Learn how to make pico de gallo, a fresh, no-cook salsa that is ready quickly and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
What Is Pico De Gallo?
Well, it translates to “rooster’s beak” but it’s a fresh Mexican salsa and condiment that needs no cooking. Also called salsa fresca, it has red onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice along with the tomatoes. It’s simple and quick to put together, deliciously fresh, and can be used in many ways.
Difference Between Salsa And Pico De Gallo
If you saw that list of ingredients and thought, “Isn’t that just regular salsa?”, you wouldn’t be the first. There are several differences though.
Pico de gallo uses fresh ingredients and does not get cooked, though it does benefit from a short rest before eating. Salsa can use fresh or canned tomatoes as the base and is often cooked.
The texture is also different. Pico has diced ingredients mixed together and maintains a chunky texture. Salsa can be chunky, but it’s usually blended up some and has more liquid to it.
Salsa can also include a variety of ingredients and there are so many variations on the recipe. Pico de gallo however, keeps the recipe and instructions simple. Stray too far and it’s just not pico de gallo anymore.
If you’re looking for a fairly classic salsa recipe, check out this Instant Pot Salsa, perfect for dipping your tortilla chips. And to mix things up, I also love this Mango Salsa which is great with shrimp.
How To Make Pico De Gallo
Gather up your ingredients and finely dice your fresh tomatoes and red onion. The garlic and jalapeño get minced, the fresh cilantro can be roughly chopped, and get fresh lime juice from half of a lime. Combine all of these into a medium bowl along with a bit of salt.
Adjust the spice level by using more or less jalapeño to taste.
Let it rest for at least five minutes and give it another stir to let the flavors meld. It can be covered and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s safe to eat for another day or so after, but the texture of the tomatoes isn’t great.
Keep in mind, even as soon as 15 minutes after making it, the tomatoes will release juices as it sits so you may want to serve with a slotted spoon if not serving it right after making it. But hey, don’t discard those tomato juices. That juice is known as tomato water and it’s incredibly flavorful. Stir it into a soup or a sauce, add it to your rice cooking water, or literally just slurp it up for a nice, little tomatoey drink.
Ways To Use
You can use this pico de gallo recipe for a variety of things! Of course, you can scoop it up with some tortilla chips as an appetizer. But it’s also wonderful on tacos, nachos, and burritos.
It’s also great over grilled chicken or fish, served alongside Carne Asada, or even on scrambled eggs. I can’t wait to hear how you use it.
Podcast Episode: Making Homemade Pico de Gallo
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:Print
This fresh salsa can be used for dipping chips, as a topping for tacos or nachos, and so much more.
- 5 medium ripe tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/2 large red onion, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- In a medium bowl stir together tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and lime juice until well combined.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
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