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Pico de gallo: easy and authentic salsa fresca recipe

Here is the recipe of pico de gallo, a sun-kissed tomato salsa that will be perfect with tacos or to accompany your grilled meats and fish this summer.

Pico de gallo, a Mexican originated salsa, is a salad made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime. Hot pepper is also added for that spicy touch.

A bowl of pico de gallo, authentic mexican salsa fresca

It’s absolutely delicious and very easy to make. And believe me, pico de gallo makes any dish even tastier!

A salsa fresca

ingredients use to make pico de gallo
Crédit photo : Unsplash

While some salsas take a little work and skill to toast and roast the peppers and other ingredients to perfection, pico de gallo is called a salsa fresca and doesn’t require any of those steps.

Salsas frescas are made with fresh ingredients such as garlic, onions, lemon, herbs, tomatoes or sometimes mangoes and do not involve cooking.

You simply chop the ingredients and mix them together.

These are the few steps necessary to make a pico de gallo with tomatoes, lime and cilantro:

  1. Start by cutting the ingredients into small dices.
  2. Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Let it macerate for about fifteen minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

What type of hot peppers should you use to make pico de gallo?

Pico de gallo

Usually, jalapeño peppers are used. You could also use serano peppers. But as you can see in my photos, I used chili peppers.

So keep it simple and feel free to use your favorite hot peppers to make this recipe. It is more the intensity of the pepper that will vary rather than the taste itself.

Some tips for a successful pico de gallo

Pico de gallo

The freshness of the ingredients: As it is the case with any recipe that requires few ingredients, their freshness is essential for a successful dish. This is particularly the case with tomatoes and you should use perfectly ripe tomatoes.

Cut the ingredients into small dices: Make sure to chop the ingredients into small and even dices for a better blend of flavors.

Seeding the tomatoes: Another important aspect is to make sure to seed the tomatoes when dicing them. If you don’t, you risk getting a watery pico de gallo.

Let the flavors develop: before serving, let the pico de gallo rest for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also mix all the salsa ingredients together and let them marinate together while you slice the tomatoes.

Uses for pico de gallo

Bowls of pico de gallo and guacamole

Pico de gallo is often served as a starter, as a salsa, with chips or tortillas.

Add a bowl of guacamole and you have quite the perfect aperitif!

Pico de gallo is also a must with tacos.

Tacos avec pico de gallo, tortillas avec pico de gallo

But it is just as delicious served as a side dish to accompany grilled meats.

Indeed its tangy and salty taste, combined with the spiciness of onions and the flavors of cilantro, goes particularly well with grilled meats and fish such as mahi mahi, pork chops or even chicken.

Pico de gallo recipe
Pico de gallo
Yield: 4 portions

Pico de gallo

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A sun-kissed salsa fresca that will be perfect with tacos or to accompany your grilled meats, fish and seafood this summer.


  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 French shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¾ tsp. very finely chopped hot pepper (jalapeno or other) *
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ lime juice
  • Salt (to taste)


  1. Seed and dice the tomatoes.
  2. Chop the French shallot, cilantro leaves and hot pepper.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Leave to macerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  5. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.


* You can adjust the amount of hot pepper according to your preferences.


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