Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is a simple mixture of fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno (if you like), and brightened with fresh lime juice, cilantro and salt.  It’s SO easy to make and so delicious with just about any latin-inspired food, or simply with a bowl of tortilla chips near by!

Pico de Gallo in bowl


How to Make Pico De Gallo

tomato onion lime cilantro

Pico de gallo couldn’t be easier to make!  With such simple ingredients, here are some tips to make the best pico out there. 

1. Chop your ingredients small: this makes it easier to scoop up on small bites of food so you get flavor in every forkful!

2. Taste and adjust:  the best pico doesn’t require and exact recipe.  Taste as you go and add more lime juice, salt, or adjust amounts of onion and cilantro to taste.
3. Let it rest:  You can certainly serve pico right away, but it’s best after it has some time to chill in the fridge and let those flavors blend together.
tomato onion and cilantro
Try your pico plain with tortilla chips or alongside our Chili-Lime Steak Salad, Chicken Taquitos, Chipotle Taquitos, or fill some warm homemade flour tortillas with Taco Chicken, Queso Fresco (you can usually find it near the cream cheese section of the grocery store), shredded cabbage, and top with a little pico de gallo for one of my most favorite meals in the whole world…
Pico de Gallo in bowl
Pico de Gallo in a bowl

Pico de Gallo

A classic combo of tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime.  Delicious as a dip for chips, or condiment over any latin-style food.  Measurements are approximate.  Adjust to taste!


  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes or any other plum tomato
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced white onions are traditional, but red are great, too
  • small handful chopped cilatro about 1/4 cup
  • 1 lime
  • kosher salt
  • optional: 1 small jalapeno seeds and membrane removed *SEE NOTE


  • Cut ends off tomatoes and then slice in half lengthwise. Under running water, gently run your finger under the membrane to remove seeds and pulp. It’s okay if some seeds get in there, but if you have all of them, it’s going to get a little sloppy.  Dice tomatoes into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  • Add finely diced onion and cilantro to bowl, and jalapeno, if using.  Squeeze half the lime over the mixture and a little sprinkle of salt.  Toss mixture together and taste.  Add more salt, or adjust any ingredients to taste (including add more lime!)
  • May serve immediately, but tastes especially great if it has some time to chill in the fridge first.


If you’ve never worked with fresh jalapenos before, know that the heat is found in the membranes and seeds.  This can irritate hands, and consequently face if you make contact.  We suggest wearing food-safe gloves when working with jalapenos and being careful to remove membrane and seeds.  Click here for more info!
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I have a problem when I make pico de gallo that I can’t figure out! When I chop up the red onion and add it to the rest of the ingredients, I get an overwhelming bitter taste. Any advice to get rid of that?

  2. I made this today and am excited to eat it. The only thing I would recommend is maybe mentioning in the preparation of the jalapeno is to use gloves if possible. I don’t usually cook with jalapenos and didn’t think to use gloves and now my fingers are burning :(. My mistake but it may help someone inexperienced with hot peppers. Thanks!! 🙂

  3. I used raw garlic this first batch of the year – tomatoes (from the garden) cilantro, jalapeno,and red onion. I had forgotten the salt but later it helped offset the raw taste of the garlic. Next time I’ll try the pinch of sugar – thanks for the tip!

  4. Yummy pico! Loved it! My hubby thought to put some in his tuna fish for a tuna sandwich and let me tell you, it was incredible! You’ve got to try it for a quick and yummy lunch. 🙂

  5. I just found your website this morning and I rushed out to the store to get all the ingredients for the pico and chicken taquitos. Everything on your site looks delicious, can’t wait to try out all your recipes!!! Thanks!

  6. I have been looking for a good recipe like this, but my family can’t have jalapenos. Has anyone tried it without them, or is there a good substitute? We can’t eat anything spicy, or hot.

