Mexican Street Corn Dip

Mexican Street Corn Dip is an irresistibly creamy, cheesy crowd pleaser and super easy to whip up!

This Mexican Street Corn Dip is one of the easiest and tastiest appetizers you can make for game day, Cinco de mayo, potlucks, holidays, and parties!  It’s inspired by everyone’s favorite elote street corn (corn on the cob slathered in chili lime mayo then bathed in Cotija cheese) – but in easier (and dare I say more delicious?!) hot corn dip form!  This Mexican Corn Dip is a hypnotic creamy, cheesy blend of juicy charred sweet corn, tangy green chilies, spicy jalapenos, zesty cilantro, salty Cotija, creamy sour cream and mayonnaise blanketed with pepper Jack cheese then baked until golden and bubbly. This corn dip recipe can be made in advance then popped in the oven or even be made in the slow cooker for a tantalizing, stress-free, favorite appetizer!   Serve it with shatteringly crispy tortilla chips and everyone will be becoming back for more.

Hot dip recipes are always indulgent party favorites!  Don’t miss Philly Cheesesteak Dip, Jalapeno Popper Dip, Chili Cheese Dip, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Hot Crab Dip and Salsa Verde Mexican Corn Dip.

PIN THIS RECIPE TO SAVE FOR LATER

HOW TO MAKE mexican street corn DIP VIDEO

up close of scooping up Mexican Street Corn Dip with a tortilla chip

WHAT IS mexican street corn dip?

To understand this Mexican Street Corn Dip, we must first understand Mexican Street Corn (Elote).  Elote is corn on the cob grilled to charred juiciness then slathered with a creamy chili, cilantro, lime sauce made with mayonnaise and Mexican Crema then rolled in chihuahua or Cotija cheese.

Elote is often advertised as Mexican street corn because it is possibly the most popular street food in Mexico.  It has also become increasingly popular in America, sold at festivals, fairs and Mexican restaurants because it is SO GOOD.

This corn dip recipe pays tribute to this sensational street food by wrapping all of the components into a tangy, salty, sweet, spicy, smoky, fresh, juicy, crunchy, creamy dip:

  • the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise provide the creamiest base
  • the chili powder, jalapenos and garlic add just the right kick
  • the lime juice and green chilies cut through the richness with their tart freshness
  • the cilantro lends the signature zesty, citrusy flair
  • the Cotija cheese injects the salty punch
  • the sharp cheddar and pepper Jack round out the dip with their brilliant melty goodness

In short, this corn dip recipe is a nod to Mexican Street Corn with its own signature splendor. It’s an addicting rainbow of flavors and textures in every fiesta bite!  

why this corn dip recipe works

This quick and easy Mexican Street Corn Dip is hot, bubbly, cheesy perfection.  It is one of my all time favorite dips! Here’s why everyone will be obsessed:

  • It’s texture heaven.  It’s one of the most palate pleasing dips out there with the perfect combination of juicy, creamy, sweet, salty, smoky, and spicy (customizable) – no one note dip here!  
  • The charred smoky corn flavor just takes it over the top. Sizzling the corn in a in hot cast iron skillet enhances its natural sweetness delivering smoky, succulent, sweet corn you will be eating with a spoon.
  • It’s mega creamy.  This not corn dip is made with cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise for the ultimate velvety, creamy swaddling base.
  • It’s easy!   Char the corn then combine all the ingredients together then bake.
  • It’s make-ahead friendly.  Just assemble then pop in the oven when ready for the ideal, stress-free, make-ahead appetizer for all your gatherings, potlucks, parties etc.
showing how to make corn dip by stirring cream cheese, sour cream and corn together in a glass mixing bowl

WHAT INGREDIENTS FOR street corn DIP?

