Chipotle's corn salsa is one of my favorite salsa's of all time. The fresh corn that's sweet with the hit of spice from the pepper and red onion to the tang of the lime and lemon....yum, it's mouth watering goodness. And the best part is that you can make it at home in just minutes. This easy copycat recipe is one you'll turn to all year long!
Corn Salsa isn't just a summer dish
When you think of using corn in most recipes, you think of summer, outdoors and fresh sweet corn from a roadside stand. At least I do. However, corn recipes can be made all year long. And this copycat Chipotle corn salsa recipe is the one I think of spring, summer, fall and winter.
It's great served as an appetizer with tortilla chips. Eat it on its own as a simple salad for lunch, or pile it on anything from grilled fish and chicken to your favorite tacos for a real treat. The simple ingredients mean you can make it with ease any time you want...and I'll think you'll find yourself wanting to make it a lot.
A note: Chipotle recently shared its official recipe on their Tik Tok. I've taken inspiration from them and you'll see that the ingredients are just about the same. If it's good enough to go "viral" it must really be one of the best salsa recipes out there!
- Corn: I like to make this recipe with super sweet canned corn however, fresh corn cut off the cob and frozen corn will both work as well
- Jalapeno Pepper: The pepper controls the spice in this recipe. I like the kick the jalapeno brings to the salsa and it can easily be substituted with poblano peppers
- Citrus: I use both lemon juice and lime juice in this recipe. You'll want to squeeze it fresh instead of using the bottled stuff
How to make copycat chipotle corn salsa
I think that this simple recipe tastes just like the real thing. And there are just a few easy steps to make sure you get it just right!
Start by opening the can of corn and draining it really well. Pat it dry and put it into your mixing bowl.
Then dice a jalapeno and red onion into small pieces, making sure they are all about the same size. Wash, dry then chop the fresh cilantro. Add your chopped ingredients to the bowl of corn.
Add the lemon and lime juice to the bowl and mix really well. You want to make sure everything is totally combined and evenly distributed.
As with many of my favorite salsas this one gets better if it sits a bit so the flavors have time to meld. Try to make this sweet corn salsa a bit (a few hours or even a day) before you are going to serve it. It will taste great immediately, but even better if given time.
Yes, absolutely. Either frozen yellow sweet corn or frozen sweet white corn will work. Simply defrost the corn on the counter and then drain well and pat dry before using. Since corn is a key ingredient in this salsa, just make sure it's sweet corn.
The Chipotle website lists their corn salsa as "medium" spice, so that's the spice level for the recipe as written.
However, since the spice level is controlled by the pepper, it's really easy to modify. It's always a good idea to cut out the middle rib with the seeds in all of these peppers before you dice and add to the salsa.
* If you want to make it with no spice, substitute the jalapeno peppers for a green bell pepper.
* If you want to make it just a little less spicy, substitute the jalapeno pepper for a poblano pepper.
* If you want to make the salsa extra spicy (with more than a little kick), substitute the jalapeno pepper for a serrano pepper.
Many people don't like cilantro and there is a scientific reason behind it. However, just because cilantro isn't one of your favorite flavors, doesn't mean you can make Chipotle's corn salsa. Try substituting with parsley or basil. Mint would also work but can be strong, so add in a bit and taste before adding more.
How to serve this popular corn salsa
I love my burrito bowls so my favorite way to eat this chipotle corn salsa copycat is in a homemade burrito bowl. Grab a bowl, add some white rice, some black beans, a few huge scoops of the corn salsa, a scoop of your favorite guacamole recipe, a handful of shredded cheese or chopped lettuce and dig into an easy vegetarian meal.
It's also a perfect appetizer with corn chips or tortilla chips, and eaten while watching the "big game".
I also think it's the perfect topping for fish or black bean tacos since the fresh flavor really add something special to your regular taco Tuesday lineup. It's also great served over any grilled fish or as a side dish for my Mexican rice skillet or black bean enchiladas.
Make it a roasted chili corn salsa
Want to add another layer of flavor to this simple salsa recipe? Turn Chipotle's corn salsa into a roasted chili corn salsa simply by roasting the corn and pepper before adding them to the recipe.
To roast the peppers, turn a burner on your gas range to high heat and place the pepper directly on the flame. Alternatively, place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees until charred. Voila, roasted poblano pepper or roasted jalapeno pepper. Scrape off the charred bits and dice as the recipe states.
To roast the corn, you have three options.
- Put it into a skillet with a bit of olive oil and let it pan roast until some of the corn starts to char like in this charred corn recipe.
- Spread the corn kernels out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees until some of the kernels start turning brown
- If using fresh corn on the cob, soak the corn in their husks and then grill until a bit charred. Cut the kernels off the cob and let cool before continuing with the recipe.
How to store any leftovers
Any leftover corn salsa can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Before serving the extra, give the container a good shake to remix all the ingredients.
Looking for more simple appetizers and snacks?
Check out these recipes for some other simple snacks and appetizers:
Chipotle Corn Salsa (Copycat Recipe)
- 2 cans sweet corn (15 oz cans)
- 1 red onion (diced)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1 jalapeno (diced and deseeded)
- 2 TB cilantro chopped
- Open the cans of corn and drain them well. Pat the corn kernels dry and put them into your mixing bowl.
- Dice a jalapeno and red onion, making sure the pieces are all about the same size. Wash, dry and chop the fresh cilantro.
- Add your chopped ingredients to the bowl of corn.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon and the lime into the bowl and mix really well making everything is totally combined and evenly distributed.
- As with many salsas, this one gets better as it sits. If you have time, make this sweet corn salsa a few hours before you are going to serve it. It will taste great immediately, but even better if given time.
- You can adjust the spice by adjusting the amount of jalapeno you use or switching it out for another less or more spicy pepper of your choice.