    1. Jennifer–I’d just leave ’em out! 🙂 They don’t add much flavor-wise, it’s just a heat thing.

  7. I also add garlic, and a large serving spoonful of balsamic vinegar. My recipe would be about three times larger than yours, also. This is a great diet-food snack if you're careful with the chips! After having my hands burned from chopping jalapenos I learned to wear gloves, then I bought myself a KitchenAid immersion blender that has a wonderful chopper bowl. I always keep a jar of chopped onion in the fridge now, and a tiny one of chopped jalapenos in the freezer! We love our pico and pile it on our enchiladas as well as scooping it onto tortillas. Yum!

  8. Yummmm! I am so going to the grocery store tomorrow for chips and pico de gallo!

  9. This looks YUMMY! These are the ingredients (except the peppers) that I add to avacados for guacamole.

    And you inspired me to grow my own herbs. They are doing great so I'll have to go grab a handful of cillantro & make some of this.

  10. I made pico de gallo for the first ever a couple weeks ago…and the recipe was exactly the same except I used white onions. I also didn't know to take the seeds out of the TWO jalapeno peppers I used and after burning my something fierce and also touching my skin with jalapeno on my fingers, creating an insane burning sensation, I put some of that pico in a smashed up avocado and it was divine! *swoon*

    p.s. I live in Louisiana too and 2 big thumbs down for the weather!

  11. Mmm, this will go nicely with my menu plan this week. Thanks Kate! I've never added garlic to mine. I like it traditional.

  12. I know, I know, I always think, "Garlic would be SO good," but the purist in me always wins out. Next time, I promise, I'll try it… 🙂

    And SJR–you mostly want the leaves, but if a stem or so gets in there, it's okay. Stick around, girl, and we'll have you wishing you owned stock in the cilantro industry! 🙂

  13. My husband was just commenting on Saturday that we needed to find a good recipe for pico de gallo and try making our own. Thanks for making my hunt so much easier. It looks delicious! I haven't done much with cilantro before; do you cut up the stems and the leaves, or just the leaves?

  14. I love making my own pico/salsa! My family can't eat anything else. Just last week my little brother brought me all of the ingredients to make a big batch for him and his roommates. If I want more of a salsa-y consistency I add two cans of petite diced tomatoes and then put about 1/3 of the finished product into the blender and blend it for a few seconds. So good! I also add garlic to mine.Like Sara,

  15. must get over my fear of jalapenos. must! that looks like SUMMER IN A BOWL! so yummy and fresh!
    I'm with you on the QUICK and easy meals for summer. Funny, i'm leaning more and more that way for dinner ALL YEAR round!

  16. Love, love, love pico de gallo!! And the cilantro is a must. The first time I had cilantro I really didn't like it – reminded me of stinky feet. Anyway… now I love it and my pico de gallo is not complete without a large handful of chopped cilantro. YUM!!
    – Jennifer

  17. That looks just fabulous! I have always thought you had to use garden fresh tomatoes too. I am going to try this with plain ole grocery store tomatoes. Thanks for trying it and sharing the results!

  18. Recipes that don't require exact measurements always turn out the best 🙂 Looks delicious!!

  19. I'm with you… plant killer. I'm not good with pets either, although I have never let one of my children go without water for days until they shrivel up, nor left them in a cage in the backyard and have them die of sun exposure:) Good news, right? So your pico looks exactly like mine, except I put in a pinch of sugar. I wish it wasn't my secret ingredient in practically every recipe, but it is. I'm gonna go make some pico de gallo. It is actually awesome first thing in the morning, because it turns scrambled eggs into a FEAST! Thanks…

  20. Those pictures make me want pico at 6am! And that blue bowl makes my heart flutter. I think I need that too.

    Like Krista, I put fresh garlic in mine too- probably not as traditional, but so good!

    Looks awesome Kate

  21. looks good! i just made a huge vat of pico for a friends fiesta party last weekend. i made mine pretty much the same, but i added a bit of garlic powder too. it just gave it another little flavor note. i LOVE pico!!!