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Authentic Pico de Gallo Recipe

Pico de Gallo is loaded with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Learn the secret to the best Mexican Pico de Gallo; one simple tip makes it taste authentic.

We love making the most of summer fruits and veggies with loaded salsas like Mango Salsa, our popular Cowboy Caviar and of course Ceviche! This Pico de Gallo recipe is our favorite way to use up garden grown tomatoes.

Pico De Gallo in a bowl served with tortilla chips

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What is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo is a popular Mexican salsa. It is also known as “Salsa Fresca,” or “Salsa Cruda.” It is traditionally made with equal parts tomatoes and onion, with fresh cilantro and a generous squeeze of lime juice. We add jalapeno for a spicy kick but you can leave it out for a milder pico.

You can easily adjust this recipe to suit your preference; add more tomatoes for sweetness or another jalapeno pepper if you love fiery salsa. We’ve even tried adding peaches for a peach salsa, which turned out really well.

Ingredients for Pico De Gallo

How to Make Pico de Gallo:

There’s no cooking involved with this salsa recipe, so even the least skilled cook would be hard-pressed to mess this one up. DICE up your ingredients and place in a non-reactive bowl, SQUEEZE in the lime juice then season with salt and pepper and STIR to combine.

Pro Tip: Use gloves or a ziploc bag to cover your hands when seeding and handling hot peppers.

How to make pico de gallo with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and jalapeno

The Secret to the Best Pico de Gallo:

Have you ever wondered how to make your Pico de Gallo taste restaurant quality and more authentic? This family secret comes from Blanca Villasenor who also shared her authentic Ceviche recipe. The key to a traditional pico de gallo is in letting it rest. Combine all of the ingredients, cover and refrigerate for a day. The tomatoes will juice up and the flavors will meld so every bite is flavor-packed.

The best pico de gallo in a bowl

Salsa Mix-Ins:

You can easily bulk up and change the flavor profile of pico salsa by dicing in one of these fresh fruits or vegetables. I’d love to know about your creative add-ins.

Serve Pico de Gallo With:

Salsa Fresca is often served as a topping for breakfast foods, enchiladas, tacos, nachos and more. It is so versatile! It’s also perfect as an appetizer with chips. We love pico with:

Mexican Pico De Gallo served as salsa fresca in a bowl surrounded by chips

Our Favorite Summer Appetizers:

If you love pico as much as we do, you won’t want to miss these all-time most popular appetizers recipes:

Pico de Gallo is seriously addictive and our love for this wonderfully fresh salsa runs deep. My only complaint is that it disappears too quickly so I highly recommend making a double or triple batch.

Authentic Pico de Gallo

5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Pico De gallo in a serving bowl with tortilla chips

Pico De Gallo is a popular Mexican salsa that's loaded with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Pico De Gallo is excellent over tacos, burritos, nachos, or served with chips.

Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $4-$6
Keyword: pico de gallo
Calories: 20 kcal
Servings: 6 as an appetizer


  • 1 lb tomatoes (3-4 medium), diced
  • 1/2 medium onion (1 cup chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeno pepper and chopped cilantro.

  2. Stir in 2 Tbsp lime juice and lightly season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper, or season to taste. Enjoy right away or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Nutrition Facts
Authentic Pico de Gallo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 20 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 199mg9%
Potassium 199mg6%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 745IU15%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen


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Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Bree
    August 19, 2019

    Hi. Do I have to de seed the tomatoes. Thanks so much. Reply

    • Natasha
      August 19, 2019

      Hi Bree, you can if you prefer to, but it is not necessary. Reply

  • Alycia ambroziak
    August 10, 2019

    Hi, can I freeze your blueberry/lemon cake? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 10, 2019

      I haven’t tried freezing it but I do think that would work fine to make it ahead and freeze the cake. Most desserts can be kept in the freezer up to 3 months, just be sure to cover it well. Reply

  • David
    August 2, 2019

    My family and I absolutely loved this recipe. It really does taste authentic. Easy introductions to follow.
    Thank you!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 3, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Chris Whalen
    August 2, 2019

