Use fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers to make this classic easy recipe for fresh salsa also known as Pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresca! Keto, Paleo, Whole30 and Vegan-friendly!
Here's a classic recipe for Pico de Gallo, also known as Salsa Fresca, Salsa Cruda or simply Fresh Salsa.
It's an uncooked salsa, using fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and garlic.
Tossed with lime juice and salt and served with tortilla chips, Pico de Gallo is a healthy snack that is perfect for casual entertaining. Great for scooping!
I can't count the number of times I've made this recipe. While it's fun to eat with tortilla chips, we also love it with tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, or as a side for grilled chicken or fish. It's a perfect accompaniment to both these appetizers of Chili Lime Shrimp with Fresh Salsa and Bacon-Wrapped Prawns.
While fresh produce straight from the garden is often the most flavourful, this week, I searched for the best store-bought ingredients I could find. Armed with a shopping basket of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and jalapeños, I decided that this fresh salsa or salsa fresca should be on our menu.
While you can buy it pre-made, it takes less than 10 minutes to make and there's nothing like the flavour of fresh sun-ripened tomatoes. Homemade is always best!
Put these items on your shopping list for your next farmer's market day and make a batch to have with some tortilla chips, homemade guacamole and good friends.
🛒 Pico de Gallo Ingredients
- tomatoes: the best quality, firm ripe tomatoes you can find. Roma or plum tomatoes work well in this recipe.
- red bell pepper: you can also add some green pepper if you'd like
- onion: your choice: white or red or a combination of both. Red onion will add more of a kick to your salsa.
- jalapeño: or serrano pepper. One medium, or more if you like lots of heat.
- garlic: fresh is always best!
- lime: juice of one fresh lime
🔪 How to make Fresh Salsa (Salsa Fresca)
Chop all ingredients, toss with lime juice and salt and get out the tortilla chips!
Now that you have the basic recipe, feel free to make it your own and add other ingredients. Try
- chopped avocado
- serrano pepper
- a pinch of ground cumin
- fresh fruit: strawberries, nectarines, pineapple, grapes, apple, cherries, and even rhubarb!
- other veggies: drained cucumber, finely chopped fresh spinach
👍🏼 Top Tips
- Use the best quality tomatoes you can find! Their flavour will make all the difference to a great pico de gallo and a ho-hum one.
- Chop the ingredients finely. Not only will this increase the flavour, it will make it easier to scoop!
- Let your fresh salsa stand for 15 - 20 minutes before serving. This short amount of time will allow the flavours to blend and intensify.
- Serve your fresh salsa with a slotted spoon. Tomatoes release a lot of water and you'll find you'll have liquid at the bottom of your bowl.
While I think fresh salsa tastes best soon after it's made, you can keep it in a tightly covered container in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.
❓Frequently asked questions
Translated in Spanish, pico de gallo literally means “beak of rooster.” No one seems to have a firm reason for this name. It has nothing to do with roosters, however!
🗒 More salsa recipes to inspire you!
- Grilled Fish Tacos with Pineapple Rhubarb Salsa
- Goat Cheese Log with Apple Pomegranate Salsa
- Crispy Cajun Chicken Strips with Nectarine Salsa
- Chipotle Chicken Burgers with Fresh Peach Salsa
- Fresh Cherry Salsa Goat Cheese Appetizer
- Crispy Tex-Mex Crab Cakes with Strawberry Mango Salsa
- Crusted Halibut with Mango Pomegranate Salsa
- Grape Salsa with Lime and Cilantro
Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa)
- 4 medium ripe tomatoes cored, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper finely diced
- ¼ cup onion, red or white or a combination of both finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss with lime juice and salt. Serve with tortilla chips and guacamole, or with tacos or with grilled meats or fish.
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