There are a few ingredients going on in this Mexican Street Corn, but you are just whisking them together!  Easy, peasy!  You will need:

  • Corn: In order to be make this corn dip recipe accessible year-round, I’ve gone with canned corn, but you may also use corn kernels cut straight from the cob.  I do NOT recommend using frozen corn because the texture will not hold up once baked with the rich ingredients.
  • Cilantro:  Adds a zippy, tangy, zesty pop to the street corn dip.  Measure the cilantro before chopping by pushing the leaves (and some stems) into the measuring cup until finely packed and then chop. Of course, you can use more or less to taste. 
  • Cotija:  Known as “Mexican Parmesan” because it is wonderfully salty, hard, and crumbly. It is traditionally found with the specialty cheeses and should be readily available.   If Cotija isn’t available, substitute with queso fresco and if that’s not available, then substitute with Parmesan or feta to taste.
  • Lime juice: Cuts through the richness of the dip without making the dip overly tangy or tart.  Freshly squeezed is best but you may use bottled.
  • Garlic:  2 cloves finely minced garlic or you may substitute with ½ teaspoon garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Diced green chilies:  Work with the lime juice to add a depth of tanginess.  Diced green chilies are sold in 4 ounce cans in mild and hot varieties, so make sure you pick up the MILD. 
  • Canned diced jalapenos:  Use canned jalapenos instead of fresh because they boast a spectacular tang and are easy to add more or less to taste to customize the spice level without having to sauté first.
  • Seasonings:  Chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper add the flavorings reminiscent of street corn.
  • Cream cheese: Creates a luxuriously smooth, velvety, creamy base to swaddle the rest of the ingredients.  I recommend full fat cream cheese but it will also work with less fat, but remember less fat = less flavor and creaminess so adjust your expectations. Please do NOT use nonfat cream cheese.
  • Mayonnaise:  Is a signature ingredient in Mexican Street Corn! It adds a delectable richness and most importantly, binds all of the ingredients together in the dip and prevents them from separating. Please use real mayo and not Miracle Whip.
  • Sour cream:  Adds wonderful tanginess and decadent creaminess.  Full fat sour cream is best but you may use less fat.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese:  Adds another depth of rich flavor. Use freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese because it not only tastes far superior but melts much better. 
  • Pepper Jack cheese:  Cheese with FLAVOR!  Again, use only freshly grated.  You may substitute with Monterrey Jack if that’s what you have on hand.
top view of corn dip with corn, cream cheese, mayonnaise, cilantro jalapenos, etc.

CAN I USE GREEK YOGURT INSTEAD OF SOUR CREAM?

If you’re looking to save some calories, you may substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream. You may want to reduce the lime juice by ½ tablespoon to start and add more if needed because Greek yogurt is tangier than sour cream.

Do I have to use mayonnaise?

I highly recommend mayonnaise because it adds a creamy richness and helps bind the ingredients together, but you may substitute with sour cream.

HOW TO SOFTEN CREAM CHEESE FOR HOT corn DIP

Your cream cheese needs to be super soft in order to produce lump-free hot corn dip.  To soften cream cheese, you have a couple options:

  • Microwave:  Works great but take care to microwave at small intervals so you don’t overcook/scorch the cream cheese. Cube cream cheese and transfer to a microwave safe plate.  Microwave for 20 seconds then at 10 second intervals, flipping cubes and microwave another 10 seconds.  Repeat until cream cheese is very soft. 
  • Hot water:  This method takes just a few minutes longer but very evenly softens the cream cheese. Fill a bowl with hot water. Keep cream cheese in it’s sealed packaging then place it into the water. Place a heavy bowl/object on top of the cream cheese so it stays submerged. Wait for about 10 minutes for the cream cheese to soften.

HOW TO MAKE mexican street corn dip

This Mexican Street Corn Dip recipe is super simple to make by charring the corn, combining the ingredients then baking   Here’s how to make it (full recipe with measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Combine the creamy ingredients.  Stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and all seasonings in a large bowl.  You can use a handled mixer to make if extra creamy if you wish.
showing how to make Mexican corn dip recipe by adding cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise, chili powder, ground cumin and onion powder to a glass bowl
  • Step 2:  Add the rest.  Stir in the green chilies, jalapenos, cilantro, green onions, cheddar, 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, and ¼ cup Cotija; set aside.
showing how to make Mexican corn dip recipe by adding cheese, green onions, green chilies, jalapenos and cotija to the mixing bowl
  • Step 3:  Char the corn.  This step really elevates the dip and takes just a few minutes.  Cook the corn in some sizzling oil in a cast iron skillet until slightly charred, about 5-7 mins, adding the garlic the last 30 seconds.
showing how to make corn dip recipe by charring corn in a cast iron skillet
  • Step 4:  Add the rest of the cheeses.  Transfer corn to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.  Spoon the mixture into a baking dish or skillet and spread into an even layer. Evenly top with remaining pepper Jack and Cotija cheese.
a collage showing how to make Mexican street corn dip recipe by stirring cream cheese, sour cream, green chilies, jalapenos and cilantro together and then adding the corn
  • Step 5:  Bake.  Bake uncovered until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Garnish with additional cilantro and Cotija for a pretty presentation. Dig in with your favorite tortilla chips! 
showing how to make corn dip recipe by adding dip to a cast iron skillet then adding pepper Jack cheese on top

