Pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked Mexican salsa made from chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and chili peppers. Its bright, tangy flavor pairs well with many foods and makes a tasty topping for tacos, fajitas, burritos, nachos, tostadas, sandwiches, meat, fish, eggs, and more. When considering what goes best with pico de gallo, think about complementary flavors, textures, and dishes that can benefit from a fresh salsa kick.
Tacos, Burritos, and Nachos
Pico de gallo is a staple topping for many Mexican dishes. The fresh contrast of the salsa brightens up hearty fillings in tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and more. Pico adds a zesty crunch and acidity to balance rich, spicy, or cheesy ingredients. The vegetables in the salsa also provide a fresh counterpoint to typical taco fillings like carnitas, carne asada, chorizo, shrimp, chicken, and more. Some delicious combinations include:
- Pico de gallo with carnitas or barbacoa in tacos and burritos
- Pico paired with carne asada and guacamole in burritos or bowls
- Pico topping for vegetarian tacos or nachos with beans, rice, cheese, etc.
- Shrimp tacos or tostadas topped with pico
- Spicy chorizo quesadillas with fresh pico de gallo
Pico de gallo is a versatile salsa that pairs well with many taco and Mexican dishes thanks to its bright flavor and texture.
Pico de gallo can transform boring salads into a fiesta! It adds a punch of fresh flavor when spooned on top of leafy greens, grains, proteins, cheeses, and more. Try pico de gallo on top of:
- Taco salads or southwest salad with chips, greens, beans, chicken, etc.
- Grain-based salads like quinoa, farro, or rice
- Leafy green salads – romaine, spinach, kale, mixed greens
- Chicken, tuna, or egg salad
- Fruit salads with melon, pineapple, grapes, etc.
The possibilities are endless for adding pico de gallo to salad. It works well with hearty proteins, creamy or crumbled cheeses, fresh produce, grains, and even fruit. Sprinkle it on top for a burst of southwestern flavor.
Fish and Seafood
The freshness of pico de gallo makes it an excellent topper for fish and seafood dishes. Try a spoonful on top of:
- Grilled fish like mahi mahi, salmon, or tilapia
- Blackened shrimp or scallops
- Seared tuna steaks or tuna salad
- Fish tacos – it’s a classic!
Pico de gallo adds bright acidity and herby flavors to balance oily or flaky fish. The crunch of the vegetables contrasts nicely with softer seafood.
Wake up eggs by topping them with pico de gallo! Eggs pair well with the acidity and texture of the salsa. Try pico de gallo with:
- Scrambled eggs
- Fried eggs
- Egg sandwiches
- Breakfast tacos or burritos
- Huevos rancheros
- Omelets or frittatas
The vegetables in the salsa add freshness, while the chili peppers can spice up a boring breakfast. Eggs and pico de gallo are a tasty combination any time of day.
Chicken and pico de gallo are a match made in flavor heaven! The bright, herby salsa livens up mild chicken dishes. Try pairing pico de gallo with:
- Grilled chicken
- Shredded chicken tacos, salads, bowls
- Chicken fajitas
- Rotisserie or baked chicken
Pico de gallo is also delicious on top of chicken pasta, rice bowls, flatbreads, and more. The tomatoes, onion, cilantro work together to balance and accent the chicken beautifully.
Thick, juicy steaks deserve an equally bold topping, and pico de gallo delivers. The acidity and herbiness of pico cuts through a rich steak perfectly. Try pico de gallo on:
- Grilled NY strip, ribeye, or filet mignon
- Skirt or flank steak fajitas
- Steak tacos
- Steak sandwiches or wraps
The crunch of the vegetables and pop of lime brings a brightness to charred, meaty steak flavors.
Like chicken, mild pork dishes benefit from the acidity and verve of pico de gallo. The salsa’s fresh flavor livens up pork entrees like:
- Pulled pork sandwiches
- Chopped pork tacos
- Pork tenderloin or chops
- Stuffed pork loin
Try rubbing pork with Mexican spices before cooking, then topping with pico de gallo for an extra flavor boost.
Don’t forget vegetables! Pico de gallo can transform both raw and cooked veggies. Try it on:
- Baked potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Grilled veggies like zucchini, eggplant, onions
- Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
The freshness complements the vegetables beautifully. You can also add pico to veggie tacos, nachos, salads, and beyond.
