This recipe for how to make Pico de Gallo will become your new favorite condiment or sauce! It's refreshing and brightens up any dish with fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro that come together with a splash of lime and salt. It's the perfect addition to tacos, burritos, soups, salads, or chips!
Have you ever had that one thing you always grab at the market that you tell yourself that you either just don't have the time to make or it's probably just cheaper to buy!?! Well, that my friends was me with pico de gallo for the longest time. And then one day I made it and realized there was no going back.
First off, it takes no time to make. Literally 10 minutes of your life gets you the freshest most amazing sauce, condiment, topper of all toppers! And second, buying pico de gallo is a total rip off. It's a watery mess sometimes even before you dive into it , filled with citric acid to preserve it that often has a metallic taste, and it's just not fresh. For the same price or cheaper you can whip some up in no time. Total game changer. I am telling you.
And one of the things that I also love about pico de gallo aside from the fact that it's amazing is that it is basically the entire base of my guacamole recipe. So if you're making this recipe, you can literally save yourself some time and make a bowl of guacamole in the same 10 minutes. I am all about saving time.
What is Pico de Gallo?
Pico de gallo is most commonly used in Mexican cuisine and known as "fresh sauce" in Spanish. The basic idea is all raw fresh ingredients, which almost always include tomato, onion, chili pepper, cilantro, lime, and salt (source).
And while pico de gallo may just seem like another salsa, it is in fact not the same. Salsa tends to have a lot more liquid; whereas, pico de gallo is simply chopped vegetables combined with lime and salt. Another difference is that salsa is often made with tomatoes or chili peppers that have been cooked or charred, but pico de gallo is always made with fresh ingredients. There is also little to no variation when it comes to how to make pico de gallo. It's all about the precise cuts and ratios of the ingredients (source).
- Roma Tomatoes: Typically roma tomatoes are used, but you can use any type of tomato. Just remember to use the same amount that is equal to 3 roma tomatoes.
- Red Onion: Any type of onion will work, but know that white onion will be a milder flavor and brown onion will be stronger.
- Jalapeno Pepper: Serrano pepper is another option. And you totally can omit the chili pepper if you want no heat whatsoever.
- Cilantro: Use fresh cilantro for the best result.
- Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is the best choice. Concentrated lime will work, but will probably be more bitter in flavor. Concentrated citrus tends to just taste acidic with less definition.
- Salt: I used sea salt. Fine kosher salt is also a great option. I do not suggest using himalayan pink salt. You want a salt that will dissolve. Mountain salts work best for finishing and less for melding flavors.
How to Make Pico de Gallo
This recipe is really easy to make.
To start, you will want to prep all your ingredients making sure to chop the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno fairly evenly in size. The tomatoes should be diced a tad bigger than both the onion and jalapeno. The jalapeno should be diced fairly fine and smaller than the onion.
Once the vegetables are diced and ready to go, you will put them in medium size bowl with all the other ingredients and fold gently to combine. Then taste for salt, lime, and spice. Add more salt if needed and more lime if desired.
Can Pico de Gallo Be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can most definitely make pico de gallo in advance. I do it all the time. But for the best results do not add the cilantro, salt, and lime juice until about 30 minutes before serving. This means you can have your tomato, onion, and chili pepper chopped and ready to go in a bowl. The cilantro can be chopped and ready as well, but you just don't want to add it until you are about ready to eat. By waiting to add the lime and salt you prevent them from pulling the liquid out of the veggies and also killing the fresh touch of cilantro.
Leftover pico de gallo will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. After that it will start to breakdown. At that point, you could add it to a cooked dish.
More Vegan Condiment & Sauce Recipes
- Amazing Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Vegan Arugula Walnut Pesto Sauce
- Creamy Thai Peanut Sauce made with Coconut Milk
- Best Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe
How to Make Pico de Gallo
- 3 roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced to medium size (a little bigger than the onion dice)
- ½ medium red onion, diced small (a little smaller than the tomato dice)
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, deseeded and diced very small
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- Deseed and chop the tomatoes to a medium dice. You want the tomatoes to be a tad bigger than the onions. All the cuts should be about the same size.
- Chop the red onion to a small dice. The onion should be chopped a little smaller than the tomato.
- Deseed the jalapeno pepper and chop to a very small dice. Smaller than both the tomato and onion
- Chop enough cilantro to fill 2 tablespoons.
- Add the diced tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and 1 teaspoon of lime juice to a bowl. Then gently mix together.
- Taste for salt, lime, and spice. Add more lime and salt to your desired taste. More diced jalapeno can be added for more spice as well.
- Use the pico de gallo to top tacos, burritos, soups, salads, or even eat with chips. Enjoy!