Perfect Grilled Corn Salsa

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Blue corn tortilla chips surrounded a bowl of homemade Grilled Corn Salsa

Summer = grilled corn. It’s as simple as that. At least that’s how we do summertime in the Midwest.

Come for a visit and you’ll see. We’ll feed you lots of grilled corn, bbq chicken, and hard apple cider. It’s what we live on come May – August.

Fresh tomato and ears of grilled corn for making simple Grilled Corn Tomato Salsa

Make this grilled corn salsa and you’ll understand what we’re obsessing over.  Sweet, slightly charred grilled corn, fresh tomatoes, onion and cilantro, lime juice and a little heat from serrano pepper. Heaven in a dip, I say. Your summer’s about to get a little more legit.

John grilling ears of corn

There’s seemingly a hundred different ways to grill corn and everyone’s got their own trick. Well, we’re no exception. John and I have grilled tons of corn during our three years of marriage and we’ve gotten pretty darn good at it. Not to brag, but we know what we’re doing when it comes to grilled corn.

The trick? Leave the husk on and grill it first, then once it gets a char remove the husk and strings and put it back on for a little color. Two-three minutes later and you have grilled corn perfection on your hands.

Bowl of ingredients for making our Grilled Corn Salsa recipe
Bowl of grilled corn, onion, and tomatoes for making a simple Corn Salsa

This salsa is everything I love – sweet, savory, spicy, crunchy, and fresh. It’s perfect with chips, on top of tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas, inside quesadillas and atop Mexican pizzas. Perfect any way you serve it – you really can’t go wrong.

Side note: you can learn about the origins of salsa here.

Bowl of our Simple Grilled Corn Salsa recipe surrounded by tortilla chips

What are you waiting for? Get a chip and dig in!

*mad props to @gnarleighjen for being my bodacious hand model. babe alert.

Using a tortilla chip to grab a scoop of Simple Grilled Corn Salsa

Perfect Grilled Corn Salsa

Grilled corn salsa with perfectly grilled corn, fresh tomato, red onion and cilantro, a little lime juice to bring it all together, and a dash of heat from serrano pepper.
Author Minimalist Baker
Overhead shot of a big bowl of Grilled Corn Salsa topped with fresh cilantro
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (1/3-cup servings)
Course Appetizer, Dip, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 2 large ears corn
  • 1/4 red onion (diced)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (seeds slightly removed and diced)
  • 1 whole serrano or jalapeño pepper (seeded and minced)
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)


  • To grill corn (preferably over charcoal for best flavor), leave the husk on and grill it first until charred. Then remove the husk and strings and put it back on the grill for a little color – 2-3 minutes – rolling to heat all sides.
  • Once grilled, slice corn off of the cob and add to bowl with remaining ingredients and stir.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or lime juice for added flavor.
  • Serve immediately. Will keep covered in the fridge for several days, but is best when fresh.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 one-third-cup servings Calories: 44 Carbohydrates: 10 g Protein: 1.6 g Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 151 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 3 g

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  1. Taryn says

    I had some leftover grilled corn from dinner the other night and needed something to do with them. I made some ground turkey tacos and topped them with sour cream, cheese and this corn salsa and they were amazing! I cut back on the tomato (just 1) since my husband hates tomato and only used 1/2 a jalapeño since I was feeding little ones. It was amazing, even my 3yo loved it! It was great with the tacos but even better with chips! Would definitely make this again!!!

  2. Denise says

    Loved this recipe! I find regular onions (even red) a bit too strong, so I opted for green onions, and for extra yum, some black beans!

    I used the very tiny bit of leftovers the next day on some greens and brown rice! SO DELISH!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Denise. Love your modifications, too! Thank you for sharing! xo

  3. Janet says

    This salsa is delicious! I did it the first time without the corn and then a few more times without the corn. I went shopping at “The Fresh Market” yesterday, and found amazing summer sweet corn (I’m in Florida) . . . I then decided to grill out (all vegan, of course) I charred the grilled with the husks and then removed for color as instructed in the above recipe, turned out AMAZING! I had so much corn left over that I am doing to have a little side of corn tonight soon! <3. Had a friend over today, we decorated my place a bit more for Halloween and I gave the remaining salsa for the friend to take home, who is sooo happy! I added fresh garlic to mine! I love garlic (raw, is healthy, research this if you would like) it was fun for my friend and I to enjoy a home made snack, and will no longer be buying it…unless I am in a pinch like going to the beach! Thank you minimalist baker!

  4. Diana says

    I Just made this. Basically a pico de gallo with corn in it. At my grocer, I had to buy four corns for $1.00, when all I really wanted was two. But then it would $1.58, so I bought four. Searched for a corn salsa that only used two cobs, this one really fit the bill for what I had on hand. Very tasty too. I never thought of just adding fresh corn to a pico de gallo recipe. Genius. Thank you very much. Oh, and I can see how it works to add beans and make a whole dip out of it, as others have done. (I’m using mine for a chicken enchilada topping.) Great recipe for summer corn.

  5. Vickie says

    Ussed Trader Joe’s frozen fire roasted corn, a little less tomato. Added: a can of black beans, avocado. Waited to add avocado until just before serving. Wonderful! Made a ton! Do NOT double it. Make sure to cut tomato very small. Served with Tortilla chips. Would also be wonderful in a rice bowl

  6. Jasmine says

    So so good!! I realized there wasn’t mention of corn as part of the tortilla assembly? Of course that was intuitive so I did include it but just a little note there. This was absolutely delicious, hubby loved it, and I had extra corn so made side of corn salsa. Fantastic dinner!

  7. Donna says

    So good! I made this with fresh corn, sauteed pretty dry (no oil) on the big cast iron pan. Brought out a lot of sweetness. I also added black beans. Mixed together in a bowl with other ingredients. Not cold, not hot. Had this as a lunch with tortilla chips (served 2). Great flavors!

  8. Janie says

    I tried this recipe. Today. It was easy and delicious. Good to eat if you are trying to keep calories down. Very filling too. Will make this one for the books. Thank you

  9. Samantha says

    This was very good but is very spicy if you add the entire jalapeño. Next time I will add half but if you like spice it is excellent. The corn also gave this salsa a good sweetness. I also added extra red onion and cilantro because of preference. Other than that you do not need to change a thing! Will definitely make again:)

  10. Ida Moser says

    I cooked the corn on a gas grill and added some hickory smoke Chips to enhance the flavor. The corn was very sweet with a slight hint of smoke. Absolutely incredible recipe that I will be preparing again soon.

  11. Carolyn Jenkins says

    Since corn season is long gone, but NACHO season is everlasting, I just made this recipe with frozen corn and it is delicious. Thank you!

  12. Silvia says

    I have a few corn on the cobs to use up, no husks on them however. And I also don’t have a bbq… Can I oven-roast the corn? If so, do you have a temperature and time to recommend? I think this corn salsa would go perfect with the vegan huevos rancheros I want to make.

  13. mistercooke says

    Incredibly tasty! I had never tried grilled corn before now, but I stumbled upon your recipe, and decided to try it — and am I glad I did! Thank you!

  14. christina says

    I don’t usually comment on recipes, but this time I had to share. I made this salsa today. It’s a rainy day here, so I did not grill the corn, I simply boiled/steamed it as I normally would do. I also added a can of black beans. Oh, my goodness! So delicious. Even my super picky 6 yr old loved it (I separated the batch before I added the jalapeño, so his wasn’t spicy at all). This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  15. Megan says

    Yep, so good!! Thank you! I made tamales with my corn husks, so I had lots of cobs to cook up. This salsa was exactly what I wanted! I shoud have made a double batch!
    Note: I pan-roasted my corn in a tiny bit of coconut oil.

  16. Anita says

    Thanks for this fab recipe. Easy to prepare, and devoured by my dinner party guests in no time flat! :) Only question is… What to make next?!

  17. Scott says

    Family (including four year old) chowed down on this tonight. Pretty much summer in a bowl! Simple, fresh and delicious – Loved it.

  18. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says

    Mmm, pretty sure I could eat this salsa with chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner. SO YUM.

  19. Erin | The Law Student's Wife says

    Yet another reason I need to sneak a BBQ grill into our tiny apartment. This salsa screams summer! I might not even need a chip…

  20. Tieghan says

    I with you, Summer=Grilled corn! I can not stop putting it in everything cook and believe me I have already dove into the corn salsa! Love you simple, but delicious recipe!