Pico De Gallo

This 7-ingredient pico de gallo recipe comes together in under 10 minutes, and it's the perfect zesty, fresh topping for your favorite Mexican dishes!

Pico de gallo

In my opinion, pico de gallo is the perfect finishing touch for everything from tacos to burrito bowls. It’s also delicious spooned onto sizzling hot grilled vegetables. And whenever I have any leftover pico, I like to stir it into my scrambled eggs the next morning to make a quick migas-style breakfast. I hope you enjoy this versatile condiment!

What is pico de gallo?

Translated into English, the Spanish phrase “pico de gallo” literally means “rooster’s beak.” I’m not sure why it’s also the name for a fresh salsa made from finely chopped white onion, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime, but I can tell you that pico de gallo is an easy, fresh dip & condiment you definitely want in your repertoire! Also called “salsa fresca,” it’s simple to make, and it’s a delicious, zesty topping for popular Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, nachos, and more.

Pico de gallo recipe ingredients

How to Make Pico de Gallo (+Tips!)

This pico de gallo recipe is one of the easiest recipes I know! To make it, just finely dice the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño, and toss them with minced garlic, lime juice & zest, and salt. Once you’ve mixed everything together, season to taste and serve! Here are a few tips for extra pico success:

  1. Use the tomato flesh, not the seeds and juices. You don’t want your pico to be too watery, so make sure to leave out tomatoes’ seedy pulp as you toss this together. I used tomatoes on the vine in my pico, but roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes are both good choices, as they’re less juicy than other varieties. You could also use quartered cherry or grape tomatoes.
  2.  Eat it right away, or prep it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for several days. Just know that the mixture will get juicier as the tomatoes marinate in the lime and salt. I recommend using a slotted spoon or fork to top it onto tacos, etc., in order to leave most of the juices behind.
  3. As with all simple recipes, the quality of the final dish will depend on the quality of your ingredients. Pico de gallo is perfect for summer, when fresh tomatoes are in peak season. Look for the best ones you can find to make this recipe. For great salsa, steer clear of bland, watery winter tomatoes.

Easy Recipe Variations

I love using traditional pico de gallo as a starting point for other fun dips and even summer salads! Here are some of my go-to ways to change it up:

  • Add diced avocado or sprinkle crumbled Cotija cheese on top for a creamy element.
  • Swap the tomatoes for a fruit like mango, pineapple, watermelon, peaches, or strawberries.
  • Use red onion or sliced scallions instead of white onion.
  • Toss in fresh corn kernels or diced red bell pepper for crunch.
  • Season it with pinches of ground cumin or coriander.
  • Add 1 cup fresh corn kernels, 1 1/2 cups black beans, and 1 teaspoon cumin to make a black bean corn salad.

Let me know what other variations you try!

Pico de gallo recipe

Pico de Gallo Serving Suggestions

You can serve this fresh salsa with tortilla chips as an appetizer, but I like it best as a condiment with Mexican food. Try topping it onto tacos, nachos, taquitos, or burritos, or make your own burrito bowl with the pico, cilantro lime rice, guacamole, tomatillo or mango salsa, and black beans.

And I always recommend margaritas to drink! Enjoy!

For more salsas and appetizer ideas, check out this post!

Pico De Gallo

rate this recipe:
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves 6 to 8
This fresh pico de gallo recipe is so easy to make! Use it as a zesty topping for Mexican dishes or enjoy it on its own with tortilla chips.


  • 2 cups diced tomato, 3 to 4 small tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste


  • In a small bowl, combine the tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, and salt. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to use.
  • Serve with chips, for dipping, or see additional serving suggestions in the post.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Amy

    I just made this I give it a five!

  2. Cara

    Can I use red onion instead?

  3. Kate

    How long does it last?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kate, a few days in the fridge, it starts to get watery after that.

  4. Steve Nunez

    The term pico de gallo actually means ” The bits or things that the roosters beak is pecking at “.

  5. Bruce

    “Rooster beak” or “Beak of the bird” is a saying for something unfinished. That’s the beak of the bird, meaning there’s more to the story.

  6. Sharan Harrison

    I always use tomatillos along with all your other ingredients for Pico de Gallo. and if I have a small persian cucumber to use up I’ll chop that up and add it. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ooh yum!

    • Joe

      It’s because the chopped up pieces are supposed to redemble a birds beak.

  7. Amanda

    5 stars
    Literally so good. My boyfriend who swears up and down he hated pico de gallo, tried this, and wouldn’t put his spoon down!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad he loved it!

  8. Jen

    How many days in advance can this be made?

  9. Hollis Ramsey

    5 stars
    As traditional as it gets. I add 2-3 serranos instead of a single jalapeño, and red onions instead of white, but no other changes. Deseeding the tomatoes is crucial IMO. It’s Mexican tabbouleh!

  10. Gabriel

    Hello! Loved your Pico de gallo recipe. My take and innovation to share is to replace the tomatoes with cape gooseberries (uchuvas)

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      thanks for the tip, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  11. Sabrina

    5 stars
    great recipe and walk through, thank you

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.