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Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe (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.

Round out your Chipotle menu with my copycats for their chicken, cilantro-lime rice, guacamole, and more. Or, find 4 ways to make corn on the cob (boiled, grilled, microwave, instant pot) and put it to use in my favorite corn chowder or Mexican corn salad.

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.
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What kind of corn does Chipotle use for their corn salsa?

According to the nice commenters on my blog and friends who have worked there, Chipotle uses frozen corn for their corn salsa.

But if you have fresh corn on hand, or if you've made this recipe with fresh corn in the past, please carry on! I have all the information you need below.

Corn conversions for fresh vs. frozen:

  • 1 medium ear of corn (about 6.5" to 7.5" long) = about 3/4 cup of kernels
  • 1 (1 pound) bag of frozen corn = about 3 cups
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag of frozen corn = about 2 cups

How to make Chipotle's Corn Salsa with fresh corn:

To use corn kernels:

  1. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 4 cups of kernels (from 6 ears) and boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Drain well and cool on a rimmed baking sheet, then transfer to a large bowl.

An overhead shot of corn on a baking sheet.

To use ears of corn:

  1. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 6 ears of corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Submerge ears 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.

A side shot of corn being cut off of a cob.

How to Roast Poblano Peppers

While Chipotle's corn isn't roasted, the poblano peppers are.

You can see my full post on how to roast peppers and chilies here, but the quickest method is directly in or on an open flame of a gas stove or grill.

  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.
    Five freshly roasted poblano chiles on a white background.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

A photo of chopped green chilies with a chef's knof against a marble counter top.

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.

An overhead shot of corn salsa in a white bowl.

5 from 15 votes

Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe (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. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword corn, salsa
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings (1/2 cup each)
Calories 71kcal

For the roasted poblano peppers:

For the salsa:

  • 24 ounces frozen corn (see recipe notes to substitute fresh corn)
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • Tortilla chips for serving

To roast the poblano peppers on the stove (Click here to see more methods):

  • Turn the flame of a gas stove to HIGH. Using tongs, place peppers 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. 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 pepper lengthwise and lay flat. Cut out stem, remove seeds and membranes, and finely chop.

To make the salsa:

  • 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. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

To substitute fresh corn kernels:
  1. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 4 cups of kernels (from 6 ears) and boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Drain well and cool on a rimmed baking sheet, then transfer to a large bowl.
To substitute fresh ears of corn:
  1. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 6 ears of corn and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Submerge ears 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.
Adapted from ChipotleFan.

Nutrition

Calories: 71kcal