Classic pico de gallo is fresh, flavorful, and sure to please the most discerning of taste buds. This traditional Mexican condiment is easy to make, but packs in a robust flavor thanks to its combination of diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, and freshly squeezed lime juice. It makes a tasty topping for tacos, burritos, chips – or anything else you can dream up!
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Pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is a classic Mexican condiment. It's basically a chopped vegetable salad topped with fresh herbs and spices.
The main ingredients used in classic pico de gallo are tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice. All these ingredients provide an amazing mix of flavors and textures - from the sweet acidic tomato chunks to the fiery heat of jalapenos and the crunchy texture of onion.
Creating your own version at home is simple: it only takes a few minutes to chop the vegetables, add some lime juice, and seasonings like salt and pepper and you've got yourself an incredibly delicious homemade salsa!
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- What You’ll Need To Make Classic Pico de Gallo
- How To Make Classic Pico de Gallo: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Tips & Tricks For Making The Best Classic Pico De Gallo
- Serving Suggestions And Substitutions
- How To Store Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Tools And Equipment For This Recipe
- 📖 Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Pico de Gallo, a popular staple in Latin American cuisines, is the perfect dish to bring dining flair to any social gathering or family dinner. This classic southwestern salsa celebrates fresh flavors and can be easily adapted to your preferred level of spice. I think you'll love this recipe and here are a few reasons why:
- With this mouthwatering recipe, you don't have to worry about sacrificing flavor for simplicity – classic pico de gallo has both. This recipe combines crunchy garden-fresh tomatoes, zesty onions, and a pop of heat from jalapenos. Add in a hint of lime juice, some freshly chopped cilantro, and plenty of garlic for an irresistible taste!
- It's quick and easy! Not only can you make it in under 15 minutes but it also stores well in the refrigerator, giving you even more added convenience.
- Pico de gallo is a versatile condiment that can be served alongside tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and other Latin dishes. You can also use it as a topping on nachos or even as a dip for chips! No matter what you choose to serve it with, your guests will be sure to enjoy it.
What You’ll Need To Make Classic Pico de Gallo
Tomatoes: The star of this recipe! Use any variety you like, but Roma tomatoes are best for a traditional pico de gallo as they are less watery that other varieties. Whichever kind of tomatoes you use, just make sure that they're red and ripe for the best flavor!
Onion: White or yellow onions work great in this dish.
Jalapeno pepper: This adds a nice bit of heat to the salsa, use as much or as little as you prefer.
Cilantro: Adds a wonderful fresh flavor and aroma to the dish.
Garlic: Fresh garlic adds a great depth of flavor.
Lime juice: The acidity from the lime juice helps balance out all the flavors and brings them together beautifully.
Salt and pepper: For seasoning.
Optional add-ins: Some people like to add additional ingredients such as avocado or corn to their pico de gallo. Feel free to experiment and make it your own!
How To Make Classic Pico de Gallo: Step-By-Step Instructions
Making classic pico de gallo is incredibly simple. All you need to do is dice up the vegetables, then add in the lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper before stirring everything together.
Here's a detailed guide on how to make it:
Step 1: Start by dicing the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno pepper (ribs and seeds removed), and cilantro.
Step 2: Place the chopped vegetables into a medium bowl and add in the freshly minced garlic.
Step 3: Squeeze the juice of one lime over the vegetables and stir everything together.
Step 4: Season with salt and pepper to taste, then give it all one final stir.
Step 5: For the best flavor, allow the pico de gallo to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This will give the lime juice time to work its magic.
Step 6: Serve your homemade pico de gallo immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks For Making The Best Classic Pico De Gallo
Classic pico de gallo is a quick and simple recipe, but here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the most flavorful and delicious dish possible:
- Use fresh ingredients. Using fresh produce, especially ripe tomatoes and fragrant cilantro, is key to creating a delicious pico de gallo.
- Taste as you go! Make sure to adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
- Allow it to rest. For the best flavor, let the pico de gallo sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. This will give the flavors time to mingle and develop.
- Make sure it's not too watery. Avoid adding too much juice from the tomatoes or the jalapeno peppers, as this can make your pico de gallo watery and less flavorful.
- Mix it up. Feel free to customize your salsa by adding different kinds of peppers, corn, avocado, or other ingredients to make it even more flavorful and interesting! For a sweet twist on this delicious classic, give this mango pico de gallo recipe a try!
Serving Suggestions And Substitutions
The great thing about pico de gallo is that it can be served with just about anything! Here are some ideas for how to serve this classic Mexican dish:
Tortilla chips: Serve it as a dip for chips or top loaded nachos with it!
Tacos: Top your tacos with a scoop of pico de gallo to add freshness and flavor.
Quesadillas: Add a scoop of pico de gallo to your quesadillas for an extra kick.
Burgers and sandwiches: Top your burgers and sandwiches with pico de gallo for a delicious and flavorful twist.
Salads: Add a scoop of pico de gallo to your favorite salad for a zesty kick.
If you don't have all the ingredients on hand, there are several substitutions you can make:
Tomatoes: If you don't have Roma tomatoes on hand, you can use vine-ripened tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes instead.
Jalapeno pepper: If you don't have jalapenos, you can use a poblano, serrano, or habanero pepper instead. Just be sure to adjust the amount according to your taste preference.
Onion: You can substitute red or yellow onion for white onion.
Cilantro: If you're not a fan of cilantro you can reduce the amount used or leave it out completely. I don't recommend adding a different kind of herb as it will drastically change the flavor of the dish.
Now that you know how to make classic pico de gallo, it's time to get cooking! Enjoy!
How To Store Leftovers
Any leftover pico de gallo can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The salsa will get more flavorful the longer it sits, so feel free to make it ahead of time.
I don't recommend freezing the pico de gallo as it will become mushy when thawed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pico de gallo (also known as salsa fresca) is a Mexican salsa usually made from diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. It is usually served as an accompaniment to tacos or burritos.
Yes, pico de gallo is different from salsa. Pico de gallo is a fresh uncooked salsa that usually consists of diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Salsa is usually cooked or blended and can have a variety of ingredients depending on the type of salsa.
Yes, you can make the pico de gallo ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The flavors will get better the longer it sits, so it's a great option if you want to make it ahead of time.
Pico de gallo is great to serve with just about anything! It can be served as a dip for chips or added to tacos, quesadillas, burgers, and sandwiches. It can also be used as a topping for salads or nachos. The possibilities are endless!
Feel free to get creative and customize your pico de gallo with different ingredients like corn, avocado, peppers, or other herbs and spices. For a sweeter twist, try adding mango or pineapple. You can also adjust the heat level by adding more or less of the jalapeño pepper. Enjoy!
Tools And Equipment For This Recipe
Glass Mixing Bowls: These glass mixing bowls are super versatile. You can use them for mixing, storing, and serving.
Citrus Juicer: This citrus juicer makes squeezing limes and lemons a breeze.
8-Inch Kitchen Knife: A good chef's knife is essential for quickly and accurately dicing the vegetables. This 8-inch kitchen knife by Paudin is a great choice.
Classic Pico de Gallo
- 6 Roma tomatoes diced
- ½ medium white onion diced
- 3 jalapeños seeded and diced
- 1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lime juiced
- Start by dicing the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper (ribs and seeds removed), and cilantro.
- Place the chopped vegetables into a medium bowl and add in the freshly minced garlic.
- Squeeze the juice of one lime over the vegetables and stir everything together.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, then give it all one final stir.
- For the best flavor, allow the pico de gallo to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This will give the lime juice time to work its magic.
- Serve your homemade pico de gallo immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
* Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content may vary based on brands of ingredients used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.