Corn Salsa is made with fresh corn, jalapenos, cilantro, and a sweet and spicy dressing. It is light, fresh, and bursting with flavor.
Corn Salsa is a fresh and easy recipe that transforms corn into something SPECTACULAR!
It is a simple dish but what elevates this corn salsa above other recipes for corn salsa is that the corn is roasted, which not only brings out the natural sweetness of the corn but also gives the salsa an irresistible smokey flavor
Corn Salsa is fresh, acidic, sweet, and a bit spicy. It is delicious served with chips but adds layers of flavors and freshness to fajitas, burritos, or tacos.
Whether you serve Corn Salsa by scoopfuls of tortilla chips or as a topping for a Taco Salad, I think you will agree it is a sure-fire way to add flavor to your meals.
Notes on Ingredients
- Corn: For this salsa, you can use fresh corn on the cob, or frozen corn kernels. Of course, fresh corn will have the best flavor, but frozen corn kernels can be roasted in the oven and actually quite delicious.
- Peppers: Use fresh bell peppers of any color for crunch and jalapeno peppers for a bit of spice. I recommend removing the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno to keep this salsa from being overly spicy. Feel free to omit the jalapeno if you don't like spicy foods.
- Honey: The honey pairs so well with the corn to bring out the natural sweetness.
- Cilantro: Skip the cilantro if you are someone who has an aversion to cilantro.
- Cheese: Finishing the salsa with crumbled queso fresco or feta adds a salty, creamy bite.
How to Make Corn Salsa
Step One: Cook Corn
For homemade corn salsa, you can choose to grill corn on the cob, air fry corn on the cob, or roast corn kernels. Any of these methods will help to develop the sweetness of the corn and add a layer of flavor to the salsa.
- To grill the corn on the cob, place husked corn directly on a grill preheated to medium-high and grill for 10 minutes, turning every few minutes, until the kernels are soft and a bit charred.
- To roast corn, slice off your corn kernels from the ears of corn, or use defrosted frozen corn, and roast in a 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until corn is golden.
- To air-fry corn on the cob, place husked corn in an air fryer and cook at 380 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway.
- Once the corn is cooked as
Step Two: Remove Corn from Cob
A great tip when slicing corn off the cob is to place the tip of the corn cob into the opening on a bundt cake pan and then carefully slice off the kernels. All the corn will fall into the bundt pan, leaving your kitchen counters free from random corn kernels.
Step Three: Prepare Salsa
- While the corn is cooking, mix together fresh lime juice, lime zest, hot sauce, garlic, honey, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Once the corn is cooked and the kernels removed from the cob, add corn to the dressing, along with the minced jalapeno, diced bell pepper and cilantro. Stir to incorporate.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the flavors to marry.
- Before serving, add in the cheese if using.
How to Serve Corn Salsa
This corn salsa is extremely versatile and can be used in endless ways. A few of my favorites are listed below.
- Use as dip for tortilla chips or jicama chips.
- Instead of serving as a salsa, serve as simple, fresh side dish.
- Use this corn salsa to add flavor to Shrimp Tacos, Cauliflower Tacos, Lentil Tacos, or Instant Pot Chicken Tacos.
- Elevate Honey Lime Chicken Fajitas, Vegetarian Fajitas, or Crockpot Steak Fajitas with a scoop of corn salsa.
- Serve on top of Taco Pizza, Taco Salad, Southwestern Chicken Salad, or Tostadas.
Store Corn Salsa in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Yes, simply omit the cheese.
Yes! To make this recipe vegan-friendly, omit the cheese and use agave syrup in place of the honey. I don't recommend maple syrup, as the flavor may overwhelm the delicate flavors of this salsa.
If you want a really quick version of corn salsa, use defrosted, Instant Pot Corn, or boiled corn and toss it with the dressing. The salsa will not be as flavorful, but still delicious.
Absolutely! One of my favorite things to do with leftover cooked ears of corn is to use it to prepare this salsa.
Corn Salsa can be served immediately but is best when served after refrigerated for 2-3 hours, to allow flavors to blend.
It does have a kick to it from the jalapeno and hot sauce. Be sure to remove the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno to control the level of spice, or omit altogether for sensitive palates. The hot sauce can also be reduced to ½ teaspoon if desired.
More Fresh Summer Produce Recipes
Serve this Corn Salsa as an addictive chip dip or as a topping for any taco, salad, or fajita. I would love to know your favorite way to dish it up--let me know in the comments.
- 4 ears of corn husked
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and finely minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese optional
Honey Lime Dressing
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 lime juice and zest
- ½ teaspoon fresh minced garlic
To Grill Corn
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill corn cobs for 10-15 minutes until beginning to char, turning the corn frequently. Remove corn from grill and allow to cool until cool enough to be handled.
To Air Fry Corn
- Place husked corn cobs in an air fryer and cook at 380 degrees, turning halfway, for 12-15 minutes.
To Roast Corn
- Place defrosted corn kernels onto a lightly greased sheet pan and roast in a 400-degree F oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- If using fresh corn cobs, slice the kernels off the cobs. A great way to do this is to place corn cobs in the center of a bundt pan and cut off the kernels with a sharp knife--the kernels will fall directly into the bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine honey, hot sauce, lime juice, lime zest, salt, and garlic together.
- Add the corn to the dressing, along with the minced jalapeno, diced bell pepper, and cilantro. Stir to incorporate.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours for flavors to develop.
- Right before serving, add the crumbled cheese and toss again before serving.
This post was originally published in 2018 but has been updated in 2020.