A sweet salsa with medium heat, copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa recipe is made with roasted poblano peppers, jalapeños, red onion, citrus juice, and plenty of corn. Use frozen corn like Chipotle does, or follow my easy tutorial for use fresh corn on the cob.

Chipotle corn salsa in a serving bowl.

This corn salsa comes together pretty smoothly, and because it doesn’t have any dairy or mayo, it’s great for backyard barbecues. By the way, corn chips are mandatory with this recipe! They scoop up the salsa perfectly, without any drips.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled chipotle corn salsa ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Corn: Chipotle employees have reported with Chipotle uses frozen corn. To substitute fresh corn, bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add 6 ears of corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Submerge ears in a large bowl of ice water. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut it off the cob and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Roasted poblano peppers: Turn the flame of a gas stove to HIGH. Using tongs, place the pepper directly over the flame until the skin is charred and blistered, turning occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Rub off and discard the blackened skin. Lay pepper flat and cut out stem, remove seeds and membranes, and finely chop.
  • Cilantro. Omit or sub parsley if you don’t like cilantro.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Turn the flame of a gas stove to HIGH. Using tongs, place chilies directly in or over the flame until the skin is charred and blistered but not ash white, turning occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes. Or, roast over a very charcoal or gas grill for 3 to 5 minutes.
    Poblano pepper being roasted on top of a stove.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, so the hot peppers can steam a bit. Let stand until the skin starts to loosen and the peppers are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
    Poblano pepper covered in a bowl.
  3. Wearing gloves or using a clean kitchen towel, carefully rub off and discard the blackened skin.
    Poblano pepper in a bowl.
  4. Lay the pepper flat, remove stem and seeds, and finely chop.
    Poblano pepper on a wood cutting board.
  5. Cook the frozen corn according to the package instructions. Usually, that means using a big pot of boiling salted water for a couple minutes. Spread out the hot corn on a baking sheet to cool while you prepare the other vegetables.
    Corn on a baking sheet.
  6. In a large bowl, add the corn, minced roasted poblano peppers, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, and lemon and lime juice together in a big bowl. Then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Roasted corn: Chipotle doesn’t roast their corn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut fresh corn kernels from cobs. Spread corn in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Roast until golden brown, stirring twice, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Make it mild: Substitute bell peppers (raw or roasted) for the poblanos and jalapeños if you want to cut out the spice.
  • Make it spicier: Substitute minced fresh serrano chiles (with their seeds) for the jalapeños if you like it SPICY. Minced habañeros would also be delicious!
  • Mexican Corn Salad: To convert your corn salsa into corn salad, in a large bowl combine 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 minced cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a full batch of the corn salsa recipe below, toss to combine, and sprinkle with ¾ cup Cotija cheese.

Chipotle corn salsa in a serving bowl.

More Chipotle copycat recipes:

Chipotle corn salsa in a black bowl.

Chipotle Corn Salsa (Copycat)

A sweet salsa with medium heat, copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa recipe is made roasted poblano peppers, jalapeños, red onion, citrus juice, and plenty of corn. Use frozen corn like Chipotle does, or follow my easy tutorial for fresh corn. 
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 10 servings (½ cup each)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 75

Ingredients 

  • 24 ounces frozen corn (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 large roasted poblano pepper peeled and finely chopped (see note 2)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped (see note 3)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Instructions 

  • Cook corn according to package directions. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.
  • To a large bowl, add cooled corn, red onion, jalapeño peppers, poblano pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and serve with tortilla chips, burrito bowls, and tacos.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Corn: Chipotle employees have reported with Chipotle uses frozen corn. To substitute fresh corn, bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add 6 ears of corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Submerge ears in a large bowl of ice water. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut it off the cob and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Roasted poblano peppers:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Arrange peppers in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
    2. Broil the peppers until the skin is charred and blistered but not ash white, turning occasionally, about 30 to 40 minutes.
    3. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand until the skin starts to loosen and the peppers are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
    4. Wearing gloves or using a clean kitchen towel, carefully rub off and discard the blackened skin. Leave the stem and seeds intact if desired for your recipe; otherwise, remove and discard them.
  3. Cilantro. Omit or sub parsley if you don't like cilantro.
  4. Roasted corn: Chipotle doesn't roast their corn, but that doesn't mean you can't! Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut fresh corn kernels from cobs. Spread corn in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Roast until golden brown, stirring twice, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Make it mild: Substitute bell peppers (raw or roasted) for the poblanos and jalapeños if you want to cut out the spice. 
  6. Make it spicier: Substitute minced fresh serrano chiles (with their seeds) for the jalapeños if you like it SPICY. Minced habañeros would also be delicious!
  7. Mexican Corn Salad: To convert your corn salsa into corn salad, in a large bowl combine 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 minced cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a full batch of the corn salsa recipe below, toss to combine, and sprinkle with ¾ cup Cotija cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 75kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 247mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 118IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

    1. 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.

    1. Hi Valerie, up to 4 days in the fridge. This is based on the CDC guidelines for leftovers. Thanks!

  1. I used to work at Chipotle… While the corn is shocked, debunked and blanched before we ever see it… it arrives frozen in store…5 stars

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

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

  3. 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 stars

    1. You are so sweet! I definitely have strong opinions about some of these things, what can I say? ;) 

  4. 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!5 stars

    1. 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. :)

  5. 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.5 stars

    1. 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!