Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe (Copycat)

A sweet salsa with medium heat, copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa recipe has two chilis (one of them roasted!) and plenty of corn for maximum flavor.

This is exactly the right time for you to make this salsa. But I’ll get to that.

I was literally at Chipotle yesterday for my monthly standing lunch date, and I ate piles of their Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa. Then I came home and made more for this post and ate that, too. Not ALL of it. Well, at least not all at once.

Chipotle Corn Salsa - a photo of a hand with a chip scooping salsa out of a brown bowl with chips and drinks in the background - click on photo for full written recipe

The Sweetest Corn

I’ve been making this recipe with fresh corn for years, but I was doing it all wrong! One kind commenter told me that Chipotle actually uses FROZEN corn, and a friend who works there also confirmed the same. So. Shuck no more, my friends.


The Poblano Peppers

So we’ve established that the corn isn’t roasted, but the poblano peppers are. This is pretty easy to do. You’ll want to roast 1-2 peppers, depending on their size, to have enough for this recipe (1 will probably do it but you don’t want to come up short).You can roast the peppers in advance and keep them in the refrigerator for a week. Add your surplus to soups, sandwiches, or casseroles.

I wrote a tutorial on the subject, but here is the Cliff Notes version.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (strictly for purposes of a snappy cleanup), then rub the fresh poblano peppers with olive oil. Broil them in the oven until they are wrinkled and charred, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them hang out for at least 15 minutes. I find it most efficient to start roasting the peppers first, then move on to blanching the corn.

Chipotle Corn Salsa - the photo on the left shows a green pepper up close, the center photo shows a dried green pepper, and the far right photo shows a chopped green pepper - click on photo for full written recipe

Everything else is pretty standard. This recipe closely mimics Chipotle’s Fresh Tomato Salsa; if you have tomatoes on hand and extra of everything else for this recipe, you can easily make both.

If you’ve never had Chipotle’s Corn Salsa, they consider this their “medium” heat salsa (the Fresh Tomato Salsa is “mild”). Although there are hints of spice from the poblano peppers and the jalapeños, the salsa is overall quite sweet from all the corn. It is delicious on everything, ever.

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Chipotle ChickenChipotle SteakChipotle Barbacoa (beef) • Chipotle Carnitas (pork) •
Chipotle Sofritas (tofu) • Chipotle Cilantro Lime RiceChipotle Black BeansChipotle Pinto Beans
Chipotle Fajita VegetablesChipotle GuacamoleHomemade Tortilla Chips
Chipotle Tomato Salsa (mild) • Chipotle Corn Salsa (medium) • Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa (medium) •
Chipotle Hot Salsa (hot) • Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette (salad dressing) •

Chipotle Corn Salsa - a photo of various colorful ingredients over white rice in a white bowl - click on photo for full written recipe

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A photo of Chipotle Corn Salsa Copycat in a whod bowl. The yellow corn and red onion are served on a tortilla chip held by a hand to the right of the photo. There is a blue basket with tortilla chips and a margarita in a pink clear glass in the background.
5 from 5 votes

Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe (Copycat)

A sweet salsa with medium heat, copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa recipe has two chilis (one of them roasted!) and plenty of fresh corn for maximum flavor.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 76 kcal


  • 2 (12 ounce) bags frozen corn
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 Poblano pepper roasted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt


  1. Cook corn according to package directions. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.

  2. To a large bowl, add cooled corn, red onion, jalapeno peppers, poblano pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

Recipe Notes

Chipotle uses white sweet corn, but feel free to substitute yellow sweet corn. To have the same texture as Chipotle’s salsa, do not substitute frozen corn.

Adapted from ChipotleFan.

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A sweet salsa with medium heat, copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa recipe has two chilis and plenty of fresh corn for maximum flavor.

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  1. I can not eat at Chipotle and not get the corn on everything, it’s the best.  Thank you for sharing, I’ll be making this :)

  2. I’ve never eaten at Chipotle (somehow, living on the border with Mexico, it would not be my first choice for Mexican food…), so I have no idea what the original of this salsa is like.  I would probably make it with all poblanos and leave out the jalapeños.  Personal preference.

