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Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Corn Salsa Salad: 3 Dishes from One Base

Updated: Jan 19

If you have Pico de Gallo on hand, you can make Guacamole or Corn Salsa Salad in a flash.
Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Corn Salsa Salad: 3 Dishes from 1 Base

If you have fresh Pico de Gallo, you can make Guacamole or Corn Salsa Salad in under 5 minutes with no fuss. The cost of the Pico is $2.75, Guacamole is $2.20, and Corn Salsa Salad is $1.50.

Pico de Gallo

My daughter's favorite dish is Pico de Gallo. I make it constantly, and it rarely makes it to the refrigerator. If it survives, Pico is a versatile ingredient and a time-saver for making other dishes and salsas. To make great Pico, always start with Roma tomatoes that are ripe but not overripe or mushy. Add in both chopped sweet onions and minced green onions. Choose a pepper (jalapenos or serrano peppers are best) and finely mince it at a desired heat level. Add the juice of a lime, chopped cilantro, and salt. That's it—for around $3, you can find all the ingredients for Pico at your local Aldi or Walmart and prepare it in under 15 minutes.


Once you get a Pico de Gallo you like, it also becomes the basis for your Guacamole. If your Pico is balanced, your Guacamole will be balanced as well. All you really need is the Pico, a couple of ripe avocados, and a little favor correction (garlic powder, lime, and cilantro). The ripeness of the avocado is vital—if they are underripe, they will be hard, and you will have difficulty mashing them. If they are overripe, the avocado will be discolored and slimy. Look for avocados that are soft enough to "give" a little when you press your thumb against them. But if they are mushy or weak, they are beyond the point where they make good Guacamole. Tip: buy "hard" avocados 3-5 days before you use them and keep them on the kitchen counter as they ripen. If they are ripening too fast, refrigerate them.

Best Guacamole
Ripe avocados make the best Guacamole!

Once your avocados are ripe, slice and mash them, and add 2-4 T of Pico de Gallo, depending on how chunky you like your Guacamole.

Add Pico de Gallo to mashed avocados and add cilantro and garlic powder.

Add 1/4 t. of garlic powder (more if you like garlic flavor). I don't like raw garlic in Guacamole, as it overwhelms more delicate flavors, like avocado. Now add the juice of 1/2 a lime and 1/4 c. of chopped cilantro and salt to taste.

Don't forget the fresh lime juice!

You can make Guacamole in under 5 minutes if you already have Pico de Gallo in the fridge.

Best Guacamole!

Corn Salsa Salad

I also try to make a Corn Salsa Salad if I have extra Pico. Cook a package of microwave corn in the microwave. Put in a bowl to cool. Add 1/3 c. of Pico de Gallo. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and correct salt and see if the salad is balanced. I always add at least one chopped green onion and extra chopped cilantro. Always check for salt and pepper after you add the Pico de Gallo, as it is salted.

Add Pico to Corn

When serving Fajitas or other Mexican, Tex-Mex, or New Mexican dishes, I try to make a bowl of Pico de Gallo early in the day and let it rest and "mix." It truly gets better while resting. Then I make the Guacamole and the Corn Salad as it nears time for the meal. Having Pico and Guacamole to top fajitas, enchiladas, or whatever is on the menu is a treat. The Corn Salad with Pico de Gallo goes with everything Southwestern and is a quick, stress-free veggie that requires no stove or oven time when they are needed for other dishes.

Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, and Corn Salad with Pico (Cost is $2.75 for Pico, $2.20 for Guac, and $1.50 for Corn Salad)


Pico de Gallo

  • 1 lb. Roma Tomatoes (6-7 medium tomatoes) ($1.30, Aldi)

  • One medium sweet onion ($0.30, Sam's Club)

  • 3-4 green onions, white and light green parts only, minced ($0.25, Aldi)

  • 2 Jalapeno peppers, very finely diced ($0.25, Aldi)

  • Juice of 2 limes ($0.35, Aldi)

  • ½ c. Cilantro, coarsely chopped ($0.25, Aldi)

  • Salt, to taste.


