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Pico de Gallo – Taco’s Best Friend

By Chef Devan


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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.

Pico de gallo, tortilla chips, chili, tomato and fresh limes on the table.

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 Pico de Gallo

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 salsa that won’t make soggy tacos.

Fresh tomatoes, limes, shallot, parsley and lime on the table.


  • 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, tortilla chips, chili, tomato and fresh limes on the table.
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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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Curing time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 61kcal
Cost $10/ 7€



  • 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 bowl with the diced shallots.
    The small diced shallots with the lime juice.
  • Cut the parsley finely and place in a big mixing bowl. Slice the chili finely or into a small dice. 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.
    All the ingredients mixed together in a bowl.
  • 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.
    Pico de gallo, tortilla chips, chili, tomato and fresh limes on the table.


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.


Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2242IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Chef Devan

With exceptional talent and passion for gastronomy, Chef Devan has over 15 years of experience across the culinary world, bringing a wealth of experience to the table, even from Michelin-starred restaurants. He's here to help you captivate the senses and delight everyone with easy recipes you could cook at home. Learn more about Braised and Deglazed's Editorial Process.

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