A flavourful dip of corn, spices, cheese and lime, Elote dip turns delicious Mexican street corn into a tasty appetizer or snack that is easy to prepare. Made with simple ingredients, this dip comes together quickly and is packed with flavour. Great for snacking on the patio with a frosty drink, potlucks, or using it to top tacos, fish or chicken.
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What is Elote Dip?
Elote dip is a delicious dip made with charred whole-kernel corn, cheese, and fresh cilantro, mixed with a creamy sauce of mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and seasonings.
Created to taste like the popular Mexican street corn, this dip is fresh and full of flavour. It is made with simple ingredients and comes together quickly and easily with minimal preparation; even with taking time to char the corn kernels, this dip is ready in about 15 minutes.
The charred corn adds a toasty flavour to this dip, but if you are short on time, you can skip this step if you prefer.
This tasty dip is delicious with a big bowl of salty, crunchy tortilla chips, but it also works well as a topping for tacos, fish or chicken.
It is easy to scale this recipe up or down depending on how much you want and how many people you want to serve. It is a great snack for serving on the patio with slushy drinks and makes a great potluck dish.
For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This corn dip comes together with just a handful of simple ingredients. For the best flavour, be sure you are choosing the freshest ingredients possible.
Corn – The base of this dip is made with whole corn kernels. You can use fresh if corn is in season; otherwise, either frozen or canned is fine. Just be sure to drain the canned corn well before using it.
Cheese – Cotija cheese is a soft, white cheese often used in Mexican dishes and an ingredient in Mexican street corn. It crumbles easily and has a slightly salty flavour. If you can’t find Cotija cheese, you can use Feta cheese instead.
Cilantro – A bright green, fragrant herb that adds freshness and flavour to the dip. Look for cilantro that has bright green leaves and a strong, fresh scent. If you don’t like cilantro, you can omit it or substitute it with fresh parsley.
Jalapeno – Not a common ingredient in traditional Elote, it adds extra flavour and spice to this dip. Choose fresh jalapeños that are firm and bright. You can leave the seeds in for a spicier dip or remove them for a milder dip. If you don’t like spice, you can omit the peppers.
Lime – Lime adds a tangy flavour to the dip and brings all of the flavours together. Use fresh lime juice if possible for the best results.
Seasoning – The seasoning blend for this dip is made with chilli powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika. Optionally, you can sprinkle the finished dip with some Tajin seasoning, a tangy, spicy dip with chilli, lime and salt.
You will also need mayonnaise and sour cream to make the creamy sauce that holds the dip together and butter for charring the corn in a frying pan.
Step by Step Instructions
One – Begin by charring the corn. Melt the butter in a heavy pan over medium-high heat and add the corn. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the corn slightly charred but not burnt. While the corn is cooking, chop the fresh ingredients.
Two – Add the corn, sour cream, mayonnaise, seasonings and lime juice to a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
Three – Add the chopped cilantro, diced jalapeno and crumbled cheese to the bowl and stir to mix it all together.
Four – Taste the dip and add more lime juice or cilantro if you like, or add a pinch of salt if you feel like it needs it.
Move to a serving bowl and serve with a big bowl of tortilla chips. Top the finished dish with additional chopped cilantro, crumbled cheese, and a sprinkle of Tajin seasoning if you like.
Substitutions & Variations
You may need to make a few substitutions depending on flavour preference or the availability of ingredients in your area.
Cheese – The cheese used in this dip is called Cotija cheese, a soft white cheese with a salty flavour that crumbles easily. If you can’t find Cotija cheese in your area, you can substitute using Feta cheese.
Cilantro – Cilantro is one of those herbs you love or hate. If you are in the hate category, you can omit it. If you still want fresh herbs, you can replace the cilantro with fresh, chopped, flat-leaf parsley.
Jalapeno – The jalapeno in this dip adds another layer of flavour and a bit of heat. You can leave this out if you choose, or replace it with diced habaneros instead to really kick up the spice.
Spices – The spices in this dip are easy to find and will likely already be in your pantry, but you can vary them depending on what you have. If you want to add more spice, choose chipotle chilli powder instead of standard chilli powder. You can also add some garlic powder if you like.
You can also find Elote seasoning in some supermarkets and use that instead of the homemade blend.
The best way to serve Elote dip is with a great big bowl of crunchy, salty tortilla chips.
You could also just grab a spoon and enjoy it alone as a snack or Mexican street corn salad.
You can store this dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3-5 days.
I do not recommend freezing this dish.
Top Tips & FAQS
- For the best flavour, use fresh herbs, lime and jalapeno peppers.
- For a milder dip, omit the peppers or be sure to remove the seeds and ribs.
- If using canned corn, be sure to drain it well before charring or it will steam instead of char.
This dip can be eaten immediately or prepared a day in advance. When ready to serve, move it to a serving bowl and top it with crumbled cheese and fresh cilantro.
I don’t recommend freezing elote dip; it will become soggy and watery. However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
More Flavourful Dip Recipes
- 2 ½ cups corn frozen or canned
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon sour cream
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 1-2 jalapenos seeded and diced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
- Tajin seasoning optional garnish
- Heat a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the corn and cook for 7-10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the corn is slightly charred and toasted.
- While the corn is cooking, crumble the cheese and chop the cilantro and jalapeno.
- Add the charred corn to a medium-sized bowl and the mayonnaise, sour cream, chilli powder, cumin, paprika, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
- Add the chopped cilantro, crumbled cheese, and diced jalapeno and stir until everything is combined.
- Move the prepared dip to a serving bowl and sprinkle with additional cheese and cilantro. Add a sprinkle of Tajin if desired.
- Serve with a big bowl of tortilla chips or as a side for tacos, fish, or chicken.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.