The Best Homemade Pico Recipe

12 servings
15 min

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, today we are sharing our best homemade pico recipe.

If you’ve been following for a while now, you know we LOVE Mexican food.

We are constantly experimenting with our favorite Mexican recipes, tweaking them until they are just perfect, like our Salsa Verde Pork and simple 5 Ingredient Southwest Soup.

Are you looking for the perfect recipe to make your own homemade pico de gallo or salsa fresca? Look no further!

Our Homemade Pico Recipe is simple, fast, and oh so delicious.

With only five ingredients this recipe can’t be beat.

We’ll share our best tricks and tips so that you can impress your friends and family with a flavorful pico that is sure to be the best they’ve ever tasted.

So get out your apron and let’s get started!

In this post . . .

What is the Difference Between fresh Salsa and Pico de Gallo?

Pico de Gallo and Salsa Fresca are both types of fresh salsa.

The main difference between the two is that Pico de Gallo is typically chunkier than Salsa Fresca, as it is made with larger pieces of chopped vegetables.

On the other hand Salsa can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes or a combination of both. Often it’s blended for more of a sauce texture.

Clearly any of these salsas are delicious, but our Homemade Pico Recipe is sure to take your fresh salsa game up a notch!

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What’s the Best Tomatoes for Pico de Gallo?

Looking to make the perfect Pico de Gallo? Choose wisely when it comes to your tomatoes!

Paste varieties, like Roma, are known for being firm and meaty.

Not only will they keep their shape better in salsa but with less juice and fewer seeds than other types of tomatoes, it will keep your pico from becoming too juicy.

If you’re in a pinch you can substitute canned tomatoes.

Canned fire roasted tomatoes offer convenience without sacrificing flavor! Just remember – drain them really well before adding them to your pico recipe.

Pico de Gallo Ingredients

Our homemade pico recipe has 5 basic ingredients, chopped Roma tomatoes, diced white onion, chopped fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeños, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

As I mentioned, you can substitute canned tomatoes if needs be, but of course fresh is always best!

In fact, I always grow a few Roma tomato plants in my vegetable garden just for making fresh homemade pico each week.

In addition, I feel that fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice make for the most flavorful Pico de Gallo.

How to Prepare Fresh Pico de Gallo

To begin you’ll want to chop all of your vegetables.

I like to have my jalapeños diced finely, so I usually place them in the food processor.

That’s a great way to finely dice the onions as well.

However you’ll want to chop the tomatoes by hand or you’ll end up with tomato juice.

As for the jalapeños, they can really vary in heat. So I usually start with 2 and then add more if I need a little more heat.

Wear latex gloves when working with peppers and remove all of the seeds and membrane before chopping them.

The seeds and membranes contain most of the heat.

Place all of the chopped vegetables and diced cilantro in a large mixing bowl, salt and paper to taste.

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Finally add fresh lime juice to the chopped vegetables.

Toss with a large spoon and allow the flavors to blend for about 30 minutes before serving.

Tips for the Best Pico de Gallo

  • After the tomatoes are chopped place them in a strainer to remove excess liquid.
  • Use fresh ingredients, including lime juice
  • Do not refrigerate tomatoes (they’ll have better flavor)
  • Taste the pico and make sure you’ve added enough salt
  • If you’re tomatoes are too acid add a pinch of baking soda
  • Serve Pico de Gallo with a slotted spoon

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Feeling a little adventurous with your Pico de Gallo try adding any one of these ingredients to spice it up.

  • serrano pepper
  • corn
  • minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • cotija cheese
  • substitute green or red onion for white onion
  • diced red bell pepper
  • black beans

Do you have any additional suggestions to add to this homemade Pico de Gallo recipe?

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Pico de Gallo Serving Suggestions

Our Homemade Pico Recipe is incredibly versatile and can be served with many different dishes.

It is the perfect accompaniment for tacos, burritos, quesadillas and grilled meats.

You can also use it as a dip for chips or veggies.

For an even more flavorful dish, mix in some diced avocados and cotija cheese.

Or try it as a topping for nachos or eggs. No matter how you serve it, our Homemade Pico Recipe is sure to please everyone!

Cinco de Mayo is the perfect time to try our Homemade Pico Recipe!

With only five ingredients and easy instructions, making your own Pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresca at home has never been easier.

Surprise your family and friends with a tangy and fresh homemade pico that they are sure to love.

So are you ready to dive into some delightful Latin flavors?

Add some fun in your weekly menu plans with this delicious Mexican condiment.

Please let us know what you think about this recipe!

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The Best Homemade Pico Recipe
Recipe details
  • 12  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 15 min
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  • 5-6 jalapeños seeded, membrane removes, finely chopped
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 10-12 Roma tomatoes diced, drained
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 fresh lime juice
  • 1 T salt to taste

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Allow flavors to blend for 30 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in refrigerator for up to 4 days.Serve with tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortilla chips and more!Also delicious on grilled chicken, scrambled eggs, hamburgers and more!
  • Roma tomatoes are more meaty and your pico will be less watery. It also helps to drain the tomatoes after they are diced.
  • Start with 2 jalapeños and adjust to your liking. Jalapeños heat can vary.
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  • Susan Susan on Jul 26, 2023

    Is it 2 tbsp of lime juice or the juice of two limes?

    • See 2 previous
    • Susan Susan on Aug 16, 2023

      Thank you!

  • Excellent recipe! And I always laugh when it comes to storing leftovers. Leftovers? What leftovers? 🤣 Typically consumed during the after party by me and anyone spending the night or weekend and helping to tidy up. No matter how much I make, even preparing an abundance hoping for leftovers there is never anything left. So I take out a portion and set aside for the after party and as an addition to breakfast the next morning.

    Here that people? Try this recipe, you will love it! ❤️. Thanks for sharing.