Quick and easy pico de gallo salsa

Make this spicy fresh homemade Mexican salsa in less than 5 minutes!

Homemade salsa is so much better than the store bought one. You know exactly what’s in there and you can decide yourself how spicy you want it. Use small cherry tomatoes as they have more flavor and are less watery than their bigger counterparts. This will make sure you end up with a nice chunky sauce without all that extra water in there. When it comes to spiciness I usually use jalapeño and sriracha for some heat. Although ketchup may sound like a cheap shortcut to use in a salsa, this makes for a perfect smooth consistency and will bring all the ingredients together. Trust me on this!

Whenever I stuff myself with a bag of tortilla chips I made this salsa, just to convince myself that the tomatoes somehow counter out the bad effects of the chips. So, for better or worse, I make this salsa about once a week and serve no Mexican meal without it!


(For 1 small bowl of salsa – enough for about 1 big bag of chips or as accompaniment for 4 people)

  • 1 small red onion
  • Optional: 1 pickled jalapeño
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • A few leaves of coriander
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon hot sauce, like sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup (or barbecue sauce if you prefer a more smoky taste)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice


If you use a food processor: Chop and blitz

Peel the red onion and cut it into small cubes. Finely slice the jalapeño into small rings if you want to use some.

Roughly chop or the tomatoes, this will result in a more consistent sauce. I usually cut them in quarters. Roughly chop the coriander.

Combine the chopped vegetables as well as all other ingredients in your food processor and add a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.

Use the pulse function a few times, so that everything gets chopped and mixed up nicely. But don’t overdo it because you want it be chunky.

Taste and add a pinch more salt, pepper and sugar if something is missing for your taste.


If you don’t use a kitchen machine: Chop and chop some more

Follow the same steps as above, put chop the tomato more finely into small cubes. Mix everything well with a spoon.


Serve in a bowl with your favorite (tortilla) chips or Mexican feast!


Let me know in the comments what you think of the recipe! Do you think the sauce is too spicy or just not spicy enough? Ketchup in authentic pico de gallo a cardinal sin? All your comments are welcome!

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  1. David Friesen
    July 6, 2016

    Thank you for your Pico de Gallo recipe. This is the only one I could find close to what I was looking for.
    Last weekend my husband and I had a wonderful Pico de Gallo served at a Café in Munich called “München 72” (located in the Glockenbach area. We were so impressed with their Pico de Gallo that we asked the server how it was made. The ingredients she told us were; tomatoes, white onion, parsley, ketchup, brown sugar, olive oil, tabasco, salt and pepper. It was different from the typical Mexican flavors often heavy with lime and cilantro I was use to from the USA. And it really hit the right flavor notes for both of us. Of course now I am trying to reconstruct this dish at home and I am thrilled to find your somewhat similar recipe so I have an idea about proportions.

    • johnny
      July 6, 2016

      Thanks David for your kind words! Food does not always have to be authentic to be tasty. I’ve been to Mexico and completely agree with you that the lime and cilantro can be overwhelming in a lot of dishes. Texmex food in Germany is usually very mild compared to the original + a lot of Germans aren’t that keen on cilantro in the first place. Nonetheless, I’m really glad to hear I could help on giving you an idea on the proportions for this ‘not-so-authentic-but-still-very-tasty’ pico de gallo!

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