Just like no-fail guacamole, homemade pico de gallo is easy to make, delicious, and much fresher than any packaged product. The best homemade salsa!
If you are relatively new to cooking a lot from scratch, pico de gallo might be one of those products you reflexively pick up at the grocery store anytime you’re planning to eat Mexican at home. That was definitely true for me!
I can still see in my mind’s eye the little section at my old grocery store where they sold pico with the other “fresh” packaged salsas. And boy, was it delicious! I could eat a whole tub in one sitting if I let myself.
Pico de gallo is a classic fresh tomato salsa. In addition to the tomatoes, it usually contains onions, cilantro, lime juice, chiles, and a hint of salt. And, it’s completely and totally addictive.
Now, I suspect there are as many variations on pico de gallo as there are home cooks in this world, and I’m willing to bet that all of them are delicious, traveling at light speed on the wings of crispy tortilla chips into happy, happy bellies. This is simply the version that we love best, the blend I go back to time and again.
And, if you’ve never made fresh homemade pico de gallo, I’d submit that this is a darn good place to start. Because, as good as it may be from the grocery store, a homemade version is so much fresher, so much better, and so easy, there’s no reason not to try it!
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How To Make Homemade Pico De Gallo
Like any recipe, especially a simple one, success here begins with the ingredients. No surprise – use the freshest quality ingredients that you can find and afford!
Tomatoes are the superstar – in summer, when fresh farm tomatoes are at their peak availability, it will be easy to find terrific ones. The rest of the year, Roma tomatoes are pretty easy to find and do the trick – they are meaty and usually have good flavor.
As for the onion, you’ve got choices! Red, yellow, or white onions work well. I find red onions the most visually appealing, so that’s what is in the photos here, but I confess I actually prefer the taste of pico de gallo with white onions! Use what you have on hand or experiment and adapt to your own taste.
Finally, a brief note on the method – chop the jalapeño very fine or omit it entirely if you don’t want the heat. Dice everything else evenly. Finally, I strongly recommend removing the seeds from the chopped tomatoes! It takes a few extra minutes but prevents the whole mixture from being soupy at the end.
And, of course, once you get started, feel free to experiment with the ratios to suit your taste!
What To Eat With Pico De Gallo
Homemade pico de gallo is the perfect classic accompaniment to any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal. Here are a few of our family favorites:
- Sheet Pan Chipotle Lime Shrimp Fajitas
- Spicy Black Bean Tacos
- Chicken Tinga Tacos
- Jalapeno Lime Fish Tacos
- Oven-Baked Chicken Black Bean Taquitos
- Crispy Chickpea Tacos with Sunset Slaw
But think broadly – pico is also amazing mixed with some eggs for a quick breakfast or brunch. Or, spooned on top of these show-stopping cornmeal chipotle cheddar waffles!
Let’s be honest, if I’m staring down a bowl of chips, great homemade salsa, and guacamole, there is no possible way I’m going to ALSO need to eat dinner. 🙂
Hope you enjoy as much as we do! And, if you already make and love your own pico de gallo, what are your favorite tips?? Tell me in the comments below!
Homemade Pico de Gallo
- 4 medium tomatoes Romas work well year-round, chopped and seeds removed
- 1 small onion finely chopped (red, yellow, or white are all fine)
- 1/2 jalapeño seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Store in the fridge and serve as desired.