This mild pico de gallo recipe is juicy, bright and citrusy. It uses fresh ingredients like ripe red tomatoes, crisp white onion, and bright cilantro. Pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca, salsa cruda, or salsa bandera, is an essential Mexican food experience. In our house, we use it as a dip or a side dish for savory recipes.

This mild salsa is a healthy, low-carb snack that’s easy to prepare. It’s gluten free and family friendly, made with juicy fresh ingredients that will brighten your palate.

Pair this salsa with my 5 minute guacamole and some crunchy tortilla chips to make an appetizer spread for a party. You’re sure to please a crowd, or at least your household!

Mild Pico De Gallo served with blue corn chips. Any chips will do, really.

Cooked salsa vs pico salsa

Salsa is a general term for sauces in the Mexican language. It varies in consistency and is known for containing a considerable amount of liquid. Salsa includes any fresh, cooked, or mixed sauce.

Fresh salsas are prepared using the raw diced ingredients. Cooked salsa tends to be heated and pureed, so you don’t get the mouthfeel of the individual components of salsa. Cooked salsa tastes deeper and sweeter than fresh salsa since it uses roasted tomatoes, spices and dried red chilies.

For most sauces, I would opt for cooked salsa. Otherwise for most dips, I favor pico de gallo, or fresh tomato salsas. It is quick, fresh, and easy, no fancy equipment necessary.

What can I eat with it?

This recipe pairs well with my guacamole recipe, the 5 Minute Guacamole. This authentic mild pico de gallo is the perfect partner for your favorite tortilla chips.

You can also scoop pico de gallo into a small bowl and enjoy this chunky salsa with your favorite Mexican recipes like carne asada tacos or quesadillas. It’s a great topping for a Mexican dish or the perfect appetizer for game day.

It also tastes good in salads and wraps too. And there’s the obvious go-to, which is any kind of crunchy chips like tortilla, blue corn, or kettle chips!

You can also mix this salsa with hot sauce. If you want to put in extra effort, you can enjoy it with homemade tortilla chips or the best ingredients from your own garden. Make a platter with with Salsa Verde and Salsa Mexicana (which is a more soft and liquid-y traditional salsa).

Pro Tip: I prefer this salsa straight out of the refrigerator when everything is nice and cold and crisp, but it’s also good at room temperature if you like it more juicy.

Mild Pico De Gallo Dish. Zoom in on that juicy goodness.

Special ingredients

  • Tomatoes. This simple recipe uses ripe tomatoes, raw onion, to make a fresh salsa. I’ve tried this recipe with Roma and beefsteak tomatoes and prefer Roma for it’s juice and flavor. You can always try different varieties of tomatoes to your liking.
  • Onions. I use the sweet Texas onion because it’s my favorite here in town. It doesn’t make you cry when you chop, therefore saving you time from wiping tears and washing your face. I’m speaking from experience, of course.
  • Cilantro. The cilantro gives it that extra freshness. It’s my sister’s favorite part of the dish, and I never forget it.
  • Lime (& Salt). The kosher salt and lime brings everything together, encouraging the tomatoes and onions to sweat their juices to give you a wonderful and refreshing side dish. It’s perfect to top on your salads, tacos, bread, and anything you can think of.

The secret to the best salsa

The secret to the best pico de gallo is to dice the tomatoes and onions first, then using a fork to mash the tomatoes to release more juice. The juices mix with the salt and lime to create a savory and addicting juice. The juices coat the tomatoes and cilantro and onions, breaking it down and bringing out more flavor.

This homemade pico de gallo recipe has so much flavor, you will want to make it instead of buying the grocery store brands.

My mild pico de gallo is made without serrano peppers, jalapeño peppers, garlic clove, or green bell pepper, which are the main difference between a spicy pico de gallo and my recipe. My recipe is not spicy, so it’s easier on the stomach and the kids can enjoy it.

