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. You could even 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.
Watch How to Make Corn Salsa
More Salsas & Dip Recipes to Enjoy
- 10-Minute Salsa
- Classic Pico de Gallo
- Creamy Avocado Dip
- Mango Salsa
- Salsa Verde
- Strawberry Salsa
Please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments section! I’m eager to hear how you serve your 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!
Hi! This really looks yummy! I’m not on instagram or Twitter but I really don’t see any reviews on the recipes. Are you new?
Keep it up! Everything looks amazing!
This one is a newer one, but there are reviews on almost all my recipes. Scroll almost to the bottom and you should see them :)
Delicious, easy, healthy… thanks!
Delicious! We were already planning on making the colorful weeknight burrito bowls from your cookbook and I was just going to do corn on the cob, but this salsa was a much better option and was most excellent with the burrito bowl. Thanks, as always, for your tasty, fresh recipes!
Yes, great combination! Thanks for your star review.
Had all the ingredients and am planning a burrito bowl for lunch tomorrow – this came together wonderfully. Thanks for another amazing recipe! So good!
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Terri.
Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
I can’t wait to try this with grilled corn and serve with grilled black bean burgers maybe?! Yum :)
Let me know what you think!
I literally wanna dive head first into this corn salsa!
Sounds yummy and can’t wait to make it. I just discovered your blog—impressed with what I saw so I bought the book—received it yesterday….looks amazing. I was looking for some new vegetarian recipes, my 17 yr old gave up meat last year and although I love to cook….I’m running out of ideas :)
Thank you!! I love to hear that, Kati. Enjoy the book. A labor of love for sure!
This was excellent! We were already making the colorful weeknight burrito bowls from your cookbook, and I was just going to do corn on the cob, but when this recipe popped up in my inbox, I knew we had to try it. Very tasty! And easy to throw together, I just used about 1/4 of the cilantro – still great. Thanks, as always, for all your great recipes.
Great combination! Thanks for your star review.
This was fabulous! It came together SO quickly (seriously, like 5 minutes) and the flavours were fresh and satisfying. This is definitely going into my summer rotation. I forgot to pick up jalapenos and substituted red pepper flakes – definitely not the same flavour, but worked in a pinch!
On another note, I made this for the first time on an evening I was having company over – a risky move! – and of course it turned out perfectly. Thank you for your delicious, nourishing, and consistent recipes!
Thank you, Sarah for trying and for your review! I really appreciate it.
Put this generously over crispy lettuce and added black beans, tomato and avocado. Great summer dinner!
Thanks for continuing to post great vegetarian options.
You’re welcome, Erica! Thanks for your review.
This sounds great – I like the idea of adding it to tacos…
It’s so good! Thanks for your comment, Susan.
Just happened to get 4 ears of corn and a couple of tomatoes in my CSA share, so I made this and some pico de gallo (also your recipe). Delicious! Plan on making this all through the summer.
That’s great! Fresh corn is so delicious. Thanks for your review.
I made half of the recipe yesterday and we ate it all! So good! Went today and bought ingredients to make the full recipe! Such awesome flavor with very simple ingredients! We were talking about adding this to our tacos!
Lovely, Susan! Thanks for sharing and for your review.
Simple and delicious! I grilled my corn lightly on a grill pan, omitted the avocado, and served with your portobello poblano fajitas (one of my all-time favorite recipes) with slice avocado and red salsa. I added a little feta to the leftovers and ate them on their own–so good! I feel like you could add pretty much anything you wanted to this salsa– black beans, diced bell pepper, halved cherry tomatoes–and it would be good.
Thank you, Lauren for your comment and review! I really appreciate it. And yes, feel free to change it up. :)
Easy and delicious. I used frozen corn and cooked in an iron skillet until charred. I’m going to top black bean tacos with it.
Sounds delicious, Danica! Thanks for your review.
Love your recipes and the options you provide to make substitutes! I share your site with my friends. Simple, delicious & always healthy!
Thank you, Caroline!
