Pico with garlic makes everything better.
Fresh pico de gallo is a super easy recipe that is necessary for Mexican night at home. Traditional pico doesn’t have garlic, but this version definitely does. I’m obsessed with garlic, and put it in as many recipes as I possibly can!
This pico recipe only requires six ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and it will keep for a week in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about two cups, which is perfect for two people to share throughout the week. If you need more than two cups of pico, just double or triple the recipe to fit your needs!
Is pico de gallo a type of salsa?
Technically, pico de gallo can be considered a form of salsa. However, traditional salsa has a variation of ingredients, and tends to be more liquid-based than pico de gallo. Salsa is more of a “sauce”, while pico de gallo is a chunky, liquid-free topping for Mexican cuisine.
Pico de gallo also has a short list of basic ingredients, as opposed to the array of ingredients that can be found in various salsa recipes.
However, after pico de gallo is made, the salt extracts the juices from the tomatoes and onions. While this extraction of liquids can be delicious, it is not necessarily a part of the pico. Serve your pico de gallo with a slotted spoon or a fork, so the freshly chopped ingredients aren’t mixed with the liquids.
Ingredients for this Pico with Garlic recipe:
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1/2 white onion (red or yellow also works!)
- 2 garlic cloves (or more if you love garlic)
- 1 small jalapeño
- a small handful of fresh cilantro
- salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- juice from 1/2 of a fresh lime
How to make the best Pico de Gallo:
My personal tips to making sure your homemade pico de gallo is the best it can be!
- Use the freshest ingredients! Search for roma tomatoes that are vibrant, plump, and juicy. I recommend a Farmer’s Market for the freshest vegetables, but a grocery store will work, too!
- Chop all of the ingredients into very small pieces. The key to really good pico is having a bit of every ingredient in every bite. Chopping the tomato, onion, and jalapeños into really small pieces guarantees this! Mince the garlic for the best pico, and chop the cilantro as finely as you can.
- Let the lime juice and salt blend with the onions, jalapeños, and garlic first. Lime juice and salt act as flavor enhancers for pico de gallo. The longer these ingredients sit together, the more flavor the pico will have. The lime juice and salt work together to soften the onions and jalapeños, while also making the bite from the garlic a bit milder. You know how raw garlic is almost spicy? This step will eliminate that. Overall, this step blends the flavors and really makes them pop!
- Refrigerate the pico de gallo as long as you can before serving it. Fresh pico de gallo is absolutely delicious, but it gets even better as it rests and blends! This is the same concept as leftover pasta sauce or soup: it always seems to taste even better the next day, right? That’s because the ingredients have a chance to sit, blend, and become harmonious. The same applies to pico de gallo, so the longer you can keep it covered in the refrigerator before serving it, the better it will taste! I recommend at least 30 minutes, but you can push it to a couple of hours if you’re really planning ahead. (Or even a day or two!)
- Store your pico de gallo for up to a week in the refrigerator. Keep your pico in an airtight container, and enjoy it for an entire week. This recipe makes about two cups of pico, which is ideal for two people to share throughout the week!
Recipes to eat with Pico de Gallo:
Some of the best recipes from the blog that are perfect companions for pico:
- Pork Carnitas Sliders
- Spicy Shrimp Tacos
- Small Batch Barbacoa Tacos
- Small Batch Spicy Pork Carnitas
- Easy Homemade Guacamole
- Chorizo Queso Fundido
- Tex-Mex Fried Rice
- Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
If you make this pico, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your awesome creation! And as always, feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions. If you comment and rate this recipe below, I would also very much appreciate it!
Fresh Pico de Gallo
- 1/2 medium white onion*
- 1 small jalapeño
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1/4 cup whole cilantro leaves
- salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Finely chop the onion and jalapeño. (For a milder version, remove the seeds from the jalapeño). Mince the garlic. Add these three ingredients to a bowl with the lime juice and a healthy pinch of salt (at least 1/4 tsp. to start). Stir, and set aside.
- Finely chop the roma tomatoes and cilantro, then add to the bowl. Add a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper, stir, and taste. Season with more salt, pepper, or lime juice if needed!
- Eat fresh! Or refrigerate the pico de gallo in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes before serving, if possible.**