Corn Salsa (Chipotle Copycat!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Corn Salsa with bright and crisp white corn mixed with herbs, onions, and a bit of kick from jalapeños. The Chipotle copycat you’ve all been waiting for!

If you’re not serving this salsa with chips, try pairing it with honey lime chicken, pineapple chicken, or cilantro lime chicken.

Chipotle Corn Salsa in a large bowl with spoon

The Best Corn Salsa Recipe

It must be the week of corn recipes! I kicked off with a creamy corn salad, today I’m sharing this Corn Salsa Recipe, and later this week, I’ll post an avocado chicken salad (updated with the link) featuring—you guessed it—corn!

Growing up, corn was a staple in our house. My dad could live off just corn and roasted potatoes, but his all-time favorite was classic corn on the cob. I can’t blame him; few things are better!

So you can bet that whenever I go to Chipotle, I load up on as much corn salsa as possible! When they shared their recipe on TikTok, I took note and recreated it at home. Now I can have it whenever those cravings hit!

Ingredients set out


  • Corn: Chipotle uses frozen sweet white corn, so you can make this corn salsa any time of the year! Feel free to use fresh corn instead (see “quick tip” box below).
  • Olive Oil: Just a bit of oil helps keep everything from sticking and adds a flavor boost.
  • Red Onion: Chop it up fine and, if you’re sensitive, give it a quick soak in cold water to take the edge off.
  • Cilantro: Fresh is best. Chop it up really fine to spread the flavor evenly. If you hate cilantro, use parsley instead!
  • Jalapeño: Dice it up fine. Keep the seeds if you like it spicy, or remove them for a milder flavor.
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice gives a fresh flavor! You can use just lime or equal parts lime and lemon juice.
  • Salt: Start with a little, then taste and adjust to bring out all the flavors. If you find your corn salsa lacking in flavor, it might just need a pinch more salt!
  • Optional Spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar): Chipotle doesn’t use these spices, but I think they make it taste better! Add them if you like and adjust to how you like it.
  • Optional Roasted Poblano Pepper: Roast it, peel it, chop it fine for a nice smoky flavor.


If using corn on the cob, look for green husks, damp silks, and a moist green stem. Avoid corn with dry, brown husks. Check for plump, juicy kernels without dents. 

Red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, poblano, and corn prepped out on table

How To Make Corn Salsa

  1. Cook the Corn: Heat a large pan with oil, add corn and salt. Cook until water evaporates, about 3-5 minutes. For a roasted flavor, cook until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let it cool.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the cooled corn with diced onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and any optional spices or ingredients. Stir gently.
  3. Chill: Refrigerate the salsa for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  4. Serve: Enjoy your homemade corn salsa with chips, as a taco topping, or as a fresh side dish.

All the corn salsa recipe ingredients piled together in a bowl

Corn Salsa Variations

  • Avocado Corn Salsa: Add diced avocado just before serving for a creamy texture. For another variation, try this Avocado Salsa.
  • Black Bean Corn Salsa: Mix in 1 cup of rinsed and drained black beans to boost protein and add some texture.
  • Fruit Corn Salsa: Mix in diced mango or pineapple for some sweetness. Ensure the fruit is ripe for the best flavor.
  • Make It A Bowl: Add diced chicken, steak, or shrimp to your corn salsa and serve it over a bed of rice for a complete meal.
  • Make it Mild: Use raw or roasted green bell pepper instead of poblanos and jalapeños to reduce the heat.
  • Make it Spicier: Replace jalapeños with minced fresh serrano chiles, including the seeds, for an extra spicy kick!

Up close photo of Chipotle Corn Salsa with spoon in it


How To Make Ahead

This corn salsa recipe improves with time—it’s even better on day 2! If you want to make it more than a couple of days in advance, here’s what to do: Chop all the ingredients a day ahead and roast the corn. Let it cool, then store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Combine them 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor.

More Salsa Recipes

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Corn Salsa Recipe (Chipotle Copycat!)

5 from 9 votes
Corn Salsa with bright and crisp white corn mixed with herbs, onions, and a bit of kick from jalapeños. The Chipotle copycat you've all been waiting for!
Print Recipe

Corn Salsa Recipe (Chipotle Copycat!)

5 from 9 votes
Corn Salsa with bright and crisp white corn mixed with herbs, onions, and a bit of kick from jalapeños. The Chipotle copycat you've all been waiting for!
Course Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword corn salsa recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chilling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes
Servings 4 -6 as an appetizer
Chelsea Lords
Calories 12kcal
Cost $3.38


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen sweet white corn (Note 1)
  • 1/4 up to 1/2 teaspoon salt  (Note 2)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion (1/4th an onion)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (~1/2 bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño (~1 jalapeño )
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or 1 tbsp lime & 1 tbsp lemon)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon EACH: chili powderground cuminpaprika, white sugar
  • Optional: 1/4 cup diced roasted poblano pepper (Note 3)


  • CORN: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add corn and salt; cook until liquid evaporates, about 3-5 minutes. For a roasted flavor, cook up to 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until corn is slightly charred with golden brown spots. Avoid frequent stirring to ensure proper roasting. Let the corn cool completely, or place in the fridge to speed up cooling.
  • SALSA: Once the corn is cool, combine it in a bowl with red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and optional spices and poblano. Stir gently to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let the salsa sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving (it gets so much more flavorful!). Enjoy with dips or on your favorite meals!
  • STORAGE: Store leftover corn salsa recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like it best on day 2!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: According to Chipotle employees, Chipotle uses frozen super sweet white corn. If you prefer fresh corn, select fresh sweet corn on the cob, slice off the kernels to measure 2 full cups, and sauté them in 1 tbsp of oil for about 5-8 minutes or until tender.
Note 2: I usually add 1/2 tsp of salt, but adjust it to your liking. Remember that tortilla chips are salted too, so taste the salsa with a chip before adding more salt.
Note 3: To roast a poblano pepper, place it over an open flame on the stove, using tongs to rotate until all sides are blackened (about 3-4 minutes). Place the blackened pepper in a bowl, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the pepper, peel off the blackened skin, discard the seeds, and chop the flesh into very small pieces.
Reducing Onion Sharpness: To lessen the sharpness of red onions, chop and soak them in ice water for at least ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain well before using.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 286IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.




How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

5 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Comment:

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

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    MMMmmm grilling this corn sure gives it an out of this world color – and probably flavor too! Can’t wait to find out

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.