Classic Pico de Gallo Recipe

Classic Pico de Gallo recipe is a fresh and healthy Mexican tomato dip or sauce, made in just 10 minutes. With fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice – you’ll want to serve it with everything.

food, with Pico de Gallo

I hadn’t tried Pico de Gallo until my first stay at a Mexican all-inclusive resort. It was love at first bite, and something I look forward to having again since.

Let’s just say, if you see a woman with a huge plate of nachos and Pico de Gallo walking by in a big straw hat – It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.

I found that the craving hits most when not on vacation, though. The mind automatically wanders from ‘I need a vacation‘ to ‘I need Pico‘ real fast. Yet finding authentic pico de gallo in small town Canada proved to be difficult.

I learned very quickly how to recreate this Mexican cuisine staple from home, with just basic ingredients yet most importantly, fresh ingredients.

This way I could have that taste of vacation, even when I sadly cannot teleport.

Did you know how quick and easy it is to make Pico de Gallo?

This easy recipe is among my favourites, and will soon be one of yours as well.

Enjoy this homemade pico de gallo recipe on its own with chips and guacamole for game day, a gathering, cinco de mayo, or just because it’s delicious.

Pico de Gallo is also served alongside dishes and Mexican food such as Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas, Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos and especially topping our Margarita Grilled Chicken.

This fresh pico de gallo recipe is a great way to use up those summer fruits and vegetables, and adds a nice twist to your meals. Especially when served with our Queso Dip!

For another variation, make sure to try our Mango Salsa!

What you’ll Love about this Recipe:

  • EASY TO MAKE – Made in just 10 minutes, so get those chips ready!
  • HEALTHY – Using 6 fresh ingredients, it’s as healthy as it is fresh.
  • DELICIOUS – This Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe is so much better than store-bought.
  • VERSATILE – Serve as an appetizer with chips and guacamole as a snack or for your next party. Also great alongside your favourite Mexican dishes.

What is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo is also known as Salsa Fresca, Salsa Cruda, or salsa Mexicana. This popular Mexican salsa is traditionally made (with equal parts) tomatoes and onion; and fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt.

It’s commonly used on top or alongside many favourite Mexican dishes such as eggs, tortillas, tacos and even spaghetti.

food, with Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo vs Salsa – What’s the difference?

While Pico de Gallo and traditional red salsa share most ingredients, the preparation and texture is vastly different.

Pico de gallo is a classic mexican condiment that has a chunky texture and uses a simple mixture of raw ingredients that are fresh (uncooked mixture).

Salsa (and even fresh salsa) results in a puréed texture because its ingredients are combined using a food processor. As well, many times salsas are cooked and uses stewed tomatoes.

Pico de Gallo Ingredients and Notes

Making authentic Pico de Gallo is simple, and requires just 6 simple freshest ingredients. As always, the full printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

  • Tomatoes – This classic recipe calls for Roma Tomatoes, yet you can use the most ripe red tomatoes that you can find. I speak more of this in the tips section below.
  • Onion – I used red onion, yet you can use a white onion or yellow onion if you wish.
  • Jalapeño Pepper – take out the seeds and rind for less spice, or leave some in if you like a spicier Pico de Gallo.
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro – I know that cilantro is a hot topic, and those who do not like it are very adamant about staying away. To me, Pico de Gallo wouldn’t be the same without it, but you do you.
  • Lime Juice – fresh lime juice is best, yet you can use bottled lime juice as well.
  • Salt – An ingredient not to be missed, as it helps to bring out the juices and flavour.
food, with Pico de Gallo

How to Make Pico de Gallo

  1. Chop tomatoes in halves to remove their seeds, then thinly dice them. Then, thinly dice red onion. You’ll want finely diced to for the best flavour.

  2. Cut the jalapeno in half to remove the seeds and white flesh from the center, as it’s the spiciest part. Then, thinly dice it.

