Salsa bandera, aka pico de gallo is an easy and budget friendly Mexican fresh salsa made with just a few and simple ingredients. The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity: Fresh ingredients that don’t need to cook, so quick to make and with very few calories!.

What is salsa bandera?

Salsa bandera is one of the names that pico de gallo sauce is know. Basically this sauce is made with chopped fresh ingredients and seasoned with lime juice and salt. That’s it.

When I was a kid, for me and everyone I knew, pico de gallo was a fruit salad. It wasn’t until I left the country that I knew that the salsa mexicana -as we always called it- was also know as pico de gallo.

Salsa bandera in a bowl.

The name salsa bandera comes from the color of the sauce: Red from tomatoes, white from onions and green from chillies and cilantro. All the three colours from the Mexican flag. The Spanish word Bandera means flag.

How to serve pico de gallo

A bowl of black beans served with salsa bandera and queso fresco.

Ingredients needed

  • TOMATOS – Ripe tomatoes will yield a more “saucy” salsa bandera, while more firm tomatoes can be perfect if you want to serve this salsa as a side dish.
  • ONIONS – You can use either white or red onions, as they both are a nice option. Some people also like to add spring onions for an extra touch.
  • CILANTRO – Fresh cilantro is the key to this recipe, please avoid using parsley as the taste has nothing to do with cilantro.
  • GREEN CHILIES – Serranos or jalapeños are the ones that are used in the mexican recipe; but if you can’t find those just add any green spicy peppers you have available.
  • LIME – Lime juice add a particular tangy flavor, you can sub with regular lemons but always try to go with the first option.
  • SALT – Any type of salt you have at home. Remember that tomatoes absorb a lot of salt, so add first a bit then adjust later.
Salsa bandera ingredients labeled and displayed on a clear surface.

How long last?

  • This pico de gallo salsa last up to three days in the fridge. Since is made with fresh ingredients -specially tomato-, it can’t last longer and I personally don’t recommend leaving it in the fridge for more than 3 days.
  • Sometimes I like to add a splash of vinegar; this not only add an extra touch in taste but also helps the sauce to last longer (about 4-5 days).
Mixing salsa bandera in a bowl with a spoon.

Other versions

Salsa bandera (pico de gallo) has other delicious versions that consist in adding an extra ingredient to enrich and twist the traditional recipe. Those two below are our favorites and we hope you can also give them a try:

Pineapple pico de gallo
Ready in less that 10 minutes this pineapple pico de gallo will be your perfect side dish this summer. The sweet pineapple pairs perfectly with the spicy jalapenos and savory tomatoes.
Enjoy our recipe of pineapple pico de gallo with a bowl of crunchy chips. You can also make it up to one day ahead of time!
a bowl of fresh pineapple pico de gallo displayed on white surface
Mango Pico de Gallo
Mango pico de gallo is a delicious, vibrant, fresh, and zesty Mexican salsa rich in flavors and textures. It is very easy to make and uses fresh ingredients, making it the perfect appetizer!
Mango pico de gallo recipe.

Can be made ahead?

Yes! If you intend to bring this amazing salsa to your next potluck, you can make it the day ahead. Chop all ingredients, but I recommend discarding seeds and core from tomatoes; place all chopped ingredients in different containers. Next day, mix all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and lime juice, give it a good mix and there you go, a fresh salsa bandera to enjoy with your favorite grilled meats.

Watch How To Make It

Thank you for watching! Hope you enjoyed this easy recipe. Is really made in 1,2, 3 steps: Chop, season, mix and can’t get any easier than this.

Salsa Bandera (pico de gallo)

Salsa bandera, aka pico de gallo is an easy and budget friendly recipe. Is made in just a few minutes using fresh vegetables.
prep 10 minutes
total 10 minutes


  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 medium white onion (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili pepper (chopped)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • salt (to taste)


  • Place tomatoes into a medium bowl.
  • Add onions, green chili peppers and cilantro.
  • Add lime juice and a pinch of salt.
  • Mix to combine and adjust salt to taste.
  • Serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 589IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg
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