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Culinary Arts

How to Make Pico de Gallo: Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: May 6, 2020 • 1 min read

Mexican food is known for its vast array of flavorful and versatile salsas: Different salsas serve different purposes and speak to different traditions, and each Mexican region has its own specialty salsa based on the local ingredients and local palates.



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What Is Pico de Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a raw, fresh salsa, also known as salsa fresca (fresh sauce) and salsa cruda (raw sauce). The best pico de gallo is a balance between the cool sweetness of ripe tomatoes, the combined acidic heat from raw onion, citrus juice, and chile peppers, and an herbaceous note from fresh cilantro leaves.

3 Ways to Serve Pico de Gallo

  1. With fish tacos. The Baja area is famous for its fried whitefish and shrimp tacos, which are often served with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Learn how to make fish tacos in our guide here.
  2. With tortilla chips. Combine pico de gallo and guacamole to make a flavorful dip for tortilla chips. The light spice and acidity of the pico de gallo is a perfect foil to the creamy avocado.
  3. As a condiment. Pico de gallo can both temper spiciness and add a fresh element to carne asada burritos, nachos, or enchiladas, alongside a drizzle of Mexican crema.

Classic Pico de Gallo Recipe

3-4 cups
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min


  • 5–6 medium to large-sized fresh tomatoes (roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes are traditional, but cherry tomatoes or heirlooms also work well), diced small
  • 1 small white onion or red onion, diced small
  • 1 small green chile, like jalapeño or serrano, stem removed, and finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice, add more as needed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and stir well to combine.
  2. Taste, and adjust seasoning by adding salt, pepper, or lime juice, as needed. Serve immediately.

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