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.

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…

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.

There’s no recipe I’d rather be eating right now.

After all, it’s summer time and sweet corn is in season and plentiful. It’s fresh and delicious. And for this recipe, if you really want the full experience, please use fresh corn.

I know there are loads of Copycat recipes already out there and they all use frozen corn and they say it’s just fine. But, if you’re going to make this recipe, make it for real!

The Sweetest Corn

Chipotle uses white sweet corn, but it’s okay to use yellow (I did). That’s what I found, so that’s what I used. Incidentally, the Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa name can be better understood like this -> Roasted Chili AND Corn Salsa. The Roasted part applies to the chilis, not the corn. So everyone who is handing out high-fives like candy and talking about Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn is just barking up the wrong tree. You’ll blanch the corn to remove some starchiness and shock it in ice water to set the color, but that’s it. Save your corn roast for fall.

An ear of corn upright with a chef's knife cutting off the kernels from the cob.

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.

A photo collage of the stages of preparing roasted poblano peppers. The first photo is of three fresh poblano peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. The second is of the roasted poblano peppers. The third is the skinned pobano chili diced with a chef's knife.

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. And this is the perfect time of year for it: Summer at the height of corn-harvesting season.

Save this Chipotle Corn Salsa to your “Appetizers” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

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 6 votes
Print

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.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 76 kcal

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ears fresh white or yellow sweet corn husks removed (see notes)
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped roasted Poblano peppers (from 1 to 2 peppers)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Add corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Submerge corn 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. Stir in red onion, jalapeno peppers, Poblano peppers, cilantro, lemon juice, and lime juice. Add 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt or to taste.

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.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here.

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

More recipes you'll love...

14 comments

  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!

Leave a Reply

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

 

thanks for stopping by!

y’all come back now, ya hear?