Pico de Gallo

A bowl of pico de gallo with a spoon resting inside set on a piece of parchment in a rimmed baking tray.

Pico de gallo, also known as salsa Mexicana, has become a common sight on tables in the U.S. and it’s easy to see why. The mixture of raw, chopped ingredients improves just about any meal with its lively acidity, lip-tingling heat, and crisp texture. My version is a riff on the classic that swaps lemon for lime to great effect. Whenever I take a bite I have a heretical thought: This is so delicious that maybe we Mexicans should use only lemons!–Roberto Santibañez

LC Who? What? Where? When? Why? Note

Okay, so we know what pico de gallo is. But in terms of the when and where, we think you may be underestimating its potential. We consider it a perky little pick-me-up for all manner of things. We plop it atop plain fried eggs. Stir it into warmed white rice. Spoon it onto baked potatoes. Lavish it on pot roast. Daintily dump it on grilled fish. And flat out swoon to its ability to fancy up the plain-Jane Mexican riff on grilled cheese known as molletes.

Pico de Gallo

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 2 cups
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and gently stir. Season to taste with more chile, zest, juice, or salt, if desired. If you can, let the salsa sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. (You can also make this salsa up to several hours before you intend to serve it.)

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is a pretty straightforward pico de gall recipe. I used limes instead of lemons. I was surprised that the amount of serrano chillies still made this pico de gallo pretty mild. If you like hot, and I mean REALLY hot spicy I would easily add 2 full tbsp of the chillies. I did miss the minced garlic in it. I truthfully prefer it with garlic. Adds more oomph.

Fresh raw salsa is a staple in our household. In winter I only use Roma tomatoes, as they seem to have the best flavor. Though I make tons of salsa varieties, this one is a touch different due to the lemon zest and juice. Lime is usually my preference, so trying something else is admittedly a nice change. It seemed almost strange not using lime, but the results with the lemon were great. The Serrano chiles add the necessary heat and complete the picture. As I enjoy puckery acidity, I used 3 tablespoons of lemon juice total. The acid and heat were a great balance, so I did not find myself using additional seasoning apart from the additional lemon juice. Though not traditional, it would be fun trying this with fresh mint rather than the cilantro. We used this on tacos. My husband used it as a topping on turkey salad sandwiches and loved it! He has already requested it again, which is about the best compliment one could wish for when testing a recipe.

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  1. The texture was great — wonderful chunky tomatoes and crunchy onions and peppers. The chili pepper was perfect to add quite a kick that sticks with you thru the aftertaste!

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