How to customize your salsa

Pico de gallo is one of the easiest recipes because it uses basic ingredients. In the original recipe, the mild salsa is made with simple ingredients using fresh lime juice and a yellow large onion. Because of that, there is only a mild onion flavor, but you can add more onion depending on your personal taste.

You can make this recipe more customized by adding any of these ingredients:

  • A spoonful of of chopped fresh garlic
  • Chopped plum tomatoes, to replace or supplement the Roma tomatoes
  • Chopped cherry tomatoes, to replace or supplement the Roma tomatoes
  • De-seeded and chopped green bell peppers, 1/2 a cup
  • Diced red onions, to replace or supplement the yellow onion

What you need

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (white onion will work too)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

How to make pico de gallo

  1. In a medium bowl, moderately mash the tomato to release the tomato juices.
  2. To the same bowl, add onion, cilantro, lime juice, and kosher salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Add more salt and lime juice to taste. Enjoy!

How long is it good for?

This recipe keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Chopped fresh tomatoes break down quickly, release all of their juices and become mushy in 24 hours. The water they purge will dilute the flavor of the pico de gallo as well.

So try to eat it all as soon as possible, not for food safety reasons, but for food quality ones.


What does pico de gallo mean?

Pico de gallo translates to the rooster’s beak in Spanish. It has to do with the way it’s originally eaten by pinching it between your thumb and fingers. Pico de gallo also goes by salsa fresca, salsa cruda, or salsa bandera.

Pico de gallo is also affectionally called “pico” for short. No really, it means short/small.

Where did pico de gallo originate?

Pico de gallo traces back to ancient Aztec cuisine and specifically from the Yucatan Peninsula, Sonora, Guanajuato, and Oaxaca regions of Mexico.

Is pico de gallo healthy?

Yes. It is tasty and healthy. The ingredients in pico de gallo have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Nutritional research shows that it provides vitamin C, A, E, K, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, and choline.

Pico de gallo is healthy because it uses fresh ingredients, including fresh tomatoes, white onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice. Made this way, pico de gallo is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a healthy dish.

Is pico de gallo good for weight loss?

If you are watching your caloric intake for weight loss, yes pico de gallo will help with weight loss if substituted instead of a high carb, high sugar dip.

Is pico de gallo keto-friendly?

Yes. This fresh pico de gallo is low in carbs and sugars. It uses a handful of ingredients that are low in carbs and sugars to make a super easy salsa recipe. The fresh tomatoes make this easy pico de gallo recipe don’t contain any added sugars either.

Is pico de gallo gluten-free?

Yes. There is no gluten in my mild pico de gallo recipe.

Does pico de gallo have carbs?

Yes, just a little. There are 3 grams of carbohydrates in a 32 gram serving of pico de gallo.

Does pico de gallo have avocado?

Usually it does not have avocado, but you can pair it with guacamole. Here’s my recipe.

How do I make pico de gallo spicy?

This mild pico de gallo recipe is versatile because you can turn it hot with just one modification. This is one of my favorite ways to make traditional red salsa. If you want to make it spicy, just add serrano pepper or fresh jalapeno. if you prefer a spicy kick to it. Start with half a pepper and work your way up to your desired spiciness level.

Mild Pico De Gallo

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 33
You can make a perfect Pico De Gallo in under 10 minutes using fresh and easy ingredients. Cilantro, white onions, roma tomatoes, lime.


  • 6 Roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice ((2 limes))
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a medium bowl, moderately mash the tomato to get some tomato juices out.
  • To the same bowl, add onion, cilantro, lime juice, kosher salt, and jalapeño. Mix to combine.
  • Add more salt and lime juice to taste. Enjoy!


You can leave out the jalapeño pepper and it will still taste good.
This stores for up to 3 days in your fridge.
Author: denthu
Calories: 33kcal
Cost: $3
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: quick and easy, vegan, vegetarian


Serving: 1 person | Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 588mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 955IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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