Easy Pico De Gallo

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Our Easy Pico de Gallo combines a handful of fresh ingredients for one tasty dip. Plus, it comes together in about 10 minutes! Serve with chips or as a refreshing topping on your favorite dishes.

titled: easy pico de gallo


Learn the surprising pico de gallo meaning, plenty of tips for making it at home, plus the difference between pico de gallo vs salsa!

ingredients for pico de gallo

Easy Pico De Gallo

Bright, bold veggie flavor meets subtle heat and a burst of citrus. Who knew such simple ingredients could make such a delicious combination?

This recipe for pico de gallo, meaning “roosters beak,” is an easy way to liven up any dish — or enjoy it on its own!

Use up the rest of the cilantro with a batch of Chipotle guacamole, then serve both dips with chips and sliced veggies for an easy appetizer.

If you’re entertaining guests, you can even add a 7 layer bean dip and some of my famous queso!

onion, cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes and garlic in a bowl

Pico de Gallo vs Salsa

It all comes down to texture! A simple pico de gallo combines freshly chopped ingredients — typically just tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and cilantro.

Salsa, on the other hand, can be made with fresh or canned ingredients and is often blended.

Even though chunky salsa exists, it still has a saucy consistency and contains much more liquid.

You can also add all kinds of things to homemade salsa, and there are so many varieties to choose from!

From roasted or verde to fruit and veggie-based concoctions, there’s always a new combination to try.

mixed onion, tomato, cilantro garlic and jalapenos in dish

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Tomatoes – Plum or Roma tomatoes are the best option as they are easy to dice and have a lower water content than other varieties.
  • Onion – White onion is the way to go for simple pico de gallo. If you’re sensitive to the natural bite, you can soak the pieces in ice water for a few minutes.

    Just be sure to drain well and pat dry!
  • Jalapenos – Remove the ribs and seeds to reduce the heat. Also, don’t forget gloves to protect your skin from the irritating oils found in the skin.
  • Garlic – While not in the traditional recipe for pico de gallo, I can’t resist the flavor! Feel free to leave this out if you prefer.
  • Lime Juice – Freshly squeezed is always best! Make sure your citrus is room temperature to get out as much juice as you can.
pico de gallo in a wooden serving bowl

How to Make Simple Pico de Gallo

  • Chop the ingredients.

A serrated blade is the best option for tomatoes, but any large blade will do the job for the remaining ingredients.

It’s important to use a sharp knife to prevent squashing or bruising any of the ingredients, especially the cilantro.

  • Mix together.

After draining the tomato, combine the veggies and garlic in a bowl. Add lime juice and salt, mix again, and give it a taste. You can add more salt and citrus to taste.

  • Boost the flavor.

While optional, there’s any easy way to really get the most bang for your buck when it comes to flavor!

Chop the onion and jalapeno first, then let them marinate in the lime juice and salt while you work on the tomatoes and cilantro. Plus, it doesn’t take any extra time!

  • Let it sit!

You can certainly dig in right away, but I suggest waiting at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to marry together, making every bite extra delicious!

closeup side shot of pico de gallo

Serving Suggestions

Clearly, this easy pico de gallo was meant for crispy tortilla chips, but there are so many other ways to enjoy it too!

Spoon onto all of your Mexican food favorites like tacos, nachos, and even burrito bowls.

You can also incorporate this easy pico de gallo into breakfast! Top your eggs, avocado toast, or cheesy bacon hashbrown waffles with this zesty blend of veggies.

Recipe for Pico de Gallo FAQ

Why is my pico de gallo watery?

Understand that tomatoes contain a lot of water, and salt draws out even more of that liquid from vegetables!

Try to use tomatoes that aren’t quite as juicy, like Roma or plum, and be sure to drain them before mixing with the other ingredients.

You’ll also find more and more liquid at the bottom of your bowl the longer this easy pico de gallo sits. Simply drain it off before digging in again!

Can I make this recipe for pico de gallo ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s often even better the next day. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and drain off any excess liquid before serving.

This simple pico de gallo will keep for 3 to 4 days. If you’ll be serving it to guests, I recommend making it no more than 1 day in advance.

What is the pico de gallo meaning?

The name literally translates to “rooster’s beak.” It is understood that this veggie dip was originally eaten with the index finger and thumb, which looks similar to how the bird would eat!

closeup of pico de gallo on a tortilla chip

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

finished bowl of pico de gallow with fresh cilantro

pico de gallo in white bowl with chips

Easy Pico de Gallo

Donna Elick
Our Easy Pico de Gallo combines a handful of fresh ingredients for one tasty dip. Serve with chips or on your favorite Mexican dishes.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 4 cups


  • 6 large plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste


  • Core, quarter, and remove the seeds from the tomato. Place the tomato quarters flesh side down on a double thickness of paper towels to drain.
  • To cut the tomatoes, julienne each quarter, turn, and finely dice. Add the tomatoes to the bowl. Add the onion, cilantro, jalapeños, and garlic to the bowl. Toss to combine. Add the salt and lime juice to taste and toss again.
  • Allow the flavors to develop at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Donna’s Notes

Pico de gallo can be made in one day in advance; covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 28cal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 297mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Pico de Gallo -pin

Originally Published October 2011, updated and republished July 2023

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


  1. You have THE best happy hour! I could eat this on three meals – eggs, sandwiches and salads! Great photos and recipe.

  2. Have to admit that you lost me at cilantro, but it sure does look beautiful! Of course, the chips look pretty darn good to me right now as well. (Are these the ones we can buy locally?) (I'm food obsessed, I think I need to go find some lunch.)

  3. What a gorgeous photo! Looks like it should be a work of art! And the salsa looks fabulous, making me want some right now – for breakfast!!

  4. So glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for the link. I think I need to make a batch now:) Lovely blog! Kindest Regards, Nicole

  5. I am thinking that this recipe for Pico de Gallo will work really well mixed with your Guacamole recipe. I am a fan of a chunky Guacamole, thus the idea of mixing the two recipes into one.

  6. 5 stars
    I found this recipe from your taco bar one, and I’ll never go back to store bought pico. This was amazing and so fresh tasting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating