How to Make a Delicious Pico de Gallo: A Step-by-Step Guide


Pico de Gallo is a traditional Mexican salsa that is loved for its fresh and vibrant flavors. Made with simple ingredients like tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice, it is a versatile condiment that can be enjoyed with tortilla chips, tacos, grilled meats, and more. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making a delicious Pico de Gallo at home, step-by-step.

Ingredients You Will Need

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients you will need to make a classic Pico de Gallo:

  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Step 1: Prepare the Tomatoes

The first step in making Pico de Gallo is to prepare the tomatoes. Start by washing them thoroughly under cold water. Once clean, remove the stem and cut the tomatoes into small cubes. If you prefer a chunkier salsa, you can leave the tomatoes slightly larger. Place the diced tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.

Step 2: Chop the Onion

Next, it’s time to chop the red onion. Peel the onion and cut it into small, uniform pieces. The size of the onion pieces should be similar to the diced tomatoes. Adding finely chopped onion will give your Pico de Gallo a nice crunch and a slightly sweet flavor. Add the chopped onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.

Step 3: Add Some Heat with Jalapeño

To give your Pico de Gallo a spicy kick, you’ll need a jalapeño pepper. Start by removing the stem from the pepper and cutting it in half lengthwise. If you prefer a milder salsa, remove the seeds and white membrane from the pepper. For a spicier version, leave them intact. Finely chop the jalapeño and add it to the bowl with the tomatoes and onion.

Step 4: Freshen it Up with Cilantro

Cilantro is an essential ingredient in Pico de Gallo, adding a fresh and herbaceous flavor. Take a bunch of fresh cilantro leaves and chop them finely. You can use both the leaves and the tender stems for added flavor. Add the chopped cilantro to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Step 5: Squeeze in Some Lime Juice

Lime juice is the secret ingredient that brings all the flavors together in Pico de Gallo. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the bowl of ingredients. The acidity of the lime juice not only enhances the flavors but also helps to preserve the salsa. Add salt to taste and give everything a good mix.

Step 6: Let it Marinate

Once all the ingredients are combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the Pico de Gallo marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together and intensify, resulting in a more delicious salsa.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

After the marinating time, your homemade Pico de Gallo is ready to be enjoyed! Serve it as a dip with tortilla chips, or use it as a topping for tacos, grilled meats, or even scrambled eggs. The possibilities are endless!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use different types of tomatoes?

A: Absolutely! While traditional Pico de Gallo is made with ripe red tomatoes, you can experiment with different varieties. Try using cherry tomatoes for a sweeter flavor or heirloom tomatoes for a more colorful salsa.

Q: How long can I store Pico de Gallo?

A: Pico de Gallo is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, keep in mind that the texture may become softer over time.

Q: Can I make Pico de Gallo ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the ingredients for Pico de Gallo ahead of time and mix them together just before serving. This way, you can save time without compromising on the freshness of the flavors.

Q: How can I make Pico de Gallo milder?

A: If you prefer a milder version of Pico de Gallo, you can remove the seeds and white membrane from the jalapeño pepper. These parts contain most of the heat. Additionally, you can reduce the amount of jalapeño used in the recipe.

Q: Can I add other ingredients to Pico de Gallo?

A: Absolutely! While the classic Pico de Gallo recipe includes tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt, you can get creative and add other ingredients to suit your taste. Some popular additions include diced avocado, mango, or even pineapple.


Pico de Gallo is a delicious and versatile salsa that can elevate any dish with its fresh and vibrant flavors. By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can easily make your own homemade Pico de Gallo using simple ingredients. Remember to experiment with different tomato varieties and adjust the spiciness to your liking. Whether you enjoy it as a dip or a topping, Pico de Gallo is sure to add a burst of flavor to your meals. So, grab your ingredients and start chopping!



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