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Pico De Gallo with Cabbage

A humble, flavorful, fresh, vibrant pico de gallo, made extra-crunchy thanks to the genius addition of shredded cabbage.


Pico De Gallo with Cabbage in a bowl with tortilla chips on a plater with a linen

Pico De Gallo + Cabbage FTW

Humble, flavorful, fresh, vibrant pico de gallo—in this case, made extra-crunchy thanks to the addition of shredded cabbage. Simple as it sounds, there is a trick to it, and once perfected you'll be wondering why you were ever crazy or lazy enough to use store-bought. We discovered the secret to the most amazing homemade pico de gallo a few years back, thanks to our friend Steve, who first introduced me to this lovely, cabbage-adorned version of salsa fresca, asking if we could please have and share the recipe, and here’s his response, verbatim: “Hey Holly! It’s a pretty poorly-kept secret! Onion- diced, tomatoes - diced, cilantro- torn, cabbage - shredded, jalapeños - diced, lime - squeezed, salt- shaken. How much of each? It’s the Mexican Flag Ratio: equal parts red, white, and green.”

A bowl of salt next to 3 limes, cilantro and tomatoes on a cutting board

What is Pico De Gallo?

Pico de gallo is a fresh salsa (sometimes also referred to as salsa fresca or salsa mexicana) made of chopped tomatoes, onions, chilies and a little salt. Even if you didn’t know it was called “pico de gallo”, you’ve probably eaten it before on a taco or with chips at a Mexican restaurant.

What Does Pico De Gallo Mean in English?

Translated from Spanish, “pico de gallo” literally means “rooster beak”. As far as we can discern, no one is quite sure why this fresh salsa is called ‘rooster beak’, but there you have it. Some people in internet land claim that it has something to do with eating it with your hands (picking up the chunks of fresh tomato and onion between your forefinger and thumb, apparently like a rooster’s beak) but wouldn’t you rather eat pico with Chips? Or on a Taco?

diced tomatoes, shredded cabbage, died onion and roughly chopped cilantro in a bowl

How to Make Pico De Gallo.

We just love the extra crunch that fresh, raw cabbage brings to this classic pico de gallo—not only does it temper the sharp flavors of the chilies and onions, but it makes this condiment so versatile. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Start with really great produce. Since this is a fresh salsa, nothing will be cooked, so there’s no masking bad produce. If your tomatoes are unripe, your pico will be bland. Clean everything thoroughly, too—especially the cilantro, which can sometimes be a little sandy.
  2. Chop everything. Chopping is the only work that this recipe requires of you, so give it your all! Put on a great podcast, or some music you love, and take some time to carefully dice those tomatoes, shred the cabbage, and seed your jalapenos.
  3. Combine your onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, cabbage and cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over all of it, sprinkle with salt and toss together.
  4. Serve! Gobble your pico up with chips, on top of tacos, in a burrito, over grilled fish—the sky’s the limit!
Pico De Gallo with Cabbage in a bowl

What to Do With Leftover Pico De Gallo:

What is this “leftover” pico de gallo you speak of? On the off chance that you don’t gobble up every last bite, leftover pico is easy to use up. It will change over time—it is really meant to be enjoyed fresh—but your pico de gallo with cabbage will easily last a day or two in the fridge. Use it to:

  • Dress up some Breakfast Tacos.
  • As a way to add some veggies to your kids Quesadillas!
  • Spoon it over a piece of fresh white fish wrapped in foil and grill until the fish is tender and cooked for an easy, healthy dinner.
  • Eat with Chips, just like you did the first time!
Pico De Gallo with Cabbage in a bowl
Bowl of Pico De Gallo with Cabbage on a plate with corn tortilla chips and blue linen

Tools You’ll Need:

What To Serve With Pico De Gallo:

Spicy, refreshing pico de gallo is the perfect easy appetizer or accompaniment to so many of our favorite Mexican-inspired dishes. We love it with:

Hand dipping a tortilla chip into Pico De Gallo with Cabbage

So, Did You Pico?

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Pico De Gallo with Cabbage

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 50


  • 2 cups diced Roma tomatoes (from 4-5 tomatoes)
  • 2 cups diced white onion (from 1 large onion)
  • 2 cups chopped green cabbage (from ½ head of cabbage)
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves (from about 1-2 bunches)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cabbage, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.

  2. Serve with chips on the side for scooping.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories50
  • Protein2 g
  • Carbohydrates11 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium799 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Pico De Gallo with Cabbage

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sue

    How far ahead can this be made?

    It'll keep for a couple days but as it sits in the fridge more liquid is released so just keep that in mind.

  • Vanessa

    Can this be made with red onion?

    We prefer white onion but red will probably be fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • Joyce

    Can this be canned? How long processing time?

    We do not recommend canning this. Cabbage discolors and grows stronger in flavor when canned.

  • Melissa

    Can you make it without jalapeños or what can be replaced? We don’t like spicy foods.

    You can absolutely leave them out! Hope you enjoy Melissa!

  • Carla

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Pico De Gallo. #1, I love Cabbage but would never have thought to add it to PDG. My husband thinks this is the best PDG he’s ever tasted, too! Thanks for your creativity!

    Thanks Carla, we are so happy you love it!

  • Carla

    I made this to serve with the fajita bowl. It was great! I love cabbage so was excited to make this instead of the standard pics de gallo! I’ll be making it again and again! Thanks for your creativity!

    Thanks Carla, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    This is so delicious! I make this almost every time I make any Mexican food!

    That's great Jenn, so glad you like it!