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Appetizers | September 23, 2011

Pico de Gallo

Cafe Rio Pico is quick and easy and tastes just like the pico added to almost every menu item at Cafe Rio! Another recipe to add to ABK’s  “Cafe Rio Style“collection of recipes.

Why is this called Pico de Gallo (pronounced GUY-OH)? In Spanish, Pico means spicy or beak. And gallo means rooster. So Pico de Gallo literally translated, is a spicy rooster, or beak rooster? Or maybe it’s spicy beak of a rooster? Grant (who speaks fluent Spanish) and I had a discussion about this. He says the words have a double meaning. Still doesn’t make sense to me… I’m wondering why tomatoes, jalapeno and onions are (translated) “spicy beak rooster”.

When making this salad, Pico is like the frosting on a cake. It takes less than five minutes to chop and mix up. Pico + chips = my dinner, two nights in a row. YUM.
Hurry and make some before the fresh tomatoes disappear…

Pico de Gallo

Author A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 4 Roma or other tomatoes, about 1 lb seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion about 1 cup chopped, white or sweet variety
  • 2 stems green onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic optional
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2. Best if made at least one hour before serving.
  3. Serve at room temperature.

11 thoughts on “Pico de Gallo

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  1. I always thought it meant ‘a little of everything’, meaning salsa ingredients. I guess the litteral translation for that would be ‘Poco de todo’ but . . .

  2. Literally translated, “pico de gallo” means “beak of the rooster”.

    It probably conveys that it’s all that remains, or in other words, when you add pico de gallo as a sauce to tacos or another dish, you’re done.

    It is also referred to as “salsa fresca”, fresh sauce, or just plain salsa.

  3. What size container would you estimate this makes? I need pico as a salad topping for 50 people and have no clue how much to make….

    1. Hi Julie,
      Sorry I missed your comment earlier! I estimate this makes about 4-5 cups depending on the size of your tomatoes and onions. So about 16-18 servings? each recipe.

  4. I am doing Cafe Rio salads for 70 people. What would be your recommendations on the amount of rice, pico de gallo, and lettuce for this size of group? (BTW, I appreciate your amounts for the sweet pork and black beans, thank you!)