Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo 1

No one knows for sure how it came to be called Pico de Gallo. Pico de Gallo literally translates to “beak of the rooster” in Spanish.

There are many speculations about the origin – people who presumably didn’t have tortilla chips so they used their thumb and fingers like a rooster’s beak to pick it up. I’m not buying that one. Or there are the theories that the diced pieces of tomato resemble rooster’s beaks or that the size of the diced ingredients are about the size of chicken food. I’m calling either of those a definite maybe.

In Mexico it is also called “salsa guevona” (meaning lazy salsa) because it’s very quick and easy to make.

Pico de Gallo is really just a fresh salsa, that we call delicious. This is a very quick and easy recipe that has a couple of hacks to get more flavor, without overpowering heat. So let’s get to it.    

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Only 8 ingredients to make a great Rooster’s Beak. Tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, onion, vinegar, lime, and garlic.

A note about tomatoes: My favorite variety for making Pico is Roma tomatoes because of their firm flesh and ability to keep their shape. Any ripe tomato will work, just remember to discard the seeds and liquid, only using the outside flesh.  

After washing all of the veggies, place peppers into a pot of water and bring to boil. Turn off the heat leaving the peppers in the water for 5 minutes. Take the peppers out of the water and set aside to cool down. This simple step tones down the heat of the peppers a little, while keeping all of the flavor.

The peppers I use depends on the availability. I like to use two kinds of peppers to give the Pico more layers of flavor.  When I can find a yellow banana pepper it always goes into the Pico. If I can’t find those, I will use an Anthem.  Jalapenos are my go-to peppers for this recipe.

While the peppers are cooking, dice up the onion and place it in a bowl of cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. You can put the onion in a little strainer before soaking it to make the job faster. When the time is up simply run the onion under cold water and drain them by pushing down on the onions to get the excess water out. The cold water neutralizes some of the sulfur that give raw onions their strong and sometimes overpowering taste. The onions will keep all of their sweetness and pure onion flavor, but without the bite.

Throw almost everything into a large bowl – tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Finely chop the peppers and add about half to start off with. Mix everything together and take a taste. You can adjust the heat by adding more of the diced peppers and even the seeds depending on how hot you like it. 

And that’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Of course everyone loves Pico with tortilla chips, but this recipe is also the perfect pairing for a reverse seared tri tip. Check out the recipe here.

Pico de Gallo

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5 from 2 votes

Pico de Gallo

How to make homemade Pico de Gallo that tastes like a Fiesta on a Chip!
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Sauces and Condiments
Cuisine: Mexican, TexMex
Keyword: pico de gallo
Servings: 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers diced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Wash and dry all the veggies and cilantro.
  • Place peppers into a pot of water and bring to boil. Turn off the heat leaving the peppers in the water for 5 minutes. Take the peppers out of the water and set aside to cool down.
  • Finely diced the onion and place it into a small fine mesh colander and soak it in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Then rinse under cold water and wring out excess water. Add to mixing bowl.
  • Cut peppers in quarters to take out and remove the seeds, then finely dice them and add to the onions. If you like a lot of heat, include the seeds.
  • Add the tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix well and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

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