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
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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.

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