My Pico de Gallo (AKA raw salsa) is the perfect addition to all things Mexican and Mexican inspired, and then some! Spicy, super fresh, and packed with flavor, it takes only a few minutes and 5 ingredients to throw together. Can you say Taco Night? or Taco Tuesday? Or how about…Taco Today?
I love salsa from the jar, but there are times I want something a little lighter and brighter and fresher than that, and this pico de gallo absolutely does the trick. It is amazing on tacos (try my Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Tacos!), burritos, and enchiladas. It is also so delicious with my homemade oil-free tortilla chips or pita chips and vegan sour cream. I’m thinking 7-layer dip to the max! You don’t have to go Mexican style with this though – I absolutely love it on whole grain bread with lemony hummus, and my husband often puts loads of it on his salad with beans and hemp seeds. It’s got so much flavor that he basically uses it as a salad dressing.
This spicy dip is naturally fat free, plant based, and vegan, and it’s also very versatile and customizable, as well as very forgiving – it’s pretty dang hard to mess it up. You can adjust the spiciness to your liking, or use a little more tomato or a little less onion, or more garlic, etc. You can use white, red, or yellow onions with success. You can add some fresh cilantro, or omit the salt if that’s your jam. You can even substitute a portion of the tomatoes with fresh fruit like pineapple, mango, strawberries, or even grapes!
For this recipe, you can use either jalapeños or serrano peppers, though if I had to choose, I’d say I prefer the jalapeño flavor here. Serranos are much hotter than jalapenos and have a bit more bitterness. If you love a lot of hot spice, or if you enjoy the more bitter serrano flavor, or if that’s just what you have in the fridge right now, that will work just fine and will be delicious.
We usually go through this stuff pretty quickly, but on the rare occasion that we leave some for another time, this fresh salsa can easily last two weeks in the fridge.
Special Dietary Needs
This pico de gallo is suitable for many diets, such as:
Dairy free (nondairy)
Nutritarian (Dr. Fuhrman ETL – Eat to Live)
Refined sugar free
WFPB (whole foods plant based)
WFPBNO (whole foods plant based no oil)
WFPBNOSOS (whole foods plant based no salt oil sugar)
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First, chop all your clean ingredients. Chop your tomatoes into large chunks (if you’re using grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, you can skip this step), then chop your onion into slightly smaller chunks (about half the size of the tomato pieces), and then chop your garlic and peppers pretty finely. You don’t have to be super meticulous about the sizing here. The point is to get the ingredients with stronger flavors into smaller pieces so that once they are put into the food processor, they intersperse well throughout the entire dip, and you don’t get a big chunk of onion, garlic, or pepper in a bite while your tomatoes turn to mush.
If you’re using a food processor (you can also just use a knife, it will just not be quite as quick), it’s time to transfer your ingredients there now. Do not push the “on” button and just let it blend – this will give you spicy juice instead of a nice, chunky salsa. Instead, pulse your food processor in super quick bursts that last a fraction of a second each. I pulse about 50 times to get this wonderful texture.
If you do not have a food processor, you can still make this with just a very sharp knife and cutting board (the sharper your knife, the less of the juice will be lost in the cutting process), it’ll just be a little chunkier, which is also delish. Mince your garlic as finely as you can, and chop your peppers very small so you don’t get a big hit of heat all at once). Then give your onions and tomatoes a nice small dice, as small as you can without losing tons of juice. Transfer to a bowl, add your salt, and mix thoroughly.
Taste and adjust as needed, noting that both the saltiness and spiciness will decrease some after the flavors meld together. If you need to add something other than salt at this point, I recommend chopping separately and stirring in so that you don’t break down the texture of the pico de gallo.
Now all that’s left to do is serve and enjoy! Who’s ready for taco night?
So flippin’ fresh!
This Pico de Gallo goes great with:
Pico De Gallo [Fresh Raw Salsa]
- 2 medium sized tomatoes 15-16 oz total or equivalent in smaller tomatoes
- 1 small onion 2 inches diameter
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers or 1 serrano pepper serrano peppers are easily 2-4 times spicier than jalapeno peppers; 1 jalapeno pepper will yield a relatively mild-medium result while 1 serrano pepper will yield a much hotter result
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Chop all your ingredients: Chop your tomatoes into large chunks (if you're using grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, you can skip this step), then chop your onion into slightly smaller chunks (about half the size of the tomato pieces), and then chop your garlic and peppers pretty finely.
- If you're using a food processor (you can also just use a knife), transfer your ingredients there now. Do not push the on button and just let it blend - this will give you spicy juice instead of a nice, chunky salsa. Instead, pulse your food processor in roughly 50 super quick bursts that last a fraction of a second each.
- If you are using a knife instead of a food processor, first make sure your knife is really sharp so your vegetables will retain their liquid. Mince your garlic as finely as you can, and chop your peppers very small. Then dice your onions and tomatoes small but bigger than the peppers. Transfer to a bowl, add your salt, and mix thoroughly.
- Taste and adjust as needed, noting that both the saltiness and spiciness will decrease some after the flavors meld together. If you need to add something at this point, stir it in instead of using the food processor so that you don't break down the texture of the pico de gallo.
- Serve and enjoy!
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