Elote queso combines two of the best things ever: Mexican street corn and cheesy queso dip. All the flavors of beloved street corn in an easy dip to serve to friends and guests. The best part? The whole recipe comes together in 20 minutes!
What is Elote?
What is Queso?
Queso is Spanish for “cheese”, but the dip is a Tex-Mex staple popular all over the US. Queso is short for “chile con queso” which means “chile with cheese.” That’s the basis of this ooey, gooey, and slightly spicy cheese dip. This hyper-popular dip was born from a brick of Velveeta cheese and a can of Rotel tomatoes melted together. Since then, queso recipes have evolved past the two-ingredient origin into more exciting versions with personality.
How to Make Elote Queso
Ingredients You’ll need
- Corn. I love making elote queso at the peak of summer when corn is the best.
- Jalapeño. Jalapeño adds a hint of spice to queso and is a must for flavor! Because the cheese tempers the spice, I promise it won’t be too spicy!
- Ancho Chili Powder. Because elote street corn is often coated in chili powder, I made sure to add some to the queso for flavor.
- Lime. This recipe calls for both lime zest and juice which gives the queso a zippy and fresh flavor.
- Velveeta. Is it even queso without velveeta?
- Oaxaca cheese. Oaxaca cheese is a soft, melty Mexican cheese. If you can’t find it, substitute Monterrey jack.
- Cotija Cheese. Cotija cheese is a crumbly Mexican cheese similar to parmesan.
- Cilantro. Top your queso with fresh cilantro leaves for herbaceous flavor.
How to prepare Elote Queso
- Prep your veggies. Make sure to shave the corn from your cob, dice your onions and jalapeños, and shred your cheese before starting the recipe.
- Saute your corn, onions, and jalapeño. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of butter. Add your corn kernels, diced onion, and diced jalapeño to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and corn are starting to brown.
- Add your liquid and spices. To the skillet, add your chili powder and stir to combine. Then, stream in your half and half and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Melt your cheese. Once the half and half is simmering, add the cubed Velveeta, shredded Oaxaca cheese, and cotija. Stir until melted completely.
- Season and serve. Add your lime zest and juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with more cotija, sliced jalapeño, and fresh cilantro. Serve with corn tortilla chips.
FAQs about Elote Queso
Can I use canned corn to make elote queso?
Yes! I find that fresh corn is better, but canned corn will work. Just make sure to drain it really well before using.
Can I freeze Queso?
Dairy products tend to lose their texture and flavor once frozen, so I don’t recommend it.
How long will Elote queso last in the fridge?
Store your leftover queso in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Can queso be reheated?
Heck yes! You can microwave queso to reheat it, but I think it comes out better if you re-warm it in a non-stick skillet.
Is Queso gluten-free?
Yes! Queso is naturally gluten-free–just make sure the chips you serve with it are also gluten-free. This recipe for elote queso is also vegetarian!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try
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- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 1 jalapeño minced
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 2 cups half and half
- 6 oz Velveeta cheese cubed
- 6 oz Oaxaca cheese shredded
- 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese plus more for sprinkling
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves for topping
- Corn tortilla chips for serving
- Melt butter and olive oil together in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, onion, and jalapeño, and cook until the corn and onion are starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add chili powder to the skillet and stir to combine. Stream in the half and half and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Once the half and half is simmering, add the Velveeta, Oaxaca, and Cotija cheese to the skillet. Stir until melted. Add the lime juice and zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with more cotija cheese, cilantro, and a little sprinkling of ancho chili powder, if desired.
- Elote queso thickens as it sits--re-warm in the oven if it gets too thick.