//Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

corn salsa served in a dark pink rimmed white bowl on a white background with a steamed corn cob at the sidecorn salsa served in a dark pink rimmed white bowl on a white background with a steamed corn cob at the side

The best corn salsa is easy to make from scratch with fresh sweet corn and only a few other simple, wholesome ingredients. Featuring mild green chilies and a dash of red chili powder, this vegan recipe pops with wonderful tangy and spicy flavors in every bite. Enjoy homemade corn salsa as a healthy snack or fun addition to your favorite southwestern dishes!

corn salsa served in a dark pink rimmed white bowl on a white background with a steamed corn cob at the sidecorn salsa served in a dark pink rimmed white bowl on a white background with a steamed corn cob at the side

About this recipe

A fresh salsa is one of the easiest, healthiest, and – most importantly – tastiest snacks to prepare. It has a blend of various tastes that we in India call chatpata – which means a snack that is spicy, sweet, savory, tangy.

My corn salsa recipe is nearly effortless to make. (Have you tried my Homemade Tomato Salsa or fruity Mango Salsa recipes yet?)

Salsas usually take only minutes to make and go well with just about anything you’ve got in the pantry. Chunky, vibrant salsa can be scooped with chips, served on bread, or used to brighten a plate of veggies.

This corn salsa recipe made from scratch is packed with the right balance of sweetness and a hint of spice, making it perfect to enjoy however you please!

Plus, this recipe is great for customizing with other ingredients you like. Feel free to increase the amount of chili powder and/or include a bit of cayenne powder and/or diced jalapeno pepper to really up the spiciness.

You can also try adding fresh diced tomatoes, or bell pepper for some extra crunch and flavor.

My preferred method for making corn salsa from scratch is to steam fresh corn in a pressure cooker. However, you are welcome to use canned or frozen corn to save time or if fresh corn simply isn’t available.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Corn Salsa

1. First, cook the corn if you are using fresh corn.

  • Stove top pressure cooking: In a 3-litre pressure cooker place 1 medium-to-large corn cob. Add just enough water to almost cover the ear of corn. Pressure cook on medium-heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Instant pot cooking: Take 1 cup water in the steel insert of a 6 quart IP. Keep a trivet in the steel insert and place the corn cob on the trivet. Pressure cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes. Then do a quick release.

If preferred, you can also simply steam the corn on the stovetop.

To use frozen corn, cook according to package instructions. If you’re using cooked canned corn there’s no need to heat first.

cooked sweet corn cobs with water in a pressure cookercooked sweet corn cobs with water in a pressure cooker

2. Allow the cooked corn to cool completely. Then, use a knife to carefully slice the kernels off of the corn cob. You want to wind up with at least 1 cup of corn for this salsa recipe.

corn kernels scraped from the corn cob to make corn salsacorn kernels scraped from the corn cob to make corn salsa

3. Place the corn kernels in a medium bowl, and add ¼ cup of finely chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon of chopped green chili or jalapeño or serrano pepper, and 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves.

corn, green chilies, cilantro, onions in a steel mixing bowlcorn, green chilies, cilantro, onions in a steel mixing bowl

4. Next add the spices: ¼ teaspoon of cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon of red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper powder and salt to taste.

Again, you can add more chili powder and also include a dash of cayenne and/or diced jalapeno for extra heat if you like.

cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper addedcumin, chili powder, salt and pepper added

5. Lastly, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. The acid from the lemon adds a terrific bit of sour flavor that really brings all of the ingredients in this corn salsa together.

adding lemon juiceadding lemon juice

6. Mix very well to thoroughly combine.

mixed well and corn salsa is ready to be servedmixed well and corn salsa is ready to be served

How to serve Corn Salsa

Serve corn salsa as a chunky dip with tortilla chips or crackers, or even fresh veggies that are thick enough for scooping – like slices of bell pepper.

Enjoy freshly made salsa with some of your favorite dishes like nachos, quesadillas, Vegetarian Tacos, and Refried Beans.

