Applebee’s Pico de Gallo

Applebee’s Pico de Gallo is a delicious fresh Mexican salsa served on so many of their dishes. It’s great on tacos, black beans, grilled chicken, scrambled eggs, and so much more. The possibilities are endless for this low-calorie dish!

A bowl of copycat Applebee's pico de gallo and four tacos.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Applebee’s Grill and Bar

Applebee’s is a fun place to go. They serve all sorts of fun and creative drinks, and they also make some of the best appetizers around.

This really is a true neighborhood bar. I think that you will enjoy many of the items on the menu. They serve a lot of dishes with pico de Gallo.

Pico de Gallo

You might wonder, “What is pico de gallo? Is it the same thing as salsa?” The answer: It is a type of salsa, but it has its own characteristics. It is a low-calorie relish that you can add to so many foods. I enjoy pico de gallo on scrambled eggs, tacos, nachos, and many more dishes.

What’s the secret to making great pico de gallo? Fresh ingredients. Fresh ingredients make all of the difference.

Go for those very ripe tomatoes, the ones that are bright red and almost a little too soft. Fresh jalapenos for some heat. And onions, either white onions or red onions. I find yellow onions to be a little too hot for me.

You want to make pico de gallo a couple of hours ahead of time before using it. Ideally, I the night before. This way, the flavors will mingle and bring out the best that all of the ingredients have together.

I hope you enjoy this quick and fresh-tasting salsa that you can enjoy with many of your other favorite dishes.

What makes Applebee’s pico de Gallo so good?

The vibrant flavor of this homemade pico de gallo has the piquancy you’re looking for. When you allow time for it to marinate, the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and vinegar soak into the other ingredients.

It has a pleasant, chunky texture due to the tomato, onion, and pepper pieces. And the cilantro gives it the authentic pico de gallo feel.

There’s a reason why Applebee’s serves this pico de gallo with tortilla chips and so many dishes – it is extremely enticing, versatile, and succulent.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Made with fresh and natural components, this dish is full of nutrients and has a refreshing taste. The blend of spicy, zesty, and savory flavors will add a delicious twist to any meal.

This recipe can also be scaled up for parties – simply double the ingredients! Serve it alongside your favorite chips and guacamole, or use it as a topping for a taco bar. Your guests are sure to love the taste of Applebee’s in your home.


Here are the ingredients you need to make this pico de gallo recipe:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Jalapenos
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • White vinegar
Copycat Applebee's pico de gallo ingredient on parchment paper.

3 tips for choosing the perfect tomatoes

  • Examine their color. For best results, use tomatoes with a deep red color rather than pale ones. Their color is a good indicator of their ripeness.
  • Check their firmness. They shouldn’t be super hard, but rather, if you gently squeeze them, they should have some tenderness.
  • Choose a variety that isn’t too watery. You don’t want the tomatoes to instantly turn mushy. Roma (plum) tomatoes are best, but grape, globe, or San Marzano are all great options, too. Even beefsteak tomatoes work if you plan on eating it immediately after it marinates.

How to make pico de Gallo

There are only a few easy steps for making this Applebee’s copycat recipe:

  1. Put all of the pico de gallo ingredients into a large bowl or container.
Copycat Applebee's pico de gallo ingredient in a mixing bowl.
  1. Mix them until they’re thoroughly blended.
  2. Allow the mixture to rest for 6 hours minimum or overnight.
A bowl of copycat Applebee's pico de gallo next to tacos.

What to serve Applebee’s pico de gallo with

Try serving this with fajitas, nachos, shrimp or chicken bowls, Mexican rice, or Applebee’s quesadillas, similar to what you might enjoy at the restaurant. However, don’t let that limit you – feel free to use it as a topping or side for anything you’d like!

For example, try it on omelettes, avocado toast, or salad. You can also mix it into burritos, enchiladas, or even mac and cheese to add a little extra flavor to your meals. 

How to store the leftovers

Transfer any extra pico de gallo to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

How long does it last?

With fresh pico de gallo, it is best to enjoy it within 2-3 days of making it.

Copycat Applebee's pico de gallo in a bowl and on tacos.

More Applebee’s copycat recipes

Enjoy salsa? Try these recipes!

Check out more of my easy Mexican food recipes and the best copycat restaurant recipes on CopyKat!

A bowl of copycat Applebee's pico de gallo and four tacos.

Applebee’s Pico de Gallo

You can recreate Applebee’s Pico de Gallo with fresh ingredients at home. 
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Applebees Pico de Gallo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 48kcal


  • 3 large fresh tomatoes diced (do not use canned)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeños fresh, not pickled
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  • Combine all the ingredients in a large container and mix well.
  • Refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours before serving.


Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 867mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 10.5mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.9mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions


  1. Debbie

    5 stars
    This is my favorite pico recipe. I use it on chips, crackers, baked potatoes and salad instead of dressing.

    • Tiffany

      4 stars
      You are correct! This is missing a few ingredients and also it added an Ingredient that we don’t use. She is really close though! The recipe is as follows:
      (And I don’t know measurements for small batches, I make a huge batch for the entire day for the restaurant so sorry!)
      Red tomatoes diced
      Red onion diced
      Jalepenos diced
      Cilantro chopped fine
      Lime Juice
      Soybean Oil or Olive Oil
      Sincerely, Applebee’s Kitchen Manager for 4 years 🙂

  2. Jen

    I am eating it right now and it is so yummy. I think the next time I will cut back on the salt a bit. Great taste and so easy to make.

  3. Cheffrey

    I worked for Applebees as a General Manager for 7 years in the 90’s. The recipe may have changed since then but we used red onions specifically & also lime juice for acidity instead of vinegar. We would make it in bulk batches a day ahead of time. For “best” flavor, it is VERY important to let sit after made to let the flavors “mary”. Preferably overnight 🙂

  4. Raptor Girl1

    red onions are the only thing that needs to be different other than that it is perfect for what you get in the restaurant

  5. Kim

    How long does the pico de gallo keep once it’s made?
    I think it stays for up to a week, but it is best when eaten wihin 2 or 3 days. ~Stephanie

    • ApplePrepGuy

      We make it fresh daily and use yesterday’s leftovers in other items. We toss it at the end of second day.

    • Cheffrey

      In the restaurant the “shelf life” was 2 days. At home it is best to use within a couple of days but will keep for up to a week. The older it is the more the tomatoes break down due to the acidity content and become mushy.

  6. Barbara

    I absolutely love this recipe. I’ve been making it for at least five years and always get lots of compliments. Mike mentioned the lime juice – I wonder if you would use that in place of the vinegar or use both. At any rate, it’s a great recipe just like it is!

4.80 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2024


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.