Pico de Gallo Recipe

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The best pico de gallo recipe around. How to make fresh salsa with garden tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro and garlic with a splash of lime. You may also like our corn, tomato & avocado salad

We are so crazy for salsa around our house. Especially homemade salsa! Whether it is salsa verde, mango or pineapple salsa, you can bet when a bag of chips come out in our house, these salsas get DEVOURED.

Best Pico de Gallo Recipe

Fresh Salsa Recipe

On May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) last year, we were looking for a restaurant while we were traveling and stumbled on a Mexican restaurant with balloons, free ice cream, and a meal for 5 dollars. Turns out they were celebrating Cinco de Mayo! I had no idea about Cinco de Mayo until then.

This year we’ll be making my favorite meal on May 5th…Tacos! I’ll share our family taco seasoning recipe later in the week, but for now, here’s a recipe my mom and dad have been living on lately. What does pico de gallo mean? It literally means “beak of a rooster”. Silly, right?

Why do they call it pico de gallo?

Pico de gallo literally translates as “Rooster’s Beak” or “pecked from a rooster”. So how in the world did this delicious vegetable dip get its name? I’m really not sure! It could be that people ate it with their finger and thumb, or that it is little pieces of vegetables that resemble minced food a rooster might eat. Or that the poblano pepper is shaped like a rooster’s beak.

Wikipedia has many different options on what it means, but I’d love to know the real reason!


What is the difference between pico de gallo and salsa?

There is really not much difference as far as flavor goes. It is more of a texture difference. Pico de gallo is diced vegetables, almost like a salad that you can eat with fork or spoon.

Salsa tends to be smoother and “soupier”, meaning you’ll have to spoon it on top of your favorite burritos or enchiladas…or scoop it up with chips! You can find our favorite blender salsa here.

What goes in pico de gallo?

This Pico de Gallo has onions, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and peppers, salt, pepper and a touch of lime juice. We use two types of peppers for our fresh salsa recipe: both poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers.  Poblano peppers aren’t quite as spicy as jalapeno peppers but give the pico de gallo great flavor.

Supposedly, to my parents, this recipe is the best and they’ve worked hard to perfect it to their liking. The artist in me loves the colors of this. Aren’t they pretty?


Is pico de gallo good for you?

Yes! It is full of fresh vegetables and has very few calories. I’ve been known to scoop it up on celery sticks for a low-carb snack. It’s a great way to add flavor to meats during a Whole30.

Is pico de gallo better the next day?

The flavors will blend and become stronger if you make this side dish in advance. We actually prefer eating it the day we make it, but we do let it refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

How long does pico de gallo last in the refrigerator?

I prefer to keep my pico de gallo in a sealed container in the refrigerator for not more than 3 days. I’ve found that the tomatoes soften and get “mushy” after awhile. We never have a problem using this up though!


What to Serve Pico de Gallo On


Pico de Gallo Recipe

4.59 from 12 votes
The best pico de gallo recipe around. Fresh tomato, onion, peppers, cilantro and garlic with a splash of lime.
Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

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  • 2 cups finely chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Poblano pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoon lime juice


  • Add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. 
  • This can be eaten right away, but it is best if you let it marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Serve with tortilla chips, on tacos, burritos, or anything else you can think of!



Experiment with the peppers if you'd like. For more spice & heat, use more jalapeno peppers.You can use whatever kind of tomatoes you may have on hand.
The calories shown are based on the recipe being divided 8 ways, with 1 serving being ⅛ of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.


Serving: 66g | Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 82mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course Condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 15
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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1 year ago

Do you roast your poblano peppers first?

Len Waldroup
4 years ago

You are almost right. The name comes from the serrano pepper which is shaped like a roosters beak and authenic pico is made with the serrano pepper.

5 years ago

Do you remove the seeds and inside core from the tomatoes?

5 years ago

5 stars
THE BEST! I made it last night, just tasted it this morning on breakfast tacos and it is amazing!!! Thanks for posting this

6 years ago

4 stars
Hi Julie,
Wonderful recipe for Pico de Gallo… fast, easy & tasty!! One observation, question: the Nutritional Values presented just don’t seem complete, nor add up. Only 4g of Carbs are list & 4g Carbs = 4 Cals, not 17 as stated. Further there is no Sodium value given despite salt in the ingredients. A correct Sodium value would be ~150mg per serving. As I expect Fats & Proteins to be ~0g, total Cals should be in the neighborhood of ~4… certainly not 17. Could you reexamin / recalculate
Thank you.

7 years ago

the only thing i would add to this is a nice pinch of mexican oregano and maybe a drizzle of olive oil mm! im so making your pico today 😀

9 years ago

We love Mexican food and ADORE chips & salsa especially….! This pico de gallo looks awesome!

Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
9 years ago

Pico de Gallo is a favorite at our house! We use it on so many things and it’s great as a dip for chips! I agree the colors are pretty! 🙂

Donna Clark
11 years ago

Yum Yum!!!

Looks great to me!

I just printed it out.

Love ya!
Grandma Clark