Pico de Gallo


Quick and easy pico de gallo that is a great appetizer or addition to dinner. Huge hit in my house! For more intense flavor, chill for up to 3 hours before serving.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
3 cups

Everyone loves vibrant pico de gallo made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Believe it or not, you can make restaurant-worthy pico de gallo in the comfort of your own home with this top-rated recipe.

Pico de Gallo Meaning

Loosely translated, pico de gallo means "beak of a rooster." Why? Nobody's quite sure. Some people speculate that the name comes from the way it was originally eaten (with the hands, by pinching the thumb and forefinger).

Pico de Gallo vs. Salsa

Pico de gallo is a type of salsa, but it's probably different from the kind you get at your local Mexican restaurant.

It contains less liquid than traditional salsa, it uses only fresh ingredients (some salsas are cooked on the stove), and pico de gallo is never blended (salsas can vary from pureed to gently mashed, but pico de gallo is always made with diced and chopped ingredients).

Pico de Gallo Ingredients

The key to the perfect homemade pico de gallo? Use only the freshest ingredients you can find. Here's what you'll need:

Roma (plum) tomatoes are perfect for pico de gallo because they're less watery than other varieties. Choose ripe, red tomatoes that are firm and plump.

This recipe calls for red onions instead of the traditional white onions, so it packs a flavorful punch. Of course, you can use whichever onions you prefer.

Fresh cilantro adds fresh flavor and vibrant green color. If you don't like cilantro, you can leave it out or substitute with parsley.

Turn up the heat with fresh jalapeño. If you want to go the more traditional route, try serrano peppers instead.

Lime juice lends fruity flavor. It also keeps the pico de gallo tasting and looking fresh for longer.

This recipe calls for both fresh and powdered garlic. The result? A powerfully garlicky pico de gallo.

A pinch of cumin adds warmth, nuttiness, and just a touch of sweetness to this pico de gallo recipe.

Salt and Pepper
Salt and pepper enhance the other flavors and are the perfect finishing touch.

Is Pico de Gallo Spicy?

It can be! The beauty of pico de gallo is you can customize the ingredients to suit your taste. If you like it hot, use more spicy peppers and leave in some seeds. If you don't, forgo the peppers — you can simply leave them out or replace them with an ingredient you prefer, such as green bell peppers, black beans, or corn.

How to Store Pico de Gallo

Homemade pico de gallo is best served fresh, so plan to enjoy it on the day you make it. If you need to keep it a little longer, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

How to Use Pico de Gallo

There are plenty of ways to use pico de gallo: Serve it with tortilla chips, use it as a taco topping, use it as an ingredient in quesadillas or burritos, or mix it into scrambled eggs or Spanish rice.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Simply awesome," according to Amber Nevland. "I left this in the fridge for approximately 1 hour after mixing. Excellent flavor and aroma!"

"I made this today and it is terrific," raves Jenn. "This will be a go-to at our house from now on. I doubled the onion and garlic based on other reviews and it was perfect for us...we tend to like a lot of both of those. I was worried about the jalapeño, but it wasn't spicy, just flavorful."

"We love this recipe," says Charlyn Spiering. "I actually started growing jalapeño plants just so we could add fresh ones to this recipe. I make double batches of this recipe all summer long while we can get fresh ingredients. I didn't change a thing."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced

  • ½ red onion, minced

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

  • ½ lime, juiced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 pinch garlic powder

  • 1 pinch ground cumin, or to taste

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Stir tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, garlic, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.

    a super close up overhead view of fresh pico de gallo
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studio

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

10 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 10
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 91mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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