Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Chiles, Cilantro and Honey

For some reason I’ve never been inclined towards corn salsa before. I guess I’ve always liked a tomatillo or tomato based variety and it just either sounded bland or I wasn’t crazy about using red peppers that I always saw in them (though that has gotten better). But that has all changed. Was it the grilling of the corn or the honey or the lime…well who knows but I an NOT kidding – I could sit with a bowl of this salsa and finish it off with a spoon (OK, true confession? I did). It’s a mixture of several things I love separately…and I love them all together now too!

Corn was so inexpensive at the farmers market I bought a BUNCH of it…then was left trying to figure out what to do with it. When I was a young girl, one of our most favorite summer meals were the nights my Dad would stop by a roadside stand and bring home a couple dozen ears of corn (6 kids meant a LOT of corn was needed) and fresh Missouri tomatoes for dinner; that was it, no meat to get in the way of this feast! I say Missouri tomatoes because though I’ve had good tomatoes in North Carolina, nothing quite compares to the ones I had growing up. I live in Colorado where I love how it cools down at night but that same coolness and our 5280′ altitude just do not contribute to the tomatoes of yore. Or Missouri.

Anyway, I planned the same thing the other night and it was a wonderful feast but I still had some ears still to use and with neighbors coming over, margaritas on the menu and a bag of unopened blue tortilla chips on the counter; it was time for this amazing corn salsa.

The grilled corn with some minor heat from Poblano peppers, the freshness of cilanto and the surprise of honey (I love mixing honey with heat) is to die for.

I did get a handy little gadget

to cute kernels off the corn cob; that I don’t regret; it was cheap and did a great job!

Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Chiles, Cilantro and Honey
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A fabulous summer salsa served with tortilla chips, fajitas, grilled chicken or tacos!
  • 6 ears perfectly grilled corn, kernels removed
  • 2 poblano chiles, grilled, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Grilling corn is simple and I love the results; the husks hold the moisture; the corn sort of steams and the kernels are protected from burning.
  2. Preheat your grill; high heat.
  3. Place the corn, in their husks, on the grill over direct heat. Turn occasionally, cooking about 15-20 minutes total. The husks will be charred but the corn inside will be tender and moist.
  4. Remove the husks from the grill and allow to rest and cool down. Remove the husks and silks from the corn; remove the kernels from the cob. If I'm grilling corn for eating from the cob, I use a towel or oven mitt to remove the husks after five minutes for serving hot.
  5. To cook the poblano chiles, rub with some vegetable oil and put directly on the grill. They will char on the outside; that's OK, their skin is going to be peeled off. After they do char and cook down a bit, remove from the grill and put into a plastic bag or tightly covered bowl for 15 minutes. Remove and rub the skin off. clean out membranes and seeds and chop.
  6. Combine the corn, chiles, onion, lime juice, honey, oil and cilantro in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let the salsa sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Can be made 8 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.


    • Creative Culinary says

      Of course now you must know I am simply CRAVING some fresh corn, right? On my list and it’s all your fault. Thank you. :)

  1. Marla says

    Barbara, this grilled corn salsa looks awesome! Thanks so much for entering it into our Get Grillin’ event :)

  2. says

    Barb, this kind of recipe is what summer is all about! The honey and lime would make this irresistible. I’d love if you’d consider entering this in the online Get Grillin’ & summer bbq event I’m hosting (this is appetizer week).

    • Barbara says

      Of course I would…for you! Doing it right now even, thanks for pushing me just enough (sure helped that YOU found the recipe; I couldn’t think of any grill appetizers that I have a photo of).

  3. says

    This looks divine! We have family from Iowa and are always on the lookout for great corn recipes. Thanks for sharing the link with us today at #FCdish!

  4. says

    It’s salsa time – whether it tomatoes, corn or beets. I hear ya on the tomatoes – only my early girls and cherry tomatoes are ripening. I, however, planted my garden Memorial Day weekend – just in case there was another May snow storm in Denver.

    • says

      When I used to plant tomatoes I would use something called a Wall O’ Water. It basically created a hothouse around the tomato plant so it protected them from cold and cooler nights. Did a great job. Now that my youngest just moved into her own place; I’m only doing herbs as my needs for a mountain of squash or tomatoes has certainly lessened. The herbs? Can never have enough of those!

  5. says

    I know I can get most of of these ingredients at the farmer’s market on Saturday. Looking forward to making this great looking salsa very soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. says

    Margaritas, tortilla chips and fresh corn salsa….sounds like a party to me!

    Funny, I have an altitude of 0′, am in Southern California, and am having weather that’s not conducive to growing tomatoes either. Good thing the weather hasn’t affected the Margarita tree. ;)

  7. says

    Fun story! I actually call this corn salad so I don’t feel bad about eating a whole bowl in one sitting. And with the risk of dissappointing you, I do use red pepper in it- I cut it up to the size of corn kernels and the mix of textures is actually pleasing. And you know what else goes in it? Bacon- small bits of bacon- everything tastes better with bacon! :)

    • says

      I may not be rolling on the floor and laughing out loud…but I am chuckling out loud!

      I’ve had an aversion to green pepper my entire life and I am not growing out of it; sadly it took me YEARS to give red and yellow peppers a chance and I’m glad I did. Though this is so dang good I hesitate to mess with it but you had me at bacon. That, my dear, might just have to appear next time; yes indeed.

  8. says

    Love it Barbaraaaaaaaaaa … oh yes I do!That’s a gorgeous picture too! {Pardon my ignorance, but how do you grill the corn with the husks on?}

    • says

      Good question! I revised the post to include those instructions. Some people suggest rubbing the husks with vegetable oil or soaking them in water before grilling. I haven’t found either of those to be necessary; if your corn is fresh, the husks should have plenty of moisture to ‘steam’ your corn.


  1. […] The inspiration for this Salsa came from Barb at Vino Luci’s recipe. As usual I didn’t have everything she listed in her recipe and I like things a bit spicier so I added the Anaheim pepper that I had on hand. I thought I had some cilantro but didn’t but I did have some Avocado’s so we gave those a try. The combinations of the the spice of the peppers, sweet of the honey and smooth of the avocado was unbelievably delicious. […]

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