Variations

  • Grilled corn: Get a smoky flavor and taste to your corn salsa, by replacing steamed corn with fire-roasted grilled corn. You can also roast the corn in the oven.
  • Onions: Green onions (scallions) have a mild sweet taste and add a nice crunch to the corn salsa recipe. But if they are unavailable to you, replace them with red or white onions. Adding onions will give a more sharper flavor. Avoid onions that are highly pungent.
  • Beans: Add some cooked or canned kidney beans, black beans, or white beans to perk up the salsa and make it more healthier.
  • Fats: For a richer texture, add some butter or olive oil. You can also add some mashed avocado which will give a lovely creamy texture to the corn salsa.
  • Herbs: Aromatic fresh soft herbs like basil, parsley, and mint also taste great. If you do not have fresh herbs handy, then dried herbs make a good option as well.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh or canned tomatoes add a great tangy taste and some umami flavor to the salsa.

Tips

FAQs

What’s the best way to store homemade salsa?

Fresh corn salsa should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay good for up to a week if you have not added onions or cilantro! If you have added the onions and coriander leaves, then refrigerate it for some hours.

Can I make larger batches of corn salsa?

Absolutely! As-is this recipe serves two, but it is great for doubling or tripling to feed a larger group.

Is fresh corn or canned corn better to make corn salsa?

Obviously my choice for a corn salsa would always be fresh corn and my recipe also details the same. Fresh corn kernels have a juicy, tender crisp texture and a lovely sweet taste. They make the salsa taste amazingly good. If you do not get fresh corn, then you can opt to use frozen corn or canned corn.

When buying, a fresh corn will have green husks that are tightly enveloped around the cob. If the husks look yellow or brown and dried, then these corn cobs are some days old and may have the corn kernels become dense and dried. Any fresh and tender variety of corn works well in the recipe.

sweet corn salsa served in a dark pink rimmed white bowl on a white backgroundsweet corn salsa served in a dark pink rimmed white bowl on a white background

For more delicious sweet corn recipes you can check this collection of 22 Corn recipes.

More Tasty Corn Snacks

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Corn salsa is a vibrant, tasty, tangy and spicy salsa made from scratch with fresh corn, green onions, spices and herbs. Enjoy homemade corn salsa as a healthy snack or fun addition to your favorite southwestern dishes.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 5 mins

Total Time 15 mins


Cuisine Mexican, World

Course: Appetizers, Side Dish, Snacks

Diet: Vegan

Difficulty Level: Easy


Servings 2

Units

Preparation

  • In a pressure cooker, take 1 medium to large corn cob. Add water almost covering the corn cob. Pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles or till the corn is steamed well. You can even steam the corn cob in a pan. 

  • When the corn cob cools down, then carefully with a knife slice off the corn kernels. You will need 1 cup of steamed corn kernels.

Making corn salsa

  • Now in a bowl take the corn kernels. Also add ¼ cup finely chopped onions or spring onions, 1 green chili (chopped) and 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.

  • Next add ¼ teaspoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder and salt as required.

  • Squeeze some lemon juice.

  • Mix very well.

  • Serve corn salsa with nachos or crackers.

Ingredient Notes

  • Corn: Fresh, tender, juicy corn are the best in this salsa recipe. That said, if fresh corn cobs are unavailable, then use frozen corn or canned corn.
  • Onions: Green onions (scallions) being mild taste good and add some sweet crunch. For a more sharper taste, you can replace green onions with red or white onions.
  • Tomatoes: For a lovely tangy taste and some umami flavor, add fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes.
  • Grilled corn: Replace steamed corn with fire roasted or oven roasted grilled corn.
  • Beans: Adding some cooked or canned kidney beans, black beans or white beans makes for a protein rich salsa making it more healthier.
  • Fats: For a richer texture, add some butter or olive oil. You can also add some mashed avocado which will give a lovely creamy texture to the corn salsa.
  • Herbs: Aromatic fresh soft herbs like basil, parsley and mint also taste great. If you do not have fresh herbs handy, then dried herbs make a good option as well.

Recipe Notes

  • Storing: Fresh corn salsa should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay good for up to a week!
  • Scaling: The recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed a larger group.
  • Spicing & seasoning: You can add the green chilies or jalapeño or spice powders less or more as per your choice.

Nutrition Facts

Corn Salsa

Amount Per Serving

Calories 51 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 610mg27%

Potassium 151mg4%

Carbohydrates 11g4%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 185IU4%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 6mg7%

Vitamin E 1mg7%

Vitamin K 1µg1%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 23µg6%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 17mg4%

Phosphorus 46mg5%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This corn salsa recipe post from the archives (May 2017) has been republished and updated on 19 December 2020.