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My Corn Salsa recipe is a delightfully light and fresh summer side dish — and it is so easy!

Deliciously filled with crunchy sweet corn, red bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and fresh lime juice, it is a summer go-to recipe in this home!

corn salsa iin a serving bowl garnished with cilantro.

This Easy Corn Salsa Recipe is the perfect summer accompaniment for taco night or any warm Summer picnic meal. Plus it’s a delightful topping for one of my favorites — grilled catfish.

The balance of sweet and spicy in my version of Corn Salsa is perfect as an appetizer, with tortilla chips, or as a garnish for Best Grilled Salmon, Grilled Chicken, Shrimp on the Barbie, or a salad. And, of course, you can put it with all sorts of fresh Mexican recipes.

My sweet corn salsa recipe works with almost any kind of corn, even leftovers! I grilled corn one evening for dinner and grilled some extra to make this salsa later in the week. It’s crisp and light and goes especially well with hearty tortilla chips or blue tortilla chips.

ingredients for corn salsa on a table.

Fresh corn is plentiful throughout the Spring and Summer months. So you definitely need to try out this EASY recipe that can be made with either grilled corn on the cob or oven-roasted — both will work perfectly fine.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Easy Corn Salsa

  • Fresh corn — Fresh corn on the cob is my top choice, but you can use frozen corn.
  • Red bell pepper — Crunchy and delicious, the red bell peppers add gorgeous color.
  • Red onion — Red onions are really purple, right? I love the flavor they add.
  • Jalapeño pepper — Use as much as you would like here! Be sure to see my suggestions on handling these spicy peppers.
  • Granulated sugar — If you prefer, you can use raw sugar or even sugar substitute to add a touch of sweetness.
  • Apple cider vinegar — Keep all your ingredients fresh with the tangy apple cider taste.
  • Lime juice — Wake up your veggies!
  • Salt and pepper — Use to taste.

Garnish corn salsa with:

  • A dollop of sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh diced tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Black beans
  • and more!

Make corn salsa a hearty side dish

If you want to make this dish into a hearty meal, simply add a can of black beans! Simply rinse and drain the black beans and add them to the salad for a burst of antioxidants, vitamins, and protein!

How to make roasted Corn Salsa

Feast your eyes on the delicious colors of this Fresh Roasted Corn Salsa! They are so bright and they taste great, too!

corn cut off the cob in a bowl with diced red pepper, onion, and jalapeno.

STEP 1 | Prep the corn

Wash and wrap the corn in foil. Then you can take it to the grill or pop it in the oven. It’s your choice.

Once cooled, cut the kernels off the cob and into a medium-sized bowl.

STEP 2 | Add the remaining ingredients

Combine the cooked corn with the diced red bell pepper, red onion, and carefully diced jalapeño.

squeezing lime juice into a bowl of corn salsa.

STEP 3 | Mix in the juices

Now drizzle in the sugar, apple cider vinegar, and fresh lime juice and stir until mixed well.

tips

  • Cooking the corn — Cooking the corn on the grill adds a yummy fresh grilled taste. But, let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t have the time. Pop it in the oven!
  • Charring corn — If you want a little char on the corn without running to the grill, simply pull out your kitchen blow torch, or hold the ears over the flame of your gas cooktop.
  • Cutting the corn — Get your medium-sized bowl and slice it from the top down. Then all those juicy bits fall right into the bowl.
  • Seeding a jalapeño — PUT on GLOVES! Slice the jalapeño into quarters lengthwise, remove seeds and ribs for a milder flavor, and slice, and dice to the desired size.

STEP 4 | Season and garnish

Add your salt and pepper to taste and Voila! You are ready to garnish and serve!

spooning corn salsa into a serving bowl.

Frequently asked questions

Can I blanch the corn instead?

Of course, you can. Just heat a pot of water to a boil and cook for 30 seconds in the hot water. Then you can transfer it to an ice bath or allow it to cool on a cooling rack.

Should I use white or yellow corn?

It is your pick! Either will work for my fresh corn salsa as long as it is — fresh.

Is frozen corn okay?

You sure can, in a pinch. There is nothing like the flavor of corn cut straight off the cob. That said, we all need shortcuts now and then.

What is the best way to turn up the heat?

If you love the spicy taste of salsa, turn it up! You can certainly add more peppers and leave the ribs and seeds for heat. And you can drip in some hot sauce to taste or add in chipotle chili powder.

corn salsa iin a serving bowl garnished with cilantro with a tortilla chip.

Serving suggestions

This delightful fresh corn salsa can stand on its own, or be a great starter for a taco night, or a burrito bowl. And, of course, I love it piled high on top of a piece of flaky good grilled catfish.

Here are some of my Mexican recipes that will be great accompaniments to this corn salsa recipe.

  • Smoky Chicken Street Tacos — Try your corn salsa with Street Tacos served with pickled red onions, fresh salsa, and cheese on mini flour tortillas.
  • Red Neck Tacos — Just imagine, Redneck Tacos sitting on top of cornbread hoecakes instead of tortillas, piled high with pulled pork and tangy coleslaw. Then add the brilliance of corn salsa spilled all over the plate!
  • Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Chimichurri — Pork Carnitas cook all day in a crockpot until tender, moist, and flavorful. Serve these carnitas on tortillas drizzled with a fresh and tangy homemade chimichurri sauce, a dollop of sour cream, and a side of fresh corn salsa.
  • Chicken Burrito Bowl — Build a chicken burrito bowl on a bed of chopped romaine topped with a flavorful rice and bean stir fry, shredded chicken, fresh tomatoes, avocado, onions, and creamy queso fresco crumbles. Then add the fresh colors and flavors of corn salsa to the top of the bowl!

Behind the recipe: Fresh Corn Salsa

I have to admit when summer is approaching, I get excited about the new flavors and light tastes summer veggies and fruits provide. Then there are all the picnics, family gatherings, and summer vacations to enjoy. So while the freshness lasts and the “lazy days” of summer are approaching, it is time to break out the best of my spring and summer recipes. This corn salsa is just the start!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

corn salsa in a serving bowl surrounded by tortilla chips.

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa Recipe is a delightfully light and fresh summer side dish – and it is so easy!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 31 mins
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 88 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro optional

Instructions
 

  • Roast corn on the cob wrapped in aluminum foil on the grill or in the oven at 400 degrees for 16 – 20 minutes, or until tender. Cool, then cut kernels off the cob.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the corn kernels, red bell pepper, red onion. and jalapeño.
  • Add the sugar, apple cider vinegar, and fresh lime juice, stirring until mixed well. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • If desired, add 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro before serving.

Notes

  • Keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.
  • Cooking the corn — Cooking the corn on the grill adds a yummy fresh grilled taste. But, let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t have the time. Pop it in the oven!
  • Charring corn — If you want a little char on the corn without running to the grill, simply pull out your kitchen blow torch, or hold the ears over the flame of your gas cooktop.
  • Cutting the corn — Get your medium-sized bowl and slice it from the top down. Then all those juicy bits fall right into the bowl.
  • Seeding a jalapeño — PUT on GLOVES! Slice the jalapeño into quarters lengthwise, remove seeds and ribs for a milder flavor, and slice, and dice to the desired size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingsCalories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSodium: 177mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12g
Keyword appetizer, corn, dip, salsa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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