Quick & Easy authentic pico de Gallo made with just 6 ingredients and comes together in just 10 minutes! This zesty crunchy tomato salsa (aka salsa Fresca) is great on tacos, salads, burritos, and just about any Mexican dish!
Pico de gallo is one of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes. It can be used as a salsa, dip, topping on grilled meats, tacos, salads, burrito bowls, or on just about anything savory. It’s SUPER low in calories, carbs, and fat, which makes it a GREAT addition to a healthy diet.
This recipe makes the best pico de gallo that is mildly spicy and has the perfect mixture of tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Making the dish is as simple as dicing up fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno and garlic and tossing them in a bowl with fresh lime juice and salt + pepper. The result is a fresh, crunchy salsa that is out of this world and worth every single bite. For me, there’s nothing better than dipping my chips into fresh pico de gallo and tasting the crunch of the veggies and zesty flavor of the lime and jalapeno.
TO MAKE PICO DE GALLO YOU WILL NEED:
Tomatoes: Pick out the freshest tomatoes you can get your hands on. In-season tomatoes are perfect for this dish and a great way to use up fresh tomatoes from your garden or farmers market.
Onion: Red onion or yellow onion will work fine in this recipe.
Cilantro: Fresh green cilantro, both leaves, and stems are a must.
Jalapeno: For a mild flavor, remove the inside of the jalapeno.
Garlic: Fresh garlic adds warmth and flavor to the salsa but can be left out if preferred.
Lime: Fresh lime juice is essential to making pico and should not be substituted with bottled.
salt + pepper: Season to taste and add a pinch of cumin if you have any on hand.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT PICO:
Fresh Ingredients: Now because pico is made with just a few ingredients, they must be fresh (especially the cilantro) in order to get the best flavor possible and a pico that will last a few days. Be sure to pick out the freshest tomatoes that are plump and red for more flavor and color. The cilantro is also another essential ingredient that must be fresh. When looking for cilantro, cilantro that is brightly colored with evenly colored green leaves that show no yellow or signs of wilting. Giving it a sniff will help will also help and will also help you make sure you’re not s[icking our parsley instead!.
Meal prep: this tomato salsa is best served immediately because the water from the tomatoes along with the lime juice will make the salsa water and it will become less crispy as it still. Still, if you don’t mind the extra juice, go ahead and cover the salsa in an airtight container or plastic wrap and use within 3 days.
The technique: The ingredients in pico are all super fragile and many people tend to over-mix the pico which makes it mushy and unappetizing. Instead, dice all the ingredient and them to your mixing bowl as you dice, once all the ingredients including the lime and seasoning are added to the bowl, go ahead and gently stir to combine.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PICO DE GALLO AND TOMATO SALSA?
Pico de gallo and tomato salsa are very similar and actually made using just about the same base ingredients. The difference comes in the prep of the tomatoes. Pico de gallo is made using fresh tomatoes and all fresh ingredients that are finely diced, hence the name salsa Fresca (fresh sauce). Tomato salsa, on the other hand, is made with cooked and blended tomatoes and a low soupier with more liquid while pico de gallo is more of a crunchy salad.
It gets even more confusing because in most parts of the world outside Mexico, especially the U.S, we will call anything with tomato salsa. You’ll often see pico de Gallo called tomato salsa (just like in chipotle) because it’s easier for most people to remember. There are many types of “salsas” both fresh and stewed but to be sure your getting pico or salsa Fresca and not a stewed salsa, be sure to ask specifically for pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresca.
Change it up and make it your own!
Pico is a perfect base recipe and can be modified in so many ways if needed. Here are a few ways you can take this already AMAZING dish to a whole other level and make it your own based on what ingredients are in season or what you simply have in your fridge!
Avocado makes a great addition to the salsa and will add healthy fats and nutrients to keep you full.
Add fresh or roasted corn kernels, or mango slices to give the dish a sweet kick.
Add black beans and avocado to make my delicious avocado black bean salsa!
Stir in some quinoa, or couscous to make this a complete dish or a filling side dish.
Quick Pico De Gallo
- Combine all the diced ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with fresh lime juice and season with salt.
- Gently stir to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.