A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, and world cuisine.

Pico de Gallo Recipe

How to make Pico de Gallo 

Easy Pico de Gallo, just 5 ingredients, okay 6 if you count the salt. 

Pico de Gallo pictured in black bowls with nacho chips.

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What is pico de gallo?

Pico de gallo, also called salsa fresca (fresh sauce) or salsa cruda (raw sauce). Because it contains less liquid than salsa it is perfect for scooping up with nacho chips. Widely known as salsa picada (chopped/minced sauce).

In Mexico, it is known as salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce) and because of the red tomatoes, white onion and green coriander which are the colours of the Mexican flag, it is also called salsa bandera (flag sauce).

What is the difference between pico de gallo and salsa?

Pico de gallo is technically a type of salsa and is always made with fresh ingredients.

Pico de gallo has far less liquid than salsa. Although salsa can be made chunky, the tomatoes are often blended with the other ingredients, making it runnier than pico de gallo and salsa contains olive oil.


  • ripe tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • onion - white not red
  • chilli pepper
  • coriander (cilantro)
  • lime juice
Ingredients for pico de gallo.

Please read - Recipe top tips!

  • Always use ripe tomatoes - avoid those sad pale-looking tomatoes or your pico de gallo won't taste half as good.
  • Don't even consider making this if you think you don't want to add salt because you really do need to!
  • Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and sprinkle the chopped and deseeded tomatoes with salt and put them into a colander over a bowl. Leave for at least 15 minutes, this will not only help remove the liquid but also the salt will keep the tomatoes their bright red colour. 😉
  • Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Never use a metal bowl if you are using any citrus ingredients such as the lime juice in this recipe, as it may actually react with the metal and give a metallic taste to food.
Chopped tomatoes in a colander.

Once you've chopped the ingredients and your salted tomatoes have drained, discard the liquid from them and mix the lot together in a bowl.

Cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for at least an hour - this will allow the flavours to mingle.

Pico de gallo pictured in a glass bowl.

Have a taste before serving and if it doesn't taste amazing, add a little more salt and lime to taste.

Pico de gallo with nacho chips.

What to serve with pico de gallo

  • with nacho chips - for scooping
  • with tacos
  • on top of fries - nice!
  • spoon on burrito bowls
  • mix into rice
  • on huevos rancheros
  • with grilled chicken
  • with steak
  • add to fish tacos
Pico de gallo.

What's your favourite way to eat Pico de Gallo? Let me know in the comments below.

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Yield: 2-4
Author: Jan Bennett
Pico de Gallo Recipe

Pico de Gallo Recipe

Prep time: 10 MinInactive time: 15 MinTotal time: 25 Min


  • 12 x ripe medium-sized tomatoes - deseeded and chopped into very small dice
  • sea salt - to taste
  • 1 x medium-sized onion (white not red) - peeled and chopped into very small dice
  • chilli pepper - deseeded and finely chopped
  • 30g pack of coriander (cilantro) - leaves only and chopped
  • 1 x lime juice only - to taste


Prepare the tomatoes
  1. Once deseeded and chopped put them into a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave to drain for at least 15 minutes.
Make the pico de gallo
  1. Add the tomatoes, onion, coriander (cilantro) chilli pepper and lime juice and mix together.
  2. Have a taste and add more salt and lime juice to taste.
  3. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for an hour or so but remove at least 30 minutes before serving.
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