Roasted Chili Corn Salsa (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

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If you're a fan of bold flavors and spicy heat, you'll love this roasted chili corn salsa recipe. The combination of smoky poblano peppers, sweet corn, and tangy lime juice creates a mouthwatering explosion of taste and texture. Whether you're serving it with chips or topping off your favorite dishes, this easy copycat recipe is sure to be a hit at your next gathering.

Y'all this year is going by so quickly and summer foods are right around the corner! Think baked beans at a barbeque, grilled peaches and grilled corn, fresh cherry tomato caprese, ugh, all the produce!

a bowl of chili corn salsa surrounded by limes and lemons

With summer literally coming at the speed of a freight train, this roasted chili-corn salsa is a side dish you must keep in your back pocket. It's one of the most popular sides at Chipotle Mexican Grill, and thankfully, they are super transparent with their ingredients.

My copycat chipotle corn salsa recipe is has just a little twist: grilling the corn for a little smoky flavor in our fresh salsa.

We're also roasting our own poblano peppers! It's much easier than you think, all you need is a gas range or just your oven!

So if you're looking for a fast side dish with tons of fresh flavor that's perfect for your next Taco Tuesday or anytime you're craving a burrito bowl, and will be popping up all summer long!

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Equipment

Sharp Knife and Cutting Board - definitely keep your knives sharp y'all. A sharp knife is infinitely safer than a dull one. Also, a good cutting board is going to be one of your best kitchen investments!

Gas Range OR Baking Sheet - not everyone has a gas range, but you can roast your poblanos in the oven!

Citrus Juicer - love, love, love this type of citrus juicer. They make getting all the juice out so simple. Don't have one? A fork will do!

Ingredients

Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

ingredients for roasted chili corn salsa before they're chopped up
  • Fresh Corn - Chipotle uses white corn, but yellow corn works just fine! You can also use canned and drained or frozen corn that's been thawed.
  • Jalapeño Peppers - de-seed the peppers to take the heat out of them! But if you like the spice, keep them in!
  • Red Onion - Pro Tip: after you dice the onion, give them a little rinse under cool water. It'll get rid of some of that raw onion bite and after taste.
  • Fresh Cilantro - if you're team Soap Genes, where the cilantro tastes like soap to you (or otherwise unpleasant) you can always omit it.
  • Poblano Peppers - these are a really popular pepper, they're used in a ton of recipes including mole! You'll find them fresh in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (sometimes labeled as Pasilla Peppers) with the other peppers, but dried they're actually Ancho Chilies!
  • Citrus Juice - the Chipotle recipe uses both fresh lemon juice and fresh lime juice, so do we!
  • Kosher Salt.

How to Make Chipotle's Corn Salsa

Chipotle's corn salsa is made with only a few simple ingredients, one of which gets to sit on fire for a couple of minutes. But only if you have a gas stove.

three grilled cobs of corn in a bowl

Step 1 | Grill the ears of corn on your grill pan or on a hot grill for a minute or two on each side. We want some good char, but don't blacken the corn!

a roasted poblano in a bowl

Step 2 | We're roasting our own poblano peppers! There are two ways to do this: on a gas range over high heat open flame or in the oven on a baking sheet. Then peel off the blistered skin.

chopped and prepped ingredients for roasted chili corn salsa

Step 3 | Chop everything up. Try to keep everything around the same size.

close view of grilled corn kernels in a chipotle style roasted chili corn salsa

Step 4 | Toss everything together in a large mixing bowl with the lime juice and season with salt to taste! Then serve in a nice serving bowl for a beautiful family-style presentation.

How to Roast a Poblano Pepper

Over a Gas Range

Use metal tongs (I suggest these, they have a great grip!) to place or hold the peppers over the gas range on high heat. Blister and blacken the skin on each side, it'll take about 2 minutes on each side so four to five minutes total.

In an Oven

Place the poblanos on a baking sheet and broil under high heat in the oven for 4-5 minutes on each side. Carefully flip them with metal tongs halfway through so each side gets blistered.

