Classsic Pico de Gallo

This simple pico de gallo recipe is quick, refreshing and only uses 6 ingredients! Fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt make this classic Mexican dip a favorite all year long.

Pico de gallo in serving bowl.

Pico de gallo is a popular Mexican salsa made from raw ingredients. It has a chunky texture (it’s more like a Mexican relish than it is a dip or salsa), and is typically served with tortilla chips, tostadas or used as a topping for tacos, enchiladas, tamales or fajitas.

This classic Mexican tomato relish is best when the ingredients are kept really simple. The secret to a really good pico is to finely dice the vegetables into relatively small pieces.

  • Tomatoes – fresh or homegrown tomatoes work best for this dish; if you can’t get homegrown from your local farmer’s market, use plum, heirloom or Campari tomatoes you find at your local grocery store
  • Onion– traditional pico de gallo uses white onion; you can use a yellow onion or sweet yellow onion as a substitute
  • Jalapeno – this is where the heat comes from in this salsa fresca (fresh sauce). If you don’t care for a little heat, either omit or use sparingly
  • Fresh lime juice – a necessity for the best pico de gallo; don’t even think about using lime concentrate
  • Cilantro – this staple green herb is found in many Mexican dishes; chop it up into very fine pieces
  • Salt – just a little goes a long way! A pinch of salt helps the vegetables absorb the lime juice.

This is super easy to make, so don’t over think it! I will say, the secret to making a restaurant-quality pico de gallo is to let it rest and marinade for at least 15 minutes before serving. This gives the tomatoes, onions and jalapeno time to absorb that fresh lime juice.

  • Rinse tomatoes; slice in half; remove seeds; dice into small, even pieces; set aside
  • Chop onion, jalapeno (remove the seeds) and cilantro
  • Mix everything together in a mixing bowl, add the lime juice; cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes

Traditionally, it is served with tortilla chips as a dip; however, this pico de gallo recipe can be used in a variety of dishes. Use it as a garnish for black bean soup, Mexican rice, refried beans, or top your tacos, tamales or carnitas with it.

Pico de gallo is also great on fish, eggs or stuff an avocado with it!

Store any leftover pico in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Pico de gallo in serving bowl.

Pico de Gallo

Light Mexican relish with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Condiment, Dip
Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern, Tex Mex
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 1 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro


  • In a medium mixing bowl, add chopped onion, diced jalapeno, lime juice and salt and set aside while you dice and seed the tomatoes
    ¾ cup diced onion, 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno, 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Rinse and slice tomatoes in half; remove and discard seeds; dice tomato into fine pieces
    1 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • Add diced tomatoes, garlic powder (optional) and cilantro to the onion mixture; combine well; cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving
    1 cup finely diced tomatoes, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder (optional), 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro


Some tomatoes we get from the grocery store have no flavor. If you can’t get homegrown tomatoes, I recommend using heirloom tomatoes, Campari tomatoes or Plum tomatoes.
Lime juice:
You can add more if you like, just use fresh lime and not lime concentrate.

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 588mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 785IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 0.4mg
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