Kirbie's Cravings

Mexican Corn Salad Dip

This Mexican corn dip is easy to make, can be served hot or cold, and is perfect to serve at a party.

close-up photo of a chip being dipped in Mexican Corn Salad Dip

One of my favorite things to eat is corn and this Mexican street corn dip recipe is now one of my favorite ways to eat it. This is a dish I plan on eating all summer long. I love the flavor and it’s really easy to make.

Recipe Inspiration

This easy dip recipe is inspired by Mexican street corn, which usually comes in two forms: Elotes and Esquites.

Elotes is grilled corn on the cob, slathered in mayonnaise, butter, cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. Esquites is in off-the-cob version of elotes.

In San Diego, elotes is available at farmer’s markets and many Mexican restaurants. But I prefer an off-the-cob version because I hate getting corn stuck in my teeth, especially if I’m dining out. So, I decided to make my own homemade version.

You can serve this dip with tortilla chips for a party appetizer, but we also enjoy it as a side dish with grilled chicken or steak. You can also pair it with your favorite Mexican dishes.

photo of Mexican Corn Salad Dip


  • Corn
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chili powder
  • Lime juice
  • Cotija cheese
  • Cilantro

Corn: Ideally, this dish should be made with grilled fresh corn. If you don’t have a grill, you can slice off the kernels and cook them on the stove. You can substitute frozen corn or canned corn and char the kernels in a pan on the stove, too.

Cheese: If you’re unfamiliar with cotija cheese, it’s a dry, crumbly, salty cheese that is used in a lot of Mexican dishes. It’s fairly easy to find cotija cheese in San Diego, but if you have trouble finding it you can substitute it with finely crumbled feta cheese. Feta cheese is saltier than cotija cheese so you might want to reduce the amount.

Mayo: I know some people don’t like mayonnaise, but it really does make the dip delicious. If you prefer to leave it out, I recommend substituting sour cream instead.

Other Optional Mix-Ins: If you want to dress up your dip, you can add finely diced jalapeño pepper, a little shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, or diced green chiles. You could also add your favorite hot sauce to taste.

How to Make It

Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and cook it until it’s warm and slightly charred. If you don’t have a cast-iron pan you can use a non-stick large skillet.

Lower the heat and add the mayo, cheese, seasonings, lime juice, and cilantro. Stir to combine the mixture and then serve the dip warm in a serving bowl or you can serve it at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe Tips

I’ve eaten this dish both hot and room temperature. When it’s hot, it’s super creamy and cheesy. It works great as a dip with tortilla chips.

When it’s room temperature or cold, it’s still very flavorful and delicious and works great as a refreshing summer salad or side dish.

You can garnish it with more cheese and cilantro before serving.

overhead photo of Mexican Corn Salad Dip

If you’re hosting a BBQ or Cinco de Mayo party, this Mexican corn dip recipe is a great recipe to try. It’s especially good during the summer when fresh corn is available but can be made all year for any occasion. I hope you enjoy it!

More Appetizers and Snacks

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
This easy corn dish can be eaten hot or cold and works both as a dip or a refreshing summer salad.


  • 4 cups corn kernels (frozen, fresh or canned will all work)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp cotija cheese crumbled
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika optional
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped


  • Add butter to large cast iron skillet and bring to medium high heat. Add corn and cook until warm and cooked through and slightly charred.
  • Reduce heat and toss hot corn in mayonnaise, cheese, chili powder, paprika, lime juice and cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips or room temperature as a salad. Garnish with additional cilantro and cojita cheese right before serving if desired.


  • I used frozen corn. This dish can also be made with fresh corn. If using fresh corn, you can either grill the corn while on the cob and then slice off the kernels and use or slice off raw kernels from cob and cook them on the stove. 
  • If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they sell frozen fire roasted corn. I like to use this whenever possible because it saves me the step of charring the corn.
  • If you don't like to eat spicy, reduce the amount of chili powder.
  • Cojita is a dry crumbly salty cheese used in Mexican cuisine. If you can't find cojita cheese you can substitute with feta. Feta cheese is saltier than cojita so you will need to be careful and use less of it.


Serving: 0.17of recipe, Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 382mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, NET CARBS: 18g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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3 comments on “Mexican Corn Salad Dip”

  1. I’m glad to know i don’t have to char corn on the grill. We got rid of our grill recently because it was so old and not working anymore. Would love to make this recipe. Our daughter loves the off the cob version – so much easier to eat and fun too! Great recipe Kirbie!

    • We still have our grill but we rarely use it. It’s pretty easy to char it on the stove. Or to make it even easier, buy the frozen charred corn from Trader Joe’s! That’s what I’ve been doing to make this even faster.

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