Having been raised by Southern parents in Europe, I'm not sure I can explain my love of Mexican food! I don't remember the first time I ate it, but I know that I've eaten plenty of it since! To make a homemade pico de gallo, it only takes a bit of chopping vegetables, adding in some herbs and spices, and before you know it, you have a homemade pico de gallo.
This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click them and purchase something, I get a little commission. Thank you for your support.
Is pico de gallo the same as salsa?
Simply said, no, although I've read that in Mexico, pico de gallo is sometimes called salsa fresca. They are quite similar in that they are both tomato based, have some pepper and herbs, and are eaten with chips, or served with a variety of Mexican dishes. However, pico de gallo is always made from fresh ingredients and salsa can be cooked or have cooked ingredients. Also, fresh pico de gallo is more dry than soupy like a traditional salsa.
Obviously, homemade pico de gallo starts with tomatoes! I use roma tomatoes and scrape out the seeds to keep the pico de gallo as dry as it should be.
Pro Tip: what to do with the scooped out tomato bits
I save the scooped out seeds and pulp in the freezer and pull it out to use in soups and spaghetti sauce. They have a ton of flavor!
Why white onions, specifically?
White onions have more of an "onion-y" flavor than yellow ones and they don't break down like yellow onions which is why we use yellow onions in cooking. Using white onion in a pico de gallo ensures that the flavor will come through and that the pico will be crunchy fresh.
What kind of peppers should be used?
I don't know enough about traditional Mexican food to state the answer definitely. I've heard that serranos are common, but I usually use jalapeno. I remove the seeds, but feel free to keep them if you like more spice!
Put it all in a bowl and season it with salt. You'll have to taste it to be sure it is seasoned correctly. Just grab a chip from that newly opened bag!
There's really not a more simple condiment to your Mexican dinner!
Other Mexican sauces you might like:
Homemade Pico de Gallo
- 2 cups Roma tomatoes
- ½ cup white onion finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons jalapeno pepper finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic see notes
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt to taste
- Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut in ¼-inch cubes and put in a bowl large enough to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the chopped white onion, chopped jalapeno, chopped cilantro, lime juice, granulated garlic, and cumin. Stir to combine. Add salt, taste, and adjust as needed.