Classic Pico de Gallo Recipe

Pico de gallo is a classic Mexican condiment made with tomatoes, onions, and chilies, perfect for topping tacos, tostadas, and totopos.

a bowl of pico de gallo with tortilla chips on the side

Lynn Wolsted

Why It Works

  • Salting and draining diced tomatoes improves their texture, flavor, and color.

"Pico de gallo" translates to "rooster beak," but what it refers to is the classic Mexican condiment made from fresh tomatoes, raw onion, chopped chilies, herbal cilantro, and vibrant lime juice.

Pico de gallo keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator in an tightly sealed container.

Recipe Facts



Active: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Makes: 1 quart

Rate & Comment


  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups); see note
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño chilies, finely diced (seeds and membranes removed for a milder salsa)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) lime juice from 1 lime


  1. Season tomatoes with 1 teaspoon (4g) salt and toss to combine. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer or colander set in a bowl and allow to drain for 20 to 30 minutes. Discard liquid.

    collage: salting and draining tomatoes of excess water

    Lynn Wolsted

  2. Combine drained tomatoes with onion, chilies, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt. Pico de gallo can be stored for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

    collage: combining tomatoes with cilantro, chiles, onions, and lime juice

    Lynn Wolsted

Special equipment

Fine-mesh strainer, large bowl


Use the ripest tomatoes you can find. In the off season, this generally means smaller plum, Roma, or cherry tomatoes.

This Recipe Appears In