This corn dip recipe tastes just like an elote (Mexican street corn). It is the perfect combo of sweet corn and savory tart cheese. Plus it’s a lot easier to eat AND you get tortilla chips. Win!

Mexican Street Corn Dip

Originally posted June 16, 2017
My cousin Lani has been making this corn dip for every family get-together in the summer for years, and every time it disappears so fast. I make a point to eat at least 3x my share of it before even bothering to grab a hot dog from the grill (sorry family, I’m the reason you didn’t get any amazing dip…I’m in it for the win.)

Elote Corn Dip

My niece Ella requested this Mexican corn dip for her graduation party a few weeks ago. I volunteered to make it because then I knew I would be able to pin Lani down for the recipe. Lani is one of those amazing cooks who makes amazing food with seemingly no effort. I know it looks all fun and games here on the blog, but if you actually saw me working in my kitchen, I’m sweatin’. (“Wait, was is 1/4 of salt or 1/2 teaspoon??”) Lani just freestyles it and everything comes out incredible.

Mexican Corn Dip Recipe

But she’s REALLY bad at translating her “recipes” for the average lay person (me). “Lani, can I have your recipe for ___ ?” “Oh yeah, it’s so easy, you just take a little__ and a little__ and add it until it’s like ___, you know?”

Sure Lani. Thanks for NOTHING. (One of the top recipes on my site was me trying to recreate a random side dish she made for dinner one time. Obviously that one turned out okay.)

Elote Dip

I called her to get the corn dip and she started explaining how she makes it before I could find a pen. I finally found one and wrote down corn, butter, garlic, red onion, salt, pepper, paprika, mayo, cotija, cilantro. That’s all I could remember from what she said.

But she tried the dip at the party and said it’s even better than when she makes it. She’s probably just buttering me up, but I’ll take it.

Next I want to get her guacamole recipe, but I know she’ll be like Karen, just get some avocados and smash them up with lime juice and add some–and I’ll be like, BUT HOW MANY AVOCADOS LANI and she’ll be like CALM DOWN IT’S JUST GUACAMOLE. #charlatan

How to make Mexican Corn Dip

Prepping corn on the cob

Lani said to get more corn than you think you need, like 10 cobs for one bowl of dip. It sounds like overkill, I know. But do it. Later one when you can’t stop eating it, bite after bite, you’ll be glad you made the full recipe!

Cutting the corn off of each job

Lop off all that corn. It makes a big ol’ mess on your counter. It’s worth it to get that freshness! Don’t forget to sharpen your knife blade. It makes a big difference when you can easily and quickly shave the kernels off.

Dicing onions for the dip

Crumbled up cotija cheese

Have you ever had Cotija? It’s a dry Mexican cheese. It’s so good on salads, barbacoa, tacos, burrito bowls. It is a flavor you must have when making this elote dip. It usually comes in a round block. You can find it either in the cheese aisle or over with the deli cheese. You simply put a chunk in a bowl and use a fork to break it up.

Adding cilantro to the Mexican Corn Dip

Finally, you add the cilantro and mix it all together. If you’re a cilantro hater you can leave it out. But do try to convert yourself, hater. You’re missing out. Plus it adds a nice color pop.

Enjoy! I think this would be the perfect summer appetizer to bring to your 4th of July parties coming up!

If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it! I love that.

Other amazing dips to try:

Snowy Chili Cheese Dip << To die for!

Sausage Cream Cheese Dip Recipe (Slow Cooker)

Carol’s Legendary 7 Layer Dip

Pimiento Cheese Dip

Fresh Bruschetta Lentil Dip << Sounds weird, but it’ a favorite of mine!

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip << always a crowd pleaser!

Some of my favorite Mexican recipes:

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos with Mexican Coleslaw

Traditional Tejano Carne Guisada (Braised Beef for Tacos)

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad

Chicken Flautas (Taquitos)

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Mexican Street Corn Dip (Elote)

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
This corn dip recipe is just like an elote (Mexican street corn). It is the perfect combo of sweet corn and savory tart cheese. Plus it's a lot easier to eat AND you get tortilla chips. Win!


  • 10 cobs corn, fresh
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, (1 stick)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 5-6 ounces Cotija cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  • Husk the corn and use a sharp knife to chop the corn off of the cob. Chop up 1/4 of a red onion.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the corn and onion.
  • Let the corn and onion cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the corn is starting to brown and stick to the pan.
  • Add the garlic, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  • Let the mixture cool slightly.
  • Chop the cilantro. Put the cheese in a bowl and use a spoon or fork to crumble it.
  • Add mayonnaise, Cotija, and cilantro and stir to combine.
  • You can serve this dip warm, room temperature, or cold, though I love it best when it is slightly warm.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 773mg | Potassium: 318mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 926IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Calories: 313
Keyword: Corn, dip, elote, mexican, street corn
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. We love elote. It’s even better with SMOKED Paprika–it gives it a “roasted” corn flavor, even if you use canned corn–which we *sometimes* do for a quickie version. We also add red pepper flakes for visual appeal, heat, and texture. Enjoy!

  2. Hi! Does this keep well in fridge? Was thinking of making the night before and putting on top of Avocado toast in the morning.

    1. Hey Teresa! Yes, this keeps well in the fridge. That’s such a great idea! Epic avocado toast!

  3. New great added to my kitchen, so great that I came across this because corn in season now in my country. Thanks Karen for sharing this great recipe but I have a question, does Cotija cheese and cilantro have alternative? Don’t think I will see it over here. 