    The pepper I like to add is poblano…it adds a very good Mexican pepper flavor without too much heat…I still ad jalapeno too, but the poblano is terrific in this. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 2, 2019

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Reply

  • Duane
    July 27, 2019

    I’ve made this recipe for years exactly as you described. However mine is slightly more time consuming. I Use white onions to give it more bite and Roma Tomatoes for bit more flavor and color.
    For every cup of onion and tomatoes i’ll Add a garlic clove and a tablespoon of vinegar.
    Also I’ll finely slice my tomatoes and onions but leave my jalapeños slightly chunky to even out the heat. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 27, 2019

      That’s so awesome! Thank you for sharing your changes with us! Reply

  • Carlos K
    July 25, 2019

    Try adding 1/2 cup of tomato juice and 3/4 cups of water. Thats de recipe in the Vips cafeterias Reply

    • Natasha
      July 25, 2019

      Oooh that sounds like adding a little clamato juice like we do in ceviche. yum! Reply

  • AGU
    July 24, 2019

    In México, one leaves out the lime juice and adds a clove of garlic. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 25, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Sherie Miles
    July 24, 2019

    great recipe when I make mine I use a serrano pepper and no salt and pepper you really don’t need any the lime, peppers, red onion, and cilantro give it a fresh and wonder flavor. We in Texas do not call this salsa. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 24, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the wonderful review! Reply

  • Alli
    July 24, 2019

    Pico is one of those recipes I can eat on everything. This was so easy, fresh and flavorful. Keeping for sure. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 24, 2019

      That’s so great, Alli! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Billy
    July 24, 2019

    Always a sucker for a good salsa, and this one is one of our favorites. Delicious! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 24, 2019

      That’s so great! I’m so happy you found a favorite! Reply

  • Heidi
    July 24, 2019

    Such an easy recipe- we love this one! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 24, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Heidi! Reply

  • Ashley F
    July 24, 2019

    I love how simple and easy this recipe is to make! Perfect way to use up my fresh tomatoes! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 24, 2019

      So simple! Thank you for sharing that great review, Ashley! Reply

  • Beth Pierce
    July 23, 2019

    Can not wait to use my summer tomatoes to make this tomorrow! Looks so colorful and delicious too! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 24, 2019

      I hope you love it! This is sooo good using garden tomatoes! Reply

  • wilhelmina
    July 23, 2019

    This salsa is great on everything! We love it! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 23, 2019

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Mon
    July 23, 2019

    You can also add sriracha peppers. You can control the heat by leaving or removing some/all of the seeds and spines from them and the jalapeños. You can also add garlic. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 23, 2019

      That sounds delicious! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Reply

  • Debbie
    July 23, 2019

    I add a clove of garlic to my salsa. It can be finely chopped but I mash mine in a garlic press. I make my mango salsa without the tomatoes. Both are delicious any way you serve them. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 23, 2019

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Debbie! Reply

  • Alina
    August 5, 2016

    Can I can this salsa? For the winter I mean? I really want to can but I would have to cook salsa right? Do u know how could I do that? I mean times and stuff Reply

    • Natasha
      August 6, 2016

      Hi Alina, I haven’t tried canning this one and yes you would want to cook it to can. I don’t have any canned salsa recipes but I do have a roasted salsa that freezes really really well. We make huge batches of this in summer and enjoy it all winter long. Freeze portions flat in the freezer in ziploc bags and thaw under cold water or in the fridge. I hope that helps 🙂 Reply

      • Alina
        August 7, 2016

        Ok thank u so much! Reply

  • Anna
    October 5, 2010

    This is my absolute favorite salsa, its so refreshing! Reply

  • September 30, 2010

    Love fresh salsa! I have to admit, I use a recipe that’s only semi-fresh as the tomatoes and jalapenos are canned, but we love it. I just made a double batch tonight–we eat it fast in our house. Reply

    • Natasha
      October 2, 2010

      Yours sounds more like a real “salsa.” Mine is more a cross between a salsa and pico, but its soo addictive! Reply

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