Pico de Gallo

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Homemade pico de gallo with the perfect blend of diced tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and cilantro all tossed in lime juice for a fresh and delicious salsa fresca everyone will love.

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This classic Mexican salsa is made with bright ingredients like fresh tomatoes, white onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. Fresh, healthy, and bursting with vibrant flavors, this Pico de Gallo recipe is a show stopping addition to any meal.

This zesty, flavorful dish is super easy to make and always adds a ton of freshness to meals. It’s filled with vibrant colors, flavors, and nutrients, making it equal parts beautiful, delicious, and healthy. I love serving this dish in the summertime because the fresh flavors make for a fantastic way to cool down on a hot summer day.

While Chipotle lovers may know pico de gallo as their favorite burrito bowl topping, it’s so much more than just a popular topping at a fast-casual restaurant. This delicious chunky salsa pairs incredibly with all sorts of Mexican dishes. You can serve it with tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, and nachos.

My favorite way to serve this colorful dish is as an eye-catching addition to taco night with family or friends, served alongside Skinny Margaritas, of course! It also makes an incredible addition to this Baked Salsa Chicken or a tasty topping for these Shrimp Tacos.

Whether you’re looking for healthy salsa recipes for your next taco night or healthy appetizer recipes for your next dinner party, this Pico de Gallo recipe is sure to do the trick. Serve this dish alongside tortilla chips for a simple appetizer or as a topping for your favorite Mexican dish. I hope you love it as much as I do!

What is Pico de Gallo?

Also commonly referred to as salsa fresca, pico de gallo is a type of chunky salsa traditionally used in Mexican cuisine. Translated from Spanish, pico de gallo literally means “beak of rooster.” Some people believe this name comes from the way people used to eat the dish; by pinching together the index finger and thumb, creating the shape of a rooster’s beak. Pico de gallo is popularly eaten with Mexican dishes like nachos, tacos, burritos, and as a dip for tortilla chips.

Ingredients for pico de gallo salsa including tomatoes, white onion, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeno.

What You’ll Need

The key ingredients you will need for this dish include:

  • Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are the star of this dish and an absolute must, I don’t recommend using canned tomatoes for this recipe.
  • White onion: This adds a nice bite and a great crunch to the dish. You can sub this out for red onions or scallions if needed.
  • Lime juice: The acidity in this ingredient brightens up all of the other flavors in the dish.
  • Jalapeno: This adds a bit of heat to the dish, but you can leave it out if you don’t like spicy flavors.
  • Cilantro: Fresh herbs add a wonderful flavor and help to brighten up the dish.

Recipe Variations

Here are some of my favorite ways to switch up this tasty dish:

  • For an added creamy element, try adding diced avocado or crumbled cotija cheese to the dish.
  • Try making a fruity salsa by swapping out the tomatoes for fruits like mangoes, peaches, or pineapple. This variation works great when served on top of lean proteins like chicken or fish, or even paired with tortilla chips.
  • If you don’t have white onion or simply want to try a different kind, you can substitute it for red or green onions.
  • To beef this dish up with some protein, try adding black beans and fresh or grilled corn kernels. This way, you can serve the dish as a salad.
  • For an added crunch, try adding diced red bell peppers to the dish.
  • For some added flavor, you can add spices like ground cumin or coriander.

Homemade Mexican pico de gallo served in a bowl with baked tortilla chips.

What to Pair With This Dish

There are a ton of different dishes that pair well with this dish, so feel free to get creative and pair it with any of your favorite savory dishes for some Mexican-inspired flair. Some of my favorite choices include:

How to Store This Dish

To store this dish, simply transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Because of the high water content in Pico de Gallo, I don’t recommend trying to freeze it. You can if you want, but this will significantly alter both the flavor profile and the texture of the salsa when it’s thawed out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this vibrant dish:

What do I serve with this dish?

You can serve this dish with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, eggs, potatoes, tostadas, and more. Feel free to switch it up! This versatile chunky salsa pairs well with a wide variety of savory dishes. As for drink pairings, this dish works great with light beers, margaritas, and refreshing fruity lemonades.

What is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?

While salsa is traditionally thinner in consistency, pico de gallo is a chunky type of salsa. Many types of salsa use cooked ingredients and/or are blended together, but this dish uses uncooked ingredients that are chopped and then tossed together.

Can you freeze this dish?

Because of the high contents of water in this dish, I wouldn’t recommend trying to freeze it. When thawed out, the tomatoes tend to get soft and mushy. If you want to freeze this dish for later, I would recommend first draining as much excess liquid as you can. If you do this, keep in mind that the flavor profile and texture will be different than it was the first time.

Mexican salsa fresca made with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl with a spoon.

More Healthy Mexican Recipes:

The Recipe
Pico de gallo with diced tomatoes, white onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice in a white bowl with tortilla chips on the side.

Pico de Gallo

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  • 1.5 pounds tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced (seeded and deveined for less heat)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Place the tomatoes in a fine-mesh strainer and toss with salt. Let sit over a bowl or in the sink for 20 minutes. This prevents soggy tomatoes.

Dice tomatoes in a strainer over a small bowl.

While the tomatoes sit, combine the onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Let rest while the tomatoes finish.

Diced onions and jalapenos in a bowl with lime juice.

Combine the tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos (with lime juice), and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Add extra lime juice as needed.

Tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 22
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 300mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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