Delicious and flavorful, this Authentic Pico de Gallo is the perfect way to capture the essence of your favorite Mexican dishes. With simple ingredients and fast prep, this easy Pico de Gallo goes well with a wide variety of recipes.
Whether you’re enjoying some chips and want a refreshing and tangy dip or enjoying a Taco Tuesday dinner, you’ll love this recipe. Don’t sleep on fresh and authentic Pico!
💚 Why You'll Love This Recipe
With bold and genuine flavor, this traditional pico de gallo is an excellent appetizer or fix-in for your favorite Mexican food or as a Cinco de Mayo staple. Combine fresh ingredients for a simple and quick dish.
You'll only need 5 ingredients for this tasty pico, and it's majorly customizable. Serve it with tortilla chips for a fantastic snack, or pair with tacos, burritos, and more. There's no wrong way to enjoy your authentic pico de gallo!
Combine your pico with these homemade Tortilla Bowls for a fun and flavorful take on your next Taco Tuesday dinner!
🧂 Ingredients Needed
- fresh tomatoes - provide some acidity as well as a somewhat sweet base for your pico.
- yellow onion - adds a yummy bite and aroma.
- jalapeño pepper - for a little bit of heat as well as delicious flavor.
- cilantro - helps tie the ingredients together with its signature pungent and herbal taste.
- lime juice - balances out some of the heat from the jalapeno and provides a tangy and zingy finish.
- Dice ripe tomatoes, onion, and pepper to desired size, then place in a large bowl with chopped cilantro.
- Add lime juice and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
The translation of pico de gallo from Spanish to English results in "beak of the rooster." While this dish has nothing to do with birds or poultry, it's believed that the origin of the name is how this dish was originally eaten. Pinching pico between the thumb and another finger forms the shape of a rooster's beak!
When it comes to pico de gallo vs salsa, the difference is largely in how processed they are. Pico is made of fresh ingredients, chopped to the desired size. Salsa, on the other hand, typically incorporates most of the same ingredients but blends them together for a smoother and more pureed result.
Pico de gallo is also sometimes called salsa fresca (fresh sauce), salsa bandera (flag sauce, due to the red, white, and green colors), or salsa cruda (raw salsa). The word salsa also translates to "sauce," and this easy recipe is sometimes considered a type of salsa.
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- Vary the size of your chopped ingredients based on the intended use. For dipping with chips, smaller pieces are more desirable. Larger chunks are better for tacos, burritos, or as a topping for fish or chicken.
- For the best flavor, allow your pico to sit in the fridge for at least a few hours. The flavors meld and develop together as it sits.
- If you find your authentic pico de gallo is a bit watery, avoid the innermost part of the tomato, where much of the liquid is.
- Fresh lime juice produces the best results. 2 tablespoons of lime juice equals approximately 1-2 limes, juiced. You'll get more juice out of your limes if you microwave them for 20 to 30 seconds first.
📌 Make this easy pico de gallo as a bold and satisfying afternoon snack or as a side to serve with any Mexican-inspired cuisine! It only takes 5 ingredients and some chopping to make this authentic, flavorful dish that rivals any Mexican restaurant.
💡 Substitutions and Variations
- The best authentic pico de gallo is made with all fresh ingredients, but in a pinch you can use jarred jalapeno slices or lightly dried instead of fresh cilantro.
- For additional flavor, add ingredients like cojita cheese, diced avocado, garlic (or garlic powder), and cumin.
- Serrano peppers can be substituted for jalapenos.
- Use red onion or white onion instead of yellow onion if you like.
- Fresh plum tomatoes and fresh roma tomatoes are some great options for this authentic Mexican salsa.
- You can use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes as well.
- Swap out the tomato for another fruit like mango, peach, or pineapple to make a flavorful and sweet fruit pico.
Your homemade pico de gallo will last for 3 to 4 days covered in the fridge. You shouldn't freeze pico, as it will affect the temperature and flavor.
🍴 What To Serve With This Dish
Wondering what to eat with pico de gallo? Serve it with this unique Macrrones Con Queso, use it as a topping for Easy Skillet Chicken Fajitas, as a way to enhance this One Pot Cheesy Taco Skillet, or pair with Fajita Bowls!
✔️ More Appetizer Recipes You'll Love
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip - This hidden-veggie buffalo chicken dip still has all of the bold flavor you know and love!
- Jalapeno Artichoke Dip - Fans of jalapeno will love this creamy and savory dip.
- Creamy Chipotle Dip with Basil - Another fantastic dip, this smoky appetizer pairs well with chips, crackers, and more.
- Strawberry Shortcake Kebabs - Looking for a sweet appetizer? Try this adorable recipe from Lady Behind the Curtain!
Easy Pico de Gallo
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📋 Recipe Card
Authentic Pico de Gallo
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno pepper to the desired size.4 tomatoes, 1 yellow onion, 1 jalapeno pepper
- Place the diced vegetables in a bowl with the cilantro. Add the lime juice and toss to coat. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.1 cup chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, salt and pepper to taste
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- You may desire to vary the chopped size of the vegetables depending on the usage. Bigger pieces are great for tacos and using as a topping for fish or chicken, while a finer dice works well as a dip or salsa starter.
- Allow the pico de gallo to chill for a few hours or even a day for the best flavor.
- To minimize watery pico de gallo, discard the middle flesh of the tomato when dicing it.
- Fresh lime juice tastes best. To squeeze about 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice you will need 1-2 limes. Microwave a whole lime for 20-30 seconds before squeezing to get the most juice.
- Fresh ingredients are best but in a pinch you can substitute jarred jalapeno slices and/or lightly dried cilantro like the kind by Gourmet Garden (not an affiliate link).
- Pico de gallo can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or so. Freezing is not recommended because it affects the texture.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
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Alison Saalbach Corey
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I think this pico de galo is perfect for snacking, especially when it is hot outside! So easy to make!
I made this pico for a light snack today and OMG was it delicious! So fresh and flavorful!
Hey there! Just wanted to drop by and share my thoughts on your post about authentic pico de gallo. I must say, I absolutely loved it! Your recipe is spot-on, with the perfect balance of fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors. It's evident that you have a true passion for Mexican cuisine, as every bite transported me straight to the streets of Mexico. The step-by-step instructions were clear and easy to follow, making it a breeze for even novice cooks like myself. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe—it's definitely going to be a staple in my kitchen from now on. Keep up the fantastic work!
Love a fresh pico! So tasty! Thank you for sharing!