This homemade pico de gallo recipe or salsa fresco (and sometimes called Mexican salad or tomato and onion salsa), is a favorite easy dip for parties like a Cinco de Mayo party and for quick game day dips and appetizers, but is especially for summer recipes when everything is garden fresh! It’s perfect paired with our easy guacamole recipe!
BEST HOMEMADE PICO DE GALLO
If you’re wondering how do you make homemade pico de gallo salsa, you’re in for a treat! Not only is it a refreshing dip recipe that kids love and adults love, it’s such a simple recipe that you’ll never pay those expensive grocery store prices for pre-made pico de gallo again! (Plus, the store-bought versions are never as good as this authentic pico de gallo!)
Homemade Pico De Gallo Ingredients
The fun thing about the best pico de gallo is that you can play around with it and try out different ingredients! Use the basic ingredients for pico de gallo and then add in what you like!
What is in pico de gallo?
- Fresh tomatoes (ripe tomatoes)
- Onion (red onion or white onion)
- Fresh cilantro
- Jalapeno pepper
- Lime (for fresh lime juice)
- Serrano peppers
- Apple cider vinegar*
- Avocado slices
You can even make homemade pico de gallo with corn as part of your basic ingredients. Don’t be afraid to play around with this easy recipe and add your own main ingredients and other creative add-ins (looking at you mango salsa!) to make this easiest recipe ever!
KEEP SCROLLING for the full printable recipe card! We’ll also answer common recipe questions (recipe FAQ) including can you make pico de gallo with canned tomatoes, how is pico gallo different from traditional salsa, and what to make with leftover pico de gallo.
Classic Pico De Gallo Recipe Tips For Fresh Tomato Salsa
Homemade pico de gallo is a healthy snack for kids, a last minute cookout recipe, or anytime you need a quick and easy dip for parties, cookout gatherings, or summer bbq parties.
Before we get to the recipe and how to make salsa pico de gallo, let’s cover some common questions you may have for this recipe.
What is pico de gallo?
Pico de gallo is a type of chunky fresh salsa that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It is often made with diced tomatoes, diced onions, and peppers, along with fresh cilantro and lime juice. There are many variations using other ingredients, like jalapeño peppers, corn, garlic, mango, or avocado.
What is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?
Pico de gallo is a salsa fresca with uncooked, hand chopped vegetables and herbs like tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno, and garlic. Salsa is a more pureed liquid texture. With pico de gallo, you can distinguish the different elements of the dip, but with salsa it is pureed into a more liquid tomato dip.
Is homemade pico de gallo healthy?
Yes! Homemade pico de gallo can is a healthy addition to your diet because it’s made with fresh vegetables and herbs that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Pico de gallo is usually made with diced tomatoes, onions, and peppers, along with cilantro, lime juice, and other seasonings. This makes is a healthy snack for the family. (Used baked tortilla chips for a healthy snack choice!)
Pico De Gallo vs Salsa vs Picante
Pico de gallo, salsa and picante are all made from a combination of tomatoes, peppers, and other ingredients (like garlic, onion, and herbs). Pico de gallo is a chunky salsa, where you can distinguish all the ingredients in the recipe. Salsa is a more pureed liquid tomato dip and picante is the thinnest dip, like a sauce, of the three. The main difference is that a pico de gallo sauce is chunky and picante sauce is runny.
If you liked this homemade pico de gallo with corn, try out these other Mexican food recipes:
Is pico de gallo spicy?
There is hot pico de gallo, medium pico de gallo, and mild pico de gallo salsa. The great thing about pico de gall homemade (or any homemade salsa) is that you can adjust the heat level to taste, leaving out or adding in jalapeño pepper, poblano peppers, or other hot peppers for the type of salsa you like best!
Is pico de gallo vegetarian?
Yes! Pico de gallo is a vegetarian recipe made only with fresh vegetables as ingredients! These raw ingredients with pico de gallo seasoning add-ins are a healthy option for many diets and food preferences for Mexican salsa (salsa Mexicana) or homemade salsa toppings.
Do you use red or white onion in pico de gallo?
You can use red onion or white onion in your pico recipe. Red onion will provide a milder taste, while white onion makes a stronger salsa.
How do you keep pico de gallo from getting watery?
To keep pico de gallo from getting watery, chopped and salt the tomatoes before adding the other ingredients. Mix all the other ingredients in a separate bowl and then spoon the tomatoes into the mixture with a slotted spoon.
Can you make homemade pico de gallo with canned tomatoes?
You can use canned tomatoes, but it takes away some of the freshness of the pico de gallo. If you use canned tomatoes, be sure to drain the juice. However, if you like a more liquid pico de gallo, you can leave in some of the tomato juice from the can.
If you can, I recommend making this recipe with fresh tomatoes (like fresh pico de gallo vs Rotel) instead of as a pico de gallo canned tomatoes recipe. Fresh tomatoes are just better than pico with canned tomatoes and there’s really something about the freshest ingredients!
Can you make pico de gallo without lime?
A traditional pico de gallo recipe is made with lime. If you don’t have lime, you can make pico de gallo with lemon or even apple cider vinegar, too. You can leave out the lime completely, but the acid does give it a little extra fresh zing.
How long is homemade pico de gallo good for?
