This easy pico de gallo salsa recipe is the perfect way to enjoy fresh homemade salsa! With just a few minutes of chopping, you can be enjoying it in no time.
We can’t get enough of this easy pico de gallo salsa. Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m loving this fresh tomato recipe. Any excuse to use lots of seasonal produce is a win in my book. We’ve been enjoying it with chips and on top of all of our favorite Mexican dishes.
What is Pico de Gallo? (And What is the Difference Between Pico de Gallo and Fresh Salsa?)
Pico de Gallo (also called Salsa Fresca) is a type of salsa. While both salsa and pico de gallo may have nearly identical ingredient lists, there are a couple of important differences between the two.
Pico de gallo is differentiated from traditional salsa because the ingredients are always uncooked and have a larger chop (meaning each ingredient will be distinctly visible).
Salsa can be made with cooked or uncooked ingredients, and typically has a much thinner (and therefore more watery) consistency.
How to Make Pico de Gallo:
It’s such a simple recipe, and there’s really only a couple of tricks to making this recipe perfect.
The first is to chop the onions first, mix with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and let that rest for about 20 minutes.
This draws out a lot of the moisture from the onions (and some of the compounds that cause the typical pungent onion flavor). Since it brings moisture to the surface, it also coats the rest of the salsa in a lovely mild onion flavor when all the ingredients are tossed together.
The second trick is to chop all of the ingredients to a relatively even size. I keep my tomato pieces a little larger than the rest of the ingredients, normally a 1/4″ chop. I like to chop the rest the rest of the ingredients to about 1/8″. This helps keep the flavor and texture consistent throughout the salsa.
Why is Sugar in the Ingredient List?
The sugar in this recipe is totally optional, but there’s a good reason to include it if you don’t like spicy food. Sugar has the ability to help offset the heat of spicy food. It helps neutralize the spice by absorbing the oils in the jalapenos and altering the flavor.
How to Make Pico de Gallo Even Easier:
Just run it through your food processor! Process the onions first, salt them, and let them rest in a bowl for 20 minutes. In the meantime, add the cilantro and jalapeno to the food processor and pulse. Add in the tomatoes and pulse. Transfer everything to a large bowl, add the sugar, salt, and lime juice. Stir to combine. It comes together in a flash if you prepare it like this, and you don’t have to spend any time at the cutting board.
This classic pico de gallo recipe is a tried and true favorite in our home. Whenever we have a bounty of fresh tomatoes, this recipe is always at the top of the list of ways to use them.
Try serving this easy recipe for Pico de Gallo with my Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip! They’re both delicious, easy, and healthy dips that everyone is sure to love.
- 6 medium tomatoes (chopped)
- ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
- ½ medium red onion (diced)
- 1 jalapeno (diced - with or without seeds, depending on spice preference)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- While you’re prepping the rest of your ingredients, mix the chopped onions with ½ teaspoon of the salt and let it rest for 20 minutes. This creates a reaction in the onion and minimizes a lot of the raw onion flavor.
- In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, salt, and sugar.
- Serve with chips, quesadillas, or burritos.
If omitting the sugar, start with ½ jalapeno and taste before adding more.
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47 Total Fat: .4g Carbohydrates: 10.7g Fiber: 2.5g Sugar: 6.8g Protein: 1.8g
Be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments and on Instagram @keytomylime #keytomylime and pin this recipe for later!
Looking for another fresh salsa recipe? Check out this salsa verde recipe from Cooking Classy.