Grilled Tomatillo and Corn Salsa

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

Grilled Tomatillo Corn Salsa
Elise Bauer

You know what the secret is to amazing salsa?

The grill.

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
Elise Bauer

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

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Yield 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 to 4 tablespoons 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

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  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.

    Grilled Tomatillo Corn Salsa
    Elise Bauer