This Pico de Gallo recipe is a blend of chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. It is a refreshing topping for fish and tacos or you can scoop it up with corn-free chips, made with bell peppers and a healthier alternative to corn 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
- 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.
- Jalapeno peppers: jalapenos 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.
- 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?
Yes! Tomatoes are a big part of the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen Report of 2023. Because they're so sweet, tomatoes are a heavily sprayed crop. Organic tomatoes are worth the additional expense. Please wash them well before consuming them.
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 Faux Corn Chips. 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.
Siete also makes paleo-approved tortillas found in the freezer of Sprouts Farmers Market, Whole Foods Market, or the Siete website. They are available at both Publix and Winn Dixie in Key Largo.
Pico de Gallo can be stored overnight in a glass bowl 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 also makes an excellent topping for tacos, burritos, and eggs.
If you like this recipe, try my fresh Guacamole recipe. You can serve Pico de Gallo with Grass-Fed Ground Beef Tacos. You can also use it as a side for Pan Fried Yellowtail, Seared Skirt Steak, and Air Fryer Snapper.
Pico de Gallo with Faux Corn Chips
- 2 cups diced plum tomatoes about two cups
- ½ cup diced red or white onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic peeled and minced
- 1 large or 2 small jalapeño peppers, finely diced
- ½ bunch cilantro washed well and chopped
- 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. Add half or some of the seeds to the mixing bowl if you like a hot sauce.
- 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 to make your "chips."
- Serve with Pico de Gallo.