This refreshing Pico de Gallo (also known as salsa fresca or salsa cruda) is bursting with fresh, vibrant flavors. It’s incredibly easy to prepare using simple ingredients and comes together in just 15 minutes.
This classic Mexican condiment (or appetizer) is so flavorful and is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s the BEST topping for your favorite Mexican dishes!
- Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes are preferred in this recipe because they contain less moisture and have fewer seeds, but regular round slicing tomatoes can also be used.
- Lime juice – Freshly squeezed is best.
- Onion – I use white onion, but yellow or red onion can be substituted.
How to Prepare
Combine the diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Pour in the lime juice and gently stir to coat as evenly as possible.
Although pico de gallo and salsa are similar, pico de gallo is typically chunkier in texture than salsa. Salsa is smoother and usually pureed with a food processor or blender (like in my delicious blender salsa!). The tomatoes and vegetables in pico de gallo are always raw, whereas the tomatoes and peppers in salsa can be roasted.
Roma tomatoes are typically used because they contain less moisture and have fewer seeds. Choose ripe, firm tomatoes without any bruises or soft spots.
While it is possible to freeze, I don’t recommend it. The texture and consistency of the tomatoes and vegetables change significantly after defrosting. When defrosting, the tomatoes and veggies release water, resulting in a mushy texture.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Use red or yellow onion in place of white onion.
- Use a serrano pepper instead of a jalapeño pepper for added heat and spice.
- Add diced avocado, minced fresh garlic, and/or black pepper for added flavor.
Tips for Success
- Finely dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño for maximum flavor.
- Wear food prep gloves when dicing the jalapeños to prevent the oils from irritating your skin.
- Choose ripe, firm tomatoes without any soft spots or bruises.
- Use a slotted spoon when serving to drain any juices that have accumulated in the bowl.
Pico de Gallo
- 2 ½ cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes about 6 tomatoes, depending upon size
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 medium jalapeño seeded and diced
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon salt more or less, to taste
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- Combine the diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Pour in the lime juice and gently stir to coat evenly.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving.
- Although this is best when served within 2 hours of covering and refrigerating, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.
Originally published July 2014. Updated with new photographs, new text, and recipe slightly revised April 2023.