Roasted Chili Corn Salsa

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There’s this little restaurant chain called Chipotle. Ever heard of it?  Yeah, I thought so. I think they’ve sprouted up just about everywhere now. We’ve had them here in Northern California for years and it’s on our list of go-to quick meals when I can’t pull myself, or a decent dinner together. This is a somewhat frequent event.

Their assembly line method of building custom burritos and burrito bowls is so appealing to me. A little of this, a lot of that. I made my way down that line of ingredients several times before I decided to try their corn salsa and I’ve never been quite the same since that fateful day. I always get a great big scoop of it on top of my carnitas burrito bowl. It’s crazy good so, of course, I had to make it at home. Chipotle discloses their nutritional information and ingredient list for each of their menu items so it was an easy task to pull this one together, and the result is absolutely spot on.

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Hello. I am a poblano pepper. The folks at the grocery store are going to try to confuse you by placing a sign over me that says “pasilla pepper”. Don’t let them get away with it!  I’m the one you want!  When you roast me I will add delicious earthy, savory flavor to your recipes. I’m typically very mild so you don’t need to worry about me making your dishes too spicy.

Roasted Chili Corn Salsa-019 Wash and chop one poblano pepper, place the pieces on a baking sheet, drizzle them with a little olive oil and roast in a 375 degree oven.

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Roast just until fork tender, about 10 minutes, flipping the pieces midway through the roasting time to get a nice sear on both sides. Remove from the oven, allow the peppers to cool, and then chop them.

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Although Chipotle’s ingredient list calls out for white corn, I chose yellow to add some nice color to the salsa. Since we are smack in the middle of sweet corn season, I went with fresh corn cut from the cob but I’ve done this recipe countless times with frozen corn that has been thawed and it’s wonderful either way. See the printable recipe below for the details.

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Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl – corn, roasted poblano pepper, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, the juice of a lime, and a touch of salt.

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If you are using fresh corn, I recommend covering the bowl and allowing it to marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving for the “ceviche” effect. The lime will help to soften the raw, fresh corn a bit. If you’re using thawed, frozen corn, it’s ready to serve as soon as you mix it up.

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This is a super versatile addition to all kinds of Mexican cuisine. It’s amazing served as a salsa but I absolutely love it served over burrito bowls, on top of tacos of any kind or with a variety of grilled meats and seafood.

Roasted Chili Corn Salsa

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 poblano (pasilla) chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups frozen yellow corn thawed (or 3 good sized ears fresh sweet corn cut from the cob)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded as desired and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice poblano in half and then cut halves into several pieces. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 8 minutes then flip the pieces over and roast for an additional 2 or 3 minutes, or till tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool and then chop. Combine with all other ingredients.
  • If using fresh corn, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.


Total time does not include chilling time.

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