Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca): Classic Version - Dr. Axe

Pico De Gallo or Salsa Fresca: Classic Version

Pico de gallo - Dr. Axe

There’s so much to love about pico de gallo from its healthy ingredients to its amazing taste to its versatility as a dip or a sauce. Authentic pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca or salsa Mexicana, is loaded with flavor that almost bursts in your mouth.

Why is it so flavorful? It only uses fresh, uncooked ingredients. That’s also what sets it apart from other kinds of salsas.

If you’ve spent anytime in Mexico or are a big fan of Mexican cuisine then you’re probably already a fan of pico de gallo. The pico de gallo recipe I’m about to share with you uses pico de gallo’s classic vegetable-centric ingredients that are all loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.

Pico de gallo ingredients - Dr. Axe

What Is Pico De Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a type of salsa that originates in Mexico but is also commonly used in its neighboring countries as well as the United States.

What does pico de gallo mean? The term literally means “beak of the rooster” from pico (“beak”) and gallo (“rooster”).


Many of the salsas you may be familiar with contain the same ingredients as pico de gallo, but the ingredients have been cooked. Pico de gallo offers a distinguishable pop of intense flavor and freshness thanks to its uncooked ingredients.

What goes into a typical pico de gallo? Most of the time it contains chopped tomatoes, onions, some type of pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt. In other words, all very healthy ingredients full of polyphenol antioxidants.

There’s typically not too much variation to this recipe, but no matter what goes in, the ingredients should always be really fresh. The fresher the ingredients, the tastier and more flavorful the resulting dip.

Pico de gallo step 1 - Dr. Axe

How to Make It

Pico de gallo requires minimal effort and zero cooking or heat — especially this pico de gallo recipe. All you have to do is chop up the key ingredients and mix them together.

Is pico de gallo healthy? Yes, and in 10 minutes or less, you can create a super healthy and flavorful dip that is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

In a medium-sized bowl, add all of your chopped ingredients, which includes the tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion and cilantro. I do recommend including the cilantro unless you absolutely can’t stand the taste of it.

Cilantro is definitely a classic pico de gallo ingredient, and it’s loaded with cilantro health benefits.

Pico de gallo step 3 - Dr. Axe

Now add in the garlic powder, black pepper and sea salt, giving it a quick stir.

Squeeze limes over the mixture or pour in lime juice.

Pico de gallo step 5 - Dr. Axe

Mix together until well incorporated. Serve immediately with cut veggies or organic corn chips, or try as a complement to chicken fajitas, enchiladas and more.

Pico de gallo step 6 - Dr. Axe

How long does pico de gallo last? It can keep for up to a week in a sealed, tight container.

Pico de gallo recipe - Dr. Axe


Love your salsas spicy? You can always substitute the green bell pepper for a jalapeño or serano chili pepper to up the heat factor.

What’s the best way to eat pico de gallo? There are so many options.

A corn tortilla chip is the standard vehicle for this delicious dip, but fresh veggies work well and offer even more health benefits than chips. This fresh salsa recipe can be used as a sauce too!

I highly recommend topping off my taco salad recipe with this pico de gallo. I would also try putting it on top of eggs, fish, chicken or whatever else sounds tasty to you!


Other Healthy Mexican Recipes

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Pico De Gallo Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This classic pico de gallo recipe is flavorful, nutritious and easy to make. Also known as salsa fresca, it only uses fresh ingredients and compliments many dishes on top of being the perfect chip dip.


  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion and cilantro (if using).
  2. Add in garlic powder, black pepper and sea salt, giving it a quick stir.
  3. Squeeze limes over the mixture or pour in lime juice and mix together until well incorporated.
  4. Serve immediately with cut veggies or organic corn chips or try as a topper to a taco salad or fajitas.


You can skip the cilantro if you don’t care for it.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: By hand
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 41
  • Sugar: 4.7g
  • Sodium: 191mg
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.3g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Protein: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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  1. Sandy on

    I love this. I’m wondering if I can use lemons when limes aren’t available? I had these trees at my home but not in my condo.


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