Hatch Pepper Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

by Dorothy Reinhold on August 19, 2021

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Hatch Pepper Salsa (or Hatch Pico de Gallo) is a chunky, fresh taste of summer with tomatoes, onion, Hatch chiles, cilantro and lime, ready for tacos, grilled fish or tortilla chips!

Once Hatch chile peppers begin to hit the market in August, it’s time to add them to everything.
–your scrambled eggs in the morning
–your sandwich at lunchtime
–into any salsa you make for atop your grilled chicken, steak or fish
–put it on tacos, nachos or quesadillas, or anything that needs a little somethin’-something’ to jazz it up
–or to simply as a dip for tortilla chips

They add a rich chile flavor, and if you get the mild ones like I do, not too much heat. Hatch are one of the few chiles that come in different heat levels, so you can choose from mild, medium, hot and extra hot, depending on your stamina. I go with mild , figuring I can always amp up the heat level in a dish, but it’s harder to tamp it down.

Is this salsa or pico de gallo? (Same thing…both!)

Extreme closeup showing chunky vegetables in Hatch Pepper Pico De Gallo ShockinglyDelicious.comThis is a chunky, uncooked salsa (salsa means “sauce” in Spanish). There are a number of names for the chunky version of salsa, including

–salsa fresco
–pico de gallo
–salsa cruda

In Spanish, pico de gallo means “beak of rooster.” It could have been called this because it was originally eaten by hand, by pinching it up between your thumb and finger. This makes the shape of a rooster’s beak.

It’s drier and less liquid than other salsas that you blend into a sauce, but it has the same great mix of flavors.

How to make Hatch Pepper Salsa

Bouquet of hatch chiles held by 2 hands against a blue shirt on ShockinglyDelicious.comThe most important part of this is the Hatch chile peppers! You’ll need 3-4 for this recipe, depending on size. If you have a humongous one, it might equal 2 smaller ones. Use your judgment.

3 roasted Hatch chiles on a white plate on ShockinglyDelicious.com

You’ll need to roast them (the chiles above are roasted and cooling on a plate), remove the skin, stem and seeds, and chop them. If you don’t know how to roast them, see these…

how to grill (roast) Hatch chiles on the outdoor grill
how to roast Hatch chiles on the stovetop

Roasted Hatch chile peppers in a black clamshell package on a white marble counter on ShockinglyDelicious.com

If you want to take the easy way out like I did, you can buy already roasted Hatch chiles at stores like Gelson’s markets in Southern California. You can buy them by the case, or in this instance of the Hatch sold in a clamshell container, by the pound.

Hatch pepper powder and seasoning from Melissa's Produce

There are 2 other special ingredients that make this Hatch Salsa sing.

Green Hatch Pepper Powder, which is simply dried green Hatch chiles pulverized into a powder. (If you cannot find this, feel free to substitute regular chile powder.)
Hatch Pepper Seasoning, whose main ingredients are salt, Hatch, garlic, coriander and cumin powders, and dried vegetable flakes. It’s really good and versatile! I use it on my scrambled eggs, on roasted potatoes, and on grilled chicken or fish. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute a big pinch of salt + a big pinch each of Hatch, ground cumin, ground coriander and garlic powders. By pinch, I really do mean use your thumb and finger to pinch it up and add it to the mixing bowl. All will be well; trust me. 

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, squeeze some lime juice over it, and refrigerate it for a bit so the flavors mingle. I like to serve it at room temperature, but you could serve it cold if you like.

Hatch Pepper Pico De Gallo in a white square bowl with chips in the background on ShockinglyDelicious.comI’m putting it on everything these days. Want to make it with me while Hatch chiles are in season? The season runs from August until mid-September, or whenever they run out in any given year. Mother Nature is in charge.

Hatch Pepper Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Hatch Pepper Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

Hatch Pepper Salsa (or Hatch Pico de Gallo) is a chunky, fresh taste of summer with tomatoes, onion, Hatch chiles, cilantro and lime, ready for tacos, grilled fish or tortilla chips!


  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 an onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hatch Pepper Seasoning (or use a big pinch of salt + a big pinch each of ground cumin, ground coriander and garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Green Hatch Pepper Powder, mild or hot (or regular chile powder)
  • 4 Hatch chile peppers, roasted & peeled, stems and seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8 Key limes, halved for juicing


  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, pepper seasoning and pepper powder, chopped Hatch peppers and cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over the mixture and mix well. Taste and add a pinch more salt if needed.
  2. Serves 4-6.


Recipe source: From the cookbook "Melissa's Hatch Pepper Cookbook," by Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida Rodriguez & Chef Tom Fraker (published by Melisssa's/World Variety Produce; 2021)


pin this please!Pin the image below for Hatch Pepper Salsa to your Pinterest board to save this recipe

Hatch Pepper Salsa in a square white ramekin with tortilla chips in the background and titles superimposed on top on ShockinglyDelicious.com

The cookbook

Melissa's Hatch Pepper Cookbook coverThis recipe comes from a new cookbook, “Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook,” by Sharon Hernandez, Chef Ida Rodriguez & Chef Tom Fraker (published by Melisssa’s/World Variety Produce; 2021). The Melissa’s cooking staff (and company co-owner Hernandez) have gathered more than 100 recipes that use fresh or dried Hatch chiles, and various other Hatch products like chile powder and seasoning, jarred salsa, Hatch popcorn and polenta, etc. It’s a fun book to cook your way through, or to give as a gift to a chile head. The book is divided into categories of Appetizers, Salads, Sides, Drinks, Condiments, etc., demonstrating the versatility of this unique pepper variety. There are Hatch dishes for every meal and snack of the day. Beginners and more seasoned cooks (ha, get it?) will be at home among these pages.

Hatch are only available fresh from the fields for six weeks of the year (August through mid-September), but the cookbook shows how to extend that season by freezing a cache to enjoy long after the season ends. You’ll see that Hatch pairs well with so many other ingredients — apples, artichokes and avocados, corn, crab and  cherries, chicken, cauliflower and chickpeas.

Looking for more Hatch Chile Pepper recipes?

2 Hatch Chiles with words superimposed on top

50 Best Recipes for Hatch Chiles You Need Right Now

Chopped Hatch Chile, Grape and Grilled Onion Salsa in a white bowl on a white marble counter top with a serving spoon in the back on ShockinglyDelicious.com

3-Ingredient Hatch Chile, Grape and Grilled Onion Salsa

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth August 22, 2021 at 4:14 pm

My hubby and I just loved this salsa! I bought some hatch peppers at the store the other day and decided to make this salsa, so delicious and very tasty. I will definitely make this again!


Dorothy Reinhold August 23, 2021 at 6:08 pm

I am delighted to hear that! Yahoo!


Sandra August 21, 2021 at 11:11 am

It is so easy to make!! Really refreshing flavors, too! Thanks for the recipe!


Krystle August 21, 2021 at 8:34 am

Full of flavor! We love it with nachos and quesadillas.


Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert August 21, 2021 at 2:34 am

This Hatch Pepper Salsa looks incredibly delicious!


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