Pico de Gallo – Taco’s Best Friend 🌮

Pico de gallo. Fresh tomatoes, chili, shallots, lime juice and herbs

Taco’s best friend is probably guacamole but pico de gallo is definitely in the friend circle. Loaded with fresh tomatoes, chili peppers and herbs, this salsa is the ultimate fresh juiciness you want in your taco. Here’s a solid recipe for a pico de gallo salsa that doesn’t disappoint.

What is it?

It’s a raw salsa originating from Mexico that includes fresh tomatoes, green chili, coriander and onion. It’s also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce) because of the same colours of the Mexican flag 🇲🇽

Pico de gallo vs salsa

Salsa literally means “sauce” in Spanish and describes a number of sauces including salsa roja, salsa cruda, salsa verde, salsa criolla and salsa taquera to name a few. So the term “pico de gallo” is a more specific sauce while salsa can be a variety of raw sauces.

The secret to good to a good salsa

There is nothing worse than a salsa that is full of water at the bottom of the bowl. Here are two things you can do to prevent this.

Firstly, a sharp knife will stop the tomatoes from being crushed and the juices leaving the tomatoes. Keeping your knives sharp is always a good idea.

Secondly, curing the tomatoes before mixing with the rest of the ingredients will allow most of the water to drain off and result in a dryer, more delicious pico de gallo that won’t make soggy tacos.


  • Use the best, ripe tomatoes you can find. As the dish is so simple, the tomatoes need to be good!
  • Add the lime juice to the onions first to take off some of the harsh raw onion flavour.
  • Cure the tomatoes with salt over a strainer to prevent watery salsa

Pico de gallo. Fresh tomatoes, chili, shallots, lime juice and herbs

Pico de Gallo - Taco's Best Friend

A solid, no-fail recipe for pico de gallo. A raw tomato salsa with chilis, herbs, shallots and fresh lime juice that's ready to go for your next taco night.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Curing time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 61 kcal


  • Strainer
  • Bowl


  • 500 g tomatoes the best, ripe tomatoes you can find
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ medium shallot or white onion if you prefer
  • 1 bunch parsley you can use coriander if you like
  • 1 whole lime zest and juice
  • 1 whole red chili or serrano chili, or green chili
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper


  • Core the tomatoes and cut into small pieces. Add the salt and cure over a strainer for about 10 minutes.
    Tomatoes curing over a strainer
  • Next, cut the shallot very finely and place in a bowl. Zest and juice the lime into the diced shallots.
    Diced shallot with lime juice
  • Cut the parsley finely and place in a big mixing bowl. Slice the chili finely or into a small dice like in the picture. If you like a lot of chili add it all, if you're not sure, start with half of the chili. You can always add more later.
    Small diced chili
  • Add all the ingredients together and mix. Let it sit for 10 minutes so all the flavours come together. Check for seasoning. Serve with tacos or tortilla chips.
    Mixing all the ingredients


If there is still a lot of liquid at the bottom you can strain it again if you like. You can save  this tomato water and add it to carnitas or any Mexican meat dish.
Keyword chip dip, easy recipes, healthy, mexican recipes, mexican relish, mexican sauce, pico de gallo, plant-based, raw salsa, salsa, secret to pico de gallo, taco night, tacos, tomato salsa, tortilla chips, tostitos, vegan, vegetarian

Try this beer-braised carnitas recipe with this sauce! 


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