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Simply Pico de Gallo Recipe

Contributors: Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND

Published: February 4, 2018

Rebecca Clyde, MS, RDN, CD

Pico de gallo (pronounced PEEK-oh deh GEYE-oh), which in Spanish means "rooster's beak," is simply salsa prepared in the Mexican tradition. Typically made of raw, uncooked ingredients (tomatoes, onion and chiles), pico de gallo adds a layer of fresh flavor over grilled fish or chicken; with fajitas, tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas; in Spanish fried rice and beans; and as a topping for corn chowder or Mexican-style eggs (huevos rancheros). Freshly made — rather than store-bought — pico de gallo also is a simple, economical and beta-carotene-rich dip. Use jicama and zucchini slices, whole-wheat crackers or tortilla chips for dipping.


1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup cucumber or radishes, diced (optional)
½ avocado, pit removed, diced (optional)


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stir well.
  2. Cover and chill for 1 to 4 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Cooking Notes

  • If flavorful fresh tomatoes aren't in season, substitute about ¾ pound (2 to 3) Roma or plum tomatoes or 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, drained.
  • To adjust the spice level, use more or less jalapeño.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ¼ cup

Serves 6

Calories: 10; Calories from fat: 0; Total fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium 20mg; Total carbohydrate: 2g; Dietary fiber: 1g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 0g

Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND, is author of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide and 365 Days of Healthy Eating.

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