Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe: Easy Appetizer Idea


This homemade pico de gallo recipe is easy to make as an appetizer or snack idea for a party. It’s a fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and spices.

Turn any party into a fiesta when you make this homemade pico de gallo recipe. Just serve this fresh salsa with tortilla chips for an easy appetizer idea!

Homemade pico de gallo recipe

A favorite mexican appetizer

One of my absolute favorite things about going to a Mexican restaurant for dinner is the complimentary tortilla chips and fresh salsa the servers bring to your table just after you sit down. You know you can’t help but dip those tortilla chips and munch away as you pore over the menu trying to decide between chicken enchiladas, shredded beef tacos or some other delicious Mexican dish. If you’re not careful you have the entire bowl of fresh salsa gone before you’ve even ordered.

Often salsa served at Mexican restaurants is called pico de gallo, which is a term used to describe a chunky salad-like appetizer or sauce made with chopped tomatoes and onions. Unlike the salsa you buy in a jar at the store, pico de gallo is uncooked and made with fresh ingredients.

easy pico de gallo recipe

How to make homemade pico de gallo

Fresh salsa or pico de gallo recipes can be made a variety of ways. While they’re typically made with tomatoes and onions, many also include black beans, corn, and avocado. I’ve also found some fruit based ones that use strawberries, mangos, peaches, and pears. I’ve even seen one made with watermelon! (Check out this collection of fresh salsa recipes if you want to try some of those ideas.)

I originally shared this easy homemade pico de gallo recipe on Belle of the Kitchen a few weeks ago. Each month, Ashlyn from Belle of the Kitchen and I swap recipes to bring you new ideas for the kitchen. This month, we traded salsa recipes in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Ashlyn brought over a delicious Corn and Avocado Salsa recipe.

What you need to make Homemade pico de gallo

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Kitchen tools used

Homemade Pico De Gallo Ingredients

For my salsa recipe though, I really wanted to stick to traditional flavors and ingredients. This is what I used:

ingredients for pico de gallo

You’ll also find chopped jalapeño, habanero or serrano peppers in many homemade pico de gallo recipes. I didn’t have any on hand, so I used ground cayenne red pepper in our homemade pico de gallo recipe to give it a little kick instead.

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5 from 3 votes

Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe

Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: pico de gallo
Servings: 4
Calories: 26kcal
Author: Carrie Ypma


  • 1/2 cup Diced Onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper


  • Place diced onions and chopped tomatoes in a small bowl.
  • Add cilantro and lime juice.
  • Sprinkle with garlic powder, black pepper, salt, cumin and ground cayenne red pepper.
  • Mix together and chill until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!


Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag us on Instagram at @kenarryideas or leave us a comment rating below.
authentic homemade pico de gallo


While we traditionally serve this homemade pico de gallo recipe with tortilla chips, you can also use it as a topping for almost any Mexican recipe you make. Here are a few other serving suggestions for this homemade pico de gallo recipe:

  • Use chopped jalapeño, habanero or serrano peppers instead of the ground cayenne red pepper if you would like your fresh salsa to be picante or hot.
  • Add chunks of fresh avocado to your homemade pico de gallo to bring in some healthy fats and delicious flavor.
  • Homemade pico de gallo makes a great topping for rice, scrambled eggs or salads. Just think – if you would put salsa from a jar on what you’re eating, then you can easily put fresh pico de gallo on it instead.
  • You may want to double or triple the homemade pico de gallo recipe, if you’re serving it at a party. While this recipe made a good amount of pico de gallo, I must admit my husband and I polished off the entire bowl of fresh salsa at one meal. It’s that tasty!

While you’re here, you may like some of our other delicious recipes –

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authentic pico de gallo with tortilla chips

Originally published May 2016. Updated May 2020.

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  1. Hi Carrie, we love having fresh pico in the fridge, many times my husband will grab a bowl and eat with a spoon. Great recipe to share on the #OMHGFF this week, thank you and I have pinned!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. To make the flavor even better sautéed the pico for 30 minutes then chill. I’ve gotten many compliments on the flavor by adding this step.

    1. Oooh! That’s a great suggestion, Erin! I’ve never sauteed the pico but I bet that really helps to bring out the flavor (and soften up the onions a bit!). Thank you so much for sharing.

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