Our Awesome Pico de Gallo Recipe | Fast + Fresh

Finished Pico de Gallo salsa in a red bowl with a spoon.

Pico de Gallo is a classic Mexican salsa with an interesting name. If you translate it, you get “beak of the rooster”. But trust me, no roosters were harmed in the making of this recipe – Pico de Gallo is vegan! Apparently, there’s no clear answer on where the rooster association comes from (we’d love to hear that story). However, we do know that homemade Pico de Gallo is fresh, easy, and bursting with bright flavors!

What’s in a Name?

Actually, Pico de Gallo isn’t the only name for this recipe. It’s also known as “salsa fresca” (fresh sauce), or “salsa cruda” (raw sauce). However, our favorite is “salsa bandera” – or flag sauce. This might leave you asking, why “flag sauce”. Well, by all means, we’ll give you a hint: what are the colors of the Mexican flag?

Ingredients for laid out on a white plate, including tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper.

Red, White, and Green

Yes – you guessed it! Indeed, the red tomatoes, white onions, and green chilis/cilantro match Mexico’s national colors. Overall, the key to a great Pico de Gallo recipe is getting these iconic ingredients as fresh as possible! This means your tomatoes should be ripe and red. In addition, the chilis should be green with taut skin. Also, pay attention to your cilantro – avoid bunches with yellow or blackened leaves. Finally, choose onions with thin shiny skin and no mushy spots.

Remember – in a Pico de Gallo recipe everything is fresh and raw – your salsa is only as good as your ingredients!

A picture of the ingredients for Pico de Gallo placed in a red bowl before being mixed together.

Putting your Pico Together

It’s worth making an effort to chop your ingredients very finely. As a result, you’ll get a little of each ingredient in every bite. Furthermore, smaller bits of salsa are easier to pick up on a chip, and won’t spill out of a taco as easily. You can definitely just take a “chop it up and throw it together” approach for Pico de Gallo, but we do have some optional recipe tips:

  • Firstly, if you find raw onions too sharp, just soak them in cold water for around 10 minutes after chopping them.
  • In addition, you might find your pico to be a little too “wet” for nachos, tacos, etc. To get around this, serve it with a fork or slotted spoon.
  • Or alternatively, you can drain your chopped tomatoes in a strainer for about an hour before mixing with the other ingredients.

When it comes to the chili, the best way to manage the heat from the jalapeños is to remove the white pith and seeds. In contrast, if (like us) you want to punch it up, leave the pith/seeds and add more chili. Alternatively, you can swap the jalapeños for some hotter serranos!

Finished Pico de Gallo salsa in a red bowl with some tortilla chips.


Now that you have your proud Pico de Gallo ready, what are you going to pair it with? Obviously, the simplest choice is to scoop it up with tortilla chips (you can’t go wrong). Otherwise, go ahead and spoon it on almost any Mexican (or Mexican-inspired) dish you can get your hands on! Alternatively, you can go outside the box. This salsa tastes great on a Tofu Scramble, and really spices up a Vegan Burger!

We hope you get a kick out of our Pico de Gallo recipe. If you make it, we’d love to hear about it in a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better.

Now you need some playmates for your homemade Pico de Gallo! Why not make our Vegan Tacos with Tempeh and Black Beans. And you can’t beat our Simple Guacamole recipe!

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Finished salsa in a red bowl with some tortilla chips.

Our Awesome Pico de Gallo Recipe | Fast + Fresh

  • Author: Rachel Steenland
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A quick and easy recipe for fresh pico de gallo salsa using only 6 delicious ingredients! You’ll be chopping veggies and topping tacos in no time.


  • 3 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 white or red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Chop all ingredients very finely. If necessary, remove seeds and pith from chilis to reduce heat.
  2. Add chopped ingredients, lime juice, and cilantro to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Pico de Gallo tastes best freshly made … so we would recommend making it as needed! If it’s left to sit for too long the onion becomes very strong and the tomatoes get soggy. It only takes 10 minutes to make, so enjoy it fresh!


  • Optional steps (prior to mixing Pico de Gallo): 1). Soak chopped onion in cold water for 10 minutes to reduce sharpness, 2). Drain chopped tomatoes in a strainer for about 1 hour to reduce liquid.
  • Nutritional information is to be used as a guide only as calories and nutrition vary between products and brands worldwide.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • Serving Size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 17
  • Sugar: 1.9 g
  • Sodium: 294.7 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Pico de Gallo Recipe, Easy Pico de Gallo, Homemade Pico de Gallo, Pico de Gallo salsa

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase using these links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change.

Rachel Steenland

Rachel Steenland

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