    • Hey there Susan, nice to see your face on my wall again. :) You know, my personal preference would just be to leave out the corn and eat a bowl of poblanos. The first time I had chile relleno in 2002, my life was changed forever. And if I lived near the border, I probably wouldn’t eat at Chipotle either.  hope you have a great weekend! 

  3. You know, Meggan, the very best Mexican food I’ve had has actually been in San Antonio TX (Palenque Grill) and Corolla NC (Agave Roja).  It’s probably the style where the food is from that makes me feel that way.  I’m not sure of the origins of Palenque Grill, although I do know that their first restaurant chain, El Pollo Loco (which is excellent, by the way), is based on food from the Pacific coast of Mexico.  Agave Roja serves Mexico City style, which is incredibly good.  I think basic Chihuahuan style is what most Mexican food is in the US, and Chihuahua is what’s directly across the border from us.  Which, to me, is mostly the least of Mexican food.  I don’t know where chile rellenos are from, but they are amazing.  I’ve always had the cheese ones until this summer at Agave Roja, where they make them stuffed with meat, raisins, etc. as well as cheese.  Hope you have a great weekend, too!

    • You know, there are El Pollo Locos all over Southern California and I’ve never tried it. After a glowing recommendation from you though, Susan, I definitely will. I never even really thought about how there are different styles of Mexican cuisine, although it seems obvious that there would be. It’s interesting that you mention these other chile rellenos. I saw a recipe once that had something like raisins and walnuts along with the cheese. I have been offered the choice of cheese or meat at some restaurants but have always opted for cheese. I will have to see if I can find that recipe and try making it. I always learn so much from you! Enjoy your week. :)

  4. You know honey…I am not sure why, but this is one of my favorite posts I have read from you.  For some reason your “voice” really comes out in this!  I love that you didn’t roast the corn and instead just blanched it…although I do love roasted corn…hmmm there’s a real predicament :)  I happen to have a ton of corn that hubs decided to purchase from Costco for no reason whatsoever :)  May just have to cook this up tonight :)  Have a wonderful weekend honey! 

  5. Love Chipotle! Will definitely try this salsa, I’ve been making a lady version with just jalapeños :) Pinned!

  6. How many Poblano peppers does it take to make 1/4 cup of roasted Poblanos peppers?

    • Hi Kerry! I should have had this explained better in the recipe, sorry about that. It definitely depends on the size of the peppers, but I would say about 1 to 2 large. I think 1 would be enough but you don’t want to come up short. If you think you might use the poblanos for something else, it’s helpful to do a big batch and keep the extras in the fridge. Personally, I would probably do at least 3 peppers just because it doesn’t take much extra work in the process. Thanks!

  7. I used to work at Chipotle… While the corn is shocked, debunked and blanched before we ever see it… it arrives frozen in store…

    • Wow, really? That would be way easier!!! I am definitely going to try that. That would be a 1000% better. Thanks for the tip Jessica!


  9. How long would this last ?

  10. Confused why you say don’t substitute frozen corn? I used to work at Chipotle & Frozen corn is what they use?

    • I had NO IDEA they used frozen corn. When of my friends in culinary school works there too so I asked him about it last night and we had this long conversation. So yeah. I’ll be changing the recipe up based on this insider info! Thanks for letting me know. MUCH EASIER.

  11. Aside from the guac.. I’m wondering what it would be like to premake bowls and freeze them. Rice, beans, chicken, corn salsa, maybe some grilled peppers. Do you have any experience with freezing ? Thanks for your recipes. I have my grocery list ready. We’ve moved to a small rural town and no chipotle in sight! Have a great day.

    • Hi Brandy, I have only ever tried freezing the chicken. However, obviously corn freezes well and I’ve purchased frozen grilled peppers and they were great. A couple of quick google searches reveals that both beans and rice freeze well once frozen. So yes to all of this! I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work. Like you said, no to guac. And I would not freeze the fresh tomato salsa either, but you didn’t mention that one. You should be good. Enjoy the small rural town, it sounds lovely! :) Take care.

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