Pico de gallo or salsa fresca or salsa bandera, this Mexican salsa is the easiest one you ca make and it goes great on everything! It’s only 6 ingredients and it’s traditionally a raw and vegan salsa recipe with a burst of incredibly tasting fresh ingredients.
Pico de Gallo
This is the most incredibly easy salsa you can make. This salsa is also known as salsa fresca or salsa bandera. Pico de gallo means rooster’s beak, there are quite a few theories as to this name.
Salsa fresca means fresh salsa and bandera means flag, and it’s because the salsa has the 3 colors of the Mexican flag.
The recipe is just 6 ingredients — all of which are easy to find, there’s really no reason not to make this salsa.
Now that warmer weather is arriving salsa bandera makes a delicious and light snack to help you beat the heat.
Pico de Gallo Ingredients
The ingredients for this salsa are super simple and you may already have them in your refrigerator most of the time.
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped white onion
- chopped cilantro
- chopped green chile pepper
- lime juice
These are the basic ingredients and for additional variations or information keep reading.
Salsa Fresca or Salsa Bandera Ingredients
The ingredients are the same being that these are the same salsa as pico de gallo. So you’ll still need tomato, onion, green chile pepper, cilantro, lime and salt.
What Are The Best Tomatoes for Pico de Gallo Salsa
The best and traditional tomatoes used in Mexican cuisine are roma tomatoes. Most often than not that’s what you’ll find listed on recipes.
To choose the best one for freshest salsa fresca you’ll need to keep a couple of things in mind.
- choose bright red roma tomatoes
- make sure they’re not too soft, they need to be between soft and firm
- pick roma tomatoes that are smooth and free of wrinkles or damage
Below are some helpful tips and variations to help you make a delicious salsa fresca in case you need alternatives.
- Alternative to Roma Tomatoes: If you can’t get this type of tomatoes you can use regular round ones. For an additional variation use cherry tomatoes for a different taste.
- Alternative to White Onion: You can use yellow or even red onion. They will give you slightly different taste, but it’s still yummy.
- When You Hate Cilantro: So sad for those out there who cilantro tastes like soap to…it’s genetics, I know. In this case you could try using fresh parsley.
- No Lime: In a pinch you can use yellow lemons. I’ve done it and it’s still delicious.
- Chile Peppers: It really is best to use fresh and raw green chiles like serranos or jalapeños.
How to Make it a Spicy or Mild Salsa
To control the heat you can do either of two things.
If you want a spicier salsa use serrano chile with the seeds and membrane. If you want the heat but a little less than remove the seeds and membrane from the serranos.
For a milder salsa use jalapeño pepper. Again leave the seeds and membrane for more heat or remove them for less heat.
You can use as much or as little chile pepper as you’d like.
How to Make Pico de Gallo Salsa
It’s really just a matter of chopping the ingredients, juicing the lime then mixing them all together before enjoying.
Chop the tomato, onion, chile, and cilantro. Slice the lime and have the salt ready.
Place the chopped ingredients in a medium bowl. Squeeze in or drizzle in the lime juice and sprinkle the salt over the ingredients. Mix until well combined.
Taste and adjust any ingredient that you’d like.
What if You Don’t Want to Manually Chop The Ingredients
If you want to save yourself a little time you could also use the food processor to chop up the vegetables. Just be careful not to over do it or you’ll end up with a different texture.
I’ve also seen some people use those vegetable chopper gadgets to chop the everything.
How to Serve Pico de Gallo
This salsa is amazing with a pile of corn chips. This makes a delicious and relatively healthy snack — just don’t eat too many chips!
How Long Does Salsa Fresca Last
When working with tomatoes you don’t have a super long shelf life before they begin to breakdown.
This salsa is best eaten within 2 or 3 days of making it. Make sure you store it in the refrigerator when not eating.
Pico de Gallo Salsa Recipe
Ok amigos, below is the printable salsa recipe. As always please let me know you’ve made and enjoyed the salsa by leaving me a comment below. Gracias and enjoy!
How to Make Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
- 2 medium-large roma tomatoes chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup white onion finely chopped
- 1 whole serrano chile stem removed and seeded if desired
- 1 small lime juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large handfull chopped cilantro
- Chop and prep all of the ingredients. Place everything in a small mixing bowl then stir until everything is well combined.
- Taste and adjust as desired.
- Serve with corn chips as a snack or as a topping for all of your favorite Mexican dishes.