Pico de Gallo, also known as 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

Pico de Gallo

Chips and salsa is one of my all-time favorite things. I consider myself a bit of a salsa connoisseur and at that top of my list is a good Pico de Gallo, or Salsa Fresca. This simple fresh tomato salsa has great flavors and textures and it’s the best in the summer when you have really fresh, ripe tomatoes that taste amazing all on their own. Add some jalapeno, garlic, onion, cilantro, and lime juice and you have salsa perfection.

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What is the Difference Between Pico de Gallo and Salsa?

The difference between Pico de Gallo and salsa is mostly found in the texture. Pico de Gallo is made with fresh ingredients that are 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.

how to make fresh pico de gallo

How to Make Pico de Gallo:

  1. Dice the Roma Tomatoes and onions into small pieces.
  2. De-seed and cut the ribs out of a jalapeno then dice into small pieces.
  3. Finely mince garlic.
  4. Place tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and garlic in a bowl.
  5. Add salt and the juice of 2 limes.
  6. Add finely chopped cilantro and gently toss everything together until well mixed.
  7. Enjoy!

Is Pico de Gallo Hot?

Pico de Gallo 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. In this recipe for Pico de Gallo I remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno 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 serrano pepper, or even a habenero (too spicy for me!!).

pico de gallo on a spoon

Do I Have to Use Cilantro in Pico de Gallo?

I LOVE the fresh flavor that cilantro adds to a dish but I know some people can’t stand it. In this case I would say that cilantro is a big part of the Pico de Gallo experience BUT if you don’t like it and you want fresh tomato salsa then skip it. You could try adding some parsley, it would still brighten up the dish but it will taste very different from Pico de Gallo. My recommendation , if you can eat cilantro, would be to use less cilantro than the recipe calls for and see what you think.

How Do You Store Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo is best fresh but you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins

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.


  • 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
Nutrition Facts
Salsa Fresca
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 31
% Daily Value*
Sodium 152mg6%
Potassium 275mg8%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 930IU19%
Vitamin C 21.7mg26%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.