Skip the line at the famous restaurant and make your own Roasted Chili Corn Salsa at home! Brimming with smoky poblano peppers, sweet corn, a savory combination of cilantro, red onion and jalapeño pepper and seasoned with freshly squeezed lime juice, this nearly identical recipe for Chipotle's corn salsa is easy to make and is a craveable topping for burritos, tacos and nachos.
We’re not usually big fans of copycat recipes. They often fall short of the hype. But this Roasted Chili Corn Salsa recipe? You NEED to make it today. This Tex-Mex recipe is totally worth your time.
Why you'll love this recipe
✔︎ It's as good (if not better) than the famous version. Why pay restaurant prices when you can make your own for less at home?
✔︎ Make it mild or spicy. This corn salsa is generally mild with a generous base of sweet corn kernels. But two kinds of peppers - a roasted poblano and a fresh jalapeño - give just a bit of kick to every bite. Want more heat? Add more peppers!
✔︎ Use this salsa everywhere. Make a batch ahead of time and enjoy it on everything from homemade burrito bowls, tacos, nachos or even plain with a bowl of tortilla chips.
You can get everything you need for this roasted chili corn salsa in one trip to the grocery store.
A few ingredient notes:
- Corn: Yellow, white or bi-color corn call all be used here. You can even use fresh or defrosted frozen corn. Some people cook their corn before using it in this recipe. That's not a necessary step, but you can certainly do it if you prefer.
- Onion: A red onion adds color to the salsa, but you can substitute a white or yellow onion if that's all you have.
- Poblano pepper: These mild tasting peppers are large like bell peppers. They are popular in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking because they are so flavorful, especially when roasted like they are in this recipe.
- Lime juice: Bottled lime juices contain preservatives to extend shelf life but they also taste. Use freshly squeezed lime juice for best flavor.
Break up the prep for this Roasted Chili Corn Salsa into two parts: roast the poblano pepper and assemble the salsa.
Roast the poblano: Slice the poblano pepper in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Flatten halves on a foil lined sheet pan and broil for 5-6 minutes or until pepper skin is blackened.
Remove pan from oven and seal edges of foil around pepper halves. Allow peppers to steam in foil pack for 7-10 minutes. Carefully undo foil and use your fingers to easily peel the skin from the pepper halves. Discard the skins and dice the pepper.
Assemble the salsa: Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Is a poblano pepper hot?
Poblanos are rank pretty low on the Scoville scale (the standard for measuring the heat of various chiles), which means they have a little bit of spice but overall are pretty tame. Do you like banana peppers? Poblanos are spicier than banana peppers but far below the heat of a jalapeño.
Tip: Normally poblanos are readily available in grocery stores, but if you can’t find them for some reason, you can substitute an Anaheim pepper in this recipe. Anaheims are spicier than poblanos, so you might want to only add a portion of the roasted Anaheim and taste the salsa before adding more.
How do you roast a poblano pepper?
A roasted poblano is key to the flavor of this salsa. But it's also why a lot of people get intimidated by this recipe. Don't be. Roasting a poblano is super easy.
Once you learn how to roast one kind of pepper, you can roast them all, including bell peppers and other chile peppers. Roasting peppers brings out their sweetness and adds a delicious smoky, charred flavor.
*Gas Stovetop: Turn one of the burners on your stovetop to high. Place the pepper right on the grate. You want the skin to char. It will likely pop a bit but that's normal. Use a pair of metal tongs to turn the pepper over the flame until the entire pepper is black. Place the pepper in a zip top bag or in a container with fitted lid for at least 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel skin off pepper flesh and discard.
*Grill: The directions for roasting peppers on a grill is very similar to roasting on a stovetop: heat the grill and place the peppers directly on the grates. Turn occasionally until peppers are charred. Place in zip top bag or container with lid. Peel skin off pepper flesh and discard.
*Oven: Preheat your broiler. Line a sheet pan with foil (for easier clean up). Cut your peppers in half and remove the stem, seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves on the prepared pan skin side up. Flatten each pepper half with your palm so they are flush with the pan (they will crack a little - that’s OK). Place them under the broiler and allow them to blacken. Remove from oven, seal in foil that was used to line the pan for at least 10 minutes. Peel skin off pepper flesh and discard.
This salsa can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days but I recommend you use it within one day for best flavor.
Expert tips for making the best Roasted Chili Corn Salsa
➤ Use rubber kitchen gloves when cutting any spicy peppers like jalapeños to avoid skin contact with irritating pepper oils.
➤ Dice all ingredients so they are similarly sized as the corn kernels for a uniform looking salsa that is easy to eat.
➤ Not a cilantro fan? Feel free to substitute parsley instead.
➤ You can use uncooked or cooked corn interchangeably in this recipe. Both are delicious.
➤ Craving more heat in this mild salsa? Leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapeño peppers or substitute serrano peppers for the jalapeños.
➤ Allow your salsa to sit for at least an hour before serving so the flavors meld together. You can make this salsa several hours in advance and store in the refrigerator. Flavor is best the day you make it but you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ways to use this salsa
The obvious way to use this salsa is to put a big scoop on your homemade chipotle burrito bowl. This recipe for grilled chipotle chicken would be an awesome base.
But why stop there? Add it to your taco bar for Taco Tuesday, to your brunch buffet for breakfast tacos or as a pop of color and flavor to a plate of nachos. It’s really versatile.
You can also just keep it simple and enjoy it with your favorite tortilla chips during the big game. There’s no right or wrong here. Just an easy way to indulge your restaurant cravings at home.
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Roasted Chili Corn Salsa
- 1 large poblano pepper
- 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or defrosted
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat broiler.
- Slice stem off poblano and cut pepper in half. Remove seeds and membranes. Flatten pepper halves on baking sheet lined with foil and broil for 5-10 minutes or until charred. Remove from oven and wrap in foil from pan for at least 10 minutes. Carefully unwrap foil and use fingers to slide charred skin off pepper halves. Dice poblano pepper flesh and place in a mixing bowl.1 large poblano pepper
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the poblano pepper. Stir to combine and season to taste with additional salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.2 cups corn kernels,, 1 medium jalapeño pepper,, ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt
- Stovetop: Turn one of the burners on your stovetop to high. Place the pepper right on the grate. (You want the skin to char.) Use a pair of metal tongs to turn the pepper over the flame until the entire pepper is black. Place the pepper in a zip top bag or in a container with fitted lid for at least 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
- Grill: The directions for roasting peppers on a grill is very similar to roasting on a stovetop: heat the grill and place the peppers directly on the grates. Turn occasionally until peppers are charred. Place in zip top bag or container with lid.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.