Please ignore the fact that my face is in this bowl of Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo. Actually, pull up a chair and join me. This pico is addicting. Hot, but addicting. So hot it will knock your socks off. Or if it’s your first bite, then you might jump right out of your shoes like I did. Either way, this paleo pico de gallo absolutely earns and lives up to its name. Just know this going in, okay? Pleeeeeeeez know this. We aren’t talking about cute little jars of salsa that delicately grace the palate. Oh, no, Spiriteds, we are talking jalapeño hot. And it is oh, so freaking good. But you gotta love the hot stuff to saddle up to a bowl of this.
Dad was actually the one who introduced me to pico de gallo. He was also the one to clarify the difference between pico and salsa. #TheyAreNotTheSame The main difference according to Dad? Salsa is cooked, and pico is not. Also, pico is better, according to Dad. Although I confess, I love them both.
He also introduced me to spicy olives, as evidenced by this Marinated Greek Olives recipe, not to mention the art of throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pan and seeing what flavor happens. Kind of like how I discovered this recipe ~ a little of this color, a little of that color. Measuring cups? Why would we use those?
However, because of a tomato allergy, picos and salsas were relegated to add-on or easily-replaceable status. I missed them, and I found myself wondering, could I come up with a tomato-free pico de gallo recipe? Oh, yes. More like, YAAAASSSS!!! Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo is here, and it’s ALL THE THINGS. Including beautiful. Just look at those colors!
Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo is an updated pico de gallo recipe from an original I shared very early on in my blogging career, first-round photos and all. It’s a tasty combination of vegetables, multiple colors, and lots of nutrients, all in one bowl. A few years back, K-Hubs and I went through a delicious phase where we made this every Friday night as a send-off to the week and a welcome to the weekend. We paired it with corn chips of varying colors. And because I love you, I tested this spicy recipe with other foods, just to report back. I might have also done this to justify making additional batches.
Definitely pair Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo with:
- Veggie or beef burgers. So absolutely good.
- Shredded beef or chicken.
- Shrimp, tuna, or your fish/seafood of choice.
With that last one, I knocked my own socks off. Those combinations were surprisingly amazing. Tuna gets a little boring sometimes, but not with pico. It was worth every bite.
As for preparing this worthwhile bite, the time consuming portion is in the chopping, slicing, and dicing at the beginning. I find that using a large mixing bowl and a large slotted serving spoon do the trick just fine. First, I chop the peppers and throw them into the large mixing bowl. Next I chop the jalapeños. Make sure to keep your fingers out of your eyes! After that I add the cilantro. Finally, I add lime juice and sea salt. If you want a pico de gallo with more bite, then add more sea salt. But remember, a little sea salt goes a long way. I suggest starting with 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon and gradually add small amounts from there. Then your pico de gallo will have just the right balance of flavors.
When I wrote the original recipe, I suggested a veggie chopper to save time. Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo requires A LOT of slicing and dicing, but the final outcome is totally worth it. Incidentally, this is why I married K-Hubs. He’s our resident chopper/dicer. And the girls and I love his patient self for it. But I might have to walk back on my original suggestion. Because this recipe, in the hands of the wrong chopper/slicer/dicer, will yield mushy peppers, and we can’t have that. At least, not in this recipe. So, I confess, I still chop and slice and dice by hand. It produces the exact shape and texture I want my Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo to be. Whoever said healthy was inherently boring never tried this. Actually, that might have been me. Then I made this, and now I stand deliciously corrected.
Hot ‘n Spicy Pico de Gallo
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (approximately 1 lime)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.
- Store in covered container for up to three days.
- Drain excess juice as needed.
This is a bit too spicy for me. Any suggestions as to what I can add to calm it down a bit?
Spirited and then Some says
Hello! Yes, if it’s a bit too spicy, I’d start by reducing the amount of jalapeños used. And if the batch is already made, I’d increase the number of bell peppers used. We’ve also noticed that some jalapeños are hotter at times than others, so if we’re unsure, we’ll a few pieces in at at time and then taste-test as we go until we get the desired “heat” we’re looking for. I hope that helps!