Tailgate Party Pico

Fresh, post-adventure salsa with just 5 ingredients.

Words by Monique Seitz-Davis, photos by Bryce Olsen

As much as we hate to admit it, summer is coming to a close and with its departure comes a bittersweet desire for last hurrahs and outdoor rambles until the stars are sparkling high above the hillside. Perhaps the most magical part of this seasonal witching hour aren’t the moments spent moseying up and out of the heat: it’s the howdys and the huzzahs that happen post hike, trail run, or bike ride. You know, the parties that ensue at your very own tailgate. That being said, since we’re all looking to make the most of our time, these little fun-downs are best paired with accoutrements that are easy, refreshing, and group-friendly. And so we bring to you our Tailgate Pico de Gallo.

Now, you might be thinking “couldn’t you just take a jar of salsa and bag of chips with you, leave them in your car, and then snack on them once you’ve finished up for the day?” Yeah, of course you could, but you could also eat chips and canned salsa any other day of the week. How often do you get to bookend your day with fresh food, good friends, and magical moments—after all, no amount of money can buy experiences, and that’s what this is about; the experience, right?


Also, if you’ve got a green thumb, it’s safe to say that your tomatoes are probably going off the chains right now, so this is the perfect recipe for folks seeking alternatives to the largely-obvious-tomato-based ones (e.g., pasta sauce). Or, on the other hand, if you’re without a garden, this recipe features affordable ingredients and is on-the-fly friendly. And we intentionally kept the ingredients to the bare minimum as to make your post-romp leisure session more seamless—so you’re able to focus on the fun rather than who’s cooking or chopping up foodie bits.

So, for the sake of simplicity, this sassy little number features a whopping five ingredients. Yup, you read that right, specifically: tomato, avocado, onion, lime, and cilantro. After that, all that’s required of you is a couple bags of chips, cutting board, pocket knife (or Leatherman), and a bowl for seriously divine dippage. Oh, and some frosty beverages (read: Uinta beer and LaCroix) for hydration and general nourishment. Because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, regardless of what kind of beverage you’re having!



Feeds about 5 really hungry people

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 small white onion (unlike the massive one we brought)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 grip of cilantro
  • optional: 1 tomatillo (we added one)
  • optional: 1 spicy pepper 
  • 2 bags of corn chips (Juanita’s are best)

Don’t Forget The

  • Cutting board
  • Pocket knife
  • Bowl
  • Beer (but who would forget the beer?)

Loose Instructions

Dice up your tomatoes and toss into the bowl.

Slice your avocados in half. Quarter avocado meat within the shell. Squeeze delicious nuggets into bowl.

Dice up half of your small onion, toss it in the bowl.

Chop or rip up your cilantro and toss it into the bowl. (We discovered that attempting to chop up the cilantro nicely with a Leatherman is quite difficult.)

Take your full lime and “roll it out” on the cutting board, much like you would a lump of clay. Slice lime in half, and squeeze the juice into the bowl of goodies.

Take your bowl of tasty treats and stir with the knife, or attempt to “gently air toss.” We did not succeed very well at the latter option.

And if you haven’t already opened those chips, grab ’em, and scoop till your belly is content!