A homemade pico de gallo recipe you can make at home in just 10 minutes! Six ingredients is all you need to make this fresh classic recipe!

A bowl of pico de gallo complete with tomatoes, red onions, cilantro and jalapenos.

We often show a simple, traditional salsa next to our Mexican recipes on the blog and we always get a lot of questions about how we make it. I don’t know why we haven’t ever shared how to make homemade pico de gallo but we are finally doing just that!

We make this for just about every Mexican dish we eat. From steak fajitas to smothered honey lime chicken burritos, they are topped with pico! And let’s not forget that it is great on top of eggs too like our cheesy salsa verde sausage breakfast enchiladas. It is just a must have recipe.

I grew up visiting San Jose Del Cabo every other year and I absolutely loved being there.

We’ve started taking our kids as well and stay at the best house in all of Cabo. It has a private beach and an amazing chef which ends up a better deal than eating out for all of your meals, plus she’s amazing.

We asked if we could watch how she makes her authentic pico de gallo and guess what, it’s exactly like we do! That’s a pretty good sign. All you need is fresh ingredients!

How to Make Pico de Gallo

We’ve already mentioned this but all you need is six ingredients to make this pico de gallo recipe. We like to chop everything up really small so you can get a little bit of everything in every bite. Here is what you need:

  • tomatoes
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • cilantro
  • limes
  • jalapenos

No surprises there, right? It’s simple, classic and the perfect combination for irresistible pico! Oh, you need a little salt and pepper too, but I’m not counting that in my ingredients count.

Finely chop all those ingredients and mix them together with fresh squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir it together and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and become perfection!

Then grab a bag of your favorite tortilla chips and dig in! You won’t be able to stop! Ok, maybe you will be able to, but I. CANNOT. STOP! Sometimes I just take a fork to it and start eating it like a salad. Yep, that’s me! The girl hoovering the pico straight from the bowl!

A glass bowl full of all the ingredients for pico de gallo that haven't been stirred together yet.

Tips for the Best Pico de Gallo

Here are few tips for making the best pico de gallo:

  • Use ripe tomatoes – we prefer using romas!
  • Red onions reign – not only is the color phenomenal, but the taste is mild for eating raw
  • Fresh lime juice is best – the stuff in the bottle just doesn’t taste the same!
  • Control the heat – you have the power to change the spiciness! If you want more heat, leave the ribs and some seeds in the jalapenos. You could even add a serrano pepper in if you want even more heat.
  • Let sit before serving – the salt needs time to work on the veggies. Salt salt amps up the taste of the tomatoes and tones down the raw onions

What is Pico de Gallo?

Did you know I majored in Spanish in college? Little known fact! So let’s start by learning how to say pico de gallo correctly because few things make me more crazy than someone totally butchering the name! Here it is plain and simple…PEE-koh day GUY-yoh. It literally means “beak of rooster”.

I don’t have a dang clue why it got that name, but you can Google it and read all the theories why.

Pico de gallo is a mix of finely chopped fresh ingredients to make a fresh salsa. It is a common side dish or topping for many Mexican dishes.

A photo of a glass bowl full of pico de gallo ingredients with fresh lime juice being squeezed on it.

What Kind of Tomatoes are Best in Pico de Gallo?

We always use Roma tomatoes for this pico de gallo recipe. They have great flavor and aren’t too watery. If you use a larger tomato, I would drain them a little so the pico doesn’t get to soggy. Romas are usually the cheapest too, so you can feel good about making a double or triple batch!

What is the Difference Between Salsa and Pico de Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a type of salsa that is always fresh and quite chunky.

Salsa can be fresh but can also be cooked. Salsa is more runny and usually pureed.

How Long Will Pico de Gallo Keep?

If pico de gallo is properly stored in an airtight container, it will last for up to a week in the refrigerator. The flavor actually gets better over time, but the longer it sits, the more soggy it gets. Maybe soggy isn’t the right word, but it loses it’s crunch. So there’s a trade off, but it is still super delicious even when it’s a little soggy.

A photo of a glass bowl full of pico de gallo being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Can Pico de Gallo Be Made Ahead?

Pico de gallo is actually better if it is made ahead of time! You can make it up to 4 hours ahead time. It takes a bit of time for the salt to work it’s magic on all the veggies. It will still be good for up to a day ahead of time, but any more than that and it will start to get soggy.

Can Jalapeno Peppers Burn Your Skin?

The oil from jalapenos can burn your skin, especially under your fingernails. Ouch! And definitely don’t touch your eyes after cutting jalapenos! The burning sensation comes from the oils in the jalapenos, and they can be hard to wash off afterward. Use hot water and Dawn soap. That always does the trick for me. I also wear food friendly latex gloves sometimes just to avoid the burn altogether!

A photo of a glass bowl full of pico de gallo being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Carne asade tacos? Pork carnitas? Breakfast casserole? The answer is YES! You need this pico de gallo recipe for all of them! We also make it all summer long just to eat with chips for every BBQ, pot luck, and party!


Homemade Pico De Gallo

4.47 from 13 votes
Servings: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes


A fresh salsa served with many Mexican dishes consisting of tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno.


  • 4 Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, Seeded and minced
  • 2 Limes, Juiced
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Minced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro, Minced
  • 1 Pinch Pepper


  • In a large bowl, gently stir together all ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes or up to 1 day in the fridge.
    4 Tomatoes, 1 Jalapeno, 2 Limes, 1-2 Cloves Garlic, 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, 1/2 Red Onion, 1/2 Cup Cilantro, 1 Pinch Pepper
  • Serve with chips, Mexican dishes etc!


This Pico De Gallo will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1gCalories: 16kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 236mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 486IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 200+ Easy Appetizers Recipes
Cuisine: Mexican

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A bowl of pico de gallo complete with tomatoes, red onions, cilantro and jalapenos.


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