  3. Then, combine the ingredients and mix them with lemon juice and salt.

    food, with Pico de Gallo
  4. Serve this pico recipe with any Mexican dish or a simply with a bowl of nachos and guacamole.

Pro Tip: Prepare Ahead!

While you can serve traditional Pico de Gallo immediately after making, allowing it to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes brings out the best flavor. It gets better with time, so you can make it ahead of time to even serving it the next day.

food, with Pico de Gallo

Tips for making the Best Pico de Gallo

Use Ripe Red Tomatoes.

Choosing beautiful red and ripe tomatoes is key to making the best Pico de Gallo ever. Depending on availability and season, you might find the best ones are cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, or grape tomatoes.

The best tomatoes to use for Pico de Gallo are the ones that are the ripest and reddest available to you. These will be the tomatoes that will give the best flavour.

Leave Time to Rest

This Pico de Gallo is a chop, mix and enjoy recipe. Yet, it tastes the best when the salt has a bit of time to marinate into the other ingredients.

The salt draws out the juices and moisture which results in flavor. In fact, as your finished Pico de Gallo sits, you’ll notice that the tomato gets redder. That’s the salt doing its magic.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a slice of tomato with some salt on it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

While you can serve pico de gallo immediately, it’s not a bad idea to make it ahead and refrigerate it for 30 minutes, or even overnight.

Serve with a Slotted Spoon.

Pico de Gallo will release juice on the bottom of the bowl, and no one like soggy nachos. It’s common to use a slotted spoon when serving, to prevent the transfer of that extra moisture.

food, with Pico de Gallo

What to Eat with Pico de Gallo

Mexican salsa is so versatile, and is enjoyed in so many ways. Enjoy the best pico de gallo recipe as a perfect appetizer or snack, served with tortilla chips and guacamole.

As well, is a perfect topping or side for breakfast foods such as eggs or with Mexican dishes such as:


How long does pico de gallo last? Pico de gallo can be stored in an airtight container (or covered with plastic wrap) and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

That is, if you even have leftover pico de gallo. You might want to make a double batch, just in case.

Can you freeze Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo is also known as ‘Salsa Fresca‘ which is Fresh Salsa. While yes, you can freeze it – it also technically will not be Salsa Fresca‘ anymore.

Freezing it will very much alter the texture due to the juices and moisture expanding. The cilantro will become dark and limp too.

So you could, but I personally would not recommend.

food, with Pico de Gallo

This homemade Pico de Gallo recipe is not just any ordinary salsa. It’s a flavor explosion that will leave your taste buds dancing like nobody’s watching.

The perfect balance of tanginess, spiciness, and freshness makes it the ultimate crowd-pleaser for any fiesta or gathering. If you have 10 minutes to spare, whip up a batch of this mouth-watering pico de gallo and watch as everyone dives for the last scoop.

food, with Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Classic Pico de Gallo recipe is a fresh, delicious, and healthy chunky salsa made in just 10 minutes. Made with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice - it's great with tortilla chips and guacamole or topping your favourite Mexican meal.


  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Chop tomatoes in halves to remove their seeds, then thinly dice them. Then, thinly dice red onion.
  2. Cut the jalapeno in half to remove the seeds and white flesh from the center, as it’s the spiciest part. Then, thinly dice it.
  3. Then, combine the ingredients and mix them with lemon juice and salt.
  4. Serve it with any Mexican dish or a bowl of nachos with guacamole.


  • Pico de gallo is best when freshly made and enjoyed the same day or the next day.
  • Can be refrigerated in an airtight contianer for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 24Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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food, with Pico de Gallo

Created by Tammi Roy

Tammi Roy is the founder of My Organized Chaos, a Canadian food and lifestyle blog. She lives in Alberta, Canada and is the mom of three beautiful teenage girls. Tammi’s passions are her family, creating and sharing delicious recipes, travelling and photography. Learn more about Tammi.

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