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Pico de gallo is a perfect blend of acid, heat, and herbal flavors. It is great as a dip with chips but it is so versatile that it could become a favorite topping for grilled fish, chicken, or beef as well as your tacos, burgers, nachos, and queso.
5 Tips for the Best Pico de Gallo
Here are five quick tips for getting the best pico de gallo.
- Use ripe red tomatoes. Roma tomatoes have the best flavor for pico de gallo since they are less watery, but any ripe red tomato will do. Before chopping the tomatoes, core and remove the seeds. Grape or cherry tomatoes can also be used just chop them into small pieces.
- Diced not Chopped. Dice everything very finely so that you can get all the flavors in every bite.
- Let it sit. Making it 10 to 20 minutes in advance will give the ingredients more time to marinate together to get the best flavor. Stir just before serving.
- Don’t forget the salt. Salting the tomatoes and letting them sit in a strainer will drain out additional water.
- Customize. Pico de gallo can easily be customized. Add some fresh avocado, cucumber, mango, or pineapple.
How to Make Pico de Gallo
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: Avoid watery pico de gallo by salting the tomatoes and letting them drain for 20-30 minutes.
1. Salt and Drain the Tomatoes: To remove any excess water from the pico de gallo season tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and toss to combine. Then transfer tomatoes to a fine-mesh strainer or colander set over a bowl and allow to drain for 20 to 30 minutes. Discard liquid.
2. Combine Ingredients: Combine drained tomatoes with onion, diced jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season with additional salt if necessary.
3. Let’s Eat: Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with your favorite tortilla chips or as a garnish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pico and salsa have many of the same basic ingredients but the difference is the texture. Pico de gallo is made fresh and has far less liquid. Pico ingredients are diced and tossed together resembling more of a salad. In comparison, salsa tends to be runnier since the ingredients are blended together.
Pico de gallo makes a great dip for chips but there are so many ways to serve pico. It can be a topping for tacos, chalupas, baked chicken, fish, or burgers. It can also be mixed with your corn and beans for a great cold bean salad.
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Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these:
Easy Pico de Gallo
- Medium-Sized Bowl
- 2-3 ripe Roma tomatoes diced and deseeded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ white onion diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced and deseeded
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon lime juice freshly squeezed
- Season tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and toss to combine.
- Transfer tomatoes to a fine-mesh strainer or colander set over a bowl and allow to drain for 20 to 30 minutes. Discard liquid.
- Combine drained tomatoes with onion, diced jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with your favorite tortilla chips or as a garnish.