Pico de Gallo is a fresh salsa with juicy ripe tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and a hint of heat from jalapenos!

This dish is a perfect appetizer, great served with tortilla chips or added to tacos! Pour some margaritas and bring out the tortilla chips.

Pico de Gallo in a brown bowl and chips in a blue and white plate

What is Pico De Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a type of fresh salsa (also known as salsa fresca). Tomato, onion, fresh lime and salt bring it all together.

Pico de Gallo vs. Salsa Pico de Gallo is not cooked or blended like restaurant style salsa, it is served fresh with large chunks and less liquid. The ingredients fresh, ripe and serve raw (which is why it’s ).

Ingredients for Fresh Salsa

As these are the base of this recipe choose the ripest tomatoes you can find. Any kind works from Roma to cherry tomatoes.

Fresh white onion is added. If you find it too strong in flavor, chop it and soak in cold water (rinsing a couple of times). I use this same method when making fajitas to take a bit of the bite out of the onion.

Fresh jalapeno adds a bit of heat to this recipe. If you’d like a milder salsa, be sure to scrape out the seeds and membranes before dicing.

This is an ingredient people tend to have a strong opinion about! I personally love it and it truly makes the flavor of this dish. If you absolutely cannot eat cilantro, you can leave it out.

Let the tomatoes and onions shine. Just a squeeze of lime and a bit of salt is all that’s needed.

Pico de Gallo in a glass bowl with chips in a plate

How To Make Pico De Gallo

To make this pico de gallo recipe:

  1. Chop Finely: Dice the tomatoes and drain while the rest of the ingredients are prepared to remove excess juices.
  2. Combine: Add all ingredients with the tomatoes to a bowl, and toss to combine.
  3. Rest: Allow pico de gallo to sit for at least 20 minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.

Optional Add-Ins

Here are some fresh and delicious additions to pico de gallo:

  • Avocado – for a creamy addition
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic – finely minced
  • Red onion – substitute for white onion
  • Red, yellow, or green peppers – finely diced
  • Cucumbers – finely diced, seeds removed
  • Mango – turn this into a mango salsa by replacing tomatoes with mango or pineapple

Pico de Gallo in a bowl with chips and ingredients


This will last about 24-48 hours in the fridge. After that it will still be fine to eat but will get a bit wilted.

As you might suspect, freezing this recipe will change the texture so I highly recommend enjoying it fresh if possible.  If you do have leftovers that you need to freeze, rather than scooping it up with chips, it makes an excellent addition to soups, stews or chili while cooking!

Pico de Gallo in a bowl close up

Serve Pico de Gallo with…

Spoon it over enchiladas, serve it with tacos (chicken, shrimp or beef).

Add a bowl next to a plate of loaded nachos. It’s fresh, it’s delicious and it goes with pretty much anything!

More Ways to Enjoy Fresh Tomatoes

Did you love this Pico de Gallo? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Pico de Gallo in a brown bowl and chips in a blue and white plate
5 from 8 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pico de Gallo

Fresh and ripe tomatoes are tossed with onions, lime juice, jalapenos, and cilantro to give you an unforgettable salsa fresca for any occasion!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Wait Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
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  • 1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes diced
  • ¾ cup onion finely diced, or to taste
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Dice tomatoes and set in a strainer to drain while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  • Add all ingredients to a small bowl and toss to combine.
  • Allow to sit at least 20 minutes for flavors to blend.


Allow to sit for 20 minutes for optimal flavor!
Fresh white onion is added. If you find it too strong in flavor, chop it and soak in cold water (rinsing a couple of times) to take a bit of the bite out of the onion.
If you'd like a milder salsa, be sure to scrape out the membranes of the jalapeno before dicing.
I love cilantro and it truly makes the flavor of this dish. If you don't like it, you can leave it out.
5 from 8 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 33 | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1015IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Pico De Gallo in decorative bowl with writing
pico de gallo in a bowl with a title
Ingredients for Pico de Gallo in a bowl with writing


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. I love your black bean and corn salad. Specially your salsa. I’ve shared it on my facebook.

  2. I can literally eat pico de gallo with a spoon! I love that yours is tomato-dominant rather than onion dominant. Sometimes in restaurants it’s more onions than tomatoes which I am not as fond of. This look perfect!

    1. You know for sure I was thinking about you this morning when I posted this recipe! :) Looking forward to a pico de gallo, tortilla chips and margarita date with you!