A Glug of Oil

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Pico de Gallo Recipe

How to make Traditional Pico de Gallo with my step-by-step guide.

Pico do Gallo (Salsa Fresca) is made with a few fresh and simple ingredients, but there's one top tip that makes this recipe the best.

Pico de gallo pictured with with nachos.

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Looking to add a burst of flavour to your meals? Look no further than this fresh, vibrant, zesty, easy to make pico recipe!

So, 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). 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).

This beloved Mexican salsa is the perfect way to spice up any dish, from tacos to grilled meats and even scrambled eggs.

With red bell pepper, chopped fresh cilantro, fresh tomato, onions, green chilli and lime juice it's sure to awaken your taste buds and leave you craving more.😋

In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of creating this mouthwatering salsa from scratch. 

From selecting the ripest tomatoes to finely chopping the onions and coriander (cilantro), we'll share all the tips and tricks you need to achieve the perfect balance of flavours.

So, grab your favourite tortilla chips and get ready to dive into the world of Pico de Gallo! Whether you're an experienced cook or just starting your culinary journey, this recipe is bound to impress your family and friends.

Get ready to elevate your meals with a touch of Mexican flair!

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!

  • Don't even consider making this if you think you don't want to add salt because you really do need to! Salting the tomatoes is the secret to a good pico de Gallo!
  • Always use ripe tomatoes - avoid those sad pale-looking tomatoes or your pico de gallo won't taste half as good.
  • 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. 😉
  • Once made, cover and put into the fridge but remove 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 salted 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.

A portion of pico de gallo on a plate.

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
Best Pico de Gallo Recipe

Best Pico de Gallo Recipe

Delicious spicy pico de gallo, ideal for serving as a side with nachos or with chilli con carne.
Prep time: 10 MinInactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 10 M


  • 12 x small ripe 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
  • a large handful of coriander (cilantro) - leaves only and chopped
  • 1-2 x limes juice only - to taste


Prepare the tomatoes
  1. Once deseeded and chopped put them into a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Leave to drain for at least 15 minutes before continuing.
Make the pico de gallo
  1. In a bowl, add the salted and drained tomatoes to the rest of the ingredients and mix together.
  2. Have a taste, add more salt and lime juice if needed.
  3. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour, but remove at least 30 minutes before serving.
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