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Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

This Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo is a delicious, super fresh tomato salsa that’s quick to make and is perfect with tortilla chips, as a complement to your favorite Mexican dishes, and more!

Also known as salsa fresca (fresh) or salsa cruda (raw), pico de gallo has 6 simple ingredients – tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and salt – and it’s best when it’s made and served fresh!

Earlier this week, I shared my recipe for homemade guacamole because I had some extra avocados to use after last week’s avocado toast post.

Loving Mexican food as I do, the guacamole then made think of – and become hungry for – my other favorite Mexican condiment/dip/topping: pico de gallo (pronounced like: pee-koh-day-guy-oh).

Since I had some extra plum tomatoes to use up, I decided why not make a batch, continue the theme, and share that recipe too? And here we are!

That’s often how things work out for me as a food blogger. Sometimes I have a well-set-out plan for the recipes I want to share, and sometimes those plans get taken over by an unexpected craving or the opportunity to continue on a theme or make something with ingredients I have on hand.

There a lots of varieties of pico de gallo. This version is pretty basic and traditional with no added extras or fancy ingredients to try to make it different, and it’s my favorite.

It’s very versatile, and you can do so much with it besides scooping it up with some tortilla chips for an appetizer or snack…although that’s definitely one of the best ways to enjoy it.

Put it on tacos, nachos, or fajitas, inside burritos, or alongside quesadillas. Serve it with an omelet or scrambled eggs. Use it to top grilled meat and seafood. Mix it in with some cooked white rice for a fabulous side dish.

And that’s just to name a few!

How is pico de gallo different from salsa?

Pico de gallo is made entirely from chopped raw ingredients (to me, it’s more like a finely chopped salad).

Salsa is usually smoother or puréed, and it’s sometimes made with cooked tomatoes and other ingredients.

I love them both. Check out my easy homemade salsa recipe if you do too!

easy homemade pico de gallo in a white bowl with a spoonful being lifted out

Ingredients you need:

Note: Exact amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Tomatoes (I used plum/Roma tomatoes)
  • Red onion
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Salt

Here’s a look at how to make Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of diced tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl with text that says place tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl; the other of all of the ingredients mixed together in the bowl with a spoon with text that says mix until well combined, let sit for 15 minutes, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Tomatoes are the star of the show here, so use the best tasting, ripe tomatoes you can get. It really doesn’t matter what variety they are (I like to use plum/Roma tomatoes because they seem to have less seeds and liquid).
    • Of course, this is easier in the summer when gardens and farmers’ markets abound. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pico de gallo all year long. Grocery store cherry and grape tomatoes are usually delicious and sweet even in the winter, so I chop those up instead.
  • I recommend removing the seeds and liquid from your tomatoes before chopping so your pico isn’t too watery or seedy (you can skip this if using cherry or grape tomatoes).
  • I use red onions because they tend to be a bit milder than yellow or white onions, but you can use whatever onions you like.
  • The seeds and the membranes of the jalapeno pepper is where most of the heat lives, so take them out for a milder heat and leave them in for more heat. Want it spicier? Use a hotter pepper like serrano or (super hot) habanero.
  • If you don’t like cilantro, you can leave it out. I’m not a fan of parsley as a substitute in pico de gallo, but you can try it and see if you like it (but it’s just fine without it).
  • Fresh lime juice is the best for this salsa. Don’t use the bottled stuff if you can help it.
  • Adjust the amount of any ingredient to suit your own tastes.
  • A clove of garlic, minced, is a nice addition if you’re a garlic lover.
  • Let your pico sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors combine…but not much longer than that. It’s best when served while it’s still super fresh and shouldn’t be made in advance. As it sits, the tomatoes will start to release their liquid and soften, and it can become watery.
    • Consider serving with a slotted spoon so any liquid is left in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days, tops. It will lose its freshness quickly, so the sooner you eat it, the better!
easy homemade pico de gallo in a white bowl with a tortilla chip being dipped into it

This stuff is so fresh and flavorful, it’s positively addicting (that bowl was empty in record time)!

I hope you try this Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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easy homemade pico de gallo in a white bowl

Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

This Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo is a delicious, super fresh tomato salsa that's quick to make and is perfect with tortilla chips, as a complement to your favorite Mexican dishes, and more!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 (about ¼ cup each; recipe makes about 2½ cups total)
Estimated Calories: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes, remove seeds and liquid before dicing (I used 1 pound of plum/Roma tomatoes)
  • ½ cup diced red onions, white or yellow onions can also be used
  • ¼ cup diced jalapeno pepper, remove seeds and membranes for less heat; leave them in for more heat
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl; mix until well-combined.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
    Note: You don't want to let this sit for too long because the tomatoes will start to soften and release their liquid. Pico is best when served super fresh!
  • Serve immediately (transfer to a serving bowl, if desired).

Notes

  • Dice the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. I usually cut the tomatoes just a little bit larger than the onions and jalapenos. 
  • Tomatoes are the star of the show here, so use the best tasting, ripe tomatoes you can get. It really doesn’t matter what variety they are (I like to use plum/Roma tomatoes because they seem to have less seeds and liquid).
    • Of course, this is easier in the summer, but grocery store cherry and grape tomatoes are a good choice in the winter since they are usually sweet and flavorful all year long (no need to seed these).
  • Adjust the amount of any ingredient to suit your own tastes. 
  • A clove of garlic, minced, is a nice addition if you’re a garlic lover
  • Since this is best served fresh, I don’t recommend making it in advance.
  • Consider serving with a slotted spoon so any liquid is left in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days, tops (it will lose that freshness quickly, so the sooner you eat the leftovers, the better).
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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