This corn salsa is a favorite south-of-the-border-inspired dish. If you love corn, this is the best corn salsa, and it’s made with only 6 simple ingredients. It’s perfect for dipping, topping, or eating by the spoonful.
You can serve corn salsa with tortilla chips and a hibiscus margarita for a festive appetizer.
There are a few things I really feel certain about in this world, and one of them is I love fresh corn salsa recipes. And “love” is not a word I toss around loosely. OK. Maybe it is, but it’s still something special when it comes to today’s recipe.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using fresh corn, adds texture and flavor, making this recipe stand out
- Adding fresh jalapeños adds bright flavor and crunch in every bite
- Cilantro adds a distinctive flavor that takes this recipe from good to great
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Corn on the cob — You can substitute frozen corn, but I don’t recommend using canned corn.
- Fresh jalapeños — We’ll discard the seeds, and add minced jalapeños, which adds flavor without as much heat.
- Lime juice — You can use either fresh limes or lime juice from a bottle.
- Red onion — You can substitute green onion.
- Fresh cilantro — See my substitution tips for people who don’t like this herb.
- Salt — Adding just a bit of salt adds depth of flavor.
You can add chopped tomatoes to make corn tomato salsa. I prefer using sweet cherry tomatoes because they’re firmer and sweeter.
How to Make Corn Salsa
Interestingly enough, this recipe begins in the microwave. Of course, you can cook your corn the traditional way (boiling it in a pot), but the microwave makes it so easy.
- Cook the corn until tender.
- Shave off the corn from each of the cobs.
- Place the corn in a dish and add the other ingredients like chopped jalapeños, red onion, and chopped cilantro. Then stir in lime juice and salt.
Here are more detailed, step-by-step instructions:
Step One: Cook the Corn
Begin with three ears of corn. How you cook that corn is up to you, but I prefer to microwave them in the silks. I put the whole ear of corn in the microwave and then cook it for 4 minutes per ear, so 12 minutes.
Then remove them from the microwave (use oven mitts), and cut off the cob end, and push the ear out of the silk from the other end. It’s so easy.
Step Two: Cutting Corn off the Cob
Once the corn cools, stand the ear of corn on a cutting board, and use a knife to cut down to remove the corn from each ear. Transfer the cut corn to a serving dish.
Step Three: Add Remaining Ingredients
Add the remaining ingredients to the cut corn and use a spatula or spoons to stir it all together. Make sure you get all the ingredients mixed thoroughly throughout the corn.
That’s all it takes to make Mexican corn salsa perfecto!
Serve it Up
Now that you have this recipe, you can make salsa with corn any time you want. But how do you serve it? Great question! Sure, it’s great on vegan burritos. But it’s also pretty tasty on a vegan taco salad along with some Sofritas, of course!
I even add this salsa to a vegan baked potato. Of course, I also make corn salsa for tacos and vegan enchiladas. Any dish that could use a burst of freshness can be enhanced by a spoonful or two of this tasty condiment.
The Best Sweet Corn Salsa Recipes
The thing is, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with corn. I mean really, what American hasn’t? Especially when you grow up in the midwest where you see it growing from every patch of land available. If the midwest had a capital it should be called Corn City.
When we go to our local Chipotle, I order the vegetarian burrito bowl. And when I make my way to the salsas, I ask for a little of each, but a lot of the corn. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by the amount of corn I order. So, now I can make my own and add all the corn I want.
There’s something about the fresh flavors and the texture of corn that makes this Mexican corn relish salsa add an extra touch of deliciousness to your burritos or salads.
Alternatives to Cilantro
This recipe calls for cilantro, and for me personally, it’s an important ingredient. However, if you’re not into cilantro, you can try these alternate herbs instead:
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Freshly chopped chives
- Dried cilantro (which is less potent and may be more tolerable for cilantro haters).
Having been a manager at Chipotle your recipe is…spot on.
This was my favorite side dish of ALL TIME! There’s no fat and its packed full of flavor. We put it on tortilla chips…and ate it as a side dish alone. Thank you for this recipe! It’s also fun to add avocado or tomato, mix it up!
How long is corn salsa good for?
Because of the citrus from the lime juice, corn salsa can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container. You can also freeze it. When stored in a freezer-safe container or bags, it can keep up to 1 month in the freezer.
- It’s important to use fresh corn right off the cob. I highly recommend your farmer’s market to support a local farmer. But if you can’t make that happen, head on up to your grocery store and buy a few ears of real corn. I love these tips on selecting the best corn.
- Alliteratively, if you don’t have access to a farmer’s market, you can use bagged frozen corn.
More Vegan Corn Recipes
Do you love dishes like fresh corn salsas? You’ll definitely want to check out these tasty vegan corn recipes too:
Sweet Corn Salsa
- 3 ears of fresh corn (still in the husk) or 1 ½ cup frozen corn
- 2 teaspoons fresh jalapeños and rinsed to remove seeds, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red onion minced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro or if you’re not into cilantro, try fresh parsley, chopped
- Juice from one lime
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Place the 3 ears of corn, still in the husk, in the microwave, and cook for 12 minutes. When the time is up, remove the ears of corn from the microwave (Wear oven mitts so don't get burned). Place the corn on a cutting board. Chop off the bottom of the corn, and use your mitted hands to press the corn out of the husk from the other end. No silk! Do this to all 3 ears and then allow them to sit on the cutting board to cool.
- Allow the ears of corn some time to cool and then use a serrated knife to shave off the corn. Hold the ear of corn upright with the base of it resting on the cutting board and use your knife to cut down. Repeat this step until all the corn has been removed from the cob.
- Transfer the corn to a dish and add the finely chopped jalapeños, red onion, and chopped cilantro. Then squeeze the juice from one lime, add the salt, and stir until well-combined.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.