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Authentic Salsa Fresco Pico de Gallo Recipe

    Pico de Gallo with white onion

    Yes, you need Pico de Gallo at your Mexican Fiesta, Taco Night or Burrito Bar! It is a fresh condiment that adds flavor & texture to Mexican food.

    Pico de Gallo means “beak of a rooster”. Why? Who knows! (No, there are no rooster beaks in the recipe.) It could be from the way people ate it with their hands, by pinching it with their thumb and finger like a rooster pecks.

    Is pico de gallo a salsa?

    There are some differences between Pico de Gallo and salsa. First, salsa has more liquid, like a sauce. Pico de gallo is made with fresh diced vegetables and is never cooked. Go for the gold and put a layer of pico de gallo on top of your salsa when building your tacos or burritos!

    Authentic pico de gallo contains 6 ingredients.

    Find the freshest ingredients you can, and this recipe will be as good – or better – than the ones in your favorite Mexican restaurant.

    Roma Plum Tomatoes

    These are the best, because they contain less water. You want ripe Roma tomatoes that are very red but firm. (If you can’t get plum tomatoes, you can use cherry tomatoes.) Remove the seeds for a nicer appearance.

    White Onion

    Again, choose a fresh onion, not one that’s been in the kitchen drawer or fridge for awhile. Chop it very finely.


    Cilantro adds flavor and color, but not everybody likes cilantro. This is one of those things where people usually love it or hate it. Be sure those who gather around your table love it before you add it!

    Jalapeño Peppers

    Choose fresh, minced fine. For more heat include the seeds, but seeded looks better.

    Fresh Lime Juice

    The lime keeps your salsa fresco fresh. Roll the lime on the counter with your palm before cutting to get the most juice.


    You can use regular table salt or sea salt.

    Is pico de gallo spicy hot?

    If you don’t like it caliente (hot) you can substitute green peppers chopped very finely for the jalapeño peppers.

    What is pico de gallo good for?

    • a dip with tortilla chips
    • a topping for nachos & tacos
    • in burritos, tostadas, enchiladas & quesadillos
    • in fried rice
    • on Huevos rancheros (scrambled eggs)

    Salsa Fresco Pico de Gallo

    Course: CondimentCuisine: Mexican


    Prep time






    • 1 c onion, finely diced

    • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced fine

    • 2 limes, juiced

    • 2 1/2 c Roma tomatoes (about 8), seeded and diced into 1/4-inch pieces

    • 1 tsp sea salt

    • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped fine (save some for garnish on top)


    • In a bowl mix onion, jalapeño pepper and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate while chopping tomatoes and cilantro.
    • Add tomatoes, cilantro and salt to marinated mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


    • Best served fresh, but can be kept for 3 days covered in the refrigerator.

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