Classic Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe (Pico de Gallo)

Fresh Tomato Salsa - Pico de Gallo
The Spruce
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Refrigerate: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 2 Cups (6 to 8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
35 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 Cups (6 to 8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 35
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 43mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g
Calcium 45mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're looking for fresh and flavorful salsa, this recipe is an excellent choice. The combination of diced tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and lime juice make for a classic fresh salsa. Serve it with tacos, burritos, or as a party dip with tortilla roll-ups or tortilla chips. It is a very good condiment to serve alongside grilled or baked fish fillets, grilled chicken, steaks, and pork chops.

The salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and peppers, and it is seasoned perfectly with cilantro and lime juice. See the tips and variations for some add-in ideas and more. The extra step of pouring boiling water over the chopped onion and garlic may be new and perplexing to some home chefs. Don't skip this step! The boiling water helps to take the bite out of the raw onions and garlic. You'll be left with their delicious flavor, while the process removes any harshness.


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  • 3 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 small cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeds removed, and chopped)
  • 2 chile peppers (hot or mild, chopped)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Classic Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe (Pico de Gallo)
    The Spruce 
  2. Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain thoroughly. Discard the water. Allow the chopped onion and garlic to fully cool.

    Strain onion and garlic.
     The Spruce
  3. Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

    Mix salsa vegetables.
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  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend the flavors.

    Mixing fresh salsa.
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  5. Serve as a dip or a condiment with Mexican style dishes. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 to 7 days.

    Classic fresh salsa.
     The Spruce
  6. Enjoy!


  • Use hot or mild chile peppers in the salsa. Jalapeño peppers, serrano, New Mexican, and Anaheim are good choices.
  • Take caution when chopping the peppers and be sure to wash your hands immediately following the cutting.
  • If you want a spicier salsa, keep some of the pepper seeds in the mixture.
  • If you prefer a more mild salsa, make sure all the pepper seeds and ribs are removed.
  • Plum tomatoes are an excellent choice for salsa. They are firmer and have fewer seeds, and they're easier to dice.
  • If you store this salsa in the refrigerator for a few days, the tomatoes will continue to release their juices. Simply drain the salsa prior to serving to keep it from having too much liquid.

Recipe Variations

  • If you're not a fan of cilantro, omit it or add fresh parsley.
  • For extra texture and color, add about a few tablespoons of drained and rinsed black beans and a few tablespoons of cooked corn kernels.

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