This past week, we didn’t have corn in our CSA box, and I nearly cried. We’ve been making this salsa for the past few weeks, and it is amazing. We eat it as a side dish, though — it’s out there…..I don’t think I could limit myself to eating it as just a salsa.
Thanks for another great recipe!
I love to hear that! Thank you, Jennifer.
I made this yesterday & all who tried it loved it (including my kids)!
I did throw the onion in the blender, and as I didn’t have jalapeno I added a little red ancho chili powder that had a very subtle heat in its place.
This is a recipe I will keep around for a long time. Thank you so much for sharing!
You’re welcome, Kelly! Thanks for your review.
Made this today. Delicious! Another keeper from Cookie and Kate.
My family loved it! My husband has GERD, so I subbed milder ancho peppers for the spicier kind and threw in a little smoked paprika. It gave me something different to do with the fresh corn that I found on sale. Especially loved by my gluten-intolerant daughter who is always looking for something healthy to snack on when she gets home from classes.
Thank you for the recipe! This was a hit in our house for dinner!
So great to hear, Fran. I appreciate your review!
I slice corn kernels off the cob by putting the thin end of the cob on the hole of a bundt pan, and then slicing vertically. Almost all the kernels wind up in the pan, and are easily scraped put with a rubber/silicone spatula.
You might give it a try.
Your recipes sound great. I will be trying Corn Salsa and the Herbed Avocado Sald as soon as I can get my hands on some good Avocados!
Thanks for the tip, Flicka!
Great recipe! I stumbled upon it while trying to figure out some meal prepping for a calorie cut and it is the perfect low calorie burst of flavor that my meals needed. My question is: have you ever tried it with frozen corn and how much of a difference did it make?
I prefer fresh corn, but you could use frozen. I’ve heard it’s worked fine. Just make sure to thaw/drain any excess water. Thanks for the review, Zach!
Update: I made it with frozen corn. I definitely would suggest fresh over frozen corn. The fresh corn gives it a little bit more… substance? when you chew it. The kernels almost burst when its fresh giving it a great texture, but you don’t get the same thing when the corn is frozen.
How about adding some cheese in this corn salsa. I made it for a guest in my cafe and was asked to include cheese too. I added mozerella and parmesan.
Sure! Add what you like, Tejash.
Delish! Tested this out for a Mexican themed event we are having. So fresh on top of tacos. Can’t wait to make it again!
Thank you for sharing, Wendy.
Hi, what do you think about Apple cider vinegar for this recipe, rather than the white wine vinegar?
It might be a little more acidic than you want, but if that is all you have, you could try it. Maybe add a little less and then adjust to taste.
Made this with fresh corn grilled in my grill pan and no avacodo. Found it to be dry and a bit bland. Will add smoked paprika and more spices to the leftovers to see if I can salvage it. Queso Fresca would be a nice addition, too.
I’m sorry you didn’t love it, Terri. I appreciate your review.
I made this today and it is SO GOOD. I could just eat in plain with a spoon tbh. I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t need anything extra, which is rare!
I will be eating this throughout the week by adding it to burrito bowls or just having it as a snack with chips :) Thanks for another great recipe Kate!
You’re welcome, Stella! Thanks for your review.
Excellent recipe!!! Made it with fresh sweet corn as stated without avocado and it’s the best ever! A perfect balance of ingredients and flavors. Thank you so much for this recipe!
You’re welcome, Sue! Thank you for your review.
Hi, could I use white balsamic vinegar in this recipe to replace the white wine vinegar or are they the same product?
That could work, or if you have a apple cider or even lime juice.
I made this recipe and it was delicious.I did a half recipe this time and plan on making a full recipe soon.I did use corn on the cob that was grilled. Perfect dish for the season, wonderful flavor
Thank you, Deborah!
I had a catering company for 7 years. Mostly Mexican food (SoCal girl who had a Mexican nanny). I’ve been suffering badly from cooking burnout for a while now. But last week I began craving fish tacos. Thank you for reminding me how easy it is to bring a lovely fresh element to a summer dish. I roasted the corn and added a Mexican street corn element, but this is perfect
Burnout is real! I’m glad this was a refreshing dish for you, Dyanna!
Just made the corn salsa for Labor Day. Will let it sit and marinate for 2 days before serving. However sampled it already and it is delish! Plan on serving it with chips and tacos.
Loved this salsa! Made it with 2 ears of leftover cooked corn on the cob and cut the recipe in half. Didn’t have a ripe avocado, so skipped that. Substituted apple cider vinegar. It was mild enough to serve as a side dish. Hubby loved it but next time he wants to make it with grilled corn.
I love dishes like this that are so easy to take to a potluck or picnic. Less worry about spoiling.
Totally addicted to this salsa!! Go to the market every weekend to buy fresh corn just to make it. Came across the recipe by fluke when I was looking for a way to use up extra corn and it has been a staple the rest of the summer. Always great reviews from guests. Great with chips and on salads. Love the burst of freshness!
I’m glad you loved it, Sarah!
I had this as a side to my black bean enchiladas for a mexican night.
I made it without avocado and found it so refreshing! In order to add more zing, I tried to add more lime juice rather than vinegar because I preferred the taste.
That sounds like a winning combination! I appreciate your review, Keya.
Loved this recipe, it is keeper! I added tomatoes for some color, but other than that it was perfect!!!
Omg I made it and it was so awesome added sliced limes as a garnish and I can’t speak enough about how terrific it was
This was sooo good! Yum
I made this for my family we thaied it up my family is in Thailand they never tasted anything like this before, we used Birdseye chili and roasted coriander tomatoes shallots garlic fish sauce for the vinigar and grilled the corn thank you they are looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
I made your corn salsa for our daughter’s birthday tacos. It was so delicious! We loved it so much I made it again on Saturday!
This is AMAZING. My husband grilled our corn also . We opted to use avacado and it was good the next day. We used a little bit more lime . This recipe is a keeper !!
Hi! Love your site and your recipes. For this recipe, is there a substitute for the white wine vinegar?
Hi Ann! Sometimes, rice vinegar can do the trick.
Woah — this corn salsa is the bomb. Seriously. So incredibly fresh and crunchy and easy to pull together. I can’t believe I didn’t realize before I made this that you can eat corn raw — a revelation, even though a late-to-the-game one lol. I made this for a cookout and everyone asked for the recipe. Thanks for a great summer cookout staple!
I’m happy you loved it, Natalie! Thank you for sharing.
Just found this recipe, and your blog, and seriously without sounding weird, I love all of it. I was so nervous to use raw corn. I’ve made corn salsa a million times but always boiled the corn, but whoa! Raw corn is a total game changer. So glad to have found this blog!
I recently purchased on OXO corn cutter. Very easy to use and not as messy as cutting corn off cob with a knife.
Just made it with some added tomato chunks…turned leftover corn on the cob into a gourmet dish! Delicious
Really nice recipe! The freshness of the corn comes through with a nice texture and pop, unlike anything you could buy in a store. I grilled the corn and fine diced some tomatoes, added them, and used it as a topping for carnitas
5/5, will make again!
super yummy! loved this recipe
Would distilled white vinegar be a good substitute for the white wine vinegar? Can’t wait to try!
Hi Allison, you could use that or rice vinegar too.
We just made this for a simple dinner with chips and a drink. Yum! I was apprehensive about raw corn but it was great!
Love your recipes Kate, I just bought your ebook. Turns out that I like the format of the website better than a digital book but I’ve already bookmarked some recipes that I’m looking forward to trying. Your fan, Annie.
Thank you, Annie! I hope you find some favorites in my book.
Do you ever cook the corn before using it?
Hi Katy! I love raw corn, which is what is used here.
This is so good, I preserve it. It’s a wonderful topping for burgers to make them special, but it goes as a side with any kind of meat. It’s also delicious by itself with tortilla chips. My husband says it’s the best corn salsa he’s ever had by far. I wish it would let me give it all five stars, Thank you!
Thank you for your review, Rita! I appreciate your review.
Hi Kate and Rita,
I’m new to canning, LOVE this recipe and would like to know how do you preserve it?
