Roasted Corn Salsa is an epic taste of summer. Tender fresh corn kernels are pan roasted with poblano peppers, then tossed with tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion and seasoned with lime juice. A simple but perfect balance of summer’s best bounty. Serve this healthy appetizer with tortilla chips or spoon over grilled chicken – or both! The recipe makes a generous amount.
Summer is well and truly here, which means delicious sweet corn is plentiful. Few foods can rival fresh sweet corn, and I take advantage of it every chance I get.
Roasted corn salsa is the perfect way to stretch a few cobs into as many eating opportunities as possible. Serve it with chips for an OMG WOW appetizer at a summer gathering, spoon over grilled chicken or fish for dinner, or just sneak little bites for a quick afternoon snack. It doesn’t really matter how you eat it, as long as you do eat it.
How to make roasted corn salsa
Fresh corn kernels are pan roasted with poblano peppers to make this incredibly flavorful roasted corn salsa. Use the freshest corn you can find; when possible, purchase it that day. It’s perfect with chips, but can also be enjoyed spooned over grilled chicken for an epic taste of summer.
- Here’s an easy method slicing corn kernels from fresh cobs – you’ll need 2 bowls (one small, one large) and a sharp paring knife.
- Place a small bowl inside a large bowl. Trim the end from an ear of corn to create a flat base. Stand the corn flat-side down onto the top of the small bowl. Run the paring knife along the kernels to release them – the kernels will collect neatly into the larger bowl.
- Extra tip: run the knife edge along the cobs to release some of the corn juices for extra flavor.
- Saute the corn kernels with poblano peppers in butter over a medium high flame.
- Don’t rush this process – slowly roasting the corn will release the sugars and starches. You may be tempted to eat bites out of the skillet. It’s delicious, and no one’s stopping you!
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are bite tender and bits of the corn start to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and set aside to slightly cool while you prep the remaining salsa ingredients.
- Seed then chop the tomatoes.
- Seeding tomatoes might seem like a hassle, but it’s necessary for avoiding super soggy salsa. Quickly seed tomatoes using this simple trick: slice the tomatoes into quarters; lay the quarters cut side down; run a paring knife around the membrane to release the seeds; then dice the cored and seeded tomato. Quick and easy!
- Add chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, minced jalapeños, and cilantro to the roasted corn and poblano peppers. Season with kosher salt and lime juice, then toss until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Roasted corn salsa is best served warm or room temperature. Serve it with tortilla chips, spooned over grilled chicken or fish, or even on its own as a snack.
Can I make corn salsa ahead of time?
Yes. It keeps well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. The flavor and texture are best at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.
Can I use frozen or canned corn?
There really is nothing like fresh corn, so do use it if you have it. But if you want to enjoy this salsa out of season, then your best bet is frozen corn. We love Trader Joe’s Organic Super Sweet Corn. Defrost first (under cooling running water in a colander is fine), then dry in a tea towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
If you’re in a real pinch you can use canned sweet corn, but I find it doesn’t caramelize as well and the flavor isn’t nearly as good. As with frozen corn, be sure to drain, rinse well, and dry thoroughly.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Fresh salsa is only as good as the quality of the ingredients, especially since there are so few. Use the freshest corn you can get your hands on; pick or purchase that day if possible. Same for the tomatoes.
- Run your knife edge along the cobs to release the juices and further flavor the corn.
- If you prefer spicier salsa, increase the heat by doubling the jalapeños and keeping the seeds.
- Always use fresh squeezed lime juice for superior flavor.
More fresh corn recipes
- Grilled Corn Salad with Peppers and Basil
- Tomato Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
- Zucchini and Corn Pasta
- Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and White Beans
- Sweet Corn Soup
Did you make this roasted corn salsa? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 ears fresh corn, sliced from cobs
- 2 poblano peppers, diced to ½”
- 3 vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ½ medium red onion, diced to ½”
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- ⅓ c chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Slice the kernels from the corn. See notes and body of post for illustration.
- Heat a 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and heat until it melts then foams. Add the corn and poblano peppers and toss to coat in the fat. Saute, stirring frequently, until the corn and peppers are soft, and bits of the corn are slightly charred, 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Combine the tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the roasted corn, then season with salt and lime juice. Toss, then taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and lime juice as needed.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This salsa is best enjoyed at room temperature.
- Use fresh corn for best flavor - pick or purchase the day you make the recipe.
- In a pinch, use frozen corn. Defrost then throughly dry with a tea towel before pan roasting.
- For spicier salsa, double the jalapeños and keep the seeds.