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Pico de Gallo

Classic Pico de Gallo is a traditional accompaniment for many Mexican dishes and a great football game snack! Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.

Pico de gallo in a blue bowl.

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Pico de Gallo. Just sounds pretty, doesn’t it? In Spanish, it actually translates to “beak of the rooster.” Not so attractive after all, maybe. I have absolutely no explanation for why it is called “beak of the rooster” except that maybe (and I’m just guessing) it could be kind of “sharp” if you added enough jalapenos to it.

I always make Pico de Gallo when we have tacos or enchiladas, and we use it in place of salsa or taco sauce. Makes for a much fresher tasting taco.

Plus, it has absolutely no fat in it whatsoever! I can’t make any promises about the tacos or the tortilla chips or the enchiladas, though.

❤️ Why I Love This Recipe

  • It’s so fresh!
  • The flavors blend perfectly.
  • You can adjust the heat to your own preference.
  • It’s easy!

🛒 Ingredient Notes

  • Tomatoes – I always recommend Roma (or plum) tomatoes because they are the most dependably ripe and flavorful in the grocery store. They’re also not as “wet” as some varieties and won’t water down the finished recipe. If you grow your own homegrown tomatoes, please use them!
  • Onion – My preference is yellow onion, although white onion works just as well.
  • Jalapeno – Adjust the jalapeno to suit your own preference for heat. If you like it well and truly spicy, go for a serrano.
  • Cilantro – I know some people really dislike cilantro. If you’re one of them, try substituting fresh basil or oregano. Or just leave it out.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice is a must, in my opinion. In a pinch, I have substituted lemon juice.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How I Make Homemade Pico de Gallo

Roma tomatoes whole (left) and prepped (right).
  1. Wash the tomatoes well, but don’t peel them. Remove most of the seeds. Chop into approximately ¼-inch dice.
A whole onion (left) and chopped finely (right).
  1. Chop the onion finely and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Jalapeno whole (left), seeded and chopped (right).
  1. Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins, then cut into fine dice. Add into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions.
Collage showing chopped cilantro, halved limes, and all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  1. Finely chop the cilantro.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl along with the juice of one lime and the salt.
  3. Toss it all together until well blended. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes or more before serving.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions

Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos for dipping. Or use in place of salsa on tacos or as a garnish for refried beans.

🔀 Recipe Variations

You can alter this recipe for any amount you like and change the proportions as well. Like yours really hot? Just add more jalapenos or a serrano. Don’t like cilantro? Okay, leave it out and use basil, oregano, or parsley instead. Although I think you’re really missing out if you don’t use the cilantro!

I’m going to tell you the truth. I think this Pico de Gallo is better than the stuff we get at our local Mexican restaurant. No joke!

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

Pico de gallo in a blue bowl.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is the classic accompaniment for many Mexican dishes. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips for a great snack on any occasion!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Condiments and Extras
Cuisine: Southwestern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 10kcal
Author: Lana Stuart


  • 3 ripe Roma tomatoes
  • ½ medium onion (or 1 small)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Wash the tomatoes well, but do not peel them. Remove most of the seeds. Chop into approximately ¼-inch dice. Add to a small mixing bowl.
  • Chop the onion finely and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
  • Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins, then cut into fine dice. Add into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions.
  • Finely chop the cilantro and add it in to the mixture in the bowl.
  • Add the lime juice and the salt. Toss all together to blend.
  • Let stand for 30 minutes or more before serving.
  • Serve with tortilla chips or fritos, or use in place of salsa on tacos.


Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 10kcal | Carbohydrates 3g | Protein 1g | Fat 1g | Saturated Fat 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat 1g | Monounsaturated Fat 1g | Sodium 147mg | Potassium 81mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 1g | Vitamin A 251IU | Vitamin C 8mg | Calcium 7mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sounds like a great recipe except here in southwest New Mexico we add pressed garlic and avacado—try it you will like it

    1. Now here if we added avocado that would become guacamole. I like both, though!

  2. I am severely allergic to the oil in fresh jalapenos. If they’ve been run through the broiler (like on GOOD nachos), I’m okay. So since I do love the kick of the ‘peno, do you know what I could use as a substitute?

  3. Pat Steer (Gaelen) says:

    I make one exception to my efforts to eat local and seasonal – I will splurge on those little jewels of grape tomatoes all year long. In the dead of winter, pico de gallo made from those bright little grape tomatoes helps me remember that someday, even the snow will melt and spring *will* get here!

    1. Pat – thanks for stopping by Lana’s Cooking. Had a peek at your site and am enjoying your jam making exploits. I do jams and jellies every summer along with pickles and some relishes as well. I’ll share some of those recipes here when the season comes around again!

    1. Ha! YMMV = “your mileage may vary”

  4. Wow!!! Ya’ll must be breathing FIRE. I love all of your receipes, but I would have to use bell pepper instead of the hot. It looks wonderful and good, just like you make everything .
    Much love

    1. You know what? I don’t even taste ANY heat in this with just one jalapeno. If it was up to me I’d use two or three, but you know BeeBop doesn’t like the hot stuff very much.

  5. Great pics. I make Pico every week. Almost the same, but I add red peppers and garlic.
    Great recipe.

  6. Cookin' Canuck says:

    Delicious, easy recipe! I never knew the literal translation for the name – good Trivial Pursuit info!

    1. I have been called the queen of trivia once or twice…

  7. jenn (Bread + Butter) says:

    Mmmm…I love me some pico. I’d be happy snack on this the whole day.

    1. Thanks, Jenn. It’s one of our favorites. Also goes great on a grilled chicken breast. Yum.

  8. Cajun Chef Ryan says:

    Oh….I love me some pico and yours looks great too! Cilantro is so great too, I have grown it in my herb garden three years straight! Nothing like walking out and picking fresh from the garden cilantro.

    CCR =:~)

    1. Yeah, it’s just not pico without the cilantro, is it? I could eat a whole bowl full of this right now.

      1. i made this but increased it to a box of tomatoes lol, not just three… kind of winged it after increasing it by so much… but i divided it among three families….dang is it good… i put it on everything and could eat it all lol…