This refreshing cucumber pico de gallo has everything you love from an authentic Mexican recipe, but also includes cucumber for a nice added crunch, cooling and hydrating effect and amazing fresh flavor. This cucumber salsa is great simply with tortilla chips or over most Mexican dishes.
I have this delicious cucumber pico de gallo to share with you guys while we get ready for the hot summer days ahead of us. It is refreshing, hydrating, healthy and done so quickly. Great for dipping tortillas while sipping on frozen drinks on the porch in the sun ☀️
There is nothing complicated about making a pico de gallo from scratch, the hardest part really is to dice everything small enough and pretty uniform so it is nicely scoop-able and spoon-able.
And yes, this homemade pico de gallo includes cucumber: I LOVE how much freshness cucumber brings to just about everything. One of my favorite summer recipe is this vegan watermelon feta salad where cukes add a nice hydrating crunch. And now you can be sure this cucumber salsa will be done on repeat in the next few months.
You can make this cucumber-y pico de gallo a few hours ahead for best flavors or make it last minutes to get that freshly cut taste, it comes together so quickly anyway. Serve over tacos, nachos, in avocado boats, over salads, in sandwich wraps, over tostadas, topping roasted tofu, etc. Great to garnish Mexican style dishes or anywhere it needs a little fresh and healthy boost.
I love how a pico de gallo simply embraces produce too. The overall flavor is made by combining chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and zesty lime juice. Just a little salt and yum, so simple, chunky and crisp. With just a little heat from the jalapeño. Aim for high quality produce to get the best results.
This recipe really has HUGE flavor using only the simplest of ingredients. So straight forward and great to make when the gardens are bursting with veggies.
Hope you enjoy!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Loaded with whole foods and makes for a nutrient dense condiment.
- Oil-free, naturally vegan and vegetarian.
- Easy, quick and simple.
- So refreshing with a nice zesty flavor.
- Can be made spicy or not.
Ingredients you'll need and substitutions
- Cucumber: English cucumber, the one wrapped in a plastic cling, probably is the best option to make this salsa. It has almost no seeds or watery middle and the flavor is great and not bitter at all. It is also available all year long.
- Tomatoes: I used regular tomatoes, but Roma tomatoes work great too. I have made pico de gallo with cherry tomatoes and it also worked out amazingly (it had a nice subtle sweet flavor).
- Red onion: better option than regular yellow onion for their milder flavor. Use green onions or even chives if that's all you have.
- Cilantro: great to get that amazing fresh flavor. If you cannot stand cilantro, then swap for parsley or even basil. Fresh herbs are essential to give it that fresh pico de gallo kick.
- Jalapeño: you might want to use the seeds or not depending on how spicy you want it to be. I find jalapeño peppers to be pretty mild most often, my kids usually can handle them, but omit completely if needed and it won't change the flavor too much. Or use bell pepper for a mild version. Or swap for Serrano hot peppers for a nice heat.
- Lime: freshly squeeze lime juice does all the work to bring all the ingredients together. This is essentially the sauce. Lemon juice would work too if that's all you have.
I do prefer my pico de gallo simple to highlight the produce's natural flavor, especially when the vegetables I'm using are so fresh and crisp. But, feel free to flavor yours with some chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin powder, fresh garlic, etc.
How to make it
This recipe mostly is about chopping the veggies. AND it has to be done manually for best result. You want to dice them in small pieces as opposed to crushing the vegetables (which would give you more of a saucy salsa consistency).
To chop the veggies that small, slice them first in long skinny sticks, then slice the sticks perpendicularly to create tiny cubes. Also, chop the cilantro very small so it distributes everywhere within the pico de gallo.
Once the veggies are chopped, simply combine them in a bowl, squeeze the lime juice over and add a generous pinch of salt. Stir and taste to adjust saltiness.
Then, I recommend you to let the pico de gallo sit for 10-15 minutes or so in the fridge. This can help enhance the flavor even more and chill the salsa too. Serve cold and enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- If you used large tomatoes (like the one I used, as seen in the picture), then I highly recommend to first remove the watery seeds and discard them. Roma tomatoes usually have less of seeds, so use them if you prefer. This can help to not end up with a watery salsa.
- If you do store the pico de gallo for a little while and it created more water over time, then you can drain it and add extra lime juice if needed just before serving the leftovers. I actually don't mind the water that forms over time, so I don't even bother doing that, but just know that this is an option.
- The texture is really amazing when the vegetables not only are diced small, but also cut evenly, all about the same size.
Other than digging with tortilla chips, which is probably my favorite way to enjoy this recipe, there are so many ways to serve it.
Use as a condiment over:
- Tacos or tostadas
- Over pitted and halved avocados, then eat with a spoon
- In sandwich wraps with smoky tofu or balsamic tofu
- Over avocado toasts
- Great served at breakfast in a tofu scramble sandwich
Keep leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3-4 days. The veggies tends to soften after a while and also, the vegetables will release some water, so the pico de gallo can turn more watery over time. You can drain the excess of water and taste to adjust seasoning before serving the leftovers.
Yes, it is a synonym. A pico de gallo is a type of salsa that's completely raw and also less saucy with more of a chunky consistency.
No, I don't recommend it. This recipe requires some chopping skills and a little time, but it's totally worth it. If you would be using a food processor, the vegetables would become all crushed and saucy.
Yes you can and I am planning on making many pico de gallo when mine come! Cucumbers from your garden will be filled with more seeds and a watery center. Simply slice them in half lengthwise and then, use a small spoon to scrape their middle. I also recommend to peel garden cucumber so they are less bitter.
More cucumber recipes you might like
- Cucumber mango salad
- Vegan watermelon feta salad
- Thai carrot cucumber salad
- Vegan tzatziki
- Raw cucumber soup
- Vegan fish tacos
- Black beans avocado toasts
- Silken tofu scramble
- Walnut lentils tacos
- Vegan loaded nachos
- Mexican baked potatoes
- Vegan buffalo chickpea quesadillas
I hope you like this cucumber pico de gallo as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Cucumber Pico de Gallo
- 2 cups English cucumber (about ½-¾ of a large cucumber) - finely diced
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes (about 2-3) - finely diced (and seeds removed, if necessary)
- 1 cup red onion (about ½) - finely diced
- 1 fresh jalapeño (seeded or not) - finely diced, optional
- 2 limes - juiced
- 1 large handful of fresh cilantro - chopped
- ½-¾ tsp salt - or to taste
- Start by cleaning all the vegetables and then dice them in small cubes (about all the same size). Best results when chopped manually. You can first slice in long skinny sticks and then cut the sticks in tiny cubes.
- Combine all the produce in a large bowl and add the lime juice and the salt. Stir to combine and taste to adjust saltiness.
- Let the pico de gallo rest in the fridge for about 10-15 min, this can help enhance the flavor.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. The veggies tend to soften over time and the pico de gallo might become more watery. You can drain the excess water and taste to adjust seasoning when serving the leftovers.
- If your tomatoes are filled with lots of watery seeds, then scrape them off first and discard. Same thing for the cucumbers: if you use garden cucumbers, then I recommend to remove their large seeds with a spoon (and peel if they have a thicker bitter skin).
- If you cannot stand cilantro, then feel free to swap for other fresh herbs such as parsley or basil.
- You can also flavor your pico de gallo with chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin powder, fresh crushed garlic, etc.