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How to Make Pico de Gallo

Want to know what I always have on hand in my fridge? Homemade pico de gallo! In my opinion there is nothing better when it comes snack time than chips and homemade pico, but there are about a bazillion more uses for pico that I bet you haven’t even thought of yet. 
 
A white bowl filled with pico de gallo. Finely diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and citrus juice. There are tortilla chips around the bowl.

If you aren’t as obsessed with Mexican food as we are you may not know what pico is, so let me break it down for you…

Pico de gallo, often referred to as salsa fresca, is a type of salsa that is raw, not cooked. It’s a blend of fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, spicy peppers, lime juice, and salt. While traditional salsa has a thinner more liquid consistency, pico de gallo is chunky, looking more like  bowl full of savory sprinkles than your traditional salsa.

START HERE!! || Before you do anything else watch this super fast video that shows you exactly how I make my family’s favorite pico de gallo! 

 
See how easy that is?! You honestly don’t even really need a recipe for pico de gallo – it’s one of those “just eyeball it” kind of dishes. Do you like LOTS of onion flavor? Add more chopped onions. Want to crank up the heat? Leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapeño pepper. Add more or less of salt and lime to suit too! Just you do you, build your pico to suit your tastebuds and you can’t go wrong. 

NOW, LET’S GET TO CHOPPING! || Take a minute to gather all of the ingredients you will need for this recipe before getting started. Turn on your favorite album or podcast and start breaking down the ingredients one at time. Before you know it, you’ll have a huge bowl of pico de gallo just waiting to be devoured. 

A large, white shallow bowl is filled with red Roma and on the vine tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, a red onion, limes and lime halves. The bowl is sitting on a white linen napkin with blue stitching and there is a small ceramic pitcher next to the bowl.

Gather || 5 Roma tomatoes, 1 jalapeño pepper, 1 red onion, 1 bunch of cilantro, 2 juicy limes, olive oil, salt and pepper 

 
A shallow white bowl is filled with seeded and finely diced tomatoes. Teh bowl sits on a weathered wooden table top.

First, slice the ends off of the Roma tomatoes and core them. Don’t know how to core a tomato? Just watch the video above, it shows you exactly how I do it!  Once cored, cut the tomatoes into thin strips and then chop the strips into small pieces. Transfer the prepared tomato to a mixing bowl. 

 
A shallow white bowl is filled with seeded and finely diced tomatoes and minced jalapeños. Teh bowl sits on a weathered wooden table top.

Second, slice the jalapeño pepper in half, remove the seeds and ribs then slice the pepper halves into thin strips. Chop the strips very finely and add to the tomatoes. 

 
A shallow white bowl is filled with seeded and finely diced tomatoes, minced jalapeño, and red onion. The bowl sits on a weathered wooden table top.

Third, finely dice half of 1 large red onion – save the rest of the onion for another purpose. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes and pepper.

 
A shallow white bowl is filled with seeded and finely diced tomatoes, minced jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro. The bowl sits on a weathered wooden table top.

Finely mince cilantro leaves and add to the bowl.

 
A shallow, white bowl filled with pico de gallo ingredients - layers pf finely diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro. A small dish of coarse salt, a small ceramic pitcher of olive oil, and 3 squeezed lime halves are ob the table next to the bowl.

Squeeze the juice of 1- 2 limes over the top, drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle heavily with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper then stir to combine. Allow the flavors to marinate and meld together for at least 20 minutes before serving, preferably a few hours.

Now you know how to make pico de gallo like I do, here are some delicious way to use it up during the week! 

4 tacos, corn tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, tater tots, and pico de gallo. The tacos are arranged on a platter next to a bowl that has chopped bacon in it.

  1. Make any taco, burrito, or quesadilla off the charts delicious with heaping spoonfuls of pico de gallo! Need proof? Just look at those breakfast tacos up there!! 
  2. Top oven roasted chicken breasts with a slice of jalapeño jack cheese in the last 6-7 minutes of cooking. Once the cheese is melted transfer the chicken to a serving plate and top with a hefty scoop of pico de gallo! 
  3. Top baked potatoes with sour cream, cheddar cheese, taco meat(optional), and pico de gallo for a fun Tex Mex stuffed tater! 
  4. Strain excess liquid then add spoonfuls of pico de gallo into egg scrambles. 
  5. Get an epic summer dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes from start to finish with my 5-Ingredient Summer Pico Pasta! 

A shallow light blue bowl is on a wooden table, filled with fettuccini pasta, white beans, pico de gallo, and crumbled ricotta salata cheese.

Literally, the sky is the limit – you can add this pico ANYWHERE!! It’s good on practically EVERYTHING! 

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A white bowl filled with pico de gallo. Finely diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and citrus juice. There are tortilla chips around the bowl.

Homemade Pico de Gallo

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: about 3 cups
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

The ultimate Mexican dip, pico de gallo, is about to become the most versatile ingredient in your kitchen! 


Ingredients

5 Roma tomatoes

1 jalapeño pepper

1/2 of 1 medium-sized red onion

1 bunch of cilantro

2 juicy limes

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper 


Instructions

First, slice the ends off of the Roma tomatoes. To core them, simply run a knife from one end cut to the other straight down into the tomato, without cutting all the way through. You should only be cutting through the outside wall. Then use your knife to separate the seeds and the core from the flesh of the tomato. Reserve the cores for another use or discard them. Once cored, cut the tomato pieces into thin strips and then chop the strips into small pieces. Transfer the prepared tomato to a mixing bowl. 

Slice the jalapeño pepper in half, remove the seeds and ribs then slice the pepper halves into thin strips. Chop the strips very finely and add to the tomatoes. 

Finely dice half of 1 large red onion – save the rest of the onion for another purpose. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes and pepper.

Finely mince cilantro leaves and add to the bowl.

Squeeze the juice of 1- 2 limes over the top, drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle heavily with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper then stir to combine. Allow the flavors to marinate and meld together for at least 20 minutes before serving, preferably a few hours.

If you’ve made this pico de gallo or any other recipe on our site then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you thought in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food, design, and decor.

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ABOUT MEG

Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.