Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo
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Pico De Gallo is basically the original Salsa that is used to top various dishes. Used as an ingredient in other dishes or added to Guacamole and folded in. It pops up in quite a few dishes.

The Colors are supposed to be Green, Red, and White, after the Mexican Flag. For this reason, it is also called Flag Sauce or Mexican Sauce.

Pico De Gallo Ingredients

  1. Onions
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Hot Pepper – Jalapeno or Serrano
  4. Cilantro
  5. Lime Juice
  6. Salt


In Mexican Cuisine. White Onions are used most often.

Red Onions and the addition of Green Onions can be used as well. Along with some Mexican Green Onions.


Use Fresh Roma or Plum Tomatoes. Although preferable, any Tomato can be used. Just dice and wash to remove the seeds. Strain well before adding into the bowl.

Hot Peppers

Jalapeno or Serrano Peppers. Remove the core, seeds and membrane. Leave a few seeds in if you’re looking for more heat. Mince or Finely Chop.


Add Freshly chopped Cilantro in the amounts that is preferable. Some people don’t like the taste at all, some only lightly and others like a lot.

Pull the leaves off and Chop. Discard the Stems. Dehydrate any left over Cilantro.


Use the Zest & Juice of a Lime.

I find it better to Zest the Lime first and then cut it in half to Juice. Use as much as desired. Just a small amount, Half of the Lime or the whole Lime.

Sea Salt

Very crucial to help the Flavors come out and blend. Add more if you think it needs it.

Pico De Gallo Uses

Think of it as a Dry Salsa. Used as is for a Condiment with

  • Tacos/Fajitas
  • Quesadillas
  • Carnitas
  • Nachos
  • Burritos
  • Fish Tacos
  • Grilled Meats

Or used as an ingredient in Guacamole, Salsa. Added to soups such as this Taco Soup Recipe which you can add Pico De Gallo to.

Pretty much anywhere you can use Salsa.

Pico De Gallo Add ins

Add Herbs & Spices such as Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Chile Powder, Coriander, Cumin, Paprika, Taco Seasoning.

Add other Fruits and Vegetables to shape the flavors.

  • Mexican Green Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers
  • Papaya
  • Oranges
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Bell Peppers
  • Various Onions and/or Hot Peppers


Salsa Cruda

Salsa Cruda is a raw Sauce or an uncooked Salsa the same as Pico De Gallo. Cruda means uncooked.

Salsa Fresca

This means Fresh Salsa and is the same as Pico De Gallo called by another name.

Salsa Picada

Picada means chopped or diced. It is the same as Pico De Gallo.

Salsa Verde Cocida

Salsa verde is spicy green salsa sauce. Cocida means cooked. Salsa Verde Cocida is a Cooked Spicy Green Salsa and Salsa Verde is an uncooked Spicy Green Salsa.

This dish swaps out the Tomatoes for Tomatillos and uses Green Chili Peppers which together gives it the Green Color. It usually has the addition of Garlic and sometimes oil. It is pureed into a sauce and cooked (Cocida) Most recipe omit the Lime Juice or any acidity.

Chimichurri Sauce also falls under this category. A bright Green Argentina Sauce made with Cilantro and Parsley.

Salsa Roja

Salsa Roja means Red Sauce. Basically what we know as Salsa. Except that it is usually cooked and Pureed.

The redness comes from more Tomatoes added and usually contains Garlic and Oil and can contain other ingredients such as Herbs & Spices.


This is the Salsa that is known today. With Pico De Gallo or Salsa Roja and other diced and chopped Ingredients such as Green and Red Bell Peppers, Garlic, Oil, and Herbs & Spices and usually with Sugar added.

Fruit Salsa

Combine Pico De Gallo with Diced

  • Honey Dew Melons
  • Papaya
  • Mangoes
  • Red Bell Peppers.

Omit or include the Tomatoes and optionally swap the Onion with Red Onion.

This is an excellent topping or side Salad to serve with Meats.


This is also a Dish that I serve with Mexican Salad Dressing. It’s a Taco Seasoned Dressing. With added Vegetables and sometimes Leafy Greens and Cheese.

Pico De Gallo Storage

Place in a container or Jar and cover to refrigerate. It will stay good for about a week.

Don’t freeze it. Fresh is always better. In fact the next day the Flavors Peek giving a very flavorful Salsa.

However if you puree the Vegetables into a sauce. This can be frozen and minimizes on waste. It’s not Pico De Gallo any more, more so resembling Salsa Roja or Mexican Sauce.

If you plan on cooking with it, then the texture of it isn’t really important but instead the flavors. In this case you can freeze the Salsa.

Pico De Gallo

Salad consisting of Diced Onions, Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Lemon/Lime Juice, Salt and Cilantro
Prep Time10 mins
Rest1 hr
Course: Condiment, Ingredient, Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Pico De Gallo, Salsa
Servings: 1 portions
Author: JAH


  • 3 Roma Tomatoes – Diced
  • 1 Lime with Zest – Finely Grated then Juiced
  • 1/4 C Fresh Cilantro – More or Less depending on taste
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt or to Taste
  • 1 Jalapeno or Serrano – Seeded and finely minced
  • 1 White Onion – Diced


  • Dice the Tomatoes. Wash and Strain out the Seeds. Place it into a Bowl.
  • Add Finely Grated Lime Zest to your liking and then Squeeze the Lime Juice out into the Bowl. Add the Chopped Cilantro and Salt. Remove the Core, Seeds and Membrane from the Pepper. Mince and add to the Bowl. Add the Diced Onions.
  • Toss the Salad well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Overnight is better.


Include some Hot Pepper Seeds if you want it spicier.
Use Lime Zest to your preference. Just a bit, Half or the whole Lime. Finely Grated, Chop in half and Juice.