Authentic Salsa Fresco Pico de Gallo Recipe

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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 did they call the Salsa Fresco this? Who knows! (Just to be clear: 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!

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)

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.

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Pico de Gallo with white onion

Authentic Salsa Fresco Pico de Gallo Recipe

  • Author: Omaha Steaks
  • Total Time: 15 minutes


Fresh Pico de gallo, ready for the fiesta to begin.


Units Scale
  • 3/4 c Roma tomatoes, diced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 3 Tbsp white onion, diced into 1/4” pieces
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilanto, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp jalepeno, diced fine, with seeds
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


In a bowl, mix tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice and sea salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 20 calories

This pico de gallo recipe goes beautifully with Grilled Shrimp Tostadas

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

See the recipe for Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo.

Like this? See our other Mexican recipes.

It’s your turn!

Do you serve pico de gallo with tacos, nachos or tostadas? If not, give this recipe a try! (It’s a great way to add fresh flavor to your meal, & another serving of veggies to your diet.)

If you made this recipe, let us know what you think – and show us a picture!


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Authentic Salsa Fresco Pico de Gallo Recipe

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