Southern Corn Salsa

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corn salsa recipe

What’s Up, Hungry People

The snow clouds are finally clearing, warmer weather, and sunny days are here – which means summer is just around the corner! My taste buds are tingling for some delicious sweet corn, so to appease my taste for all things summer, I decided to whip up some sweet and spicy corn salsa!

This salsa is a perfect harmony of flavors, combining the tangy zest from sweet onions, limes, and cherry tomatoes to balance out the sweetness of the fire-roasted corn. To add a significant amount of heat, I chopped up a couple of jalapeños – but let me tell you, next time I’m going all in with a habanero or two to really spice things up.

My boyfriend (and let’s not judge him by his dirty engineering hands that you might spot in the video, LOL) and I absolutely devoured this salsa while basking in the first 70°F and sunny day we’ve experienced so far in 2017. As we munched away, we couldn’t help but dream of even warmer days to come!

ingredients for corn salsa

Here’s What You Need

  • Fire-roasted corn: Adds a sweet, smoky depth to the salsa.
  • Avocado: Provides creamy texture and rich, buttery flavor.
  • Sweet onion: Gives a mild, sweet flavor that complements the corn.
  • Red onion: Adds color and a slightly more pungent taste than sweet onions.
  • Jalapeño: Brings heat to the dish without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Garlic: Offers a strong, aromatic flavor that enhances the overall taste.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Contribute juiciness and a slight tang to balance the sweetness.
  • Parsley or cilantro: Adds a fresh, herby note; choose based on preference.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Introduces acidity to brighten and balance the flavors.
  • Cumin: Provides a warm, earthy spice that complements the salsa’s components.
  • Lime: Adds zesty, tangy citrus notes that freshen the palate.
  • Lemon: Another layer of citrus to deepen the salsa’s vibrant taste.
  • Salt & pepper: Season to enhance and balance the overall flavor profile.
  • Chips: Serve as the crunchy vehicle for the salsa.

Let’s Cook!

First things first, if you’re using fresh corn (which I highly recommend during corn season for that unbeatable flavor), you’ll want to give it a little roast. Spread your corn out on a baking sheet in a single layer and pop it under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes. You’re looking for those beautiful golden brown spots that scream flavor. Once done, let it cool off; we’re not trying to cook a salsa here.

Chopping and Dicing

Now, onto the chopping block. Grab your sweet and red onions, jalapeños, and those cute little cherry tomatoes. Give them a good, fine chop. We’re building flavors here, people.

Mixing it All Up

Once everything’s chopped, throw it all into a big bowl – the corn, onions, jalapeños, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and your choice of parsley or cilantro. This is where the magic starts. Sprinkle in that cumin and pour over the apple cider vinegar for that tang. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and one lemon to bring all those flavors together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good mix, then let it chill in the fridge for about an hour.

The Avocado Finale

Right before you’re ready to serve, dice your avocado and gently fold it into the salsa. Don’t add it too early, or else it may start to brown.

corn salsa with avocado

Tips for Perfecting Southern Corn Salsa

  • Choosing Corn: For the best flavor, use fresh corn when it’s in season. If using canned, drain and rinse it to remove excess sodium.
  • Balancing Heat: Start with less jalapeño or habanero than you think you need. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away.
  • Chilling Time: Don’t skip the chilling step. It allows the flavors to meld together and intensifies the overall taste.
  • Avocado Timing: Add avocado right before serving to prevent browning. If you need to prepare ahead, squeeze a bit of lime juice over the avocado.
  • Customizing Your Salsa: Feel free to adjust the proportions of ingredients based on your taste preferences. More lime or cilantro can change the flavor profile significantly.
  • Serving Suggestions: Besides chips, this salsa is fantastic over grilled chicken or fish, offering a refreshing and light topping.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the salsa before refrigerating to minimize browning of the avocado.

And there you have it, Hungry People, your very own bowl of southern corn salsa, ready to kick off those sunny, warm days with a bit of a zing and a lot of flavors. Whether you’re lounging on the back porch or dreaming of beach days, this salsa is sure to add a bit of summer to your table. Remember, it’s all about the mix of sweet, spicy, and everything nice-y. Don’t be shy to play around with the ingredients to get it just right for your taste buds. My boyfriend and I can’t get enough of it, and I have a sneaking suspicion you and your crew will feel the same. So, next time the sun decides to grace us with its presence, you know what to do.

Enjoy, Hungry People!

corn salsa ingredients

Southern Corn Salsa

The Starving Chef
A refreshing mix of fire-roasted corn, creamy avocado, and a kick of jalapeño, perfect for sunny days.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dips, Summer
Cuisine Salsa
Servings 5 cups


  • 3 cups fire roasted corn fresh or canned
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 ½ cup sweet onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup jalapeno seeds removed & finely chopped
  • ¼ cup garlic minced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chips for serving


  • OPTIONAL: If using fresh corn, spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil for 5-10 minutes, until just beginning to blacken and caramelize. Let cool completely.
  • Chop the sweet and red onions, and jalapeños. Dice the cherry tomatoes. Finely mince the garlic.
  • Stir together the corn, sweet onion, red onion, jalapeños, garlic, cherry tomatoes, parsley or cilantro, cumin, and apple cider vinegar. Add in the fresh lemon and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill for one hour or until ready to serve to let the flavors fully develop.
  • Peel and cut the avocado into cubes. Gently fold the chunks of avocado into the corn salsa. Serve cold or at room temperature with tortilla chips. Enjoy!


Keyword avocado, corn, salsa
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