Sandwiches, Wraps, and Flatbreads
In addition to tacos, pico de gallo makes a fantastic topping for all kinds of sandwiches, wraps, and flatbreads. The salsa adds a burst of flavor to basics like:
- Grilled cheese
- Turkey, ham, or roast beef sandwiches
- Submarine sandwiches
- Pita or flatbread pizzas
Pico de gallo also jazzes up more complex sandwiches like bacon avocado chicken wraps or Mexican quesadillas.
Burgers and Hot Dogs
Burgers and hot dogs become a lot more interesting with pico de gallo! The salsa adds intrigue to plain beef patties and franks. Try it on:
- Beef hamburgers
- Turkey or veggie burgers
- Hot dogs
- Sausage sandwiches like brats
Combine pico de gallo with other classic toppings like cheese, lettuce, guacamole, bacon, and more for an added flavor punch.
Pico de gallo is a quick and easy upgrade over regular pizza sauce. The fresh salsa adds big flavor to pizza combinations like:
- Margherita pizza
- Cheese pizza
- Veggie pizza
- Chicken ranch pizza
- Mexican spiced meat pizza
Try swapping in pico de gallo in place of marinara sauce on your next pizza night.
Ceviche is a classic Latin American dish that combines seafood, lime juice, and chili peppers. While ceviche recipes vary, most are highly complementary to pico de gallo. Try adding a scoop of the salsa to:
- Shrimp ceviche
- Fish ceviche with halibut, tilapia, snapper, etc.
- Scallop ceviche
- Mixed seafood ceviche
The flavors of the pico will accent the seafood and citrus marinade beautifully.
It’s hard to imagine quesadillas without pico de gallo for dipping. The fresh salsa is ideal for dunking warm, melty quesadillas packed with cheese. Try pico with:
- Cheese quesadillas
- Chicken quesadillas
- Shrimp quesadillas
- Steak or carne asada quesadillas
- Veggie quesadillas
Dip your quesadilla wedges in the tangy salsa for the quintessential Mexican flavor combo.
Chips and Dips
Pico de gallo is a consummate chip dip! Scoop it up with classics like:
- Tortilla chips
- Nacho chips
- Pita chips
- Potato chips
You can also pair pico with other dips like guacamole, cheese sauce, or bean dip for a spicy, flavor-packed combo.
Don’t neglect your drink menu! Pico de gallo can spice up cocktails and mocktails with its signature zest. Try adding a spoonful to:
- Bloody Mary
- Margarita or other tequila cocktails
- Non-alcoholic fruit punch, lemonade, or tea
The tomatoes, lime, and chili peppers make pico de gallo a perfect cocktail accessory.
Here is a quick summary of how pico de gallo pairs well with various meat dishes:
|Best Pairings with Pico de Gallo
|Fajitas, tacos, sandwiches, rice bowls, pasta
|Fajitas, tacos, sandwiches, grilled steak
|Carnitas, tacos, sandwiches, chops, tenderloin
|Tacos, burritos, burgers, nachos
|Quesadillas, tacos, nachos, burritos
The fresh flavor of pico de gallo complements and enhances almost any meat!
Here is a quick rundown of the best seafood pairings for pico de gallo:
|Best Pairings with Pico de Gallo
|Tacos, fajitas, ceviche, quesadillas
|Tacos, sandwiches, grilled fish, ceviche
|Ceviche, grilled or seared
|Steaks, sandwiches, salads, poke bowls
The acidity in pico de gallo works wonders when paired with rich and flaky seafood.
Pico de gallo pairs nicely with many fresh and cooked vegetables:
|Best Pairings with Pico de Gallo
|Baked, mashed, home fries
|Salads – spinach, kale, lettuce
|Grilled zucchini, yellow squash
|Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
The fresh bite of pico de gallo works with starchy, leafy, and roasted veggies.
Dips and Pairings
In addition to foods, pico de gallo pairs nicely with several dips and snacks:
|Pico de Gallo Works Well With
|Tortilla, corn, pita, potato
|Guacamole, bean dip, cheese dip
|Flatbread, pita, rolls
|Ritz, oyster crackers
Crunchy, savory items like chips, breads, and crackers complement pico’s texture and flavor.
Pico de gallo is one of the most versatile Mexican salsas. Its fresh flavor pairs well with so many foods, from meats and seafood to eggs, sandwiches, pizza, salads, and more. Next time you make pico, don’t limit yourself to just chips and dips! Try spooning this tasty salsa on everything from tacos and ceviche to chicken, quesadillas, steaks, and beyond. With its bright notes of lime, chili pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes, pico de gallo is an easy way to add Mexican zing to just about any dish.