by Olena

Pico de Gallo

by Olena

5 from 1 reviews

Homemade Pico de Gallo with 4-5 simple ingredients. Fresh, easy and healthy dip to serve with chips, tacos or fajitas. Or top chicken, fish and meats with it.

Pico de Gallo salsa is so good and juicy, you will be licking your fingers!

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo Recipe

Pico de Gallo recipe is perfect for the end of summer. August is a month of gardens bursting with ripe tomatoes.

Besides slicing juicy tomato and eating it with salt and pepper, I love-love making homemade Pico de Gallo. It is so easy if you follow my 2 expert tips for the best pico ever!

Here is how to make authentic pico de gallo. You can do it. No store bought pico can compare to fresh chunky homemade pico!

Pico de Gallo with tortilla chips

What Is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo is Mexican salsa also called salsa fresca or salsa cruda. It literally means “rooster’s beak” because it was eaten pinched between the thumb and forefinger.

I guess humanity decided it is better with fresh tortilla chips. I agree!

Pico de Gallo vs. Salsa

Now, salsa as known to most of us from supermarket shelves is more cooked and thin. Salsa can be made with stewed or diced canned tomatoes and of more runny and thin consistency.

Pico de gallo is made with diced fresh fruit (yes, tomato is a fruit) and vegetables. And is more chunky with distinct separation of ingredients.

tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno chopped in a bowl and towel near by

Ingredients

You will need tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper.

Lime juice is optional and to taste. I personally love pico de gallo without limes although I do love lime fruit a lot. Just make sure you use actual fresh limes and not bottled lime juice.

I prefer to use white onion and a lot of it. Pico de gallo recipe is one recipe I can enjoy with so much onion. You can use red onion and see how you like that. Traditionally it is white or yellow onion Mexican dish.

Pico de Gallo ingredients

2 Tomato Tips for Best Pico

Tip #1: The best tomatoes to make homemade pico are fresh and ripe tomatoes.

If it is summer, use field, beefsteak or roma tomatoes. If it is winter and you crave a bite of summer, buy tomatoes on the vine. They cost more but so worth it. Smell them – they smell like tomatoes even in December.

No yucky cardboard pale pink tomatoes any time of the year please.

Tip #2: Sharp knife. Even if you have not so good quality knife – sharpen it right before dicing fruit and veggies. There is nothing worse than trying to cut through thin tomato skin squishing it with a dull knife.

homemade Pico de Gallo in a bowl with a spoon

How to Make Pico de Gallo

Dice tomatoes, onion and cilantro. The key is to have patience to chop everything into small pieces properly. I do not seed tomatoes – I don’t have time for that!!!

Mince jalapenos. I usually remove all seeds because that is what makes peppers spicy. The more seeds you leave, the more spicy pico de gallo will be. Start with a few, save a few and see what you like.

I added only 1/2 tsp salt. If serving with chips, that is enough because chips are usually salty. You can always add more later. Especially if you top meats or fish with salsa.

And of course freshly ground black pepper. It is a must.

chicken quesadillas, Pico de Gallo and yogurt on a plate

What to Serve Pico de Gallo With?

When it comes to serving pico de gallo, sky is the limit. Fresh salsa goes well with anything, if you ask me. Mexican food is so delicious!

  • With chicken quesadillas (coming soon) and vegetarian quesadillas. Don’t forget plain yogurt in place of sour cream (healthier but I won’t judge).
  • On top of grilled chicken or salmon.
  • With fish or shrimp tacos.
  • Instead of a salad if you have lots of leftovers.
  • And with tortilla chips, of course.

Pico de Gallo in a bowl with chips

How Long Does It Last?

Despite popular belief, I think pico de gallo lasts a few days refrigerated. There is a nice flavor to a few days old pico haha. Flavors marinate and marry each other.

2-3 days would be good. You will see more juices at the bottom of the bowl with each day but it’s OK. We just scoop the veggies with chips quickly and drain or drink juices.

We used 3 days old pico in our Instant Pot chicken breast video and that was lunch. Why not?!

More Fresh Salsa Recipes

Pico de Gallo recipe

Print

Pico de Gallo

5 from 1 reviews

Homemade Pico de Gallo with 4-5 simple ingredients. Fresh, easy and healthy dip to serve with chips, tacos or fajitas. Or top chicken, fish and meats with it.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Chop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice tomatoes, onion and finely chop cilantro; add to a large bowl. The key is to have patience to chop everything into small pieces properly. I do not seed tomatoes – I don’t have time for that!
  2. Mince jalapenos and add to the bowl. I usually remove all seeds because that is what makes peppers spicy. The more seeds you leave, the more spicy pico de gallo will be. Start with a few, save a few and see what you like.
  3. I added only 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper to taste. If serving with chips, that is enough because chips are usually salty. You can always add more later. Especially if you top meats or fish with salsa.
  4. Stir everything and enjoy. Salsa tastes better you refrigerate it for 15 minutes.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2-3 days. You will see more juices at the bottom of the bowl with each day but it’s OK. We just scoop the veggies with chips quickly and drain or drink juices.

Notes

The best tomatoes to make homemade pico are fresh and ripe tomatoes. If it is summer, use field, beefsteak or roma tomatoes. If it is winter and you crave a bite of summer, buy tomatoes on the vine. They cost more but so worth it. Smell them – they smell like tomatoes even in December. No yucky cardboard pale pink tomatoes any time of the year please.

Use sharp knife. Even if you have not so good quality knife – sharpen it right before dicing fruit and veggies.

I usually remove all seeds from jalapenos because that is what makes peppers spicy. The more seeds you leave, the more spicy pico de gallo will be. Start with a few, save a few and see what you like.

I added only 1/2 tsp salt. If serving with chips, that is enough because chips are usually salty. You can always add more later. Especially if you top meats or fish with salsa.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

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