This street corn dip with cream cheese starts with griddle corn and bacon, and then it’s finished in the smoker or the oven. If you’re looking for a fantastic and easy smoked corn dip recipe for you next party, this is it!
The wife and I were roaming the aisles of the grocery store a few days ago and we spotted a new Elotes style street corn dip in the refrigerator section. It looked fantastic, and the ingredients listed on the label were pretty common and inexpensive, so I figured I could take that idea and run with it. You never know when inspiration will strike!
We had recently made this Mexican style street corn on the griddle, and smoked cream cheese dips seem to be gaining popularity lately, so we decided to combine the two ideas into this one epic party dip.
And this Smoked Street Corn Dip with cream cheese, shredded cheese, and frozen corn kernels was born!
I made a big batch to take to a family gathering and it was gone in about 20 minutes flat, so you know it’s good!
Here’s how to make this easy street corn dip, combining both the griddle (or an indoor skillet) and the grill:
What is Street Corn?
Street corn, sometimes called Mexican street corn, is a popular Mexican street food made from grilled or boiled corn on the cob. The corn is typically slathered with a creamy chile mayo sauce, sprinkled with Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro, and served with a fresh squeeze of lime.
When the corn is cut off the cob and served in a cup, then the street corn is known as “esquites“. For Mexican street corn served on the cob, the popular snack is called “elotes”. Both are fantastic, full of flavor, and easy to make. And Mexican-style street corn is definitely my favorite way to eat corn.
Ingredients for Smoked Street Corn Dip
The ingredients for this Mexican corn dip are very similar to the ingredients for street corn, with a few additions to make it more “dippable”. Here’s what you need:
- Corn. You can use fresh corn on the cob, canned corn, or frozen corn kernels for this recipe.
- Cream cheese.
- Sour cream.
- Shredded cheese. I suggest grating the cheese yourself instead of using packaged shredded cheese. We used one block of pepper jack and one block of sharp cheddar, but feel free to experiment with different cheeses.
- Diced green chiles.
- Jalapeños. We used seeded and diced fresh jalapeños, but if you want your street corn dip to be spicier, you can leave in the seeds or substitute jarred pickled jalapeños instead.
- Street corn seasoning. You may see this labeled as “Elote Seasoning” in the grocery store. Trader Joe’s has a version called “Everything But the Elote Seasoning Blend” and we used this Elote Loco Street Corn Blend. Or, you can substitute Tajin, a classic Mexican chile lime seasoning that you can find at most grocery stores.
- Cotija cheese. This popular Mexican cheese is similar to a parmesan cheese, but saltier. Cotija is more of a dry, crumbly cheese with a slight nutty flavor, and it’s
- often used as a garnish since it doesn’t melt very well.
How to Make Corn Dip with Cream Cheese
This easy corn dip is a crowd favorite, and it’s the perfect appetizer to bring to a party. Here’s how to make this street corn dip with cream cheese, bacon, and a whole bunch of flavor:
Step 1: Prep your Mexican corn dip ingredients.
Start by preparing the ingredients for the street corn dip. Shred the cheeses and chop the cilantro, green onion, and jalapenos like this:
*NOTE – We used two large seeded jalapenos in our smoked corn dip, and the dip was not spicy at all. And that’s coming from my wife who doesn’t have much of a spice tolerance. If you want a spicier corn dip, you can keep the seeds in the jalapenos or use the hot variety of canned green chiles.
Step 2: Cook the corn and bacon.
Start by cooking bacon until it’s crispy. You can do this inside in a skillet on the stovetop, or use your outdoor griddle like I did. To do so, chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces and add it to the preheated griddle. Saute the chopped bacon a bit as it cooks. When the bacon is done, remove it from the griddle and transfer to a paper towel to drain some of the grease off.
