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How to Make Authentic Pico de Gallo

Learn how to make the best Pico de Gallo! It's a very simple Mexican salsa with tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Humble ingredients come together to make one of the best appetizers of all time! You will never look at tacos the same after topping them with this magical stuff. 
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 20kcal
Author Karen


  • 6-8 ripe tomatoes roma or vine ripe, chopped (3 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion* chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic to taste (optional)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped small
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped (about 1/2 cup, or to taste)
  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin optional
  • tortilla chips to serve


  • Start by chopping your tomatoes into about a 1/2 inch dice. You should end up with about 3 and 1/2 cups, depending on the size of your tomatoes. Note: The smaller you chop your tomatoes, the more watery (juicy) your pico is going to end up. If that's your thing, dice as small as you like. But if you want a traditional texture for your pico, go with a 1/2 inch dice.
  • Chop a medium onion. You want the onion pieces to be just a little smaller than your tomatoes.
  • Smash and mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. This ingredient is optional, but I love the flavor it adds!
  • Slice the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds and membranes. (Use
    if you plan to rub your eyes in the next 12 hours.) Leave in some of the white membrane if you like your dip to be extra spicy. (Leave the seeds in if you want it REALLY spicy.) Dice the jalapenos into small pieces.
  • Wash the cilantro and trim the stems from about half of the bunch. Chop the leaves finely. (The amount of cilantro you add is entirely up to you. Add the whole bunch if you like, or 1/4 cup if cilantro is not your favorite.)
  • Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos, and cilantro to a medium bowl.
  • Zest 2 limes into the bowl. I love to use my microplane grater, it makes zesting so easy.
  • Add the juice from the limes into the bowl.
  • Add 2 teaspoons salt. Add 1/2 teaspoon cumin (this is optional but I recommend it!)
  • Stir everything together and adjust the salt as necessary.
  • Toss gently and serve immediately, or chill for 1 hour and serve. Serve with tortilla chips or top your favorite Mexican food with Pico de Gallo, you can't go wrong!
  • Pico de Gallo will keep in the fridge for about 2 days before it starts getting very liquid-y. You can always strain out the liquid, but you lose a lot of flavor. It's best served on the day it's made.


*Yellow or white onions (not sweet) are traditionally used in Pico de Gallo, but red onions are also delicious and will lend a sweeter flavor. Use whatever kind you like!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg