It’s blazing hot outside. Let’s make some corn salsa and turn it into a meal! Like Chipotle’s corn salsa, this version with fresh sweet corn goes great in tacos, burritos (or burrito bowls), and quesadillas.
This refreshing corn salsa would also complement grilled mains, like my go-to veggie burgers (available in my cookbook). You could also pile this salsa onto greens to make it a salad for lunch—just add a drizzle of olive oil and an extra splash of vinegar, if you’d like.
This corn salsa recipe is made primarily with fresh sweet corn, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice. I added a few basic pantry seasonings for intrigue and oomph—white wine vinegar, chili powder and ground cumin.
This salsa is fresh and bright, and it’s easy to make. The sweet corn steals the show, as it should. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Corn Salsa Notes & Tips
Buy fresh corn and use it promptly. Freshly harvested corn has the sweetest, most delicious flavor, and it loses that flavor as time goes on.
Raw corn is delicious. Yep, I used raw corn kernels in this salsa. The only “cooking” they need is a brief rest (15 to 20 minutes) so they can soak up some lime juice.
You can use any type of sweet corn, though. Want smoky, grilled flavor instead of sweet raw corn? Grill your corn first! Want to save some time, or make this salsa after summer ends? Use frozen corn, defrosted and drained first. Canned corn would be my last resort, but if you like the flavor, by all means!
How to cut corn off the cob: I find it easiest to just lay the corn down on the cutting board (see second photo in this post). Slice off a strip of kernels lengthwise with a sharp knife, rotate so the flat side is against the cutting board, and repeat as necessary. Why? Standing the corn upright sends kernels flying, and doesn’t offer a stable base for cutting.
Avocado is optional. This salsa is nice and simple without it, but the avocado does add some nice creaminess. There is enough lime juice/vinegar in this recipe to keep the avocado green overnight.
Please let me know how you like the recipe in the comments section on this post! I’m eager to hear how you serve this corn salsa.
Fresh Corn Salsa
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Salsa, appetizer
- Method: Chopped
- Cuisine: Mexican
This fresh corn salsa recipe is the perfect summer appetizer! It’s made simply with sweet corn, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime and a dash of chili powder (avocado is optional). Recipe yields about 4 cups salsa.
- 3 cups raw corn kernels* (from about 4 cobs of shucked sweet corn)
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion (about ½ medium onion)
- Optional: 1 diced ripe avocado
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
- 1 to 2 medium jalapeños, finely chopped (use 1 for mild-to-medium salsa or 2 for more spicy salsa)
- ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes), to taste
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a medium serving bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Adjust to taste, if necessary: For more zing, add about 1 teaspoon more vinegar or 1 tablespoon more lime juice. For more flavor overall, add another pinch of salt. For more spice, add more jalapeño.
- For best flavor, allow the salsa to marinate for 20 minutes before serving. This salsa keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 4 days.
Recipe roughly adapted from my black bean salad.
Corn options: I love raw sweet corn here, but you could also use frozen corn, defrosted and drained. Want more smoky flavor? Grill your corn before making this salsa!