Joe's Pico de Gallo

This spin on a classic Mexican salad uses bell peppers in place of tomatoes.

Joe's Pico de Gallo overhead

Fun Fact: Pico de Gallo actually can mean one of two dishes in Mexican cuisine - an uncooked (raw) salad or a spice mixture. Just so you know, we're talking about the salad dish today :)

Subscriber Shout-Out!: This recipe comes courtesy of subscriber Joe W. in Los Angeles, California. Thanks Joe!

Classic Pico de Gallo is made up of ingredients that comprise the colors of the Mexican flag - green, white and red - as this is a national dish of Mexico. In honor of Mexican Independence Day, which was earlier this month, we continue the tradition of green, white and red in our salad. 

The key to this salad is fresh ingredients and quick consumption. Does it taste great the next day? Yes, but it tastes phenomenal the day it's made. 

Wanna go super traditional? Serve this dish with refried beans, cilantro lime rice and guacamole. In the mood for some pico without having a full burrito bowl? Use it as a topping for salad greens, over a baked potato or even with potato wedges and plant-based cheese. 

Tips, Tricks & Variations:

  • Wanna make this recipe without nightshades? Supplement roasted beets for the bell peppers.

  • Wanna make this recipe more traditional? Use tomatoes in place of the bell peppers and lime juice instead of lemon juice.

  • Can't find red bell peppers? As long you're not celebrating Mexican Independence it's totally acceptable to substitute orange or yellow bell pepper instead.

  • Want it without the kick of jalapeno? You can omit the jalapeno altogether or substitute it with a small green bell pepper and some regular black pepper for seasoning.

  • You can use ¼ cup of either cilantro or parsley instead of 2 Tbsp of each. 

  • Our favorite way to eat this super easy salad is as part of a burrito bowl. Our second favorite? As topping for potato wedges with plant-based cheese. Our preferred plant-based cheese suggestions to pair with our pico - Daiya's Monterey Jack Style Farmhouse Block, Daiya's Jalapeno Havarti Style Farmhouse Block or Follow Your Heart's Pepper Jack. 

  • We do not suggest making this recipe with dried seasonings as either a shortcut or a substitution. The flavor profile will be off and so will the colors. However, you can definitely use canned or jarred pre-sliced or diced jalapeno so you don't have to do the slicing or dicing yourself. 

Recipe: Joe's Pico de Gallo

Course: Salad

Cuisine: Mexican

Skill Level: Easy/Beginner

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 6 ½ cup servings


1 small white onion (about ½ cup chopped)

2 red bell peppers (about 1½ cups chopped)

1 avocado

½ jalapeno (or about 1 Tbsp diced)

1 Tbsp lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp fresh parsley

½ tsp salt


  1. Peel, rinse and dice onion. Add to a salad bowl.

  2. Rinse and dice bell peppers. Add to onion in salad bowl.

  3. Rinse, de-seed and dice jalapeno. Add to salad bowl.

  4. Rinse, pat dry and chop cilantro and parsley. Add to salad bowl.

  5. Add salt and lemon juice to salad bowl. Mix to combine and coat all vegetables. 

  6. Dice avocado and add just before serving. 

  7. Salad is best when fresh. Leftovers will keep for approximately four days without avocado and maybe two days with avocado. 

Let us know how you liked our Pico de Gallo in the comments below! Did you eat it by itself? In a taco or burrito bowl? Did you have it over a baked potato? Tell us what you did differently. We'd love to hear from you!

Joe's Pico de Gallo

#MexicanCuisine #PlantBased #VegCurious #Vegetarian #Vegan #DairyFree #Salad #SideDish #60MinOrLess #Quick

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