Spicy and Smoky Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe – A Quick & Easy Appetizer

Chipotle corn salsa is the perfect appetizer for a quick, easy, and flavorful dip. With its combination of spicy chipotle, sweet corn, zesty lime juice, and fresh cilantro, it delivers a blast of flavors in every bite. In this post, I’ll share my favorite easy chipotle corn salsa recipe.

It comes together in just 10 minutes with pantry staple ingredients. The chipotles add smoky heat, while the corn and lime provide sweet and tangy flavors. The end result is a chunky and vibrant salsa that tastes amazing with tortilla chips, chicken, fish tacos, and more. So get ready to enjoy the fresh corn flavor with a kick. Once you try this salsa, you’ll want to keep a batch in the fridge at all times!

chipotle corn salsa recipe

Ingredients Required For Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula or spoon


  • Thaw the frozen corn if using frozen. Set aside.
  • Dice the onion. Be sure to rinse it first and pat it dry.
  • Drain the canned chipotle peppers, reserving some of the adobo sauce. Finely mince the peppers.
  • Chop the cilantro leaves and tender stems.
  • Zest the lime before juicing it.
  • Make sure all the ingredients and equipment are readily available before starting the recipe.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the corn, onions, chipotle pepper, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin, and garlic powder.
  2. Stir well until fully combined. Taste and adjust salt or lime juice if needed.
  3. For a spicier salsa, add more of the adobo sauce from the chipotle.
  4. Let the salsa sit for about 5-10 minutes for the flavors to blend. Then serve with tortilla chips.
  5. Store leftover salsa in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.


  • Substitute canned or roast green chilies for a milder version.
  • Use red or white onion instead of yellow.
  • Add diced jalapeno for more heat.
  • Garnish with cubed avocado just before serving for a creamy texture.
  • For a citrusy twist, add the zest and juice of 1 orange.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use fresh in-season corn for the sweetest flavor.
  • Make sure the onions are diced small so they don’t overpower.
  • Always use freshly squeezed lime juice. Bottled juice doesn’t compare.
  • Add salt gradually and taste, as canned chipotles can be quite salty.
  • For a smoother salsa, pulse half the mixture in a food processor.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with freshly fried tortilla chips or pita chips for dipping.
  • Spoon over tacos, fajitas, chicken, fish or shrimp.
  • Add to burritos, bowls, omelets, and other Mexican dishes.
  • Top a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

Nutrition Information (Per 1/4 cup): Calories: 77 Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 10g Protein: 1g

This fresh salsa is low in calories and high in vitamin C from the red onion and lime juice. The olive oil provides some healthy fats. Chipotles contain capsaicin, which has potential health benefits.

Storage and Leftovers:

  • Store salsa in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • The flavors intensify as it sits. Stir before serving.
  • You can also freeze the salsa for longer storage. Thaw in the fridge before using.
  • Leftovers are great on tacos, sandwiches, omelets, or as a topping for grilled meats or fish.


  • Salsa is too spicy – Remove seeds and ribs from chipotle before mincing. Start with just half a pepper.
  • Salsa is too mushy – Be sure to drain corn well and don’t overmix ingredients.
  • Flavors taste flat – Add more lime juice and salt to brighten the flavors.


Q: Can I use fresh instead of frozen corn?

A: Yes, 2 cups of fresh corn kernels would work great. Just blanch them briefly in boiling water if using raw.

Q: What kind of onion works best?

A: Red, white, or yellow onions all work well. Avoid sweet onions like Vidalia.

Q: Do I need to use all of the adobo sauce?

A: No, start with a little and add more to taste if you want more heat. The peppers themselves provide plenty of smokiness and spice.

Q: How long does the salsa keep in the fridge?

A: It will stay fresh for 3-4 days in an airtight container. The leftovers are great on tacos or as a sandwich topping.

Why I Love Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe

This salsa reminds me of summer barbecues with my family. My dad would grill up carne asada and chicken while my mom prepared huge batches of this chipotle corn salsa, guacamole, rice, and beans.

The salsa always disappeared fastest, with everyone dipping their grilled meats into the spicy mix. The lime, cilantro, and smoky chipotles are the perfect match for crispy, hot foods off the grill.

I love carrying on the tradition of making this quick and easy salsa for gatherings with friends. The recipe is so flexible that you can adjust the spiciness to your preferences.


If you’re looking for an easy salsa loaded with fresh corn flavor and a spicy kick, give this chipotle corn salsa recipe a try. It’s ready in just 10 minutes and tastes amazing with tortilla chips for a party or appetizer.

Change up the heat level and ingredients to suit your tastes. Make a batch to keep in the fridge for whenever a salsa craving hits or you need a quick entertaining idea. Let me know if you have any other favorite variations in the comments!

For more quick and easy appetizer ideas, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter. I only send useful tips and new recipes once a week so I don’t spam you.

Follow along on Instagram or Pinterest as well for daily recipe inspiration. Tag me @americansrecipes if you make this chipotle corn salsa – I’d love to see your creation!

Store salsa in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this salsa recipe! I’d love to hear your feedback and any variations you tried. What’s your favorite dip or appetizer to serve at parties? Share your thoughts below.

chipotle corn salsa recipe

Spicy and Smoky Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe - A Quick and Easy Appetizer

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Chipotle Corn Salsa is a vibrant and flavorful addition to any meal, be it tacos, burritos, or as a zesty dip for tortilla chips. The combination of sweet corn, smoky chipotle peppers, and fresh cilantro creates a delightful explosion of taste in your mouth. This easy-to-make salsa will become a staple in your kitchen, bringing a Southwestern twist to your dishes. Whether you're hosting a summer barbecue, craving a delicious snack, or looking to spice up your weeknight dinner, Chipotle Corn Salsa is a winner!


  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (adjust for desired spice level)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. If using fresh corn, grill it until it's slightly charred, or you can also roast it in the oven. If using frozen corn, cook according to the package instructions. Canned corn can be used directly.
  2. Once the corn is ready, let it cool to room temperature. If you've grilled or roasted the corn, cut it off the cob.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the corn, finely chopped red onion, and finely minced chipotle peppers. Start with one chipotle pepper and add more for a spicier kick.
  4. Add the fresh cilantro, lime juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper to the bowl.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
  6. Taste the salsa and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or chipotle peppers to reach your desired level of spiciness and flavor.
  7. Cover the salsa and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  8. Serve your Chipotle Corn Salsa as a topping for tacos, burritos, or as a dip with tortilla chips. It's also great as a side dish for grilled meats, or simply enjoy it as a refreshing summer salad.


The sweet and smoky combination of corn and chipotle peppers, along with the zesty lime and fresh cilantro, creates a taste explosion that complements a wide range of dishes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 68Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

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