Elote Corn Dip

Elote Dip - This recipe is my take on the corn dip appetizer at Elote cafe in Sedona, AZ, that is based on the flavors of South American street corn, YUM!


Elote Corn Dip

Jump to Recipe

Betsy ran off with her mom and a friend for a lady’s weekend in Sedona last weekend (tough life right?).  She came back a slight Irish tan and tales of a delicious dinner at Elote Cafe. She said everything was delicious but one of her favorite things they tried was a simple creamed corn kind of appetizer served with crispy tortillas.

I thought it would be fun to try and recreate this based on how she explained it. It turned out amazing. It’s also very different from most dips you’ll find in a Cinco de Mayo spread this weekend. It’ll stand out in the guacamole/queso line-up for sure.

Elote means corn in Spanish but it typically means corn on the cob. This Elote Dip is a riff on a classic South American street food that involves corn on the cob topped with crumbled cheese and spices.

Elote Corn Dip at Home

Serves 4 as an appetizer
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Print Recipe

Rate This Recipe

Just a moment please...

Did you make this?

Instagram logo

Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.

This recipe is my take on the corn dip appetizer at Elote cafe in Sedona, AZ, that is based on the flavors of South American street corn, YUM!

Adapted from a Food.com recipe.


4 ears sweet corn
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 lime, juice only
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable stock
1/4 cup Cotija cheese, garnish
Cilantro, garnish
Chili powder, garnish
Tortilla chips


1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out corn on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning once, until corn is well charred. You can also grill the corn over medium heat.

2) Let corn cool briefly and then shuck. Cut corn kernels off the cob. I find it helpful to cut kernels off in a bowl so the kernels don’t scatter all over.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together mayo, lime, hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and stock.

4) Add sauce to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until it starts to bubble.

5) STir in corn and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens and the corn is heated through.

6) Transfer corn to a serving bowl (or split between a few) and garnish with crumbled cheese, cilantro, and chili powder. Serve with chips!

Elote Dip

Prepping the Corn

I’m not sure what kind of corn the original recipe uses for this Elote Dip, but Betsy confirmed that the kernels were nice and big. My guess is that they use some sort of artisan corn. I didn’t look too hard for this and just used plain old sweet corn which you should be able to find in the store this time of year.

You’ll need about four big ears of corn to get started. Just lay them out on a baking sheet and roast them at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, turning them once or twice throughout the roasting process. You can also grill them over medium heat if you happen to have your grill going.

charred corn for Elote Dip
After a quick char.

Let the corn cool until you can handle them and then remove the husks. When it comes to cutting the kernels off, I like to do it in a large bowl. This way when the kernels come off, they won’t scatter all over the place.

shucked corn for Elote Dip

Once you have the corn roasted and shucked, the hard part of the recipe is done!

The Sauce Breakdown

Let’s just get this out of the way: The sauce on this Elote Dip is a mayonnaise base. I actually thought about making a homemade mayo for my version but decided that there was enough other stuff going into the dish that it probably wouldn’t be noticeable.

sauce for Elote Dip
The sauce basics.

Stir together the mayo, hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, lime juice, and stock in a small bowl. If you don’t have some stock available, I wouldn’t recommending buying it just for this dish since you only need a few tablespoons. You could use water with maybe a dash of worcestershire sauce to thin the mixture a bit.

stir - Elote Dip

Add the sauce ingredients to a large skillet over medium heat and cook it until it starts to bubble. Then toss in all your corn kernels!

simmering the Elote Dip
All together now…

Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes until the whole mixture thickens nicely. It won’t take long.

Your finished Elote Dip will look something like this:

done - Elote Dip
Very tasty.


This Elote Dip is great as-is, but the garnishes are really important in my opinion.

garnish the Elote Dip
I really love these garnishes.

When you are ready to serve, pile the corn in a serving bowl and top it with a good amount of each garnish. A good sprinkle of chili powder is essential.

Elote Dip ~ Macheesmo
From the side.

Serve this with lots of tortilla chips and dig in!

Elote Dip from Macheesmo
Action shot.

Like I said, this is a very different Tex-Mex dip and I doubt that your Cinco de Mayo friends will duplicate it if you bring it to a party. It will also disappear because it’s super-addictive.

Happy Cuatro de Mayo everybody!

14 Responses to “Elote Corn Dip” Leave a comment

    1. Any Latin market would have it, but you can also use queso fresco which most supermarkets will have. Depending on where you live you can probably find Cotija in your deli/cheese section of the grocery store. The dip is fine without it though also. Good luck!

  1. This looks amazing! Two questions: 1) Do you think using siracha instead of plain hot sauce would overtake the flavors? and 2) could greek yogurt be used as a substitute for the mayo?

    Thanks Nick!

    1. I think sriracha would be delicious, but I’m kind of nutso about it… You might go a bit lighter on it to start and see how the flavor is.

      I think you could sub yogurt without too much issue…

      Good luck!

  2. So yummy we wanted to eat it with spoons!
    I skipped the lime juice and went with a mayo that came pre-flavored with lime. I had trouble finding Cotija but feta worked just great.

  3. The original Elote recipe is available online – google Elote Restaurant Elote recipe. This version looks close enough to me that I have to wonder if the author is claiming to “come close” on her own instincts but really just borrowed heavily from the original. We just got back from Sedona and the real recipe is available both in the cookbook sold at the restaurant and online. Why settle for this hack?

    1. Hey David,
      Just to be clear… I always credit a source recipe when I use one. In this case I used a Food.com recipe which I link to right under the recipe. I’m always super transparent about that stuff. I try to make recipes more accessible by doing step-by-step photos and maybe introducing something new to people who read my blog regularly. If that’s being a hack, then I guess I’m guilty!

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *