Introducing the perfect party appetizer: warm corn dip!

This warm sweet corn dip with jalopenos and feta is the perfect party appetizer!

This warm sweet corn dip with jalopeños and feta is the perfect party appetizer!
This warm corn dip is flavored with garlic, jalopeños, cilantro, green onions, hot sauce and a toasty layer of feta cheese. It’s sweet, salty, a touch spicy, creamy and crunchy. In other words, it’s the perfect way to kick off your next party (new video below!).

I love corn. I love dip. I love corn dip.

As a Midwestern girl at heart, I have two big obsessions: sweet corn (which you can read about here, here and here) and Mexican-style dips. “Mexican” dips were a staple of my childhood in Illinois, usually involving seven layers, or taco seasoning, or tons of melted cheese, or gobs of mayonnaise, or all of the above (in other words, they weren’t Mexican at all). In high school I even gained a reputation of sorts for my refried bean-spicy sour cream-avocado-cheddar cheese-iceberg lettuce stratified concoction that I’d cart to parties (I’m not ashamed to admit that I used food to make friends). While I don’t have a craving for that dip anymore (nor for the Bud Light that usually accompanied it), I do have a huge appetite for this warm corn dip.

Will you Elote with me?

This warm sweet corn dip with feta and jalopenos is the perfect party appetizer!

The recipe was inspired from The Elote Café Cookbook, which my parents bought for me a few years ago after vacationing in Sedona, AZ. My mom (who has the same affection for corn + dips as I do) told me that I had to make their signature dish, Elote, which is a dip incorporating all of the flavors of Mexican street corn. The dip is bound loosely with mayonnaise and is seasoned with lime juice, Cholula, cotija cheese and cilantro. It’s super simple but totally crave-worthy—the type of thing that I can put out at parties and watch disappear in minutes. Over the years I’ve adapted the recipe to my own tastes, adding garlic and jalapeño, cutting back on the mayo and swapping in some sour cream, and adding easy-to-find feta. I also broil the dip until it’s lightly toasted and bubbling. While you can grill the corn before adding it (as the original recipes instructs) I streamline things by simply cooking corn kernels directly in a cast iron skillet before scraping in the other ingredients (you can also use leftover cooked corn—simply omit the sautéing step).

The dip gets served straight out of the skillet with tortilla chips for scooping. The combination of the warm, sweet dip with the crunchy chips might just start a new obsession. I’d be happy to bring it to your next party.

What you’ll need for this recipe:

10-inch cast iron skillet: A heavy cast iron skillet is one of my kitchen essentials, used for everything from searing steaks, to making cornbread, to roasting chicken, and it looks just as good on the table as it functions on the stove (if you don’t have one, use a regular 10-inch skillet instead).

This warm sweet corn dip with jalopeños and feta is the perfect party appetizer!

Watch the video!

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This warm sweet corn dip with jalapeños and feta is the perfect party appetizer!
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Creamy Warm Corn Dip with Jalapeños and Feta

This warm corn dip is flavored with garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, green onions, hot sauce and a toasty layer of feta cheese, and it gets served straight out of a cast iron skillet with tortilla chips for scooping. It’s sweet, salty, a touch spicy, creamy and crunchy. In other words, it’s the perfect way to kick off your next party. It can even be made ahead and then reheated when your guests arrive. Feel free to add more jalapeño peppers and/or keep their seeds in if you like things spicy. Also, instead of sautéing the corn, you can grill it first on the cob, then cut off the kernels and omit the sautéing step. You’ll want to use hearty tortilla chips here, nothing too thin or delicate, as they’ll break.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups corn kernels (from 4-5 cobs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small or ½ large jalapeño, seeded and minced (keep the seeds in if you like it spicy!)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream (full fat)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Cholula brand
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Ancho chile powder, for serving (optional)
  • Sturdy tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Add the corn, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bright yellow and lightly toasted in spots, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, jalapeño and scallions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and add the broth, lime juice, mayonnaise, sour cream and hot sauce. Cook until slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the cilantro, and season with a bit more salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle the feta over top.

  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Slide the dip into the oven on the top shelf under the heating element. Broil until lightly browned on top, about 3-5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Dust with ancho chile powder, if you’d like, and garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and scallions. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

Make it Ahead: The dip can be left at room temperature for up to 1 hour, or refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Reheat gently on the stovetop before proceeding.

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This warm corn dip with jalopenos and feta is the perfect party appetizer!