Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

Blue circle with the letter P PBlue circle with the letter VGrey circle with the letters GFA grey circle with KFGrey circle with letters V eGrey circle with letter W
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Homemade Pico de Gallo made with simple, fresh ingredients! This addicting fresh salsa has a spicy kick to it. Learn how to make authentic pico de gallo with this easy recipe!

An Easy Pico de Gallo Recipe

Living in Texas I’d say that Tex-Mex recipes are my specialty. I have taught myself over the almost 15 years I’ve lived here how to add spice, flavor and that tex-mex flare using fresh real ingredients. And THAT is something I’m very proud of.

When it comes to classic Mexican Recipes,  you can’t get more classic than a Fresh Pico de Gallo Recipe. I could straight up set up shop in front of a table filled with pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa roja and chips and be the most content person ever. Add in a homemade Margarita and a perfect setup just got even better.

This Pico de Gallo Recipe is my go to recipe for a fresh salsa. It’s easy with only 6 ingredients, comes together fast and infused with fresh flavor that you won’t be able to get enough of. I’m warning you now, just make a double batch and keep it in the refrigerator, it gets better as it sits. 

close up of freshly made pico de gallo in a bowl

What is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo is a very popular Mexican salsa made with a handful of fresh raw ingredients. It’s also known as “Salsa Fresca” or “Fresh Tomato Salsa.” Typically pico de gallo made with equal parts of tomatoes and onion and mixed with fresh cilantro, a generous squeeze of lime juice and salt. In the states we started adding jalapeno for a spicy kick. However, you can leave it out for a milder salsa recipe.

The Meaning of Pico De Gallo

Pico de gallo literally means “rooster’s beak,” but don’t worry, there are no rooster beaks in this salsa! There are different explanations for this name. The one that makes the most sense to me is that pico de gallo is a play on words.

In Spanish, the word “picante” means “spicy” and the word “pico” can either mean something sharp or a bird’s beak. When you ask someone if a salsa is hot, you can say “¿Pica?” (literally, “Does it poke?”).

Add to this the colorful ingredients in this spicy salsa, which resemble the colors of a rooster (gallo), and you have a play on words – pico de gallo. 

homemade pico de gallo in a bowl with chips surrounding it

What’s the difference between pico de gallo and salsa?

Pico de gallo shares the same basic ingredients as a restaurant style salsa roja, but the preparation methods are different. 

Restaurant Salsas will use roasted or stewed tomatoes as the base and will typically be blended or pureed for a smooth appearance and texture. Pico de gallo always uses fresh RAW ingredients that are diced small leaving you with a chunky fresh salsa.

ingredients for easy homemade pico de gallo

Pico De Gallo Ingredients

The best thing about fresh pico de gallo is exactly that, how fresh it is. No cooking or roasting needed. Just fresh ingredients that you dice up, toss together and you’re done!

  • Tomato – I like to use roma tomatoes because I like the firmer texture. Remove seeds and membranes to ensure you don’t have a “watery” salsa. Other tomatoes to use would be vine ripe tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
  • Onion – Most recipes call for yellow onion, however I use red onion. I like the sweetness from the red onion and also like the pop of color.
  • Jalapeño – Not necessary, but if you like to add a little spice or heat to your salsa, fresh diced jalapeños will do just that.
  • Cilantro – These fresh herbs brighten up the dish even more and is a staple in an authentic Mexican salsa.
  • Lime –  Just the juice is perfect and adds a nice zesty flavor to your salsa.
  • Garlic – Garlic in my mind just takes this pico over the top, you don’t need much but the amount that you do use adds so much flavor.
  • Salt – An essential seasoning that is too often skipped over. Don’t forget to salt to bring out the natural flavors of your fresh ingredients!

Pico is subject to the person making it. You can easily adjust this quantity to suit your preferences; add more tomatoes for sweetness or jalapeño peppers for a fiery hot salsa.

A bowl with fresh pico de gallo ingredients

How to Make Pico de Gallo

There’s no cooking involved for fresh pico de gallo. Just dice, toss and serve. I find that letting the salsa sit for a while lets the flavor infuse and creates a more flavorful salsa. 

