An easy recipe for copycat Chipotle Tomato Salsa (Pico de gallo). Mild in flavor (or make it spicier to taste!), it only takes 7 ingredients to make this delicious, fresh tomato salsa at home.

Chipotle tomato salsa in a black bowl on a blue plate with tortilla chips.

All the ingredients are raw, no cooking required. Just chop everything up and you’re ready to chip and dip.

The Chipotle Salsa scale, in order of hotness:

  • Mild: this one right here, the fresh Tomato Salsa, the chunkiest of the bunch.
  • Corn: White sweet corn and roasted poblano peppers, it’s sweet with just a hint of heat.
  • Medium: Tomatillo Salsa, made with jalapeños, tomatillos, and tomatoes.
  • Hot: fire it up with Hot Salsa, made with fire-roasted chilies and tomatillos.

Chipotle tomato salsa ingredients:

  • Tomatoes. To have the best fresh tomato salsa, you need to start with the best, ripest tomatoes. For me, this usually means the vine-ripened tomatoes at my local grocery store. However, if it’s the right season and you have access to a garden or your local farmer’s market, even better!
  • Jalapeño peppers. For extra spicy salsa, search out Serrano peppers, which are hotter. They look like a smaller, slightly straighter jalapeño. If you don’t like spicy salsa, make this recipe with a green bell pepper for a little crunch.
  • Onion. Authentic Chipotle salsa uses red onions, but you can use white or yellow.
  • Citrus juice. Chipotle loves a blend of lemon and lime juice.
  • Cilantro. Leave this out or sub parsley if you don’t love cilantro.
  • Salt.

Chipotle tomato salsa ingredients in various clear bowls.

How does Chipotle make their salsa?


It’s true. This recipe takes a fair amount of chopping and prep work to get the chunky consistency we know and love.

What if I hate cilantro?

As a cilantro fanatic, I fully endorse this herb. However, 4-14% of the population have the ability to taste a natural compound in the plant that most cilantro-lovers can’t. To the super-tasters, cilantro tastes like soap or metal. Yuck.

If you’re the one who yells “I hate cilantro!” you’re definitely not alone. Julia Child hated it, too!

Just leave it out. And if you like, you can substitute fresh parsley in the recipe.

Chipotle tomato salsa in a black bowl on a blue plate with tortilla chips.

Serving Ideas:

  • Add chips (and maybe guacamole!), add it to your favorite burrito bowl, pour it on tacos, eat it with grilled chicken, eat it with a spoon.
  • One of my favorite ways to eat tomato salsa is to mix it in with tuna salad and eat it on a sandwich. AMAZING.
  • Mix pico de gallo with some shredded green cabbage, extra lime juice, and salt, and serve it with fresh fish, especially grilled swordfish.
  • Add it to an omelette with a dollop of sour cream.
  • Dress up a simple bowl of black beans or pinto beans for a quick lunch or dinner.

How long does Chipotle Tomato Salsa last?

This salsa can be made 1-2 days ahead of time, because the flavors meld together and taste even better.

Always store fresh tomato salsa in a sealed container in the refrigerator, and eat within the week. Because everything is raw and uncooked, it won’t freeze well.

Chipotle tomato salsa in a red bowl on a blue plate with tortilla chips.

Chipotle Tomato Salsa (Copycat)

An easy recipe for copycat Chipotle Tomato Salsa (Pico de gallo). Mild in flavor (or make it spicier to taste!), it only takes 7 ingredients to make this delicious, fresh tomato salsa at home.
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Mexican
Calories 29


  • 1 pound tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 jalapeño peppers seeded, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1-2 limes)
  • Salt to taste
  • Tortilla chips for serving


  • In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lemon juice, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
  • Let stand at least 10 minutes at room temperature to blend flavors. Serve with chips.

Recipe Video


Inspired by Chipotle.


Calories: 29kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 309mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1125IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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  1. I’ve made this recipe time after time after time. It never fails me and tastes exactly like Chipotle’s! Please make this, you won’t regret it!5 stars

  2. Why not just call it Pico de Gallo? At first I was confused by the title because I was actually looking for Chipotle(the smoked pepper) Salsa recipes in google search and this popped up. Pico de Gallo is a recipe that’s been around before Chipotle ever existed. Might want to reconsider the title because you pop up as a chipotle salsa(the smoked pepper not the restaurant) recipe. (Just a suggestion) great recipe, though!5 stars

    1. Hi Jovanna, you’re right about all of this. I do have a separate post for Pico de Gallo which is the recipe I learned while traveling in Mexico. Vs. THIS recipe is just the exact ingredients that Chipotle posts on their website. And the only difference is… 1/8 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano. There is no good reason for why I have two separate posts. I will have to think about this a bunch and figure out what to do. But thank you! I appreciate the insight. It’s always helpful to hear what goes on “on the other side” of the blog. :) Thanks again – Meggan

  3. I made this recipe and your cilantro rice. They were just perfect. Thank you for sharing the recipe.5 stars

  4. I don’t know chipotle, but I bet it’s good! I certainly trust your interpretation of a pretty darn good salsa, Meggan! Pinning this one for the future!5 stars

  5. I love salsa, but I can’t stand most store bought out of a jar. Fresh is definitely the way to go! This will be great condiment all summer long! 5 stars