This Pico de Gallo recipe for authentic Mexican salsa is a blend of fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili peppers, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. It is a refreshing topping for fish, tacos and burritos, or you can scoop it up with fresh veggies or chips.
What's the Difference Between Pico de Gallo and Salsa?
While salsa is a briefly cooked tomato sauce, pico de gallo is made from raw vegetables, making it an excellent source of essential enzymes and polyphenols.
What You Need to Make Pico de Gallo from Scratch
- Tomatoes: use fresh tomatoes: plum tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes are good choices. Tomatoes should be organic when available because of high pesticide usage on the crops.
- Onion: white or red onions are a good choice. White onions have less bite than standard yellow onions. Red onions are a little sweeter than both.
- Garlic: I have used two cloves of raw garlic in this recipe. Use more or less to taste.
- Jalapeño Peppers: jalapeños are mild chile peppers. Slice them lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and white membranes with a teaspoon. If you want more heat, add the seeds to the mixing bowl. For more intense heat, try serrano or habanero peppers.
- Cilantro: Cilantro adds a great fresh burst of flavor to Mexican cuisine. If you prefer, fresh parsley, flat or curly, can be chopped up and used in place of cilantro.
- Salt: a little salt will heighten the flavors of your Pico de Gallo. I suggest using pink Himalayan salt or Redmond's Real Salt. Both are unprocessed salts giving you a full dose of trace minerals, including iodine.
- Lime juice from fresh limes.
Mix ingredients in a large glass mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for at least an hour to let flavors blend—season with additional lime juice and salt before serving.
Should I use Organic Tomatoes in Pico de Gallo and Salsa recipes?
Yes! Tomatoes are a big part of the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen. Tomatoes are a heavily sprayed crop, so organic tomatoes are worth the additional expense. Please wash them well before consuming.
What's a Good Alternative For Tortilla Chips?
I like to eat Pico de Gallo with cut up bell peppers, or as I call them Raw Bell Pepper Cups. Cut the peppers in half, scoop out their insides and slice lengthwise and then crosswise. You'll get eight pepper "cups" from each bell pepper. It's not a tortilla, but it's grain-free, free of moldy corn, and a delicious fresh option.
Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips are a tasty chip. The Garza family of South Texas has created chips that taste great and don't contain corn and soybean oil. They also make Paleo-approved tortillas found in the freezer of Sprouts, Whole Foods Market, or on the Siete website. They are available at both Publix and Winn Dixie in Key Largo.
How to Store
Pico de Gallo can be stored overnight in a stainless steel, glass, or ceramic bowl and covered with plastic wrap. It will remain fresh for two or three days.
What to Serve with Pico de Gallo
Before serving, season to taste with additional lime juice and salt. If there is a lot of accumulated liquid, pour some out before plating.
Pico de Gallo is also a great side dish for fish or steak. It is also an excellent topping for tacos, burritos, and eggs.
Pico de Gallo with Faux Corn Chips
- 2 cups diced plum tomatoes (see note below) about two cups
- ½ cup dice red or white onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic peeled and minced
- 1 large or 2 small jalapeño peppers finely diced
- ½ bunch cilantro
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Juice of 1 or 2 limes
- 4 large unblemished bell peppers in assorted colors
- Combine diced tomatoes, onions, and minced garlic in a large bowl.
- Slice jalapeños in half. Scrape out the seeds and white membranes. Finely chop and add to the tomato mixture. If you like a hot sauce, add half or some of the seeds to the mixing bowl.
- Swish the cilantro in a bowl of cold water to clean. Remove from water and pat dry with paper towels. roughly chop the leaves. Add to the mixing bowl.
- Slice limes in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl of chopped veggies. Add a half teaspoon of salt and taste. Add a little more salt and lime juice if desired. Toss it all together.
- Cover the bowl and let sit for about two hours or overnight for flavors to blend.
- Adust seasonings (salt and lime juice) before serving.
FOR THE FAUX CORN CHIPS
- Wash the peppers and slice each one in half. Scoop out the white membranes and seeds.
- Slice each quarter lengthwise and then crosswise.
- Serve with Pico de Gallo.
The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and it comes from online calculators. Although we try to attempt to provide accurate information, these figures are estimates only.