Bring the flavours of Mexico into your kitchen with this dead simple 6 ingredient, no cook, keto Pico de Gallo recipe
Just 1.5g net carbs per 1/4 cup!
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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost or effort to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through the link and make a purchase.
Traditional Mexican Pico de Gallo, sometimes called salsa fresca. This fresh homemade low carb salsa is the best possible companion for your keto friendly chips, tacos, burritos, eggs, and grilled meats.
I am not talking about the ready made salsa you get at the grocery store. I am talking about a homemade keto Pico de Gallo recipe made from whole fresh produce. A perfect no-cook, 6 ingredient recipe to elevate your low carb, keto, vegetarian, or paleo lifestyle.
Is Pico de Gallo Low Carb?
As always it is important to check your ingredients and nutritional information to determine if what you are eating is keto friendly. You can use the recipe calculator in a food tracker like Cronometer to do that easily.
I just grabbed a jar of store bought salsa from my fridge to compare. Let’s get the obvious out of the way, it’s not fresh and it doesn’t taste fresh. Salsa Fresca literally translates to fresh sauce in English. So while the jar in your fridge may be fine in a pinch, its not Pico de Gallo, and it certainly isn’t salsa fresca.
Let’s take a look at the nutrition label. ¼ cup which is roughly 4 tablespoons has 3g net carbs! If that doesn’t seem like a lot to you then next time you are dipping your favourite low carb chips, measure how much salsa you are having, it’s more than 4 tablespoons.
This salsa recipe has half the amount of net carbs at 1.5g per ¼ cup! A much better tasting snack than store bought salsa, and literally half the amount of net carbs
Per: 1/4 cup
Fat: 0.1 g
Net Carbs: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.5 g
Sodium: 64 mg
Potassium: 120 mg
Magnesium: 6 mg
Calcium: 10 mg
Approximate macro-nutrient values, nutrition may vary depending on ingredients
When you are trying your best to live a low carb or keto lifestyle, net carbs add up. Net carbs in sauces and condiments can be sneaky. It’s unlikely that having a cup of salsa in itself is going cause you to balloon up to 300 pounds.
But if the extra sugar you are eating in your condiments is too much, it can start to mess with your appetite, it can lead to overeating and over snacking. Lucky for you I have 2 solutions for you:
- A full guide with proven methods to help you manage your hunger, control your cravings, and stop snacking on keto and low carb diets.
- And this keto Pico de Gallo recipe that has half the net carbs of most store bought salsa and tastes infinitely better.
It is also dead simple to make.
How to Make Keto Friendly Pico de Gallo:
- Chop ingredients
- Put in bowl
- Shovel into your face
It is literally that simple.
Pretty confident that you can accomplish these steps, and if you can’t, it’s time to try. What do you have to lose? The only thing that can really go wrong here is in the cutting of the tomato. This may come as a shock to some, but tomatoes are one of the most difficult types of produce to cut well.
They have a sheen skin that is hard for a knife to penetrate unless it is nice and sharp, and the skin actually dulls your blades more than other produce. This is why it is important to keep your knives sharp. A sharp knife is a safe knife.
Every time my knives leave the block (or the super cool magnetic knife strip on my wall), they get a few passes through my knife sharpener (seriously, this cheap little sharpener is amazing for a quick sharpen), and then a few passes on each side using a knife honing steel. This keeps them razor sharp and makes cutting anything a breeze. You shouldn’t have to use enormous force to cut most things. If your knife isn’t doing most of the work for you, it needs to be sharpened.
A few times a year I also take my knives to a whetstone and give them the full treatment. This gets them next level sharp and that is what you want.
The knife should glide smoothly through the food without a ton of force or effort, making this a much easier and safer way to cut food. It also means the tomato won’t be squished and mashed into oblivion.
So all this to say, use a nice sharp, properly sized knife, and take your time to cut the tomato into a nice dice. If you mess this up its okay, your Pico de Gallo will be a little less chunky and more saucy than mine.
That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, different strokes for different folks. It will still taste like a fresh, bright, Mexican Pico de Gallo.
Burn Baby Burn!
Anyone who knows me knows I like spicy food. I don’t mean tabasco, I mean spicy, like scotch bonnet or habanero pepper spicy. It’s a biproduct of my Indian heritage, growing up eating green and red chilies really builds your spice tolerance.
If you don’t have a high spice tolerance, you can control the heat of your Pico de Gallo with the amount of jalapeno pepper you use. Some fresh jalapenos are hotter than others! So be careful!
If you want the flavour of the jalapeno without the heat, remove the inner white membrane and the seeds and dice finely as seen below. The membrane is bitter, but the seeds hold the heat! This is what I do when I am cooking for the girlfriend. She has developed quite a good spice tolerance (I am so proud) since we met, but I still don’t want to burn her face off with a pepper.
I use either a small paring knife, or a spoon to scrape the insides of the pepper out.
Wash your hands with soap and don’t touch your eyes! Pepper oil burns like a Mother! Trust me.
Make Ahead Tips
It may seem counter-intuitive to make a fresh tomato salsa ahead of time. But not only can you make this ahead of time, I think you should.
It will keep in the fridge covered for a few days, the citrus from the lemon and the lime help keep the produce fresh and bright, much like when you are making guacamole, the citrus prevents the produce from going brown too quickly.
On top of that, letting this sit for a few hours before serving, or even overnight, gives the flavours a chance to develop and combine. It creates a wonderful melange of flavours, it tastes better once everyone in the bowl has had a chance to get acquainted and mingle with one another.
This makes it a perfect low carb snack, appetizer, or dip for your next party, picnic, potluck, or Mexican fiesta because you can make it and get it out of the way beforehand.
Choose Your Salsa Vehicle
Now that you have your Pico, you need a way to shovel that salsa into your mouth! You need a vehicle. Lucky for you I have you covered for keto friendly chips and dippables, everything you need to know about homemade and store-bought low carb chip type options. It also contains 3 different recipes for DIY keto nacho chips like crispy bacon, chicken cracklings, and baked salami (talk about yummy for you!)
This doesn’t have to be just a party snack. Low carb Pico de Gallo can added to omelettes, scrambled eggs, tacos and burritos. I have served it over cauliflower rice with taco meat to make a great Mexican meal prep burrito bowl.
Now I am not telling you what to do, but if you were to whip up a batch of your favourite taco meat or burrito filling, and pair this keto Pico de Gallo with my homemade Low carb Mexican tortillas, you would have one hell of a Taco Tuesday feast on your dinner table!
Keto Pico de Gallo
- Large bowl
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- 4 (500g) tomato (2-3" diameter each) diced
- 1 medium (110g) onion (2-3" diameter) diced
- 2 whole (30g) Jalapeno Peppers diced
- ½ cup (10g) cilantro finely chopped
- ¼ cup (45g) lime juice (1 full lime)
- ¼ cup (45g) lemon juice (I full lemon)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Using a sharp knife, dice tomato, onion, jalapeno peppers, and finely chop fresh cilantro.
- Add everything to a large bowl with lime and lemon juices and season to taste
- Letting you low carb Pico de Gallo rest in the fridge for an hour to overnight will enhance the flavours. You can also serve it right away with your favourite keto friendly dippable
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Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost or effort to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through the link and make a purchase.