Home » Recipes » Appetizers » Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo

posted May 29, 2022
by Cassandra Morris
Kiss goodbye to store-bought salsa. This easy homemade pico de gallo is a sweet and zesty relish that’s absolutely healthy. All you need is 10 minutes!

What’s a tangy, fresh dip that goes super well with chips? You guessed it – salsa! 

No more buying bottled salsa, my friends. Today, I’m showing you exactly how to make authentic pico de gallo. It isn’t exactly salsa, though it is just one step shy. The only difference is that salsa is a puréed form of the same ingredients, whereas pico de gallo (or salsa fresca) keeps its vegetables in solid form. 

In Mexican restaurants and fast food joints, pico de gallo is found in fish tacos and meat burritos, acting as a sweet and spicy relish. Plus, it’s the perfect dip for tortilla chips. 

My husband tends to overdo his sauces and I always tell him to take it easy because of the calories!!! But there’s none of that with this pico de gallo. Since it’s full of vegetables, it’s high in fiber and low in calories. 

So, drop everything you’re doing – it’s time to make salsa fresca! 

Recipe Ingredients

  • Tomatoes – The traditional pico de gallo uses Roma tomatoes which are just ripe and not mushy. The sweetness you get from Roma tomatoes will make this salsa so pleasant to eat. 
  • White onion – Get one small white onion (or as much as you would like). Onions have this slightly sweet yet punchy scent which makes them a key ingredient of pico de gallo.
  • Garlic cloves – Be sure to mince the garlic cloves. This helps make the scent of garlic subtle enough to be noticed. 
  • Jalapeño – Remove the seeds and chop the jalapeño finely. Fresh jalapeño is slightly hotter than pickled jalapeño, but the latter brings a nice sweetness and tartness. Of course, you can use less of it (or none at all) if spice is not your thing.
  • Lime juice – Squeeze your own lime juice! Resist the urge to use bottled lime juice for this recipe. It makes all the difference as we want a really fresh and zesty salsa.
  • Fresh cilantro – Finish off with that herby scent from cilantro. Not a fan of cilantro? Feel free to skip it! 
  • Sea salt – Sprinkle to taste.  

Step-by-Step Instructions

Homemade pico de gallo has changed my life forever. I’ve kissed goodbye to store-bought salsa and I have never looked back since learning this recipe. All it takes is 10 minutes. 

Step One: In a medium bowl, combine the onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt. Let it marinate while you chop the tomatoes and cilantro. 

  • Pro Tip: If onions make you teary-eyed, halve the onion and soak it in a bowl of water for 10 minutes before chopping. This trick works every. single. time. Try it and let me know if it worked for you! 
  • Pro Tip: Put on a pair of gloves when handling the jalapeño. Once, I accidentally rubbed my eyes with my bare hands after chopping jalapeños. It’s not something I want to relive! 

Step Two: Core and dice your tomatoes. Dry them with a paper towel and add them to the bowl along with the cilantro. 

  • Pro Tip: Drain any excess juice in a colander. Then, use a few sheets of paper towel to pat the chopped tomatoes dry. 

Step Three: Toss gently but thoroughly. Chill the pico de gallo in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until ready to serve. This downtime gives the vegetables a chance to marinate even more. 

Step Four: Before serving, sprinkle with salt once more (if desired). Give the vegetables another gentle toss to reincorporate the lime juice. 

The next time you’re cooking up a Mexican feast, you know what to do! 

Homemade Pico De Gallo with Chips | cookingwithcassandra.com

Tips & Variations

Roma tomato alternatives: 

Roma tomatoes can be replaced with regular tomatoes. I just like roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds and are more firm to the bite. Cherry tomatoes are a suitable replacement as well, but just know that you’ll need a lot more!

And should you use canned tomatoes as an alternative to roma tomatoes? Well, canned tomatoes are less fresh, resulting in a less nuanced pico de gallo. However, if that is your only available option, why not? Something is better than nothing! 

Spice it up with even hotter peppers: 

Need more heat in your salsa fresca? Instead of jalapeño, use serrano pepper or, if you dare, habanero. These are jalapeño’s spicier cousins, and they’re at least five times hotter! So, chop very finely so you don’t bite into a big chunk of pepper that’ll overpower everything else! 

Storage Instructions

Pico de gallo keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store it in an airtight container, and keep these tips in mind: 

  • Remove the tomato seeds – I’d usually keep the tomato seeds intact when making this recipe. However, if you’re making this in a large batch to be stored, I would remove the seeds just to prevent any sogginess over time.
  • Season again before serving – Pico de gallo will gradually mellow down in flavor, so it’s best to season with salt and squeeze some more lime juice before serving. 

