makes for less liquid and chunkier textures. It’s also always served cold whereas, salsa can be heated up and served warm.
What are the best tomatoes to use for Pico?
Roma tomatoes are great because they are overall firmer and less watery. You want to use ripe tomatoes, making them softer to bite into with much more flavor than underripe tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes also work, however, I find dicing smaller tomatoes to be a bit more extra effort, but since they’re available all year, they’re my go-to when I can’t get my hands on Roma tomatoes.
Ripe red tomatoes with not too much juice is what you’re looking for.
- Tomatoes. Finely dice the tomatoes to an even size as the onions. Remove the seeds which is the part that carries all the liquid.
- Sweet onion. Adds a crispy mildly pungent element. The sweetness balances the acid, which is very nice.
- Fresh cilantro. Chopped cilantro is a vibrant distinct herb that adds great
- Minced fresh garlic. A great addition to this combination as the garlicky flavor pairs well with basically everything! The tomatoes, the cilantro, the lime juice, it’s all just mouthwatering.
- Lime juice. A pop of citrus is exactly the beautiful finishing touch that brings out all the flavors.
- Salt. Draws out the flavor and the juice of all of the combined ingredients.
- Tortilla chips. My favorite way to enjoy this easy pico recipe. Even better when they’re warmed up.
How to Make Homemade Pico de Gallo
This recipe will come together in minutes! Feel free to let it sit for a bit to let the flavors marry even more.
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and minced garlic and stir to combine.
Step 2: Squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine again.
Step 3: Serve it with your favorite tortilla chips or use it as a topping for your favorite Mexican recipes!
1: To give it a spicy hint of heat, add some diced jalapeño peppers or serrano pepper into your bowl.
2: Swap the sweet onion for white onion, yellow onion or red onion if that’s what you like.
3: Sweet corn kernels would add a nice pop of color, similar to this corn salsa.
4: Add diced fresh fruits like a mango, peach, strawberry, or pineapple.
5: Throw in some red bell pepper for a little extra crunch.
- Be sure to use minced garlic as opposed to sliced. The finer you get your garlic, the stronger the flavor will be. Plus, chunks of garlic aren’t the nicest to bite into.
- I highly recommend using fresh limes straight from a couple of limes, but if the bottle is what you have, it will work.
- This is a great make-ahead recipe. As tempting as it is to dive right in, if you let it chill in the fridge, even overnight, it’s even better!
- Chop everything small enough that you get a lot of everything in every scoop.
As mentioned above, it’s great with warm tortilla chips for scooping. Whether Cinco de Mayo or a ladies night, a classic margarita is a must. Then again so are mojitos or a cold Cerveza!
Use it anywhere you’d use salsa. As a topping on quesadillas, burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, even on your hot dogs, hamburgers, or breakfast eggs!
It adds a refreshing touch to lots of grilled recipes including fish, pork, chicken, and flank steak. Corn on the cob too!
The longer pico sits, in the lime juice and salt, the more the juices will be extracted. The first thing you want to be sure of is to remove all the seeds from the tomatoes.
Then, once you’re ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the pico de gallo and transfer it to another serving bowl. This way you leave whatever liquids have formed at the bottom of the bowl.
The literal translation means “rooster’s beak”. This zesty deliciousness could be called this for a couple of reasons. Or someone has been making up stories, but we’ll never really know.
The first idea comes from the fact that the colors of traditional pico de gallo resemble a rooster’s beak.
The other, and the one I like better, is that people originally were meant to eat this dish by picking up the finely diced pieces with their two fingers. Like a rooster would pick up food with its beaks.
Easy Pico de Gallo
- 2 cups tomatoes finely diced (seeds removed)
- ⅓ cup sweet onion finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Tortilla chips for dipping
- Add the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Top with lime juice and salt and toss again to combine
- Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.