You can reserve just a bit of the leftover bacon grease on your griddle top to flavor the corn, and then scrape the rest of the grease into the grease trap. You don’t want too much extra fat in your corn, because the fat from the cheeses and bacon will release as the hot cream cheese corn dip cooks on the smoker.
While the bacon is draining, add the corn, diced jalapenos, and sliced green onions to the griddle. Saute until warm, about 2-3 minutes. Then, add the cooked bacon to the mixture and saute for another 1-2 minutes, just to incorporate all of the flavors together.
Your griddle should look something like this at this point:
Step 3: Mix all of the corn dip ingredients together and spread in a cast iron skillet.
When the fried corn and bacon are done cooking, simply add the mixture to a large mixing bowl with all of the other ingredients. Mix everything together, and then transfer to a large cast iron skillet. Or, if you’re going to be making your corn and cream cheese dip in the oven, then you can use a glass baking dish like a Pyrex.
*NOTE – You don’t have to mix the dip completely before cooking it, because the cream cheese will be harder to incorporate at this time.
Step 4: Smoke the Mexican corn dip and serve.
Preheat your pellet grill or smoker to 250 degrees F. Or you can also cook the dip in the oven if you prefer.
Here’s what my street corn dip with cream cheese looked like when I first set it on the Pit Boss Navigator pellet grill:
*The pan above is a 3.6 quart Lodge enameled cast iron casserole dish. If you’re going to be smoking your corn dip on the grill, then you can also use a regular cast iron skillet.
After about 1 hour, open your smoker and carefully stir the dip so that all of the cheeses and other ingredients are incorporated well. Your smoked street corn dip should look something like this:
After stirring, continue to cook the dip for another 15-20 minutes. Then, just remove it from the grill (or the oven), allow it to cool a bit, and stir again before adding garnishes like some sliced green onions, a sprinkling of chopped bacon, Cotija cheese, or some sliced fresh jalapeños.
And then your easy Mexican street corn dip is ready to serve to your party crowd:
Hope your family loves this Mexican street corn dip as much as mine did! And be sure to check out some of my other pellet grill appetizer recipes:
- Smoked Pig Shots – These little nuggets of cheese-filled pork are fantastic!
Smoked Street Corn Dip with Cream Cheese
- 16 oz bacon chopped
- 4 cups corn *I used 2 – 10 oz. bags of frozen corn that had been thawed in the fridge overnight.
- 2 large jalapeños seeded and diced
- 3 green onions sliced
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese shredded
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 4 oz can diced green chiles
- ¼ cup Cotija cheese
- 2-3 tbsp street corn seasoning *Or substitute Tajin chile lime seasoning.
- fresh sliced jalapenos, sliced green onions, chopped cooked bacon for garnish
- Heat a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F.
- Add chopped bacon to the skillet and cook until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, reserving a small amount of bacon grease in the skillet.
- Add corn, diced jalapeños, and sliced green onions to the skillet in the bacon grease. Saute until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the cooked bacon to the vegetables and saute an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the corn and bacon mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheeses, diced green chiles, Cotija cheese, street corn seasoning, and cilantro to the bowl. Mix to combine. *The corn dip does not need to be fully mixed at this stage. You will mix it again when the cheeses are melted.
- Spread the corn dip mixture into a 12" cast iron skillet or enameled cast iron casserole dish. If baking in the oven, you can add the dip to a glass baking dish. Place the cast iron skillet on the smoker and cook for about 1 hour at 250 degrees F.
- After about 1 hour, stir the smoked street corn dip so that all ingredients are combined. Continue to cook another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the dip from the smoker and allow to cool slightly. Garnish with fresh sliced jalapeños, sliced green onions, and a sprinkle of Cotija cheese. Serve warm with your favorite tortilla chips or corn chips.
- If you don’t have a smoker, you can bake this hot Mexican corn dip in the oven in a glass baking dish or cast iron skillet.
- For a spicier dip, use the hot variety of canned green chiles or leave the seeds in your jalapeños.