Add freshness to your next Mexican-inspired meal with this simple recipe for an authentic pico de gallo — a salsa with tomatoes, red onion, dill, fresh cilantro, and a subtle kick of jalapeño spice.
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One of the many great things about Mexican cuisine is that there is so much dipping and scooping. Give me a bag of tortilla chips and an authentic pico de gallo and I’m one happy señorita. But it has to taste authentic. It also has to be free of sugars and whatever else the pre-packaged stuff contains to make up for the lack of freshness. Tall order, huh.
That’s why I choose to make my own. It’s incredible easy and requires just a few ingredients, all of which can be found in that healthiest of grocery store sections: the produce aisle. It elevates any Mexican dish and will have your family and friends going back for more. Just don’t tell them pico de gallo means “rooster’s beak” in English.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Fresh and flavorful, the zesty lime and tangy sweet tomatoes are an amazing flavor combination.
- This recipe can be used in so many ways — as a dip with chips, as a topping for tacos, or even as a side dish.
- You can adjust the ingredients and personalize it to suit your tastes.
- It doesn’t require any cooking. No slaving away in the hot kitchen to get this one on the table.
- Made with simple whole foods, which leads me into the next section…
Is This Pico de gallo Healthy?
This salsa contains fruits, vegetables, and spices — all high in nutrients and low in calories, sugar, and fat. While it contains sodium in the form of salt, the amount is negligible (and can be lessened if it is a concern of yours).
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Red onions have anti-inflammatory properties, and jalapeños are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and capsaicin (capsaicin is what creates that burning sensation and is said to have anti-inflammatory properties). Fresh cilantro is a good source of vitamins A and K, and lime juice, aside from bringing a tangy flavor, also contains a small amount of vitamin C.
So… no. Scurvy will not be a concern.
These ingredients should all be found in the produce section of your grocery store. Just arm yourself with a good knife and getting dicin’.
- 3 cups tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Add the prepared tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro to a bowl.
Stir in the lime, salt, and black pepper.
Adjust to taste.
- Add pickled jalapeños instead of fresh ones for that extra zing.
- Replace the tomato with pineapple. You might not think this will work but its sweetness complements the spice of the jalapeno.
- Add in black beans or pinto beans if you want a protein-packed salsa that will leave you fuller for longer.
Because pico de gallo is a salsa and not a dish exactly, it can be served alongside so many Mexican meals. Here are some I recommend:
Mexican Mini Bell Pepper Nachos: Low-carb, gluten-free and absolutely delicious, these nachos are just crying out for some pico de gallo.
Mexican Breakfast Casserole: Pico de gallo, being full of nutrients, is a welcome addition to any morning meal, including this chorizo-based casserole.
Grilled Mexican Quesadillas with Lentils: A quick and easy dish for Mexican Meatless Mondays.
Yes, this recipe can be made up to a day in advance, it gets even better when it sits overnight.
If your pico de gallo tastes bland, it might not be because of anything you did in the kitchen. Ensure you are using fresh, top-quality ingredients. If your tomatoes — such a major component — are past their prime, it could ruin the entire salsa.
You can use white or yellow onions, though I recommend red onions because of their sweetness.
How to Store Pico de Gallo
When you’re done with your pico de gallo, cover the leftovers with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to five days. Before you serve it, give it a good stir. If the salsa has a funny smell, a slimy texture, or discoloration, discard it. If you know you’re going to store the pico de gallo, hold off adding the cilantro until you are about to serve it. Cilantro wilts quickly and won’t last long during storage.
- 3 cups tomatoes diced
- 1 cup red onion diced
- 1 jalapeño diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- ½ lime juiced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Add the prepared tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro to a bowl.
- Stir in the lime, salt, and black pepper.
- Adjust to taste.
Tips & Notes:
- You can use white or yellow onions, though I recommend red onions because of their sweetness.
- If your pico de gallo tastes bland, ensure you are using fresh, top-quality ingredients. If your tomatoes — such a major component — are past their prime, it could ruin the entire salsa.
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.