Chunky Corn Salsa

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This chunky corn salsa is the perfect topping for fried chicken sandwiches for your next picnic. You can also scoop up all that sweet corn, spicy peppers, and fresh cilantro with warm tortilla chips.

A jar of chunky corn salsa has fresh tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. There's a plastic fork digging in.

Warm weather is finally here! As a former midwestern girl, I LOVE how spring in Charlotte brings 70 degree days starting in March.

As soon as we get the first run of mild days, my girls start to ask when we can head out on a picnic. It usually coincides with the Peanut's birthday date with me.

What I love about picnicking with the kids, is that they are impressed with the easiest of lunches. I rely on 95% store bought items and mix in just enough fresh food to make our picnic menu feel special.

This year, we decided to grab some fried chicken sandwiches for our picnic. To round out the menu, I packed:

  • a container of this chunky corn salsa to serve with tortilla chips
  • pre-cut watermelon from the grocery store
  • package of rice crispy treat bites
  • a thermos of homemade strawberry lemonade

The chilled salsa is sweet and spicy and paired perfectly as a topping for our hot and crispy chicken.

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To keep things quick and easy, I love that the base of this corn salsa uses a bag of frozen corn. You simply mix in a few fresh ingredients and give it a stir:

  • Frozen corn
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Jalapeño
  • Minced garlic
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime
The perfect picnic: spicy chicken sandwich and chunky corn salsa
The perfect picnic: spicy chicken sandwich and chunky corn salsa

How to Use the Salsa

Unlike traditional salsas that are very smooth and saucy, this chunky corn salsa is perfect for several easy picnic menu ideas:

  1. Topping a Sandwich: Add it to a chicken sandwich, burger, or pulled pork sandwich.
  2. Rolling in a Wrap: Roll it up with deli meat in a tortilla for an easy sandwich.
  3. Topping a Salad: Chop up your favorite greens and use this as the quickest salad topper with some chopped chicken tenderloins.

Picnic Packing Tips

I made the corn salsa at home in the morning and just packed it in an airtight container with a leakproof lid in the fridge.

I grabbed the salsa and a small bag of tortilla chips along with our thermos of lemonade, some utensils and napkins for our cooler, and we headed out the door.

At the grocery store we picked up:

  • Hot fried chicken sandwiches
  • Pre-cut watermelon in a leak proof container
  • Shelf-stable rice crispy treats that we didn't need to worry about melting in the heat

We added everything to the bag and headed out for our picnic.

The chilled corn salsa was the perfect refreshing side in the sunshine.

Make Ahead Tips

The corn salsa will keep very well in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. The vegetables will release their juices as the mixture sits, so just give it a good stir before serving.

Do not try to freeze the salsa, the fresh cherry tomatoes will not retain a nice texture once frozen.

More Picnic Recipes

Looking for more easy grab and go fresh foods to take on your picnic?

📖 Recipe

A jar of chunky corn salsa has fresh tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. There's a plastic fork digging in.

Chunky Corn Salsa

5 from 1 vote
This fresh chunky corn salad is loaded with veggies and makes an excellent topping for fried chicken sandwiches or for dunking with tortilla chips.
TOTAL TIME 10 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
YIELD 2 cups salsa


  • 1 (10 oz) package of frozen corn thawed and drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions chopped
  • 1 jalapeño seeds removed, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Large handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in a mason jar in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Goes great with salty tortilla chips or as a relish for your sandwich!

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