Grilled Tomatillo and Corn Salsa


Tomatillo salsa made with grilled tomatillos, grilled corn, jalapeño, onions, garlic

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

You know what the secret is to amazing salsa?

The grill.

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Get some char on the main ingredients (in this case tomatillos and corn); the resulting smoky flavor is out of this world.

It’s why “fire roasted” canned tomatoes are so perfect for Mexican and Tex Mex recipes. Grilling your tomatillos will make a regular tomatillo salsa unforgettable.

Grilling tomatillos couldn’t be easier. You just husk them and put them on the hot grill until they are lightly charred.

Grilled Tomatillos

The best way to grill corn for this salsa is to leave the corn in their husks and put them on a hot grill and grill them until the husks are completely blackened all the way around. That way the corn absorbs the smoky flavor of the corn husks as it cooks.

Great with chips or a salsa for tacos.

Grilled Tomatillo and Corn Salsa Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 cups

This recipe makes a batch of salsa big enough for a crowd. Feel free to cut the recipe in half.


  • 3 pounds of tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed clean
  • 2 corn cobs, husks still on, OR 2 cups of cooked corn (Trader Joe's has frozen roasted corn which would work great)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 3-4 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion


1 Grill the tomatillos: Prepare grill for direct, high heat. Place the tomatillos directly on the grill. Turn occasionally until charred in several places, and the color indicated the tomatillos are cooked and changes from vibrant green to olive green.

2 Grill the corn: If you are grilling the corn as well, place the corn cobs, still in their husks, directly on the grill. (If you are using fresh corn, there is no need to soak them in water.)

Grill until the husks are completely charred and blackened all around. (See How to Grill Corn on the Cob.) The flavor from the charred corn husks will cook into the corn as it grills.

Remove from grill. Let cool. Strip off the burnt husks and silks from the corn cobs. Use a sharp knife to cut away the corn kernels from the cobs.

3 Pulse tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, cayenne in food processor: Place the tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, cayenne, cumin and oregano in a food processor. Pulse until puréed, with a few remaining chunks of tomatillos.

4 Stir in the corn and minced red onion. Adjust seasonings, add more salt to taste.

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How to Grill Corn on the Cob

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Grilled Tomatillo Corn Salsa

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

12 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGrilled Tomatillo and Corn Salsa

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kelly K

    Wow! This was some of the best salsa I’ve ever had. Sooooo flavorful!


  2. Holly H

    Made this for dinner tonight, OMG AMAZING. I did roast my jalapeno and , garlic, ued Red Pepper Flakes in place of cayenne.

  3. Darlene Donaldson

    Anyone know if this recipe can be safely canned?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Matt Smith

    I loved this and can’t wait to make it again. Took it to a church picnic yesterday and it was gobbled up.

    In my case, it didn’t taste “grilled” to me. It might be because my wife brought home corn cobs that were already shucked; they had to be grilled without the husks on. Next time I will try grilling the corn as specified. I think I will also try putting some soaked wood chips on my charcoal for some extra smoke.

    Even without the grill flavor, it was delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Chris

    Made this yesterday for the World Cup game. Followed to a T – this was delicious! I pulsed it too much, so next time I will be cognizant of that so it stays somewhat chunky.

    We make your salsa verde at least twice a month, so this was a fun change. Thank you!

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