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Pico de Gallo Recipe (Easy & Authentic)

Zesty and flavorful, this easy pico de gallo recipe boasts authenticity in every bite.  

It combines simple, fresh ingredients to make the perfect condiment. With tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos, it’s a delightful contrast of tastes and textures.

Diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos mixed together and served with nachos.
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Serve it up as a game-day snack or an accompaniment to the best Mexican recipes around.

So, want to learn how to make authentic pico de gallo? You’ve come to the right place.

What Is Pico de Gallo? 

Pico de gallo, also known as “Salsa Fresca” or “Salsa Cruda,” is a beloved Mexican salsa. 

It’s made with ripe tomatoes, chopped onions, cilantro, and lime juice. 

I like to add jalapeno peppers to mine for extra heat. But feel free to skip them or remove the seeds for a milder version.

It’s a snatch to make and takes about 10 minutes to prepare. You can also easily adjust the measurements to your liking. 

It’s also highly customizable! I sometimes use sweeter tomatoes or add sliced peaches or mangoes for a nice flavor contrast. 

So feel free to experiment. It’s your salsa, your rules!

Pico de Gallo vs. Salsa 

Pico de gallo and salsa are both Mexican condiments, but they differ in key ways. 

Pico de gallo, often called “fresh salsa,” uses raw, finely diced ingredients. It’s chunkier and less watery than salsa. 

Traditional salsa can involve roasted or stewed tomatoes, resulting in a smoother, purée-like texture. 

Both homemade salsa recipes are delicious and versatile. 

Serve them as accompaniments to these easy Mexican appetizers for a fun feast!

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Nachos dipped on diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos in red bowl.


You need these essential components to make the perfect pico de gallo.

  • Ripe tomatoes – These provide a fresh and vibrant base.
  • White onion – The onion’s sharpness adds a delightful contrast to the salsa.
  • Fresh cilantro – Fragrant cilantro enhances the salsa’s aromatic profile.
  • Fresh jalapeño peppers – These spicy peppers infuse the salsa with a kick of heat.
  • Lime juice – Lime juice offers a zesty, tangy twist to brighten the flavors.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt balances the ingredients and enhances their natural tastes.

Refer to the complete recipe below for specific amounts and the detailed method.

How to Make Homemade Pico de Gallo

This delicious pico de gallo is a breeze to make. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a fresh and vibrant salsa ready to enjoy.

1. Chop and toss the vegetables. Cut up your tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and jalapenos finely.

2. Place them in a bowl. Season them with lime juice and salt.

3. Wait for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy your homemade pico de gallo!

Pico de gallo with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos served on a red bowl with nachos.

Tips for the Best Pico de Gallo 

With these tips, you’ll master the art of creating the best homemade pico de gallo every time.

  • The riper and redder, the better. Opt for vibrant, ripe tomatoes with deep red hues to ensure the best flavor.
  • Quality is key. The simplicity of this recipe relies on excellent ingredients.
  • Ditch the tomato seeds and juices. Exclude the seedy pulp when preparing the tomatoes to prevent your pico from becoming too watery.
  • Dice the ingredients finely. Chop your tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro into small, uniform pieces for maximum flavor in every bite.
  • Marinate the onion and jalapeño. Let the onion, jalapeño, lime, and salt marinate while you chop the remaining ingredients. This extra step enhances the overall flavor.
  • Give it a rest. Allow your pico de gallo to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld and intensify.
  • Let it chill for enhanced flavor. Refrigerate your pico de gallo for at least an hour or up to a day to improve its taste.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon. Tomatoes release moisture. Use a slotted spoon for serving to avoid transferring excess liquid to your dishes.

Recipe Variations

Pico de gallo is your versatile canvas to create ideal summer appetizers! You can also tailor-make it to complement your favorite Mexican dishes. Let’s get creative:

  • Make it fruity. Replace tomatoes with mango, pineapple, watermelon, peaches, or strawberries for a tropical spin.
  • Add extra crunch. Incorporate diced red bell peppers or fresh corn kernels into your pico.
  • Spice it up. Infuse bold flavors with a pinch of coriander or ground cumin for a zesty kick.
  • Make it creamy. Enhance your pico with creamy elements like diced avocado or black beans for a satisfying richness.
  • Swap the ingredients. Feel free to use red onion or scallions if white onion is unavailable. Serrano peppers can also replace jalapeños.
A red bowl with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos served with nacho chips.

What to Serve with Fresh Pico de Gallo

Fresh pico de gallo is the perfect side or appetizer for culinary creations! It adds zest to your table, whether Cinco de Mayo parties or a casual night in. 

Pair pico de gallo with:

  • Chips and Salsa: The classic duo for an easy snack.
  • Chicken Fajitas: Spice up your fajitas with a zesty topping.
  • Fish Tacos: Freshen up your tacos with a burst of flavor.
  • Enchiladas: Elevate your enchiladas with a vibrant salsa.
  • Quesadilla: Add a refreshing twist to your cheesy quesadillas.
  • Mexican Pizza: Top your pizza with fresh pico de gallo for a zesty punch.

How to Store

In case you’ve made too much, here’s how to store leftover fresh salsa.

To Make Ahead: It’s a great idea to make pico de gallo in advance. It allows the flavors to meld and make it taste even better. 

Just prepare it a few hours before serving to let the ingredients marinate. Stir it occasionally for best results.

To Store: Store leftover pico de gallo in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Give it a good stir before serving, and adjust the lime and salt to taste if needed. 

The salsa will soften and become slightly watery as it sits. However, it’s still delicious!

Note: Pico de gallo does not freeze well, so it’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated.

More Mexican Recipes You’ll Love

Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Bean Salad

Mexican Rice

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Meatloaf

Pico de Gallo Recipe (Easy & Authentic)



Prep time





You’ll love this homemade pico de gallo! The mix of tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro is so much better than store-bought.


  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely diced

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

  • 2 -3 fresh jalapeño peppers, finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt, to taste


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, peppers, lime juice, and salt.
  • Let the pico de gallo sit for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!


  • Serve it with tortilla chips, tacos, burritos, or as a fresh topping for grilled meats or fish.
  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of jalapeño peppers to suit your spice preference. Remove the seeds for less heat.
Pico de Gallo Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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