How long does homemade pico de gallo last in the refrigerator? Pico de gall will last refrigerated for around 4 days in an airtight container. Any longer than that and the tomatoes may start to get mushy and the pico gets watery. In some cases, the longer the pico de gallo sits in the refrigerator, it may start to develop a bitter taste.
This is an easy recipe to make with kids!
Want kids to practice cutting skills and chopping? Use a safe knife set like this!
How do you eat pico de gallo without chips?
If you don’t want to eat pico de gallo with chips, try it with:
- Corn tortillas
- Flour tortillas
- Homemade tortilla chips
- Pita bread
- Scrambled eggs
- Grilled vegetables
- Alone as a salad! (aka: Mexican salads)
- On burrito bowls (or other Mexican inspired bowls)
- Hamburgers or turkey burgers
- Hot dogs
- Bake potato
- Taco meat
- Pulled pork
- Chicken breast
- Boiled eggs
Can I freeze pico de gallo?
People often wonder if you can you freeze homemade pico de gallo?You can freeze homemade pico de gallo, but the texture will change. The best thing about pico de gallo is that all the ingredients are fresh and coarsely chopped. After it is frozen, the texture will become mushy. However, you can blend frozen pico de gallo and make a salsa that is more pureed and less chunky.
OK, let’s get to how do you make pico de gallo from scratch! Here’s how to make.pico.de gallo – ready to eat in 10 minutes or less!
FUN FOOD FACTS FOR KIDS: Did you know that pico de gallo is called Rooster’s Beak? The translation is pico de gall is beak of rooster. Many say that this simple dish gets that name because it was bite-sized pieces eaten with hands, pinching a bit between your finger and thumb, which looked like a roosters beak. It’s also sometimes called flag sauce for the colors of the Mexican flag!
How To Make Homemade Pico de Gallo (Fast and Easy Recipe Idea!)
How To Make Easy Pico de Gallo
This is a traditional pico de gallo recipe and one that you’ve probably had in Mexican restaurants or with Mexican cuisine! Although the basic ingredients stay the same, the add in ingredients in pico de gallo vary depending on who’s making it!
I think Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes really are best for this recipe, but if you don’t have them you can use any tomato type to go with the fresh ingredients. (I’ve even used cherry tomatoes / grape tomatoes that I needed to use before they go bad!) It’s one of my favorite ways to use tomatoes that need to be used up! (Plus, you can easily double or triple this recipe for canning or for foods for a crowd!)
You can make this easy pico de gallo recipe without jalapenos if you like a more mild salsa dip. Our recipe calls for removing the jalapeno seeds, but if you like spicy then leave the seeds and the pepper membrane in your pico de galo.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can customize it to your tastes — homemade pico de gallo mild or hot!
You can easily make this as homemade pico de gallo without cilantro. (We often leave it out because my husband doesn’t like cilantro.) If you don’t like cilantro or have a reaction to it, you can also make this pico de gallo without cilantro. If you want a cilantro substitute pico de gallo, you can use fresh chopped parsley instead. (But you can leave it out and it will be just as good!)
You can also make homemade pico de gallo with corn (use fresh corn off the cob if you can!), but we like it just like the listed recipe for the best homemade pico de gallo recipe!
Some people make this recipe with a food processor (like a fresh salsa recipe). I don’t recommend that because it’s harder to keep the chunky texture of pico de gallo. You want to keep everything in small pieces and not completely blended!
RECIPE TIP FOR A FRESH TOPPING: Make this a homemade pico de gallo with avocado by adding some fresh avocado slices right before serving! It’s the perfect finishing touch!
Here’s how to make pico de gallo! (Don’t miss what to do with leftover pico de gallo after the recipe card.)
- 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup red or white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed and minced*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, add diced tomatoes and salt. Stir. Set aside. (If you like your pico de gallo with more juice, just mix tomatoes in with everything else.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic. Using a slotted spoon (to remove liquid), add in chopped tomatoes.
- Add lime juice and mix until completely combined.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you don't have lime, you can make this pico de gallo with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar also.
*If you like a spicy pico de gallo, leave in jalapeno seeds and jalapeno membrane (white part on inside of the pepper).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
How To Use Leftover Pico De Gallo
Uses For Leftover Pico de Gallo
Don’t throw away pico de gallo leftovers!
Ideas for leftover pico salsa:
- Top your scrambled eggs or omelets with a spoonful of pico de gallo and wrap it in a tortilla for a fresh and flavorful breakfast.
- Use it as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.
- Spoon some pico de gallo onto a bed of lettuce for a quick and easy salad, or mix it with avocado and lime juice for a simple guacamole.
- Use it as a dip for tortilla chips, or serve it alongside other dips such as hummus or tzatziki.
- Mix it with cooked quinoa, black beans, and corn for a simple and healthy grain bowl.
- Use it as a topping for baked potatoes.
- Mix it with mashed avocado for a quick and easy avocado toast topping.
- Add it to a wrap or sandwich for an extra burst of flavor.
After learning how to make a pico de gallo…
MAKE IT A TACO NIGHT AND THIS EASY GUACAMOLE RECIPE KIDS LOVE!
(Goes great with the pico de gallo easy recipe and chips!)
Have fun making this pico de gallo recipe easy cooking project with kids! (This recipe for pico de gallo is great for kids to practice chopping skills!)