Taking off the Blistered Pepper Skin

Sweat the blistered peppers in a zip top bag or in a large bowl with a plate or smaller bowl over it to cover for about 5 minutes. This will make it easy to peel off the skin.

Use a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to peel off the blistered skin.

Your poblano is ready to use!

Variations and Substitutions

Change the chili peppers! You can get into some spicy peppers or keep it mild with green bell peppers and anaheim peppers.

Add even more color with vibrant red bell peppers or spicy fresno chiles!

Throw in some creamy diced avocado! It's always welcomed with salsa, in my opinion.

Or add a drained can of black beans. The black beans will give a more rich, filling vibe to your salsa!

a green bowl filled with chipotle mexican grill copycat roasted chili corn salsa

Toss in some fresh, crumbly cotija cheese. It's a somewhat salty, mildly flavored cheese, so season to taste!

Serving Suggestions

This easy homemade salsa is an iconic addition to your Taco Tuesday menu, honey.

  • Top your burrito bowls, taco salads, and nachos with it!
  • If you're making Cuban black beans and rice, this is an absolutely delish side dish to eat with it.
  • Eat like any other salsa by scooping it up with some tortilla chips!

Pro Tips

Dice everything evenly. Keep everything around the same size for the best texture.

Most of the heat in a chile is in the membrane (the white ribs inside). If you're not that into spice, remove the seeds and cut out those spicy ribs.

Keep a timer on hand. Blistering those poblanos may take a few minutes but if you're preoccupied, it can burn in an instant.

You can cook the fresh corn by boiling them in water instead of grilling them.

Your roasted chili corn salsa will taste even better if you make it ahead! A few hours or even an overnight chill in the fridge will let all those flavors mingle, perfect to make the day before a barbeque or cookout.

If using frozen corn kernels, thaw the corn quickly by running them under cool water in a colander.

Storage

This fresh corn salsa keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

If adding avocado, gently toss it in right before serving.

FAQs

How do I cut fresh corn off the cob?

There are tons of different ways! I personally cut it with the small bowl in a large bowl technique, but check out how to cut corn off the cob with using a bundt pan!

Can I make this corn salsa ahead of time?

Yes, this salsa is fantastic to make a day or two ahead of time. If you're adding something like avocado, add it right before serving.

Is roasted chili corn salsa spicy?

It is a pretty mild salsa. Even with the roasted poblanos and jalapeño peppers, deseeding and removing their membranes get rid of most of that heat!

More Amazing Mexican Side Dishes

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📖 Recipe

a green bowl filled with chipotle mexican grill copycat roasted chili corn salsa

Roasted Chili Corn Salsa

Eden Westbrook
If you're a fan of bold flavors and spicy heat, you'll love this roasted chili corn salsa recipe. The combination of smoky poblano peppers, sweet corn, and tangy lime juice creates a mouthwatering explosion of taste and texture. Whether you're serving it with chips or topping off your favorite dishes, this easy copycat recipe is sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
5 from 6 votes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine Mexican-American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 123 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 ears of corn or 16 ounce bag frozen sweet white corn
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 medium red onion small diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper deseeded and membranes removed, small diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

Grill Corn

  • 1. Place ears of corn directly on a hot grill or on a grill pan over high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until all sides of the corn are charred lightly. Pull of the heat and let corn cool.
  • Cut the corn off the cob into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Roast the Poblano Peppers1. Set the gas range to high.
  • Put the poblano pepper directly over the heat. Use a pair of metal tongs to turn the chile after 2-3 minutes on each side so the skin blisters and blackens on all sides.
  • Take the poblano off the heat and transfer into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or another plate. Set aside for 10 minutes to steam so the skin peels off easily.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the roasted poblano pepper from the bowl and use paper towels to peel off the blistered skin.
  • Slice open the peppers, remove the seeds and stem, and chop the poblano to about the size of the corn kernels. Add them to the bowl with the corn.
  • Make the roasted chili corn salsaAdd all the ingredients into the large mixing bowl with the corn and poblano peppers.
  • Toss together well, taste, and add more salt as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 123kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 4gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 242mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11g
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