Calling all Chipotle Mexican Grill fans! We'll let you in on a little secret--our copycat Chipotle corn salsa, is sweet, spicy, and super addicting. Use it in burritos, cilantro lime rice bowls, soft tacos, or eat it with tortilla chips for the ultimate summer appetizer.
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Ever wondered what's in Chipotle's corn salsa? If you go to their website, they have the ingredients listed as sweet white corn, roasted poblano, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and citrus juice from lemons and limes.
- Corn: either fresh, frozen, or canned white (Chipotle uses frozen)
- Aromatics: red onion (great for color)
- Heat: jalapenos and roasted poblanos, seeded
- Tang: lime zest and freshly squeezed lime juice and lemon juice
- Spices: fresh cilantro, salt, and black pepper
Is Chipotle's chili corn salsa spicy?
It's rated as medium in spiciness due to the jalapeno and roasted poblano peppers. If you are looking for something mild, try Chipotle's fresh tomato salsa, which is a simple pico de gallo recipe.
Is Chipotle's corn salsa whole 30, keto, and paleo?
No, it's not whole 30 or paleo compliant because corn is a grain, and grains aren't allowed on those two diets. Corn is also difficult to digest because it's high in cellulose, so it wouldn't be allowed on a paleo diet.
The keto diet limits the amount of carbs you can have each day, so technically you could have some in a very small amount. Most keto dieters would say that the carbs in corn are too high and it's best to avoid this vegetable.
How many calories are in this recipe?
In a serving size of ½ cup, there are 152 calories and 22g of carbs. For more nutritional information, please scroll past the recipe card.
What kind of corn is best to use for salsa?
Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants use frozen white sweet corn for convenience. If you want to be authentic, use good quality frozen white corn that has been thawed and drained.
When it's in season, choose to use fresh corn for the freshest tasting salsa. One medium cob will give you ¾ cup of kernels. This recipe calls for 8 cups of kernels, which is roughly 10-11 ears.
When speed is a priority, use a good quality white shoepeg canned corn. If you choose this option, add extra seasonings: lime and lemon juice, salt, cilantro and possibly some white sugar to increase the flavor once the salsa has been assembled.
Can I grill fresh cobs of corn?
Why certainly! Grill the cobs (8 to 10) and allow to cool, then cut the kernels off the cobs with a large kitchen knife.
Can this be made in advance?
This taste best if eaten within a few hours of making. If you need to make this the night before, please adjust the seasonings just before serving. You'll need to add more lime juice, as the kernels will absorb it.
Can this recipe be frozen?
Yes and no. If you are using frozen corn that has been thawed, it's not a good idea to re-freeze it once it's assembled into a salsa. If you are using fresh or canned, you can freeze any leftovers in a freezer-friendly container for up to one month. Thaw in the fridge, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more fresh lime juice and salt and a bit more fresh cilantro.
What can I serve this with?
- Chipotle style foods: burritos, bowls, soft tacos, salads
- Appetizer: straight from the bowl with tortilla chips
- Protein: pork carnitas, carne asada
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. White sweet corn, fresh cilantro, jalapeno and poblano peppers, red onion, limes, olive oil, and spices.
Preheat the oven to 425 F, then line a small baking tray (affiliate) with foil. Place the poblanos on the tray and brush both sides with olive oil using a pastry brush.
Roast for 7 minutes, then turn them over with metal tongs (affiliate). Place back in the oven and roast for another 7 minutes.
Place the roasted pablanos in a glass dish and cover with plastic wrap. This will help steam the poblanos.
Rub off the charred skin with a paper towel.
Cut off the tops, slice them open and take out the seeds then chop into smaller pieces.
Here are the ingredients all prepped. The red onion is finely chopped, the corn is defrosted, the peppers are finely chopped, the limes are zested and juiced, and the fresh cilantro (tops only) has been chopped.
Heat up the olive oil until it is shimmering in two 10-inch skillets (affiliate) over medium high heat.
Add 4 cups of kernels to each skillet. Stir frequently so the kernels get some color, browned in parts and charred in parts. This should take 6 to 9 minutes.
Place the roasted kernels on a large baking tray for 8 to 10 minutes so they will cool.
Place the roasted kernels in a large bowl.
Add the chopped red onion, minced jalapenos, and the chopped roasted poblano peppers.
To get the most juice from limes, use room temperature limes, rinse, dry then cut in half and microwave for 30 seconds. Use a wooden hand reamer to extract as much juice as possible.
Next, add the fresh cilantro, lime zest, salt, black pepper, and the freshly squeezed lime juice.
With a large spoon, mix until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a bit more salt, lime juice or cilantro. If you like your salsa sweet, add 1 teaspoon of white sugar.
Squeeze on some fresh lime juice to give it a fresh taste and some extra tang.
Serve with tortilla chips, a burrito bowl, soft tacos, nachos, cilantro lime rice, or fresh summer salad greens.
- Want it creamy? Add cubes of ripe avocado.
- Want it more spicy? Add the seeds from the jalapeno.
- Want it more juicy? Add fresh chopped tomatoes.
- Don't like cilantro? Swap it out with fresh Italian flat parsley and adjust seasonings.
- Don't want to pan fry the kernels? Boil them in salted water for a few minutes, drain, then cool.
- Want this sweeter? Add a teaspoon of white sugar.
- Want more citrus? Add ½ cup of lemon juice and ½ cup of lime juice.
- Want the best flavor? Allow the ingredients to meld for at least 15 minutes before eating, then taste test and adjust lime and seasonings.
- Want the best texture? Chop the onion, jalapeno, and the roasted poblano finely.
Other Mexican recipes
- Copycat Chipotle Fajita Veggies
- Copycat Chipotle Pork Carnitas
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Vegan Taco Salad
- Vegan Walnut Taco Meat
- Cauliflower Pepita Vegan Taco Meat
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Copycat Chipotle corn salsa is sweet, a little spicy, and totally addicting. Learn how to make our homemade twist on this popular Mexican restaurant's recipe. Roasted poblano, sweet white corn, jalapeno, red onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice come together to make this vegan and gluten free salsa to serve with burrito bowls, tacos or salads.
- ½ cup olive oil (120 ml)
- 2 large poblano peppers (55g)
- 8 cups frozen white corn, thawed (3 pounds)
- 2 cups red onion, chopped (275g)
- 1 cup jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (4 jalapenos; 125g)
- 1 ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (42g)
- 2 tablespoons lime zest
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (8 limes; 240 ml)
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425F, and line a small baking tray with foil.
- Brush the two poblano peppers with olive oil, then roast them for 7 minutes. Turn the peppers over with tongs and roast for another 7 minutes.
- Place the charred poblanos in a glass or ceramic dish and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to allow to cool.
- Carefully rub off the outer skin with a paper towel, then cut off the tops, de-seed, and chop.
- Divide the oil between two 10-inch, heavy-bottomed skillets, and heat it until shimmering over medium high heat. Place 4 cups of thawed corn in each skillet and saute it until it's tender and roasty, about 6 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
- Spread the sauteed kernels out on a large baking tray to cool for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Mix the cooled kernels, onion, jalapenos, poblanos, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and black pepper. With a large spoon, stir until well mixed.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lime juice, salt, cilantro, or even sugar, if you like it sweeter. Chill for at least 15 minutes, then enjoy.
- Finely chop the onion, jalapeno, and the roasted poblano for the best texture.
- Allow the ingredients to meld for at least 15 minutes before eating for the best taste.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Chopped
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: Chiptole corn salsa, Chipotle recipes