Chipotle Corn Salsa (Copycat)

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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 of 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 a 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:

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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. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings (½ cup each)
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 75
5 from 260 votes

Ingredients 

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
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. For the pablano peppers, we’re we supposed to include the seeds or no? It doesn’t specify that I have seen. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Megan, thank you so much for your question! The pepper should be seeded and the membrane removed. It was in buried in the post, so I added it to the recipe itself so it would be more clear. Thank you for asking and pointing that out. I hope you love this salsa! – Meggan

  2. On Chipotle’s website it says “roasted corn salsa” doesn’t that mean the corn is in fact roasted?

    1. Hi Jackie, thank you so much for your question! Chipotle employees have reported with Chipotle uses frozen corn in their roasted chili-corn salsa. If you’d like to use roasted corn, you can always roast it yourself, or purchase it frozen. Please write back and let me know how you liked this salsa! – Meggan

  3. Hi! Thank you for the recipe, I plan on trying it this weekend!
    Do you know if this recipe can be pressure or water-bath canned?5 stars

    1. Hi Sadie, thank you so much for your question! This recipe hasn’t been tested for canning. I unfortunately am not a home preserving/canning expert, and for safety reasons I think you should follow recipes that have been developed and tested for canning. Corn is a low-acid food which makes it especially ripe for harmful organisms if it’s not canned properly. The short answer is – maybe this is safe for canning, but I don’t know, so I cannot in good conscience recommend it. It would be fine for freezing, though! I hope you love this salsa! – Meggan

  4. I use canned corn and it works fine. I don’t care for frozen (chewy) and I don’t like cutting fresh from the cob. If you need or want to, you can buy no salt.

  5. Oh My Word! I made it with fresh corn following your tips as well as fresh lime and fresh lemon juice and a pinch of the zest of each. I cut back on the amount of Poblano and Jalapeño (I have a very sensitive palate) and it was out of this world. Better even than the real thing. So Fresh and yummy! Thanx a million for the recipe!5 stars

    1. You’re so welcome, Valerie! I’m so happy that you were able to adjust the salsa to your preference and it turned out great! – Meggan

  6. Love the recipe, thank you so much for posting it! Quick question, how long would this salsa keep in the fridge once made?5 stars

    1. Hi Miranda, you’re welcome! I’m glad you loved it! It can stay up to 4 days in the fridge. This is based on the CDC guidelines for leftovers. Thanks! – Meggan

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