What should I serve Corn dip with?

Tortilla chips are the obvious favorite with their addictive salty crunchiness.  Make sure to select sturdy tortilla chips so they don’t shatter under the weight of the dip.  You can also serve the corn dip with Fritos, pita chips, bagel chips, Ritz, or veggies such as celery, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli or cauliflower.

CAN I MAKE CORN DIP IN THE SLOW COOKER?

Yes, you can make corn dip in the slow cooker:

  1. Lightly grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray OR us a crock pot liner for easy clean up.
  2. Combine all the ingredient in the slow cooker (char the corn first) and stir until well blended.
  3. Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, or until cream cheese and cheeses are completely melted and the dip is hot.
  4. (Optional): Top with remaining cheeses, cover, and let cook an additional 20 minutes or so on low for the cheese to melt.

TIPS FOR MAKING corn dip recipe

This Street Corn Dip is pretty simple to make, but here are some helpful tricks: 

  • Dry the corn:  Rinse and thoroughly dry your canned sweet corn because extra liquid will make the corn steam instead of char in the skillet.
  • Use a castiron skillet to char the corn:  Cast iron gets piping hot without ruining the pan’s finish. It also retains heat evenly to achieve a superior char – and it cooks more quickly too!
  • Grate the cheeses yourself:  I know it’s tempting to pick up pre-packaged cheeses but these “shortcuts” are mixed with anti-clumping chemicals which prevent the strands of cheese from melting together in the bag – the same chemicals prevent the cheese from melting as nicely in the hot corn dip.
  • Use soft cream cheese:  The cream cheese should be soft enough that you can stick your finger in it. If it is not soft enough, then it will yield lumpy dip. 
  • Lumpy dip solution:  You can remedy a lumpy dip by transferring the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo base to a microwave safe bowl and microwaving at 15-20 second bursts, until lump free, whisking in between. Don’t worry too much about some small speckles though because they will melt in the oven.
  • Season to taste: Before you add the dip to your baking dish and top with cheese, taste it with your dipper of choice and add salt, or jalapenos as desired.  It is important to taste test with the dippers you will serve the dip with because they affect the overall flavor.  For example, chips are much saltier than celery sticks.
  • Baking dish options:  If you don’t have a 2-quart baking dish, then you can use a 3 quart or 12-inch skillet.  Keep in mind this will make the corn dip shallower, so decrease the baking time as needed.
up close of scooping up hot corn dip recipe with corn, jalapenos and cilantro

corn DIP RECIPE VARIATIONS:

Feel free to customize your corn dip recipe any way you’d like. Here are a few options:

  • Add protein: Swap some of the corn for ground beef.
  • Add bacon:  Because everything is better with bacon!
  • Add beans:  Swap some of the corn for rinsed and dried black beans.
  • Add bell peppers:  Sauté 1 chopped red bell pepper with the corn the last 4 minutes or so.
  • Use fresh jalapenos:  Sauté them with the corn. 
  • Use red pepper flakes:  Swap the jalapenos for red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste.
  • Cheese swaps:  Swap the Pepper Jack for Monterrey and the Cotija for Parmesan or feta if needed.
  • Sour cream substitute:  If sour cream isn’t your thing, you can substitute with plain Greek yogurt instead.   Keep in mind this will make the dip tangier.

CAN I MAKE street CORN DIP IN ADVANCE?

This corn dip recipe can be prepared entirely in advance up to 24 hours.  Simply prepare according to directions, cover with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.  When it’s time to bake, let it sit at room temperature while the oven preheats and add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time or bake until hot and bubbly.

HOW LONG IS corn dip GOOD FOR?

