Do you love spicy food but don't want to deal with the heat? Then this mild pico de gallo recipe is perfect for you! Featuring delicious, fresh ingredients, this salsa is perfect for any occasion.
Whether you're serving it up at a party or just enjoying it on a quiet night at home, you're sure to love this easy-to-make pico de gallo.
This Pico de Gallo recipe is one of my favorites. Not only does it come together in minutes, but it is a no cook recipe, making it perfect for summertime. Oh, and it's a simple recipe, which I happen to love.
You will, too!
What's the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?
The main difference is the texture of the salsa. Pico de gallo is an uncooked side dish.
As you can see, it’s a little chunky. More rustic, if you will.
Sometimes I’ve heard people refer to it as fresh salsa.
On the other hand, a salsa recipe is usually a finer, juicier concoction. Sometimes it has been cooked in the canning process or it may be more blended.Pico is clearly meant for scooping with tortilla chips and topping alllll the things tex-mex.
What is the meaning of pico de gallo?
We say it, we make it, we love pico! Now what the heck does it mean?
I had to dust off my high school and college Spanish a little bit for this one….Just kidding because we all know we don't remember anything from language class.
I googled it and found a clip in Wikopedia stating it literally means rooster’s beak. Yep, that's right! People originally at it by pinching pieces between their thumb and forefinger.
I’ll use my trusty spoon instead! Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about fresh pico de gallo!
Simple, fresh ingredients are all you need to make an awesome batch of pico de gallo…If you have a garden, now's the time to go pick some fresh veggies!
- fresh tomatoes - – if it’s summertime where you are go for the garden fresh, ripe tomatoes. The rest of the year, you can count on cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or even plum tomatoes to get you by!
- red onion – raw onion gives the salsa a little bite. You can also use white onion or yellow onion.
- fresh cilantro – if you love cilantro, then by all means use it! If cilantro tastes like dish soap (you know who you are…), then you can substitute flat leaf parsley for the color, flavor and texture.
- Lime juice – try to use fresh lime juice but you can use jarred in a pinch
- jalapeño peppers – Be sure to remove the seeds from your peppers if you want just a touch of heat from fresh jalapenos.
- Truth be told, I don’t usually have fresh jalapeno peppers on hand! If you’re in the same boat, you can substitute 2-3 tablespoons of jarred, pickled jalapenos.
- Minced garlic – fresh, finely chopped garlic or the refrigerated and jarred variety works well here.
How to Make Pico de Gallo
Step 1: Chop tomatoes and onion. Cherry and grape tomatoes are easy to dice. Cut those into halves, then quarters and chop from there, depending on their size. Next up, dice the red onion.
Step 2: Chop cilantro Chop up your cilantro. You can use the leaves and the stems. They both have the same flavor and are edible!If cilantro isn’t your thing, add some flat leaf parsley for a fresh, colorful twist!
Step 3: Juice your lime using a citrus press. It will make sure you get all the juice outta that lime!
Step 4: Add jalapeno pepper. If you’re using a fresh jalapeno you can half it and then scrape out the seeds using a paring knife. Be sure to wash your hands well after handling a jalapeno and whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes.Seriously, I know this from experience!
Step 5: Add minced garlic. If you’re using fresh garlic cloves, you can chop it finely or use use a garlic press. Quite honestly, my very favorite garlic to use is the jarred minced garlic you find in the produce section at the grocery store – no prep required!
What to serve with Pico de gallo
There's so much you can do with this fresh tomato salsa.
Of course, my favorite ways to serve pico de gallo are alongside my food bestie, Mexican cuisine!
- Add it to loaded sheet pan nachos
- Stuff pico into breakfast burritos
- Add it on top of your burrito bowls
- alongside Buffalo Shrimp Tacos
- add it to your taco bar
Want more heat? Remove less seeds from your jalapeno peppers.
Want a mild salsa? The fewer the seeds, the less the heat.
Substitute serrano peppers for a spicy pico de gallo
You can make this simple pico de gallo and refrigerate it before serving to let the flavors blend.
How to store leftover pico de gallo
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
- Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken
- How to Throw a Taco Bar Party
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
More Salsa Recipes
Simple Pico de Gallo
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes diced
- ½ medium red onion finely diced
- 2 T. fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1 large lime juiced
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed and finely diced
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine.
- Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes so flavors can meld.