This corn salsa is as easy as it comes and the sweet, bright, pop of balanced flavor (and color!) is unprecedented. Using just six ingredients, this dish can be enjoyed anyway you like. And the best part? This recipe is extremely forgiving and open to interpretation. Not a fan of one of the seasonings? Omit it! Have an herb or spice that you like? Add it in! Want to bulk it up a bit? Try adding some cooked black beans or diced fresh tomatoes. As for the spice level, feel free to adjust it to your personal preference.
Don’t you just love these kinds of dishes that embrace the wonderful “eyeball” method us home cooks like to employ? 😅
So, let’s talk about the ingredients I used for this salsa.
I decided to keep it simple but you’ll see that all the flavor profiles are here from the sweet to the salty to the acid to the spice!
- Corn: Fresh off the cob, canned, or even frozen. Raw, steamed, char grilled, pan grilled, fire roasted. The choice is yours. I had some leftover ears of steamed corn that I used.
- Lemon/Lime Juice: Either lemon juice or lime juice works but you’ll want to be sure you’re using fresh juice for the best results.
- Salt: I’m using a pink Himalayan salt but a sea salt also works great!
- Parsley/Cilantro: Since some people have an aversion to cilantro, you can easily use parsley in its place, or you can use whatever is on hand.
- Onion: Typically I’d recommend using a red onion since they tend to have a milder, slightly sweet and less astringent flavor compared to yellow or white but as you can see, any kind works!
- Jalapeno: Optional, but highly recommended to add a little kick to our salsa. While fresh is best I used some pickled jalapenos that I had on hand.
Now, let’s talk about other things you can add in.
Corn is the base ingredient but there are other options you can include such as: diced tomatoes, black beans, diced avocado or even diced mangoes or pineapple. In terms of seasonings, you can add anything from black or white peppers to smoked paprika, chipotle powder, smoked salts, cumin, oregano, mint, garlic powder (or fresh grated garlic), cotija or feta cheese crumbles, honestly the options are limitless!
Let’s talk HEAT!
The kind of pepper you choose to add to your salsa will determine the spiciness of your dish. Some people like no spice while others prefer a bit of a bite that can be anywhere from a pinch to a full on wallop, whatever your preference you can choose your pepper accordingly!
- Sweet: Bell pepper. This adds a wonderfully crunchy sweetness with earthy undertones that complements the corn well.
- Extra Mild: Anaheims (aka chile verde del norte). Known to have a very mild heat with a sweet and earthy flavor.
- Mild: Poblano. Wonderful in a crema sauce, and even better roasted, this pepper brings a deep earthy and smoky flavor to your salsa.
- Medium: Jalapenos. Fresh or jarred the heat of these earthy peppers depends on if you use the seeds and internal whites.
- Hot: Serrano pepper. Similar to a jalapeno, this earthy pepper brings a sharp heat to your salsa. For added dimension consider roasting your peppers before adding them.
- Very Hot: Habaneros. Known to have an almost fruity flavor profile, these peppers are no joking matter in terms of heat!
- Insanely Hot: If you’re the kind who just can’t get enough heat, then go ahead and reach for that Carolina reaper. I won’t judge!
So to make this wonderful salsa it’s as simple as gathering your ingredients, adding it to a bowl…
…Tossing it all together, and tasting and adjusting the flavorings.
Letting your salsa sit for at least an hour is a great way to allow all the flavors to fully mingle and meld together so don’t be afraid of making this in advance.
How to use your salsa:
- As a topping: for your tacos (like in the image above 🤤) or burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas.
- As a dip: Served along with some chips as an appetizer or a snack (adding black beans and tomatoes goes great with this option!)
- Mixed into your main dish: Add it to your burrito bowls or mix it into some mexican flavored rice or serve it atop any protein of your choice such as my Blackened Chipotle Chicken to my Easy Chicken Fajitas. Or add it to your salads for an extra kick of flavor and texture.
- By itself.
How do you like to use and enjoy your corn salsa? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Easy Corn Salsa
- 2 cups whole kernel sweet corn
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt (to taste)
- 2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley
- 2 tbsp red onion or white or yellow onion
- 1 tbsp jalapenos or any pepper of choice
- Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well until fully combined and dispersed.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your personal taste. For best results allow your salsa to rest for an hour so that the flavors can fully blend together.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Enjoy as a side dish, a dip or as a topping for tacos.
- You can add anything from tomatoes to avocados to black beans to your salsa to add more flavor and body to it.
The kind of pepper you choose to add to your salsa will determine the spiciness of your dish.
- Sweet: Bell pepper
- Extra Mild: Anaheims
- Mild: Poblano
- Medium: Jalapenos
- Hot: Serrano pepper
- Very Hot: Habaneros
- Insanely Hot: Carolina reaper