Everyone loved this! I omitted the avocado because we had guacamole.
We have made this receipe many times thru the summer…..always a hit with everyone, even the younger kids. Refreshing. Thank you. Carolyn
Have not yet made it but want to can some ,do you have directions for this ? I’ve only had trader Joe’s corn salsa,yumm,now I want to make my own.
Hi! All the instructions and ingredients for this recipe are below the post. If you try it, let me know!
I made this last night and it was super delicious and light. I used pickled jalapenos (not sure if I was meant to use fresh) but they worked really well. Thanks Kate for the fantastic recipe!
I’ve never really had raw sweet corn before and it was delicious! I didn’t have jalapeños so I added cayenne and I added a can of black beans because I was trying to use it up. Really awesome summer recipe!
Wonderful, Kassi! Thank you for your review.
I made this recipe with leftover corn-on-the-cob. Delish!! One jalapeno with all the seeds, one little sift of cayenne, gave it just the right amount of heat…the lime and vinegar kept it bright! Didn’t have cilantro so used flat leaf parsley–and it was just fine.
Just made this to go with blackened cod it tasted amazing!
We had grilled sweet corn one evening for dinner and amazingly had leftovers! I made this Fresh Corn Salsa! It was a huge hit with my family! I blistered the jalapeño peppers on the grill before I diced them. So delicious!
Sounds delicious, Cathie! Thank you for your review.
That corn salsa was delicious! My sister had it in a taco with Cuban black beans and I had a bowl with beans, rice, tomato salsa, and corn chips. It goes with everything.
I’m glad you loved it, Sue!
Love this recipe! We tried it when we made wild game tacos, for the 1st time. The corn salsa was perfect! We made it per recipe the 1st time. Since we have only changed the pepper ratio 1 jalepeno and 1 serano both tossed on the grill for some color. If we do that we toss the corn on also, but you don’t have to, it’s great either way
That is great! Thank you for your review, Shannon.
This recipe is so easy to make a wonderfully delicious! I’ve made this twice and have received rave reviews. I’ve even shared this recipe with 2 of my co-workers.
I will be making this for years to come.
This recipe is so amazing! We served with chips as an appetizer and then on top of the tacos as well. So so so good & full of flavor. I added 2 diced avacados and 2 cloves of minced garlic.
I’m happy you enjoyed it, Andrea!
Added diced tomatoes and black beans (drained) and some fresh minced garlic. Perfect!
*not saying it wasn’t already good! Just remembered my friend a while back making something similar with those additions so I threw them in.
I appreciate your review, Brandon!
Todd Paul Schuelke
Great recipe! This the second time I’ve made it and my family loves it, there’s never a lot of leftovers!
Love to hear it, Todd!
This recipe is money!! I put the corn on my smoker for 30 minutes at 225, that smokey flavor makes this a winner!
So awesome!! I love, love, love this recipe and will repeat it often. I used it as a topping for our spicy shrimp tacos but I am finding myself just snacking on it’s own. Delicious!!
I’m glad you loved it, Sally!
I make this every summer during peak corn season, and this year I used Tajin Clásico with lime instead of the Chili powder. OMG. It’s over the top delicious!
Thank you so much for this outstanding and utterly delicious recipe.I have prepared it three times.I just made half a recipe and inhaled it all by myself!For the first time I added an avocado and ate it with some tortilla chips.Fab!Dinner done and dusted!
Made yesterday. Outstanding. Love the tang of lime (I did 1/3 cup) and the bite of jalapeno. Just did one as my wife doesn’t like spicy. Thanks for the recipe. For the winter, I think I will try frozen.
Super easy. Delicious as are all your recipes. Thanks
This is so delicious! I made it for some burgers for dinner tonight. I used one jalapeno but I feel like I could definitely use two next time to balance out the sweetness of the corn.
For the corn I used a Trader Joe’s frozen bag of roasted corn. So easy!
I’m glad you loved it, Kiran! Thank you for your review.
Can this be made one or two days ahead, or is it best same day?
It is best the same day, but should last for a few. Let me know what you think!