Classic Pico De Gallo

homemad epico de gallo in a white bowl

Is there anything better than digging into a fresh bowl of pico de gallo with your favorite corn chips? The fresh, bright flavors are the perfect foil to the crunchy chips. But, this storied salsa is delicious with a huge variety of other foods, making it one of the most versatile sauces we’ve ever come across.

There are two different origin stories for the name pico de gallo. The first is that the dish was traditionally eaten by “pecking” at the salsa with thumb and forefinger and pico de gallo translates to “rooster’s beak”. The other origin story could come from the Spanish word “picar” meaning “to chop”.

Either way, this staple salsa is a part of many households around the world at this point and there are several good reasons for this.

pico de gallo ingredients on a cutting board

This is a very simple recipe that brings fresh flavors to the table with minimal cost and effort, something we adore. You simply chop the veggies and combine in a bowl to make this simple, yet flavorful, salsa. There’s no blending required at all, just a quick stir with a spoon and you’re done.

pico de gallo ingredients

Pico de gallo also basically goes with almost any savory food you could think of. It’s great as a dip for tortilla chips, as a topping for scrambled eggs, as a garnish for steak, and pretty much any other scenario where you’d need a tasty accompaniment for the main dish.

Pico De Gallo on scrambled eggs

The fact that this is one of the drier salsas means that you can use it in dishes where additional moisture is not welcome, like tacos and quesadillas. Although pico de gallo is best served the day you make it, the leftovers can add quite a lot of flavor to other dishes like chili or spaghetti sauce.

The really lovely thing about pico de gallo, aside from its versatility as a sauce for almost anything, is that it’s so easy to customize the flavor profile of this beloved salsa. Some people add cumin or chamoy to their pico de gallo for an even zestier condiment that can surpass the supporting role to become the star of the show.

pico de gallo in bowl on table with other dishes

The recipe below is for the classic pico de gallo salsa, but you can adapt this lovely condiment to suit your family’s tastes- that’s what makes this simple sauce such a winner!

Classic Pico De Gallo

20 minutes to prepare / makes 3 1/2 cups


  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, deveined and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus extra to taste (1-2 limes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to meld flavors.
  3. Serve with an additional teaspoon of lime juice over top if desired.

Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.