Now that you know how to make the easiest pico de gallo, you can pair it with these tasty recipes:

Homemade Pico De Gallo Recipe | cookingwithcassandra.com

Pico De Gallo Recipe

Kiss goodbye to store-bought salsa. This easy homemade pico de gallo is a sweet and zesty relish that’s absolutely healthy. All you need is 10 minutes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion about 1 small onion
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely minced (decrease or omit if sensitive to spice)
  • ¼ cup lime juice freshly squeezed
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt or more to taste
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped (about 1 bunch)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chopped onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Let it marinate while you chop the tomatoes and cilantro.
  • Core and dice your tomatoes. Drain any excess juice in a colander then pat chopped tomatoes dry on a couple pieces of paper towel. Once dry add into your bowl along with the cilantro and stir to combine.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until ready to use.
  • Serve with chips, for dipping.

Hi, I’m Cassandra!

I’m a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin’ Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up for free recipes straight to your inbox:

Free E-Cookbook!

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Subscribe & receive my favourite 10 Quick & Easy Dinner Recipes in an easy e-cookbook format!

You Might Also Like

How to Make French Toast

French toast with Syrup and Strawberries  | cookingwithcassandra.com

French toast is a breakfast staple, though I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying it throughout the entire day. It’s yummy even at teatime or as an after-dinner sweet treat. This easy French toast recipe has soft Brioche bread soaked in an egg mixture that is milky and sweet which is then pan-fried with butter.  Whether you are making French toast for two or twelve, this recipe is so quick and easy that it won’t feel like cooking at all. Read on for a no-nonsense guide on how to make french toast.  What is the Best Bread to use for French Toast?  This French toast recipe...

Easy Sheet Pan Nachos Recipe

Sheet pan nachos | cookingwithcassandra.com

You NEED to make these easy sheet pan nachos for your next game day. They are sure to be a hit. With the crispiest tortilla chips and the most amazing beef-olive-tomato toppings, these loaded nachos are seriously addictive.  Whether you’re entertaining friends or family, I recommend you wait for everyone to get to the party before arriving. Two reasons: 1) everyone will get to enjoy it when it’s piping hot and the cheese is still gooey; 2) the nachos will be gone so quickly that latecomers may not even get a taste. Talk about party favorites!  To make these nachos, all you have...

Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

Classic Stuffing  | cookingwithcassandra.com

Unless you live in a camper van traveling cross-country this Thanksgiving, you have no excuse for buying stuffing in boxes anymore. Nope. Not this year, folks. Why?  Because after you discover how easy it is to put together a delicious, warm stuffing, you’ll never go back to the boxed kind. Yes, prepackaged stuffing tastes great and is an absolute breeze to cook, but it’s the sodium and the additives that bothers me.  With home-cooked food, you are always in control and get to choose the ingredients that go into your food. (I’ve also stopped eating mac and cheese from the box –...

Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce (Perfect Holiday Appetizer)

Cranberry Brie Dip With Flaky Roll Bites | cookingwithcassandra.com

What comes to mind when you imagine a cheese dip? I’ll tell you what I thought about it way before I stumbled upon this recipe. That creamy, orange-colored starchy cheese dip for nachos and crackers that you get at stadiums and boozy parties. The bottled kind with lots of artificial flavors that would get your tongue desperate for water later on.  That was before I knew that there was a fancier, Christmassy version of this which was luscious, pretty, and actually sophisticated. This cheese dip is made with nutty and tangy brie cheese (plus a bit of cheddar) that’s baked to gooey...

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cookingwithcassandra on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcassandra

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Hi, I'm Cassandra!

I'm a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin' Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up for free recipes straight to your inbox:

Free E-Cookbook!

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Subscribe & receive my favourite 10 Quick & Easy Dinner Recipes in an easy e-cookbook format!

Jujeh kabab - Eating | cookingwithcassandra.com

Get the Inside

Scoop

Be the first to receive free e-books, recipes, inspiration, and exclusive extras you won’t want to miss!

FREE E-COOKBOOK10 Quick & Easy Dinners Recipes

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Get our newest recipes, exclusive content PLUS our 10 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes to get you started!

FREE E-COOKBOOK10 Quick & Easy Dinners Recipes

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Get our newest recipes, exclusive content PLUS our 10 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes to get you started!