Salsa Fresca - Fresh Tomato Salsa

Pico de Gallo

DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
66 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 66
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 93mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 3g
Calcium 88mg 7%
*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 everyone knew how easy it was to make their own salsa, it may lose its place as the top-selling condiment. This version, also known as pico de gallo, is particularly easy and just involves a bit of chopping. Use this salsa fresca as a dip with chips, spooned onto nachos, stuffed into tacos, sprinkled on salads, or served alongside grilled meats.

You'll notice that there are plenty of options to make the salsa just as you like it in the recipe itself. Scroll down to find some tasty variations that will keep you in different salsas all year long.


  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove small garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh green chile, diced (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 fresh green chile, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup or more fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Hull, or remove the core, from the tomatoes (insert the tip of a sharp knife at an angle next to the core or stem end, twist the tomato around the knife to pop out the tough whitish core—it's much like hulling strawberries). 

  3. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Squeeze out and discard the bulk of the seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes into whatever size you'd like your salsa to be and put the chopped tomato in a medium bowl.

  4. Peel and finely chop the onion. Add it to the tomato. If it seems like too much onion to the amount of tomato, don't add it all.

  5. If you're using the garlic, peel and mince it before adding it to the salsa. Note that raw garlic can easily overwhelm the other flavors, so use it sparingly.

  6. If you like your salsa spicy, use the chile. I'm a fan of serrano chiles for the extra kick compared to jalapeños, but what type of chile and how much definitely depends on how spicy you want to get. Remove the stem and the seeds, then mince the chile and add it to the salsa.

  7. Combine whatever you've added to the bowl so far.

    If you're using the lime, cut it in half and squeeze its juice to taste over the mixture. Stir again to combine the salsa with the lime juice. If you want the acid kick but don't have a lime on hand, know that a few drops of high-quality red wine vinegar does the trick, too.

  8. Sprinkle with salt, stir, taste, and add more salt as needed. If you're a fan of cilantro, roughly chop the cilantro leaves and stir them in. 

  9. Serve the salsa at room temperature and the sooner the better—its name is "fresh salsa" after all, and much of its appeal lies in how fresh and vibrant it is.

Recipe Variations

  • Roast the chile before chopping it up and tossing it in.
  • Sprinkle in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crumbled Mexican oregano.
  • Char the onion in a hot pan or grill before chopping.
  • Use tomatillos in place of some (or all) of the tomatoes.