This Elote (Mexican Street Corn) is truly the best dip ever. Grilled corn mixed with a luscious creamy spicy mixture, spices, fresh cilantro, and Cotija cheese!
Elote or Mexican Street Corn is a summer must-make! Whether you leave it on the cob or as a dip, you seriously will fall head over heels in LOVE with it!
This will be your new party/bbq/cookout/because you got a bunch of fresh corn at the farmer’s market, dip for the rest of your life!
A Taste of Mexico
I first had this when I was traveling through Mexico. Street vendors galore had this. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of it.
What I love about it, which is odd as I hate mayo by itself, is that it’s made with simple ingredients.
Just like chicken noodle soup, every person has their own interpretation of it and what goes into making it.
I’ve had it with tons of spices and herbs and I’ve had it literally with just a coating of mayo, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime.
Let’s Talk Elote Ingredients
For mine, I went with what I consider standard ingredients as I always have these on hand but if you don’t have crema or Cotija, most grocery stores carry it these days.
- Fresh corn off the cob – though you can use flash-frozen corn kernels
- Jalapeno – you can add up to a whole one
- Seasonings – chili powder, cayenne, pepper, and kosher salt
- Dairy – mayo, and crema (can use sour cream or Queso Fresca as well)
- Herbs – Cilantro and no you can’t use a substitute
- Lime – you need that citrus to balance out the fat of the dairy
- Cheese – Cotija is a must. You can also add manchego if you want it meltier
Corn & Jalapeno Preparation
In the recipe card below I give you two ways to prepare the corn:
- Grilled corn on the cob plus grilled jalapeno
- Sauteed corn kernels (if you don’t have a grill like me)
Since I don’t have a grill I went with the stovetop method below.
- To stainless steel or cast iron pan add your oil or butter over medium heat. Once heated up, add your fresh corn kernels and jalapenos pieces.
- After about 8 minutes, add some salt and pepper and stir.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until you start to see some charred spots.
That GLORIOUS Sauce
This sauce is truly glorious with bites of heat and that acidic lime taste. It just cuts through that creamy fattiness of the mayo and crema. And it’s a breeze to make!
- To a bowl add the mayo, crema, cilantro, spices, and lime juice. Whisk together and taste for seasoning.
That’s it… really!
What is Mexican Crema?
Mexican Crema is simply a tangier, creamier version of American sour cream. It’s a tad thinner than sour cream and is sourer. If you can’t find it you can use full-fat sour cream.
Mixing up the Mexican Street Corn Dip
As mentioned in the recipe card, you have two options here:
- With just Cotija
- With Cotija and Manchego
The difference really is if you want it to have a meltier cheesiness to it or not. I, as the pictures show below, do.
- To the hot pan and sauteed corn, add the sauce, Cotija, and Manchego.
- Stir over medium heat until combined and the cheese just starts to melt.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved cilantro and Cotija and DEVOUR!!!
How to Serve
It goes without saying that tortilla chips are my preference but if you’re gluten-free or keto-friendly look for variations.
You can also serve this with celery and any type of veggie you can “scoop” with.
Crackers, Crusty bread and Crostini also work
But go beyond the dip…
- Burger Toppings – this on a chorizo burger is AMAZING!
- Pizza – this on a grilled chicken or grilled shrimp pizza with avocado is absolutely amazing!
- Side Dish – this as a side dish is so SO good!
- Wrap – this in a wrap with roasted veggies or barbacoa meat is epic for lunch!
Serving Guides/Storing/Reheating Instructions
Serving – because this has dairy it is recommended that this NOT sit out for more than two hours. If it’s SUPER hot out, it should be kept on a warmer or not left out for more than 30 minutes.
Storing your leftover dip – Is there such a thing as leftover Elote? To store, place the dip in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheating your dip – Transfer the dip to a heat-safe container. Heat in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Else you can microwave it in 15-30 second intervals.
Additions to this dip
While it’s perfect as-is, you can always add stuff to it.
- Bacon – Crispy, chopped bacon is a great addition
- Chorizo – Cooked, crumbled chorizo to add a bit more flair and heat
- Chipotle – a dash of chipotle powder or chopped peppers for when you want even more heat
- Tequila – yes, tequila. This is added with the lime and it adds a great boozy flavor to the dish
So this dish is forgiving…for SOME ingredients
- Cheese – Cotija is honestly the best for this but you can use feta (though it’s not exactly the same). Chiuahaha will work as well as manchego
- Mayo– instead of mayo you could try Greek Yogurt
- Crema – full-fat sour cream or Queso Fresco
What if I hate cilantro???
This is one you cannot swap out. No, parsley is not the same. If you want to use parsley instead go for it but it has to at least be fresh.
No, it will not taste the same but I get it – some folks hate cilantro, it’s all good.
What type of corn to use
I only recommend fresh corn on the cob OR flash-frozen corn. Do not use canned corn as it’s too water-logged for this.
- Fresh corn – bi-color or sweet corn is best
- Frozen – sweet corn and or a mixture of white corn
For More Delicious Dips & Corn Recipes, Try These:
- Homemade French Onion Dip
- Snickers Cheesecake Dip
- Corn Casserole
- Guinness Reuben Dip
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Dip
- White Bean & Corn Veggie Burgers
- 6 cups fresh corn kernels off the cob (or can use flash frozen kernels) – about 6 ears
- 1/2–1 whole jalapeno, seeded, membrane removed and minced (go with you heat preference) *If grilling, leave whole first. If sautéing, de-seed and mince.
- 2–3 tablespoon butter (unsalted) or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream (full fat), can also use queso fresco
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon cayenne *go with your heat preference
- 1/4cup chopped cilantro (reserve a teaspoon or so for garnish)
- 3/4–1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (reserve a tablespoon or so for garnish)
- 1/2 cup shredded Manchego *optional if you want a gooey cheesier dip
Grilling the corn & jalapeno
- Shuck the corn, coat each ear with some oil/butter and grill for about 2-3 minutes turning. Remove from the grill and, when cool enough to touch, cut the kernels off the cob. If you don’t have a grill you can sauté it.
- While the corn is grilling, place the jalapeno on the grill and grill for a few minutes or until it’s warmed through and has some grill marks. Remove from the grill and, when cool enough to touch, deseed, remove the membrane and mince however much you like.
Sautéing the corn
- Remove the kernels from the cob or use thawed flash-frozen corn. Place a large pan (cast iron or stainless steel – do not use non-stick) with 1-2 tablespoon of butter/oil in the pan over medium heat. Place the kernels and minced jalapenos in the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper, stir and continue cooking until cooked through and some browning occurs. ~10-12 minutes. Remove from the stove. You can leave the corn in the pan if adding Manchego or transfer it to a mixing bowl if not.
Make the Sauce
- In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, crema, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne, rest of the salt, rest of the pepper and cilantro. Whisk until combined.
- Place the pan of corn back on the stove over medium heat. To that add the sauce, Cotija and Manchego. Mix until well combined and cook for a few minutes or until the cheese just starts to melt. Taste for seasoning, adjust accordingly. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved cilantro, Cotija and serve with chips.
- To the bowl of corn, add the sauce and Cotija. Mix well to combine. Taste for seasoning, adjust accordingly. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved cilantro, Cotija and serve with chips.
Keywords: Elote, Mexican Street Corn Dip, elote recipe canned corn, elote fresh corn on the cob, mexican crema, hot mexican corn dip