Chipotle Corn Salsa (Copycat) | The Picky Eater


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All the Mexican flavor without the heat! This Chipotle corn salsa copycat recipe perfectly uses frozen or fresh corn and is great served over burrito bowls or simply with tortilla chips. Using jalapeño peppers with the seeds removed is the perfect level of heat and is also customizable. This roasted chili corn salsa is also naturally gluten-free and vegan!

I love burrito bowls, and one of my favorite parts is how I get to customize my meal from top to bottom. Everyone has their choice of salsa, whether it’s mild, hot, diced tomatoes, or pureed sauce. And whenever I order from Chipotle Mexican Grill, I always end up topping my burrito bowl with their chili-corn salsa!

Because I love Chipotle roasted corn salsa so much, I decided to create a version that I could make and store at home – to add to all of my favorite vegetarian Mexican recipes.

Our homemade version of the Chipotle recipe gains its flavor from roasting a fresh pepper. It’s very easy to do, and is worth the few extra minutes. Salsa made from simple ingredients with a lot of flavor is one of my favorite toppings. It’s the perfect compliment to cilantro lime rice, black beans, and your choice of protein.

So the next time you’re in the mood for Mexican food, take your meal to the next level by making your own homemade Chipotle corn salsa!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love Easy Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa

​If you already love Chipotle’s corn salsa, you’ll be a huge fan of this easy recipe.

  • Naturally Vegan & Gluten-Free: No dietary modifications are necessary to make this copycat Chipotle corn salsa recipe! 
  • Perfect Restaurant-Quality At Home: Save money by skipping the takeout and mixing up this simple salsa in no time. The whole family will love this recipe!
  • Customize To Your Spice Level: Add more jalapenos and roasted poblano pepper, or incorporate other spicy peppers. You can also add black pepper for a little bit of gentle heat.
  • A Fun Way To Change Things Up: Need a change from from tomato-based salsas or pico de gallo? Try this recipe! You can still use tomato-based toppings, but our version of corn salsa from Chipotle is such a great way to top anything from your favorite tacos to nachos made your favorite tortilla chips.
  • Perfect Appetizer Or Side Dish: Make this easy salsa and serve it alongside either store-bought or homemade tortilla chips for an easy snack for movie night or app for a party.

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients For Roasted Chili Corn Salsa

Just a handful of basic ingredients are all you need for this simple salsa that’s full of spicy, zesty flavor. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients for Chipotle corn salsa recipe on a white background.
  • Corn: I use frozen corn because it’s very convenient to have it off the cob already. It’s also frozen at its peak ripeness so it tastes great, too. White sweet corn or yellow corn both work for this delicious salsa.
  • Red Onion: red onion has a nice bite compared to other varieties.
  • Pepper: You can use either poblano peppers or green bell peppers here. Poblano is still a mild variety, but I think it adds even more authentic flavor to this Chipotle chili corn salsa.
  • Jalapeño Pepper: This can add heat, and it’s perfect because you can customize it. Depending on how well you remove the seeds and membranes is how spicy your homemade salsa will be.
  • Cilantro: Another classic Mexican salsa flavor, you can adjust this taste to your liking as well.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice and Lime Juice: Citrus juice gives this easy copycat recipe a bright and fresh flavor. If you don’t have both lemon and fresh lime juice, you can use just one and double the amount – but give it a taste as you go; don’t add it all at one time.
  • Seasoning: All it takes here is a little salt to bring out the flavors. Don’t forget the salt though, it’s a key ingredient to making this sweet corn salsa shine!

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Corn: If you have the time and fresh sweet corn on hand, go ahead and use the cobs! Simply boil the corn cobs (3-4 ears) for 5-7 minutes. Slice the cobs off the corn, and you are ready to go. Yellow corn, sweet white corn or canned corn will all work.
  • Chili Peppers: As stated above, change the flavor profile and heat level to your liking depending on the variety of pepper and how you prepare them. For a spicy roasted chili corn salsa recipe, use green chiles. For a milder version, go with green, orange, yellow, or red bell pepper.
  • Cilantro: Not a fan of the taste? Leave the fresh cilantro out completely or substitute fresh parsley to keep the fresh green color.
  • Cheese: If you aren’t vegan, you might try adding some cotija cheese on top of your serving bowl.

🔪 How To Make Chipotle Corn Salsa

Here’s how to make this easy copycat corn salsa recipe. For more detailed instructions and nutrition facts, see the recipe card below.

