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 291 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. hi im planning on making this for a big family dinner in a few days, can i make this ahead of time? if so, how long will it keep in the fridge?

    1. Hi Sarah, you can make it in advance and store it for up to a week in the refrigerator. I hope they love it! – Meggan

  2. Hi Meggan, I just finished the corn salsa for tonight which we are going to use for your recipe for chicken chipotle bowls! I had my kids & their friends try it and it is a homerun! Actually they think that it is better than Chipotle’s. My grocery store was out of fresh poblano peppers, so I substituted diced green chilis (medium flavor) instead (4 oz can). It has such amazing flavor. I will post again once we cook the chicken and we all make bowls tonight while watching playoff football!

    1. Hi Kevin! I’m so happy the kids and their friends loved it, and thinking it’s better than Chipotle’s, wow! That’s fantastic! The substitution for fresh peppers sounds delicious and a great flavorful choice to keep some of the heat. I can’t wait to read your update! – Meggan

    1. You’re so welcome, John! I hope you enjoy them! Take care and please write if you have any questions! – Meggan

  3. I love this recipe, thank you! Made it for work and oh my it was a hit! One question, can I can this recipe? Wanting to store some back! Thanks again!

    1. Hi Katrina! I’m so happy you loved it! I’m sorry, 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! – Meggan

  4. I just made this and decided to to the full Mexican corn salad version for gameday (football) and it turned out awesome! A lot of great flavor in there. Paired this with some slow cooked BBQ meatballs and wings. 10/10 gameday snacking. Thank you so much!5 stars

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Are you baking or broiling the peppers?

    How can the prep time be 20 minutes when preparing the poblano peppers take 50 minutes alone?

    1. Hi Kirk, sorry for the confusion. The peppers can be roasted on the stove or grill, or in the oven. To prepare them on the stove, 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. 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. Wearing gloves or using a clean kitchen towel, carefully rub off and discard the blackened skin. Lay the pepper flat, remove stem and seeds, and finely chop. I hope you love this salsa! – Meggan

    1. It depends on the location. In St George UT they use frozen corn in the Winter and Spring. When the corn here is available late Summer and Fall then they use fresh. This is according to the store Manager.

  12. best recipe ever! I love this salsa from chipotle and it turned out better than the restaurants! Thank you!!!5 stars

  13. This was amazing! My whole family loved it. My daughter loves Chipotle and her eyes about popped outta her head when she took her first bite and said it tastes EXACTLY like Chipotle! Thanks for sharing such a winning recipe!5 stars

  14. Absolutely love this. I added a cucumber and trying it with blackened salmon. Can’t wait. Almost as good as chipotle.5 stars

  15. Absolutely loved this recipe. I’m actually making another batch right now! It’s refreshing and has an amazing flavor to it. I didn’t add as many jalapeños only because I didn’t want as much heat to it but other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe. I may of added a bit more lemon juice… that was because I added too much salt and had to balance it out. It was a huge hit with the family!5 stars

  16. I made a complete chipotle meal for my son and his wife (her birthday dinner. We had chicken, steak, white line cilantro rice, pinto and black beans, guacamole Abe my favorite… the corn salsa. I omitted one jalapeño and I used fresh corn and roasted them on the stove. It was DELICIOUS! I’m sad I gave them most of the leftovers… the sides anyways. I now need to make more. I may use the frozen corn… it will be quicker and try it in the oven to roast the kernels a bit, it brings the flavor out so nicely. This meal is a lot of work but for all the leftovers there were… I guess it was worth it. This is definitely worth a remake.5 stars

  17. this was amazing. I used 1 can of corn with a little salt and roasted a red bell pepper (I used half of it), added a tiny bit of diced jalapeno. Diced up 1/4 cup red onion & some cilantro & put it all in my burritos. I added lime when I made up the burritos. Would be great to double the recipe next time. So 2 cans of corn etc… Delicious. Thanks so much!!!

    Melissa5 stars

    1. Anyone know if this can be froze?? I’m trying to meal prep and don’t know how long it lasts in the fridge. I’m thinking prolly 4-5 days max? I figure it would be easier to make a huge batch and freeze half for after the first part goes bad

  18. I should have left a review a long time ago. I’ve been using this recipe for over a year now! It’s so good, and frequently requested!5 stars

  19. Turned out great I was so excited! I used to work for chipotle many years ago. I tried the med salsa, the vinny, and the corn salsa from this site, and all 3 turned out how I remember 🙏🏿5 stars

  20. What if I only have an electric stove? Not has to roast the pepper? Also would I roast the bell pepper as well If I choose to use that instead of the poblano?

