Homemade Pico de Gallo
If we still have tomatoes on the vine here in Idaho, I KNOW we’re not alone. Snag some of those ripe beauties and make some pic de gallo before everything is frozen over and dead!
This homemade pico de gallo recipe is actually one of the original recipes from my first year of blogging (2008!) that I’ve made literally dozens of times over the years. I’ve been meaning to update a refresh the photos for this recipe for, like, a decade. And that’s not an exaggeration.
I’ve got homemade pico de gallo for you today that goes great with The Best Guacamole!
I almost always make pico de gallo and guacamole at the same time because some of the ingredients overlap and it make for quicker prep!
Plus, you really shouldn’t have one without the other, right? Or at least SOME kind of salsa. Salsa and guac are soulmates.
Speaking of salsa…
What’s the difference between Pico de Gallo and Salsa?
Pico de gallo (fresh salsa) is made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes and is usually chunkier than salsa.
Salsa is typically cooked and blended a little for a thinner consistency.
Honestly, I’ve seen both of them referred to as salsa.
Tips for making great Pico de Gallo
- Use yummy, ripe tomatoes. This should be a given, but the better tomatoes you find, the better your pico will be. That being said, tossing “decent” tomatoes in lime juice, onions, and cilantro will do wonders for them. So, if you can’t find the best tomatoes, don’t worry too much. Just make sure they’re mostly red and not pink and mealy.
- Cut everything small. Aim for about 1/2-inch for your tomatoes and at least that small for your onions, preferably smaller. Onions are potent and you don’t want a big old chunk of onion headed toward your mouth.
- Don’t leave out the lime juice. It’s OK if you hate cilantro — leave it out. If onions aren’t your thing, use a minimal amount or use some onion powder if you’re in a pinch. Use a dash or two of hot sauce if you don’t have a jalapeño. BUT DON’T LEAVE OUT THE LIME. Lime is what pulls everything together. Leaving out the lime juice is pico de gallo suicide, I promise. And fresh lime juice is always better than bottled, but bottled is better than no lime juice.
- Make sure you’re salting it well. And taste it when you’re done to see if it needs more. (It may need more lime juice, too.)
- Let it sit for 20-30 minutes for best flavor. Preferably an hour, but I know how hard it is to wait when this stuff is finished.
This pico goes beautifully with my Homemade Guacamole! You really can’t have one without the other…
This is a simple, basic recipe for pico de gallo, and sometimes, basic is exactly what you want. Sometimes, though, you’re looking to shake things up! Here are a few of my favorite ways to change up my pico game:
My Favorite Pico de Gallo Add-ins:
Avocado: Yes, there might be guacamole sitting nearby, but adding some diced avocado to pico gives it a nice, creamy texture!
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (preferably Romas or vine tomatoes), seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces.
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet or red onion
- 1 medium jalapeno, stem and seeds removed and diced (see note)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated with a Microplane grater
- Juice from 1 juicy lime (about 1 Tablespoon of juice)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and stir well. Taste, and add additional lime juice or salt if needed.
- Set aside for about 20 minutes before serving, for best flavor. You can make this up to 3-4 days ahead -- just cover and chill until ready to use.
Optional Add-ins: Diced avocado, fresh mango, pineapple, or strawberries are wonderful!
Nat's Note: If you'd like to make this pico extra spicy, leave the jalapeno seeds in.
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