  1. Finely Dice Ingredients: The smaller the better so you get a bit of every ingredient in every bite.
  2. Toss Salsa: Add diced tomatoes, diced red onion, diced jalapeño, minced garlic clove, chopped cilantro and lime juice to a bowl.
  3. Season, Season, Season: The most forgotten step is seasoning your pico de gallo with salt. This is the flavor burst you’re missing. Don’t forget the salt. Season to salt and serve with tortilla chips!

How to Store

If your pico de gallo is sealed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator it will keep for up to a week. Like I said earlier, the flavors actually get better the longer they sit, so making it a day ahead of time is perfect! 

a chip scooping fresh pico de gallo

Mix-In Ideas

This fresh salsa is good on it’s own but adding or substituting ingredients to change up the flavor is always fun and delicious! Here are some of my favorite variations on fresh salsa.

Serving Suggestions

Fresh Salsa is so versatile. It is great as an appetizer with chips or can be served on top of different items like tacos, eggs, enchiladas, breakfast burritos, salads, nachos or fajitas. It’s really the ultimate condiment out there and I use it as that!

If you’re serving your pico de gallo with chips, I highly recommend a side of homemade guacamole and a fresh margarita! Also consider using this homemade pico de gallo recipe on top of the following recipes:

fresh pico de gallo in a bowl served with chips
close up of easy homemade pico de gallo recipe in a bowl with chips around it

Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 30 minutes
  • yield Yield: 34 cups 1x
  • category Category: Appetizer
  • method Method: Mix
  • cuisine Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


An easy Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe made with simple fresh ingredients for a delicious, addicting fresh tomato salsa that has a spicy kick to it. Learn all my tricks for an authentic pico de gallo guaranteed to be a crowd favorite!



  • 5 roma tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup of red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt to season


  1. To a bowl add diced tomatoes, diced red onion, diced jalapeño, minced garlic clove,  chopped cilantro and lime juice. Toss to combine.
  2. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately or for better results let sit for at least one hour before serving.

Keywords: homemade pico de gallo recipe, best pico de gallo, easy pico de gallo

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Hey There

Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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25 Responses
  1. Linda

    This sounds so good. Love fresh salsa. Thanks for linking to Saturday Dishes. Next week is chicken. Good and healthy.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  2. Armadillo Pepper

    Recipe sounds great. I have some Cowhorn peppers growing and am going to try and substitute for your jalapenos. Thanks.

      1. Armadillo Pepper

        Hi Krista – Heat level is comparable to a Jalapeno (perhaps, slightly less hot). I like the flavor better of the jalapeno, but I have these growing all over the place. Cowhorns are longer (8 to 10 inches) but about the same diameter as a jalapeno.

  3. Diane Balch

    The Pico de Gallo wars I can see it as series…LOL. Yours sounds much more interesting than your brother’s, definitely healthier. Thanks Krista for sharing this recipe with us on foodie friday.

    1. Krista Rollins Professional Photos-5

      hahah.. I know. I told him the other day that if he is up for the challenge he can come over and make his “good” pico and I will feature it on the blog. We’ll see if he rises to the occasion. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Diane!

  4. Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    I have that same towel! I love it! And that pick looks good! I can eat that stuff straight from the bowl! Pinned!

    1. Krista Rollins Professional Photos-5

      haha.. I know.. I noticed it the other day in a picture of yours, too funny. Homegoods all the way! I am so with you, I could eat the stuff with a spoon. Screw the tortilla chips… plus thats where the calories are anyway. 🙂 hehe

  5. Deb@CookingOnTheFrontBurner

    Krista, I love this summery salsa – fresh ingredients are the best. Hopefully we will have some garden tomatoes soon. Have a good night – pinned!!

    1. Krista Rollins Professional Photos-5

      So jealous… I tried fresh garden tomatoes last year and I couldnt get rid of the bug problem. I hope yours turn out, they are so good and juicy! Thanks for the pin love. 🙂

  6. Meghan @ The Tasty Fork

    There is nothing better than fresh salsa! This Pico is right up my alley. I could eat it at every meal!!

  7. Cindy Eikenberg

    Oh yum, Krista, this looks so fresh and delicious, perfect for summer (and wonderful summer tomatoes!) Thanks for sharing and pinning! Happy Wednesday!

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