This hot corn dip should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  It stores beautifully and retains its full flavor. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH hot corn dip LEFTOVERS?

It is a happy (and rare) day when there is leftover Mexican Street Corn Dip!  You can add it to a skillet with some milk and gently heat to create an incredible rich creamy, cheesy, sauce. This cheese sauce is spectacular with rice, or in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, flautas or taquitos. etc. or over rice, baked potatoes, nachos, French fries etc.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT corn dip?

Cover the skillet with foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. You can microwave smaller portions at 30 second intervals until heated through.

CAN I FREEZE hot corn DIP?

No, I do not recommend freezing hot corn dip due to the cheeses and the cream cheese/sour cream/mayo base. The fat will separate and become a funny texture once frozen and thawed.

WHAT TO EAT WITH THIS corn DIP recipe?

This Mexican Street Corn Dip is a favorite party food for game day parties, viewing parties, potlucks, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and everything in between!  It is stand-alone scrumptious or it pairs well with these other appetizers for the ultimate party spread:

a cheesy pull of Mexican Street Corn Dip showing how cheesy it is

WANT TO TRY THIS corn DIP RECIPE?

PIN IT TO YOUR APPETIZER OR PARTY BOARD TO SAVE FOR LATER!

FIND ME ON PINTEREST FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!  I AM ALWAYS PINNING :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

up close of scooping up hot corn dip recipe with corn, jalapenos and cilantro

Mexican Street Corn Dip

This Mexican Street Corn Dip is one of the easiest and tastiest appetizers you can make for game day, Cinco de mayo, potlucks, holidays, and parties!  It’s inspired by everyone’s favorite elote street corn (corn on the cob slathered in chili lime mayo then bathed in Cotija cheese) – but in easier (and dare I say more delicious?!) hot corn dip form!  This Mexican Corn Dip is a hypnotic creamy, cheesy blend of juicy charred sweet corn, tangy green chilies, spicy jalapenos, zesty cilantro, salty Cotija, creamy sour cream and mayonnaise blanketed with pepper Jack cheese then baked until golden and bubbly. This corn dip recipe can be made in advance then popped in the oven or even be made in the slow cooker for a tantalizing, stress-free, favorite appetizer!   Serve it with shatteringly crispy tortilla chips and everyone will be becoming back for more.
Servings: 12 -16 servings

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!

Ingredients

ADD LATER

  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 4 oz. can diced jalapeno peppers, drained (or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (measure before chopping)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 15 oz. cans sweet corn, drained, rinsed, dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and all seasonings to a large bowl. Stir until combined (use a handheld mixer if desired to make it extra creamy).
  • Stir in green chilies, jalapenos (add to taste), cilantro, green onions, cheddar, 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, and ¼ cup Cotija; set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook for 5-7 mins, until slightly charred. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Transfer corn to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  • Spoon mixture into an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish or 10” skillet and spread into an even layer. Evenly top with remaining 1 cup pepper Jack and ¼ cup Cotija cheese.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Garnish with additional cilantro, Cotija and jalapenos or hot sauce if desired. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Video

Notes

HOW to store, reheat, Make Ahead

  • Storage:  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  
  • How to reheat: Cover the skillet with foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. You can microwave smaller portions at 30 second intervals until heated through.
  • Make ahead: Assemble, cover with foil, and refrigerate until ready to bake.  When it’s time to bake, let the dip sit at room temperature while the oven preheats and add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time or bake until hot and bubbly.
  • Leftovers:  You can add leftovers to a skillet with some milk and gently heat to create an incredible rich creamy, cheesy, sauce. This cheese sauce is spectacular with rice, or in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, flautas or taquitos. etc. or over rice, baked potatoes, nachos, French fries etc.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments

  1. Ann says

    Fantastic! I have been making street corn for 25 years and have never thought of making into a dip. It’s very yummy. I added two chopped up chipotles with some adobo to the sauce. Thank you so much.

    • Jen says

      I am honored a Mexican Street Corn connoisseur is the first to review this recipe, thanks Ann! I’m so pleased you loved it and your addition of chipotle with adobo sauce sounds fantastic!

5 Secrets to
30 Minute Meals

Tips, tricks & recipes to get dinner on the table fast!

FREE EMAIL BONUS