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m so sorry I didn’t include oven instructions for roasting the peppers. I will get that added! But in the meantime, here’s how you do it in the oven. As for whether you roast bell peppers if you use those instead, yes, you should. But of course you don’t HAVE to do it if you don’t want to. Fresh peppers would also taste good. That’s just not what Chipotle does.
      To roast the peppers in the oven:
      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.

    1. Hi Deb! 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! Thanks. -Meggan

  21. Hi Meggan! I was wondering if you’ve ever tried this recipe with grilled corn? And if that would even work? I’m new with this cooking stuff and I appreciate all of your recipes, you’ve taught me a lot! Thank you!

    1. Hi Lisa! I have definitely tried it that way, it’s completely fine. You can use fresh corn and boil it, grill it, roast it, whatever. Any corn! Chipotle doesn’t do that, but it’s completely fine. The more you cook, the more you’ll feel comfortable about tweaking recipes to make them your own. I hope you do! Thanks. :) If you need anything, just email me anytime! -Meggan

  22. Wow, this recipe was amazing! My family ate all of it with some tacos. They said it was the best thing on the table!!

    Substitutions: used yellow corn instead of white; didn’t add in the peppers and replaced them with jalapeño hot sauce5 stars

  23. Hello! I want to use fresh corn for this recipe but I don’t see the measurements for it. I can try to convert from the frozen. 24 oz equals…. 4 cups of corn?

    1. Hey there, I’m really sorry I didn’t have all the info in the post!
      To substitute fresh corn: You’ll need 4 cups fresh kernels from about 6 ears of corn. Blanch the kernels in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, drain, and cool on a rimmed baking sheet. Or, blanch 6 whole ears of corn in salted water, plunge into ice water, and cut off the kernels when cool. I put more information in the post about corn conversions. Sorry again, that was crucial info that I was lacking. Thank you! -Meggan

  24. My fiance loves this corn salsa, so I decided to add a little surprise to our fajita night and give your recipe a try. She loved it! I think she most liked the fact that since we made it at home, the flavor is totally customizable you know, a little more lemon juice a little less cilantro or whatever. She’s a big fan of the salad dressing too, so I’ll be trying that recipe next. Thanks so much for the recipe!5 stars

  25. I’m planning to make this soon but none of my local grocery stores carry the frozen white sweet corn. Has anyone ever used regular frozen corn or the mixed white and yellow baby corn?

    1. I just saw that you said that yellow corn could be used; though you are still saying to use fresh. It seems that a couple of people have confirmed that Chipotle uses frozen, correct?

    2. Hi Dorcas, yes. Feel free to use frozen corn. I like the freshness that comes along with it off the cob, but after you add all the ingredients it probably won’t make much of a difference. -Meggan

  26. I live a block away from a Chipotle and I still make this recipe all the time. Call me crazy but I love this stuff. 5 stars

  27. I used all the recipes you posted for Chipotle but I did a burrito instead! And it was delicious! I have never ate there before but my s/o has and when I made your recipes for him he said it was spot on if not better! Thank you for making my dinner a success!5 stars

  28. Hi Meggan!  Thank you for posting all of the Chipotle recipes.  :)  I was wondering if the serving size of the corn salsa was correct?  24 oz of frozen corn for 4 people?  I think your rice servings were 4 oz each which would mean there is more corn than rice in the bowls?  I personally love the corn salsa so I’d be ok with that…it just seemed off.  Let me know as I’m using it for an event this weekend!

    1. Hi Susannah! Yes the serving size is off, should be 8 servings. Or possibly more, honestly I’d love to make this again and just measure it out and double-check. But for now, I’d say AT LEAST 8 servings. I will test it next week and make it perfect, sorry I didn’t get that done in time for you. Thanks for the question!

    2. Hi Susannah! Just made the corn salsa. The recipe makes 5 cups which I would say is 10 (1/2-cup) servings. Sorry for the delay in getting you the actual result! I hope you were able to serve it if you wanted to. Thanks for your patience! Take care. -Meggan

    3. Thank you so much!  I made it for the event and it was a huge hit.  I also used the rest of the Chipotle recipes and received rave reviews.  Thank you!!5 stars

  29. Hey Meggan, I’ve used this recipe in the past, and I really liked using fresh corn. Can you remind me the process?

    1. Hi Sam, yes! I actually just updated the post to include the info on fresh corn, too. You probably aren’t the only one who makes it that way (and I 100% prefer it with fresh corn). If you need anything else, just let me know!
      1. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat.
      2. Add corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
      3. Submerge corn in a large bowl of ice water.
      4. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut it off the cob and transfer to a large bowl.

  30. 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.5 stars

    1. 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.

    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!

  31. 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!

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

  33. 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? ;) 

  34. 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. :)

  35. 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! 

  36. 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 :)5 stars