Salsa Fresca, or fresh tomato salsa, is a delicious fresh salsa filled with tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime. It is a bright fresh salsa recipe that makes a great addition to any meal or a delicious snack all on its own!

Salsa Fresca in a black bowl with three lime wedges


This simple fresh tomato salsa, also known as Pico de Gallo, has great flavors and textures! It’s the best in the summer when you have fresh, ripe tomatoes that taste amazing all on their own. Add some jalapeno, garlic, onion, cilantro, and lime juice and you have salsa perfection.

You can add this to any dish for an extra explosion of flavor or just grab some tortilla chips and snack away! Try adding it to beer braised beef enchiladas , chicken enchilada casserole, or shredded chicken taco bowl. And don’t forget the frozen mango margarita

If you love this salsa but are in the mood for something a little sweet to go with your spice, try our mango salsa or pineapple salsa.

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Salsa Fresca on a black spoon

Ingredients You’ll Need

You will want to make sure to get fresh ingredients for this recipe for the best results.

Tomatoes – We prefer Roma tomatoes for this recipe. You don’t want a lot of juice as this is a chunkier salsa, and not a liquid salsa. These are not normally juicy tomatoes so they are great for this salsa.

Onion – White onions work best with the flavors of this salsa, but you can substitute with a yellow onion if so desired.

Jalapeño – To make it spicier, leave the seeds and ribs intact.

Garlic – Add as much as you would like!

Cilantro – Fresh cilantro is a key ingredient to salsa fresca. Add as much as you wish.

Lime – Fresh lime juice adds citrus zest that you won’t know you’re tasting, but would definitely miss if it’s not added.

Kosher Salt – Add to taste.

Salsa Fresca in a bowl with fresh parsley and black spoon


Step 1 – Dice and mince. Dice the Roma Tomatoes and onions, finely chop the cilantro, and mince the garlic.

Step 2 – Prepare jalapeño. De-seed and cut the ribs out of a jalapeño, then dice into small pieces. If you want a hotter salsa, leave the seeds and ribs.

Step 3 – Add ingredients together. Place tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and garlic in a bowl.

Step 4 – Add salt, juice, and cilantro. Add salt, the juice of 2 limes, and finely chopped cilantro, and gently toss everything together until well mixed.

Fresh tomato salsa in a bowl with lime wedges on top as a garnish
Is Salsa Fresca the Same as Pico de Gallo?

Salsa fresca is just another name for Pico de Gallo. They are both a chunky fresh salsa with very little liquid.

What is the Difference Between Salsa and Salsa Fresca?

The difference between salsa fresca and salsa is mostly found in the texture. Salsa fresca is a fresh tomato salsa made with ingredients that are roughly chopped and tossed together. There is very little liquid.

While many salsas use the same ingredients, they have much more liquid, and their consistency can vary from chopped to pureed. If you want to try one of these salsas, check out our amazing 5-minute restaurant style salsa!

Is Salsa Fresca Spicy?

This simple fresh tomato salsa has a little spice to it but it isn’t the kind of heat where you need to eat a bowl of chips after each bite to cool your mouth.

When I make it, I remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño pepper. This reduces the amount of heat it adds.

If you want to spice it up, you can leave the seeds and ribs in, or use a spicier pepper like a serrano chiles or even a habanero!

scooping Salsa Fresca with a black spoon

Do I Have to Use Cilantro?

No. Cilantro can be a divisive topic as many people can’t stand the taste. If you just hate cilantro, feel free to leave it out.

How to Store It

As the name implies this salsa recipe is best fresh. However, if you need to make it ahead of time, or if you have leftovers, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Salsa Fresca

Salsa Fresca, is a fresh tomato salsa filled with sun-ripened tomatoes, crunchy onions, fragrant garlic and cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. It is a bright, fresh salsa recipe that makes a great addition to any meal.
fresh pico de gallo with lime slices on top
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote


  • 6 Ripe Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup White Onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, de-seeded, ribs removed, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Limes
  • ½ teaspoon Salt


  • Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro in a bowl.
  • Squeeze the fresh limes over the mixture to cover them in juice.
  • Add salt and toss ingredients together gently until well combined.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 31kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 152mg, Potassium: 275mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 930IU, Vitamin C: 21.7mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fresh tomato salsa, salsa fresca
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda