It only takes minutes to assemble this simple Pico de Gallo! Full of fresh flavors like tomato, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime and garlic, it’s sure to become a staple for any Tex Mex inspired meal!
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.
This post contains affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is pretty darn boring but it’ll do the trick if you’re ready to sleep! You can read it all here.
What the heck is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?
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….
Who am I kidding? I googled it and found a clip in Wikopedia stating it literally means “rooster’s beak. People originally at it by pinching pieces between their thumb and forefinger.
Alrighty then! I’ll use my trusty spoon instead!
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk pico de gallo!
Here’s what you need to make an awesome batch of pico de gallo…
- cherry or grape tomatoes – if it’s summertime where you are go for the garden ripe, fresh tomatoes. The rest of the year, you can count on cherry, grape or even roma tomatoes to get you by!
- red onion – for a little bite
- 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
- jalapeno peppers – Be sure to remove the seeds from your peppers if you want just a touch of heat.
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.
- sea salt to taste
How to Make Pico de Gallo
I love this pico de gallo because you basically chop everything up and throw it in a bowl! Kitchen clean up is a breeze!
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
I like to serve pico de gallo with my food bestie, tacos! Other ways you can serve it up include:
- Add it to loaded sheet pan nachos
- Stuff pico into breakfast burritos
- Add it on top of your burrito bowl
You can make this simple pico de gallo and refrigerate it before serving to let the flavors blend.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
- Crockpot Mexican Shredded Chicken
- How to Throw a Taco Bar Party
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 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 tsp 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.
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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 29Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g