Tomato-Free Corn Salsa

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh 

A girlfriend, without celiac disease, recommended Trader Joe’s corn chili salsa.  The ingredients listed are gluten free. I posted the corn chili salsa online and followers at my Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on FB say they’ve eaten it with no problems. 

My girlfriend mixes it with sour cream to her taste, another follower does the same.  Another layers it with crumbled goat cheese and avocado.  The corn in the jar looked a bit shrunken so I made my own version and it was eaten and approved by wheat-eaters at a neighborhood BBQ recently. I prefer to use a hot pepper jelly in lots of recipes.  I don’t like biting a piece of raw jalapeño, it’s cooked in a pepper jelly, and the sugar mellows the heat.


~5 medium corn cobs, cooked and kernels cut off. Grilled, simmered – your choice, but don’t overcook, I like the crunch of corn. Approximately 1 lb cooked kernels, 3 cups.

1/2c hot pepper jelly melted in microwave.  Sweet pepper doesn’t normally have any heat. I use Trappist brand made by monks in Massachussetts.

about 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and very finely chopped

zest and juice of 2 limes for nicely tangy, reduce to 1 lime if you’re not sure.

green of a bunch of green onions scissored into small slices and finely sliced white of 2 green onions.  I am not a lover of raw onion.

1/2 c fresh parsley chopped

1/4 -1/2 c fresh cilantro chopped – or to your taste – my husband is not a cilantro lover.

Some salt and pepper

Original recipe included mustard seeds and coriander (cilantro) seed, some vinegar and some guar gum, which like xanthan gum will thicken juices.  These gums are used and have been used for years in recipes for thickening, not just for gluten free products.


  1. Microwave pepper jelly in 6-8 cup microwave safe container.
  2. Stir in lime zest, lime juice, chopped red bell pepper, chopped herbs.
  3. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Stir in cooked corn kernels, cover and refrigerate. Flavors develop and mellow. Taste before serving. We eat this with tortilla chips as a salsa and with grilled meat as a side salad. It lasts several days, covered in the fridge.

Try mixing it with some sour cream and layering it with crumbles of goat cheese and diced avocado.