DIY Pico de Gallo

In my little corner of the world, the weather can best be described this year as crazy. So it has come as no surprise to me that we are having a sweltering summer moment smack in the middle of spring, long before we are due. I am also not surprised that this will be changing by the end of the week.

For better or worse, the weather has shifted my cooking to focus more on what can be done without my oven but still give me all those great food feels. Recently, Jim smoked a pork butt and produced the BEST pulled pork I have ever tasted. He also made 7 pounds of it. After eating it sandwich style a few times, we were looking for a way to eat it one more time before we deep froze the leftovers and wanted to use the pork in a different way than BBQ style. I scrounged around and found some tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream and with my Chicken Nachos You Style recipe as inspiration, decided on pulled pork nachos. I was feeling a fresh topper for these nachos and not just regular salsa from a jar, so I dove back into my pantry and came up with onions, tomatoes, a lime, salt, a half jar of chopped jalapeños and dried cilantro and decided this was good enough for a pico.

I know many people feel dried cilantro does not belong in a fresh pico. But really, it does! I love fresh cilantro as much as the next food person, but I don’t keep it on hand at all times and it is not always in season and available. I almost always have dried cilantro on hand to make my Sriracha Chicken Tacos as it lasts quite a bit longer than it's fresh counterpart and is ready on my whims. I can now add another wonderful use for all the dried herby goodness. But don’t take my word for it, make it already!

DIY Pico De Gallo

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes plus chilling | Serves: Varies


  • 3-4 medium sized tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small lime, cut into quarters
  • diced jalapeño peppers, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (more to taste)


  1. Combine diced tomatoes and onion in a large bowl and stir well to combine
  2. Squeeze the juice from one quarter of the lime into the bowl. Add salt and 1 tablespoon dried cilantro and mix well to combine
  3. Taste and add more salt, cilantro and jalapeño to taste preference. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning until desired flavor is met
  4. Allow to chill for at least 20 minutes then serve!


  • When tasting the pico, it’s a good idea to taste with a tortilla chip to get a sense of the flavor when paired with something else so you avoid the over salt trap. I read this tip recently and have actually applied to to multiple food situations.
  • This recipe can easily be halved, doubled or tripled to suit whatever quantity you need. The only thing I find helpful is to try and keep the tomatoes and onions at a ratio of not quite twice as many tomatoes as onions. You want more tomatoes than onion, but not so much more that the onion is lost in a sea of red and juice. The rest of the seasonings are completely up to you and your people’s pallet to decide what is enough.
  • Pico de Gallo is awesome, amazing, fresh and delicious! However, it is not a food you can make a huge batch of and eat for weeks. It only keeps for about 2-3 days before it turns into a tomato soup-like sauce so only make what you know you and your group will eat up in a few days.