    1. Hi Favour! I’m not sure where you a live or what kind of cheeses are available there. Cotija is a mild, crumbly, white cheese that is very dry and hard. I would go to your market and ask your deli person to help you find a cheese that matches that description. As for the cilantro, you could replace it with your favorite herb, basil or parsley would be good! It will change the flavor significantly but it will still be delicious!

  4. Love it ! I even started to think how nice it would be to have some rice aside for light summer lunch :-)

  5. Even though it is a balmy 12 degrees here in WI, I made this using frozen corn. I now have a new favorite corn dish! It is the bomb! Had to share it even though I didn’t want to. Great recipe!!!

    1. 12 degrees, gah!!! I hope you’re still with us over there in the polar vortex!! And I’m totally with you; I’m always sad when I have to share this dip with other people. It’s so good I could eat it all by myself! Thanks for the review, stay warm out there!

  6. I’m a Guy, I love to cook. I actually need to go on a diet. I am one of those types of cooks a pinch of this a pour of that….. measuring cups LOL Why? I also don’t need directions.
    Okay, when I bake I might use them and measuring spoons too. ( Keyword”might”)
    I made this, added a tad of Jalapeno and 2 pinches of cumin too. Pretty good.

    1. Hey Robert, I’m glad you liked the dip! I’m so jealous that you are a “pinch of this” type cook. When I try that it just doesn’t work out, haha! I’m addicted to my measuring spoons! Thanks for the review, great to hear from you.

  7. Thoughts on using frozen corn instead of cutting it off the cob? For those times when you need to throw it together quick or corn on the cob isn’t in season, of course. How much frozen corn should be used if going this route?

    1. I have a friend like that, & for yrs have asked for exact measurements, instead, she says just put in… and some of …. ugh! Then last week I brought your Cuban Pork to a party and she kept asking how I did it & that she was in a rut w cooking. I told her about you! The corn looks great too!

      1. Haha I think we all have a friend like that right?? I hope she tries out the cuban pork. If anything will get you out of a cooking rut, that recipe will for sure! Thanks for sharing my blog with her, that makes me so happy!

  8. Oooh, this looks so, so, good! We like to do a lot of grilling in the summer and this would be a perfect side for one of those nights! Also, my absolute favorite guacamole recipe comes from Handle the Heat – I’ll take goat cheese and bacon in my guac any day, thank you. ;)

  9. Um, 5 or 6 ounces cojita? Which, 2 or 3 tablespoons of cilantro, and how much crackled peppercorn is to taste? Lol.
    Your recipes are amazing, and I appreciate you translating a smidgen of this, and a bunch of that, when recipes come from miracle workers (people who can put anything together and it tastes great) so people like you and me can duplicate it.
    Looking forward to trying this, but no idea where I will find that cheese up her in Ontario Canada.

    By the way, grilled cheese sandwhich Benedict? My 16 year old son wants to marry a cook like you! Lol

    1. Haha you are so right Lorna! How dare I let you decide how much cheese to put in :) And no Cotija in Ontario?? So sad! Do stores carry queso fresco? That’s a good sub. If not, try feta.

      And tell your son to start learning to cook. Like minds attract :)

  10. yummm! i think i’m gonna try this next time we have mexican or tex mex. (which i try to do once a week at least, it’s my fave!)

    tip for corn mess – stand the cob up in a deep mixing bowl and cut it in there. minimizes the corn and corn milk that flies everywhere :)

    i think i’m a combo of you and lani – when people ask me for recipes i end up saying “a little of this, a little of that” and it’s ridiculous because when i’m actually in the kitchen i’m totally sweating. looking at like three different recipes, tryna google something, using 3x as many cooking vessels/utensils than necessary. also? sometimes i hit on a batch of whatever that is JUST RIGHT. but i’ll never have it that way again because i didn’t write down which of the bits from the three different recipes i went with. that i’m at least trying to change – i make notes in the notepad app of my phone, and then edit after dinner if it didn’t turn out exactly as i wanted.

    i was going to give you my guacamole recipe…but then i realized aside from the two avocados i could tell you the ingredients but not the amounts! XD (red onion, lime, jalapeno, cilantro, and sea salt or kosher salt, btw :))

    1. HA, see??? You can’t tell me how much lime juice or jalapeno to add! The difference between good guac and great guac is a matter of teaspoons here! :)
      And that’s a good tip for cutting corn on the cob! Maybe next time I won’t have corn all over the floor!
      And OH, yeah, the combining of 3 recipes. ALL.THE.TIME. and then if I don’t take meticulous notes it’s over. haha!

  11. The Mexican Street Corn is outrageous!!
    Just made it to take to a bbque tomorrow!
    Wow, so good!!! Can’t wait for everybody
    to try it. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    It is sure to become a favorite.

    1. yay I’m so glad you made it Bev! That makes me so happy! Have fun at your BBQ! Thanks for the comment and review :)

  12. I’ve been wanting to try a street corn recipe for forever. So going to try this one, maybe green onions instead though.
    This story makes me laugh, poor Emily went through the same thing with me earlier this week. Um add this till it looks like this, smells like this…. etc

    1. Green onions would be tasty in this! And I know, if I could make frosting as intuitively as you do….Instead I’ll just start a blog I guess :)

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