We continue our Mexican Basics series today with Pico de gallo, an uncooked, fresh salsa perfect for topping tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, or just enjoying on its own as a dip. Often called salsa picada (chopped salsa),  salsa bandera (flag salsa), or  salsa Mexicana, it has a roughly chopped texture and beautifully showcases the colors of the Mexican flag.

A few years ago, we shared a recipe for Homemade Pico de Gallo, but have since developed this recipe and we like the fresh take on the classic. Just like the Classic Guacamole, there are many different recipes for making Pico de gallo. In fact, many cooks often just toss in a pinch of this and a little of that when making their own version. The yellow peppers and cucumber in this Pico de gallo set it apart.

What are the classic ingredients in Pico de Gallo?

Similar to many Mexican salsa recipes, this salsa has tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeño, onions, limes, and cilantro. We’ve added cucumber for a very refreshing twist and the seasoning is not overpowering. While classic Pico de gallo uses Serrano peppers, this recipe uses milder jalapeños, which tones down the spice a bit. If you’d like more heat, feel free to add your favorite spicy pepper.

Why make your own salsa?

Sauces, like salsa, keep things interesting in the kitchen. Mixing up a few flavorful kitchen staple ingredients usually takes little time and delivers a lot of bang for your buck. Can you imagine eating tacos without salsa? or salad without dressing? We can’t either! And having just a few basic sauce recipes in your back pocket can help you keep food boredom at bay. Once you feel confident in the basics, you can customize the flavors to your liking and the skies the limit! A great basic salsa, like Pico de gallo, makes for a great starting point in your sauce repertoire.

Serving Suggestions:

You can serve this delicious salsa in many different ways…the traditional way with tortilla chips, on tacos, on gazpacho, on scrambled eggs, or on grilled meats. We also enjoy it on top of hot dogs or a salad for a little extra punch of flavor. Try it with these Homemade Flour Tortillas!

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Pico de gallo

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  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Classic Mexican flavors that go perfect with chips, on tacos or a salad. Recipe from PocketChangeGourmet.com


  • Tomatoes – 4 Roma or 3 small vine ripe (about 1 pound)
  • 2/3 cups cucumber, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup yellow sweet pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped finely
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste


  1. Chop and combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well
  2. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 4 hours before serving
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Original Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Mexican Cookbook



  1. Thank you for your great recipes but I have noticed you never have Fish as a meal
    Why, we love fish so I do substitute but just wondering why?

    • Hi CC, we just aren’t in an area of the country that we can buy really good fish. We can get it frozen, but we just don’t eat it a lot. We also like to keep our menus, kid friendly, and a lot of children won’t eat fish.

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