Elotes corn dip which is a hot corn dip with cream cheese recipe based on the popular Mexican street corn called Esquites. Serve it as you would with any hot dip recipe, with a side of tortilla chips, Fritos, or vegetable sticks. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM in less than 30 minutes!
While I admit that I haven't had authentic Mexican street corn in Mexico, we do love to enjoy it in border cities like San Diego. And when spring and summer hit, we honestly can't get enough of it which is why we have multiple Mexican street corn recipes on our website including Esquites street corn salad with frozen corn and Elotes corn on the cob.
This seriously makes one of the most delicious dips when you're looking for appetizer cuisine! Elotes corn dip is a popular choice for game day, a BBQ, or for any time you need a quick and easy appetizer recipe.
What are Elotes?
Elotes is the Spanish word for corn on the cob. In Mexico, it's a popular street food that's grilled and then coated in a creamy chili sauce. A variation of Elotes is Esquites, which are corn kernels in a cup tossed in a similar creamy chili dressing. In the US we often refer to to Esquites as a Mexican corn salad, but authentically, it's considered a snack and not a salad at all.
Other than the Cotija cheese, all of the ingredients for our Elotes corn dip are very common. Most grocery stores should carry Cotija cheese.
We decided to make a corn dip with cream cheese added to get an extra creamy consistency, authentic street corn does not use cream cheese but as a dip, it's a fantastic addition!
- cream cheese - we use full fat cream cheese, you can swap it out for lower fat cream cheese if preferred.
- sour cream - Greek yogurt can be substituted or lower fat sour cream.
- lime juice - fresh is best! Please squeeze lime and don't use concentrate.
- seasonings - cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper. Onion powder or garlic salt could be used in place of the garlic.
- shallot - a white or yellow onion can be used in place of the shallot.
- frozen corn - any frozen corn will work, we also love Trader Joe's roasted corn. Canned cornor canned sweet corn can be used too.
- cheddar cheese -you could use Colby, mozzarella, pepper Jack cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese.
- Cotija cheese
- Fresh cilantro - used as a garnish, sliced green onions make a great garnish too.
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
Use fresh corn- While we love to start with frozen corn to make the recipe even quicker, if you have extra time then cooking fresh corn and cutting it off of the cob is a great option too.
Mix-ins - Mix in a can of drained diced tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes, cooked red bell pepper, or black beans. Salsa or green chilies to taste is another alternative. Mixing in extra veggies could turn this into a side dish to your favorite Mexican recipes.
Our Elotes dip recipe is naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and refined sugar free but here's a few simple swaps for potential dietary or health concerns.
- Vegan- use plant based sour cream and cream cheese. I don't believe there's a vegan Cotija cheese on the market but some people swap Cotija for feta cheese, so we suggest trying a plant based feta cheese.
- Low carb- This is not a keto friendly recipe but the Mexican street corn dip can be part of a low carb eating plan. To cut back on the carbs but without skimping on the flavor, some of the corn can be substituted with cauliflower rice.
How to Make Mexican Cream Cheese Corn Dip
There are just a couple of basic steps for making our hot corn dip with cream cheese recipe. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and spices, saute the veggies, add cheese and combine it all together. Then you can start dipping!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt, lime, cumin, garlic, paprika, and cayenne. Mix until well combined.
- In a skillet, over medium heat combine butter, chopped shallot, lime, and defrosted frozen corn or canned corn, and cook until butter is melted, and vegetables have softened.
- Add cream cheese mixture, shredded cheese, and cotija cheese, and mix until well combined.
- Remove from the skillet and add to a serving bowl.
- Top with chopped cilantro or chopped green onions. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. You can also add hot sauce, smoked paprika, chili powder, or sprinkle on Tajin seasoning.
- Serve hot with tortilla style chips or corn chips. Enjoy!
- Serve the Elotes dip with corn chips and serve it alongside tacos or quesadillas. Pairs great with margaritas or Mexican beer!
- To increase the spice just added diced jalapenos or green chiles when you sauté the corn and onion together. Or add hot sauce, chili powder, or Tajin seasoning as a garnish.
- If you're serving it at a party, it's easy to keep warm in a mini crockpot.
- Instead of making a skillet version, you can also make a baked Elotes corn dip by putting all of the ingredients in a baking dish or casserole dish and adding more Cojita at the end with the other garnishes.
How long does Elotes dip keep?
Mexican corn dip will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Can it be eaten warm or cold?
Eating corn dip hot or cold is both delicious! We like to serve it as a hot dip right after making it, but it is delicious reheated, or cold straight from the fridge.
If you reheat it: scoop the amount you will be serving/eating into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 20-second increments, stirring after every 20 seconds.
Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it?
We don't recommend freezing cream cheese corn dip, the dairy takes on a grainy texture in the freezer. However, you can make it a couple of days in advance and reheat it when you are ready to serve it.
More Easy Dip Recipes
If you love our cream cheese corn dip recipe, be sure to check out even more easy dips!
- Instant Pot spinach artichoke dip
- Shredded chicken buffalo chip
- Buffalo dip with canned chicken
- Whipped ricotta dip