  • Two large or three small avocados, ripe ($2, Sam's Club)

  • 2 T to 1/4 c. of Pico de Gallo

  • Juice of 1/2 Lime ($0.10, Aldi)

  • Garlic Powder

  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro ($0.10, Aldi)

Corn Salad with Pico de Gallo

  • 12–16-ounce bag frozen corn ($1, Aldi)

  • 1/3 c. Pico de Gallo

  • Two green onions, white and light green parts, minced ($0.15)

  • 2 T Olive Oil ($0.25)

  • 2 T. chopped cilantro ($0.10, Aldi)


Pico de Gallo

1. The first step to good Pico de Gallo is to ensure that your tomatoes are ripe (but not mushy). If they are not yet mature, set them on your kitchen counter for a few days—they will ripen.

2. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pulp with a tablespoon and discard. Cut the remaining tomato into strips, then 1/4-to-1/3-inch dice, and place in a medium bowl.

Roma Tomatoes diced at 1/4 inch.

3. Chop the sweet onion into 1/4-to-1/3-inch dice and add to tomatoes. Mince the white and green parts of 3-4 green onions and add to the tomato mixture.

Minced green onions

4. Prepare to cut the Jalapeno peppers - take some care as these peppers can vary in heat. Give your pepper a test—generally, there is little heat in the pepper itself, and the heat is in the veins to which seeds are attached internally. If you carefully slice the dark green portion while avoiding these veins and seeds, you should get very little heat from the peppers. If you want more heat, try to mince the internal veins on the peppers. In the image below, the pepper on the right has been removed from the stem for more heat; on the left, it has been released for less heat. Throw the stems away.

Jalapenos with no heat on left, with extra heat on right. Pay attention to those seeds and veins!

5. Mince your peppers finely and mix into the tomato/onion mixture along with the lime juice. At this point, give a taste. If you want more heat, add another pepper or a finely minced serrano pepper.

Always finish with fresh lime and cilantro!

6. Coarsely chop 1/2 c. of fresh cilantro, add to the mixture, and correct the salt. Taste again for balance between the acid (lime), the sweet (the onion), the tangy (tomato), the heat (Jalapeno), and the salty (salt). You have a perfect Pico de Gallo if it's all in balance. It's okay to adjust the seasoning (add salt or cilantro) or acidity (add lime juice) according to your preference. Let your Pico "rest" for at least one–half hour. Refrigerate for up to 3–5 days.


1. Cut 2–3 ripe avocados in half. They should be buttery inside and soft, but not slimy or mushy, with a green color. Hit knife against pit and twist to get the pit out. Scoop contents onto a plate and discard pit and skins. Mash your avocados with a potato masher unless you have a molcajete or similar tool. Stop mashing before your avocados are perfectly smooth—you want some chunks so that your Guacamole has texture and is clearly fresh and homemade.

Leave your avocados chunky!

2. Add 1/4 c of prepared Pico de Gallo and 1/4 t of garlic powder. Feel free to use fresh raw garlic; I find it too intense for Guacamole. Add the juice of 1/2 lime.

Always finish with fresh lime and cilantro - and a little garlic powder.

3. Add 1/4 c of chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Serve immediately. Guacamole does not keep well refrigerated for more than a couple of hours.

Corn Salad Salsa

1. Cook a packet of frozen corn in the microwave per package directions.

2. Put corn in a bowl to cool.

3. Add 1/3 c Pico de Gallo, at least one green onion (minced) 2 T olive oil and 2 T chopped cilantro.

Corn Salsa improves if you use Grilled Corn!

You now have three wonderful condiments for your Mexican, TexMex or New Mexican meal. Whether it's Fajitas or Enchiladas or whatever you choose, your Pico, Guacamole, and Corn Salad will begin the meal (with chips) and round it out (served with the meal as condiments).

Get Chips or use as condiments for fajitas, tacos or other Southwest foods!

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