This cucumber pico de gallo is fresh, tangy, and lightly spicy. The recipe is so easy to make and can be easily customized by adding or adjusting the amounts of other ingredients to suit your taste preferences.
Cucumber pico de gallo is a variation of the traditional Mexican salsa known as “pico de gallo” or salsa bandera. It incorporates cucumbers as one of the main ingredients, giving it a refreshing and crunchy twist.
The combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients creates a vibrant and aromatic salsa that complements a wide range of dishes like fish tacos de pescado, quesadillas, and nachos.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Tomatoes: I like to use firm roma tomatoes and avoid overripe tomatoes so my cucumber pico won’t be too watery.
- Cucumbers: I like to peel and remove the seeds, but feel free to leave them on for extra crunchiness and moisture. You can use English cucumbers or regular cucumbers.
- Onions: Onions adds a burst of flavor and texture to this cucumber pico. I used white onions but feel free to use other types such as red onions or even spring onions!
- Chiles: I used serrano pepper because, but jalapeno pepper is also a good option. Adjust the amount of chilies accordingly to your preferences.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is a must because it adds a bright and herbal flavor to the pico de gallo with cucumber.
- Limes: Freshly squeezed lime juice is used to add acidity and tanginess to this chunky salsa. It enhances the overall flavor profile.
- Salt: Basic seasoning.
How To Make Cucumber Pico De Gallo
Wash thoroughly your vegetables under cold water and pat dry them with a clean kitchen towel.
Cut tomatoes and cucumber in half and use a spoon to discard their seeds and excess moisture.
Then, finely dice and chop everything, including chilies and cilantro, then place all into a large mixing bowl.
Squeeze the juice of one lime over the veggies, add vinegar, and then season generously with salt.
Toss everything together and then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or lime juice if desired.
Let the cucumber pico de gallo sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!
Expert Tips & Recipe Notes
- Opt for fresh ingredients, the freshness of the ingredients will greatly enhance the flavor of the pico de gallo.
- Taste as you go and adjust the amounts of ingredients to achieve the desired flavor balance. If the pico de gallo is too tangy, add more diced cucumber or tomato to mellow it out. If it’s not tangy enough, squeeze in some extra lime juice.
- If you prefer a milder pico de gallo, remove the seeds and membranes from the serrano or jalapeño pepper before chopping it. This will help reduce the spiciness. Use gloves when doing this, to prevent skin irritation.
- After mixing all the ingredients together, let the chunky salsa sit for about 10-15 minutes before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a tastier salsa.
- While the traditional pico de gallo with cucumber recipe is delicious on its own, feel free to experiment with additional ingredients. You can add diced avocado for creaminess, diced mango for a touch of sweetness, diced bell peppers for extra crunch, or even a hint of minced garlic or ground cumin for more flavor.
Cucumber pico de gallo can be used in a variety of ways and is an amazing zesty salsa that I often make at home for my family. Below are my favorite ways for pairing this fresh cucumber salsa:
Tacos: The freshness and crunch of this chunky salsa will complement the flavors of my delicious tacos de camarón.
Grilled Meats: The cool and tangy salsa will provide a refreshing contrast to the smoky flavors of these fajitas de res.
Seafood: Serve it as a topping for fish, shrimp, or scallops, I recommend making this mojarra frita and topping it with this cucumber pico de gallo!
Appetizers: Serve cucumber pico de gallo alongside other appetizers or sides such as ground turkey quesadillas, nachos, grilled vegetables, or fries. It adds a zesty and refreshing touch to the overall spread.
Tortilla Chips: Cucumber pico de gallo makes for a delicious appetizer with totopos chips. The combination of the crunchy chips and the refreshing salsa is perfect for parties, gatherings, or simply as a snack.
To preserve its flavors and prevent spoilage, keep the cucumber pico de gallo stored in the fridge in a glass airtight container. Ideally within 2-3 days of preparation. After this period, the quality and texture of the ingredients may deteriorate.
Over time, the ingredients in cucumber pico salsa may release moisture, resulting in a slightly watery consistency. You can just drain off any excess liquid before serving.
Prior to serving, give the cucumber pico salsa a gentle stir or toss to redistribute the flavors and juices that may have settled during storage.
What is the difference between salsa fresca and pico de gallo?
While the terms salsa fresca and pico de gallo are often used interchangeably, pico de gallo specifically refers to a style of Mexican salsa with equal or near-equal proportions of diced tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. Salsa fresca, on the other hand, is a broader term used to describe various salsas made with fresh ingredients, including those that closely resemble pico de gallo.
Why is my pico de gallo watery?
Tomatoes and cucumbers can contain excess moisture and seeds that may make the pico de gallo watery. To prevent that I suggest removing the seeds by cutting the cucumber and tomatoes in half lengthwise and using a spoon to scoop out the seeds before dicing.
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Cucumber Pico De Gallo
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- mixing bowl
- 3 medium firm tomatoes (seeded and diced)
- 1 large cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced)
- 1 medium white onion (chopped)
- 2-3 serrano or jalapeño peppers (chopped)
- 1 bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1-2 limes
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar (optional)
- salt (to taste)
- Place diced tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and chilies in a mixing bowl.
- Add chopped cilantro and squeeze the juice of one lime over.
- Add the vinegar (optional) and season everything with salt. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
- Adjust salt and lime juice if needed.
- Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving.
- Tomatoes and cucumbers can contain excess moisture and seeds that may make the pico de gallo watery. To prevent that I suggest removing the seeds and core of both ingredients.
- If you prefer a milder salsa, remove the seeds and membranes from the chili peppers before chopping them. This will help reduce the spiciness.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.