Grilled Corn Salsa Recipe

Published on May 29th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front shot of Grilled Corn Salsa with lime and nachos on the side

When true BBQ legends can dust off their grills & make some flames happen as friends and family gather together in the backyard, summer is when true BBQ legends can dust off their grills. Nothing beats the taste of flame-grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables. As the weather heats up, sweet corn fields thrive, with corn growing taller and more lovable as summer kicks off. Corn is at its prime from May through September but can be found all year long. 

Corn was first grown and discovered thousands of years ago in southern Mexico and is now a staple food found in households worldwide. Several varieties of corn range in different colors, such as blue, red, purple, orange, and the most common form found in America is yellow or sweet corn. Corn has many uses, from being milled into flour for tortillas, made into soups, salsas, sauces, added to salads, snacks like popcorn, and eaten straight off the cob, rolled in butter with a sprinkle of sea salt. 

Grilling Corn for Corn Salsa is a quick, easy, and enjoyable way to cook corn. Unpeeled corn is soaked in water and placed directly onto the grill to seam in its husks, unwrapped at the last minute to add some color to the corn, and mixed with simple ingredients consisting of grilled corn, tomatoes, red onions, fresh lime juice, cumin, jalapeños, red bell peppers, sea salt, and cilantro. 

Use this salsa on top of tacos, nachos, grilled chicken, or fish as a dip with tortilla chips or added to a salad for a punch of flavor. 

Does corn need to be soaked before grilling?

Soaking unpeeled corn in water for 20 minutes will help prevent the husks from drying up, getting burnt, or catching fire on the grill, just like how you soak wooden skewers before adding kebabs to the grill, soaking your corn will do the same. 

Can I grill corn after boiling?

Yes, you can grill corn after it's been peeled and boiled. You can set the grill to a low temperature & coat the cobs with a bit of oil to keep the corn from drying out on the direct heat. You could also wrap the corn in foil which would steam it from the inside just like it would inside the husk. 

Is corn better steamed or boiled?

Steaming any vegetable will aid in retaining vital nutrients that may get lost and absorbed into a pot of boiling water when boiling vegetables. Both ways are healthy since there aren't added fats needed to cook them, the vegetables will be low in fat and cholesterol.  

Author: Jennifer Dodd
Average: 5 (3 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

Click to avoid screen dimming during cooking.

Time & Serves

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
2 persons


  • 3 medium Whole Corn on the Cob, covered and soaked in water for a minimum of 20 minutes

  • 1 large Roma Tomato, seeds removed & diced small

  • 1/4 small Red Onion, diced small

  • 1 Fresh Lime, juiced 

  • 1/4 medium Jalapeño, seeds and veins removed, diced small

  • 1/4 medium Orange Bell Pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced small 

  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin 

  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Cilantro, chopped 

  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt 


Fire up enough area of the grill to fit all the cobs of corn. Set the heat to medium-high heat, allowing the grill to come up to temperature with the lid on. 

Add the corn onto the grill, rotating the corn every 4-5minutes until all the sides have been in contact with the grill. 

Remove the corn from the grill, setting them onto a plate or platter to cool off the corn for several minutes.

Once cool enough to touch, peel the corn removing the husk & corn hairs. Add the corn once again back to the grill rotating every few minutes. The result is to get some charring and color onto the corn. 

Remove the corn from the grill allowing the corn to cool off for approximately 10 minutes. 

Using a cutting board and chef's knife, cut the corn kernels off from the cob, placing the kernels into a medium-sized bowl. 

Add the diced tomatoes, red onions, fresh lime juice, cumin, jalapeños, red bell peppers, salt, and cilantro to the bowl with the corn. Mix everything using a spoon. 

Serve right away or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the salsa into the fridge until ready to use. Salsa will last for 3-4 days in a covered container in the fridge. Want a fun snack? Pair it with Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries.

Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

More posts by Jennifer Dodd