Char The Pepper: Using tongs, char the green bell pepper or poblano pepper over a gas stove top over medium or high heat.

roasting a pepper on a stove

Allow To Cool: Once blackened, set in a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool. Dice the jalapeno pepper, onion and cilantro.

roasted pepper on a plate covered with plastic wrap

Boil The Corn: Add frozen corn kernels to a pot of boiling water. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then drain and cool.

steamed corn in a pot

Prepare The Pepper: Once the bell pepper/poblano pepper has cooled, remove the charred skin and seeds.

roasted pepper on a plate

Dice The pepper: Use a sharp knife to dice the pepper finely.

diced peppers on a plate

Combine Ingredients: Mix all room temperature and remaining ingredients in a large bowl (including salt, lemon juice and lime juice).

salsa ingredients tossed in a bowl

Serve: Serve this easy Chipotle corn salsa recipe with tortilla chips or on top of your favorite Mexican meal.

salsa ingredients tossed in a bowl

💭 Expert Tips

  • Adjust The Spice: The amount of heat / spiciness level is up to you in this Chipotle copycat corn salsa. Change the peppers based on what you find at the grocery store and what looks freshest.
  • Get The Best Flavor By Charring: Roasting your corn is a great option if you have the time.
  • If You Don’t Have A Gas Range: You can char peppers over an open flame on the grill, no matter if it’s gas or charcoal. You can also put them on the oven rack under the broiler – just be sure to turn them often and watch them constantly so they don’t burn.
  • Make The Sauce Ahead: Since it lasts for 5 days in the fridge, it’s an easy dish to make ahead of a party or game day celebration to free up your time.
  • Use Plastic Wrap: It’s used here to help “sweat” the peppers to allow the skin to release easily. It doesn’t touch your food, but if you prefer, you can use aluminum foil or a plate as a lid to the bowl!

📖 Variations

Take your corn salsa to the next level with these upgrades.

  • Avocado: Make an updated version with small cubes of avocado that will add creamy texture and healthy fats to this copycat corn salsa from Chipotle.
  • Fruit: Add peach, pineapple, or mango for a sweet twist.
  • Black Bean: Mix in some black beans for some plant-based protein.
  • Bell Pepper: Add bright color and crunchy texture with diced bell peppers.

🍽 Serving Suggestions 

We’re hard-pressed to find a savory dish that couldn’t be complemented by this savory salsa!

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

This copycat version of Chipotle sweet corn salsa is free of any of the major food allergens – it’s already dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan!

🫙 Storage Directions

  • To Refrigerate: This easy corn salsa stores well and tastes even better the next day! Store salsa in an airtight container or resealable ziptop bag for up to 5-7 days in the fridge. Feel free to make a big batch and eat it throughout the week!
  • To Freeze: Freeze salsa in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge the night before serving.

❓Recipe FAQs

WHAT DOES THE CORN HAVE IN IT AT CHIPOTLE?

The corn at Chipotle is white sweet corn — and it’s used in a variety of their recipes – from their corn salsa to burrito bowls, and more. The added benefit of Chipotle’s corn is that it’s non-GMO! Wondering what’s in Chipotle corn salsa? It’s a mix of corn, onions, chili peppers, jalapenos, spices and lime / lemon juice!

DOES CHIPOTLE CORN SALSA HAVE CARBS?

Chipotle corn salsa does have carbs that mainly come from the corn. You can check the recipe card for the amount in a serving of this recipe.

IS CHIPOTLE CORN SALSA HEALTHY?

We prefer not to label foods as healthy or unhealthy but instead take the “everything in moderation” approach. This recipe for Chipotle corn salsa can fit into more healthy lifestyles and can be adjusted as necessary to fit your unique dietary needs.

Chipotle corn salsa copycat recipe served in a black bowl with a tortilla chip as a garnish.

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📋 Recipe Card

Chipotle Corn Salsa (Copycat)

All the Mexican flavor without the heat! This Chipotle corn salsa copycat recipe perfectly uses frozen or fresh corn and is great served over burrito bowls or simply with tortilla chips. Using jalapeño peppers with the seeds removed is the perfect level of heat and is also customizable. This roasted chili corn salsa is also naturally gluten-free and vegan!

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time10 minutes

Total Time20 minutes

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 84kcal

  • The amount of heat / spiciness level is up to you. Change the peppers based on what you find at the grocery store and what looks freshest.
  • Charring your product is a great way to increase flavor. Roasting your corn is a great option if you have the time.
  • This fresh salsa is perfect on chips as it has so much flavor. It’s also delicious on top of your own burrito bowls.
  • Since it lasts for 5 days in the fridge, it’s an easy dish to make ahead of a party or game day celebration to free up your time.
  • Cilantro can be substituted with parsley if you don’t like it or omitted all together.
  • You can use fresh corn cobs for this recipe by adding 3-4 large cobs to the pot of boiling water and cooking for 5-7 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels off the cob.
  • Salsa can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • Aren’t a fan of plastic wrap? It’s used here to help “sweat” the peppers to allow the skin to release easily. It doesn’t touch your food and in a pinch you can use aluminum foil or a plate as a lid to the bowl!

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g



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