Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

How to make pico de gallo — a fresh tomato salsa — with tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Jump to the Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

More Easy Salsa Recipes

How to Make the Best Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is a fresh tomato salsa and is something we keep in our fridge at all times. It’s quick and straightforward to make and works with just about anything. Scoop it up with tortilla chips or serve on top of your favorite tacos, enchiladas, fajitas or nachos.

How to Make the Best Pico de Gallo Salsa

Pico de Gallo is simple to make, but we do have a couple of tips for making it best.

  • Use fresh, ripe tomatoes. Not all tomatoes are created equal. When choosing them, look for tomatoes that are deeply colored and firm, with a little give. If they don’t smell like anything, skip them. They should smell like a tomato — sweet and woody.
  • Don’t skimp on the onions and cilantro. We add a good amount of onion and cilantro to our salsa. You should be able to see them and taste them — especially the cilantro.
  • Use fresh lime juice. There’s no room for the bottled stuff here. Pico de Gallo should taste fresh,  a heavy squeeze of fresh lime juice helps with that.
  • Let it sit. Salt draws out flavor form the tomatoes and tones down raw onion. By letting the salsa sit for about 20 minutes before serving, it will taste better.

You may also like our recipe and video for how to make the best Guacamole every time.

Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

Recipe updated, originally posted June 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

  • PREP

Pico de Gallo is a fresh tomato salsa and is something we keep in our fridge at all times. Use ripe tomatoes for this. Not all tomatoes are created equal. When choosing tomatoes, look for tomatoes that are deeply colored and firm, with a little give. If they don’t smell like anything, skip them. They should smell like a tomato — sweet and woody.

Makes 8 servings or about 3 cups

You Will Need

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped (about 2/3 cup)

1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, finely diced (seeds and membranes removed for a milder salsa)

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste


    Add the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, diced peppers and lime juice to a bowl. Generously season with salt — start with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there. Set the salsa aside for 30 minutes.

    After 30 minutes, stir the salsa — making sure to distribute the juices left at the bottom of the bowl. Taste and adjust with more salt.

    Store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/4 cup / Calories 33 / Protein 1 g / Carbohydrate 8 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 4 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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32 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kathy March 3, 2019, 4:33 pm

    Love your recipes. Your very informative with simple step by step instructions that everyone can understand. You and your husband are such a cute couple, inviting people in to your kitchen for your delicious recipes is a nice touch. Bravo

  • Kandi December 23, 2018, 10:33 am

    Wonderful flavor!

  • HevyG November 18, 2018, 7:07 pm

    Do you use the entire tomato?

  • Kathy June 24, 2018, 2:35 pm

    This is the absolute best pico I ever made. The whole family devours it.

  • Wanda June 15, 2018, 11:59 am

    I saw your advice on selecting the best tomato…do you have any advice on the kind of tomato that would taste best? Thanks!

    • Joanne March 13, 2019, 1:42 pm

      Hi Wanda, Any ripe tomato will work, here!

  • Jodi hair April 18, 2018, 8:42 pm

    How can I adapt your recipe to serve a party of 50 people. Thanks, Jodi

    • Joanne May 2, 2018, 2:27 pm

      Hi Jodi, I’d multiply the recipe by 4 or 5 — in our experience, not everyone eats exactly one serving of dips/salsas when at a party with so many people (especially if there are other dishes available).

  • Mo March 30, 2018, 6:50 pm

    I thought half a cup is too much cilantro (and I LOVE cilantro!). Next time I think I’ll cut it in half and add more if needed. I also added some fresh chopped garlic, so yummy!

  • SI February 14, 2018, 5:29 pm


  • Paul February 2, 2018, 3:20 pm

    Try using equal parts of white vinegar and fresh lime juice!!!

  • Linda Kearbey December 27, 2017, 7:31 pm


  • Linda Kearbey December 27, 2017, 7:30 pm

    Very good video. Thanks.

  • Maggie December 21, 2017, 1:01 am

    Can I use parsley instead of cilantro as my son says it tastes like soap and I find the taste is too strong! It gives me heartburn.

    • Joanne December 30, 2017, 6:14 pm

      Yes, absolutely. The salsa will taste different, but it would still be excellent.

  • doris November 7, 2017, 2:14 pm


    • Joanne November 7, 2017, 3:46 pm

      Hi Doris, You can leave the lime out.

  • Missy Sullivan September 28, 2017, 3:19 pm

    Should I remove the seeds from the tomato?

    • Joanne September 28, 2017, 6:19 pm

      Hi Missy, It is completely up to you! We usually leave them in.

  • russell whiting September 23, 2017, 8:48 am

    I have lots of tomatoes for this recipe can pico be frozen to enjoy in the middle of winter

    • Donna Sharer November 19, 2017, 2:07 pm

      I would not recommend freezing.

  • Kathy September 11, 2017, 5:32 pm

    Love this recipe. So easy to make. My son said “never buy store made pico again”. Thank you!!

  • J. Hastings August 20, 2017, 8:20 pm

    This is a fantastic recipe, Glad to add it to my collection.

  • Sherice Johnson August 3, 2017, 8:33 pm

    I made the recipe for mom my, I added a few extra ingredients. Mom doesn’t like jalapeño so I used green pepper instead, along with parsley, garlic and green onions she loved it. It was pretty tasty. Thanks for the tips

  • candy August 2, 2016, 5:35 pm

    My recipe calls for vingar instead of lime juice

  • Judy Easley July 11, 2015, 6:02 pm

    I have no lime juice today, could I sub lemon

    • Joanne August 10, 2015, 1:58 pm

      Yes, lemon juice will be fine.

  • Jamie | My Baking Addiction June 25, 2010, 2:52 pm

    You have a fabulous blog! This pico will be the perfect finishing touch to tomorrow night’s tacos! Thanks!

    • inspiredtaste June 28, 2010, 8:03 am

      Thanks Jamie, that means a lot coming from you 🙂

  • sarah @ syrupandhoney June 25, 2010, 11:17 am

    I’m getting really antsy about tomatoes! I think a day or two and we’ll have at least a couple ripe enough to pick. This recipe is a great way to celebrate the ingredient – simple and full of flavor.

    • inspiredtaste June 25, 2010, 11:24 am

      Sarah, oh my gosh, we know … my mother is growing her own tomatoes this year and they are so close!


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