Simple, classic homemade Pico De Gallo, with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and red onions, is a perfect everyday dip that takes almost no time at all to whip together. With only four ingredients (plus a few fresh herbs and spices), it doesn’t take much to prep this super popular dip.
Warning: Double this Pico de Gallo batch because, aside from being an appetizing dip, salsa fresco is also perfect to serve on flautas, tortillas, tacos, enchiladas, and fish tacos!
Pico De Gallo Ingredients
The great thing about Mexican dips (or really any dips) is that so many of them can be customized to make the flavors pop on what you love best.
I enjoy lots of red onion, so if I am making it for myself, I double that up and add a few extra jalapenos for some spice. When making for my family, I keep it light and simple. The beauty is that once you have a base Pico de Gallo recipe, you can work from there.
Below are the ingredients. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for a printer-friendly version of this with full step-by-step instructions.
- Fresh tomatoes: There really are so many tomato types, and the goal is to make sure whatever kind of tomato you choose is ripe. I like my tomatoes slightly firm but not pink.
- red onion
- Jalapeno: seeds removed and diced
- Fresh cilantro: If I can impart anything onto this Pico De Gallo recipe, it’s this: do NOT substitute for dried cilantro!
- lime: – FRESH FRESH FRESH. If you want that Mexican restaurant’s high-quality taste, fresh lime matters.
Homemade Pico De Gallo
This easy pico de gallo salsa is a perfect homemade way to bring restaurant-quality food right into your kitchen with minor prep. In under 10 minutes, you can be munching away on an empty bowl. With fresh tomatoes, diced onions, and a great blend of seasonings, your taste buds will thank you for learning how to make pico de gallo as well.
There are many ways, with varying spices and levels of “heat,” to enjoy salsas and Mexican foods in general. This recipe is SIMPLE, classic, and what you would expect. When you want to just get down to the nitty-gritty of a simple, authentic Pico De Gallo, this is it.
What is Pico De Gallo?
Homemade Pico De Gallo is a totally fresh and tasty way to get your vegetables and pretend what you are eating is healthy as you down all those tortilla chips. Okay, all jokes aside, it’s a salsa Fresca!
Who doesn’t love munching on tomatoes and onions all day? These fresh vegetable ingredients make it easy to push the guilt aside.
Pico De Gallo is also fantastic served right on tacos and enchiladas and comes with all the flavorings built right in, so do not be afraid to make this just as a topping for burrito pie, sour cream chicken enchiladas, or even on a beef tortilla casserole recipe.
How to make Simple Pico De Gallo
- This simple and easy recipe makes 3 cups of chunky Pico dip
- Mix fresh tomatoes, chopped onions, spicy jalapeno, and fresh cilantro in a mixing bowl.
- Add the juice of the lime and season well with salt and pepper.
- Mix all together so the juices marinate.
- Refrigerate, covered for at least 4 hours or overnight, to let flavors mingle and pop on your taste buds. Yes, you can wait a minimum 15-30 minutes but try to give it an hour.
- Stir this dip well before serving to ensure no final settling.
- Trust me when I say to learn how to make homemade tortilla chips. We make them ALL THE TIME now.
What is the best way to make the most of a fresh lime?
Use a lime squeezer to get the most out of your fresh lime with no juice wasted! If you do not have fresh limes or prefer to use lime juice out of a container (I also keep it in my fridge), the juice of half the lime is equivalent to about 1 tablespoon.
Because lime tends to have a strong flavor, it’s okay to add half of that and taste test before adding more.
Red Onion or White Onion in Pico?
Truly, onion type is a preference, and I do love both.
White onions tend to be sharper and have a bolder smell and taste, while red onions are totally delicious raw and are slightly sweeter. Because this is a chunky fresh pico over a fine pico, I find that the red onions taste better and allow you to enjoy all the flavors, while white is better when you are creating a fine salsa.
Chunky or Fine Cuts of Tomatoes?
This really is a personal preference for tomato salsas: I love the bold, bursting flavors of keeping tomatoes, peppers, and onions diced so you get a really thick flavor, but cutting them down to tiny bits is also very popular and common.
Oddly, the cut does make a difference in flavor, so you can test out both and see how you prefer to dice and dip.
Pico? Salsa? Salsa Fresca??
Yep, this tomato salsa is known by so many names, but at the end of the day, it really is the chunkier version of a traditional and classic pureed salsa, using fresh and simple ingredients. The main key here is to leave it all slightly chunky (but still enjoyable to eat!).
Make Pico De Gallo ahead of time for the best flavor!
You can most definitely serve this one immediately, but salsas and picos (actually, pretty much all dips) taste better cold and with a bit of time to mold the flavors together. When ingredients have time to marinate and sit, they become more of a medley of flavors than individual ones.
Consider making this recipe a few hours ahead of time and serving it up after a good mix.
What do you serve Pico De Gallo with?
There is a reason Pico is so popular in places like Chipotle and Moe’s.
Pico can be served on top of just about anything. For a real treat, add to:
- Shrimp Tacos
- Grilled chicken