Let’s all be honest. I feel just a tad healthier when I’m eating a dip built mainly on veggies- even if that veggie is corn and then dotted with crunchy bacon bits and held together with rich cream cheese and sour cream.
Texas Caviar used to be the dish that nearly every hostess asked me to bring, but lately the tides have turned and Creamy Corn Dip took first place. If we are being honest, this big hit requires much less chopping so I am totally satisfied with the shift. Almost like zesty creamed corn for a dip!
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Hot Corn Dip Recipe
Bacon is a magical ingredient that pretty much makes everything taste better, right? Creamy Corn Dip can be made without bacon if you are vegetarian or if the meal is meat-heavy.
This hot corn dip, sometimes called Fiesta Dip or Mexican Corn Dip, is a surefire appetizer because it is easy to make, it is rich, creamy, sweet, salty, and has just a touch of heat. It is also ready to go in 30 minutes or less.
If you choose to go that route, be sure to remember that the bacon is not only adding meaty flavor but also crunch and more importantly salt. The salt amount will need to be adjusted to taste.
Really any of the ingredients can easily be omitted, doubled or swapped. Except for the corn and the cream cheese of course, because that would defeat the purpose of this creamy appetizer recipe.
- Bacon- Use whatever bacon or thickness you prefer. I usually just grab a center cut piece for maximum bacon and the least fat. You can use precooked bacon or bacon bits, but you’ll need some sort of other oil, like vegetable or canola oil, to use instead of the rendered bacon grease, which adds tremendous flavor.
- Sweet Corn– Corn can be frozen (thawed and drained), canned (drained well) or even fresh corn cut off the cob.
- Red Onion– Red gives a nice onion flavor and gorgeous color, but feel free to use a different type.
- Fresh Green Chile– Look for a chile pepper that is milder on the Scoville scale. We liked poblano, or if it happens to be Hatch chile season, one of those. Canned can be substituted, but don’t add it until the end because it is already softened and will disintegrate if added too early. If sweat beads are your objective, chop of a fresh jalapeno pepper in addition to or instead of green chilies.
- Bell Peppers- Red and orange give this dish a fiesta of colors with sweet flavor, but green and yellow are fantastic too.
- Cream Cheese– Any fat content will work. Cut into cubes to help it melt faster and smoother.
- Sour Cream– Loosens the sauce a bit to make it more dip-able. Greek yogurt or Mexicana Cream are other options.
- Cheeses- Freshly shredded cheese will always melt better than pre-shredded. Use a blend or just one type. Cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese or other Mexican cheeses like cotija cheese, or quesa fresco make for a delicious dip.
- Sugar– Balances the acids and tartness.
- Coarse Salt- Salt enhances natural flavors and balances the heat. Use a coarse salt for best results. If using fine salt, reduce the amount to 1/4-1/2 teaspoon. Remember the bacon will also add saltiness.
- Hot Sauce– This dish isn’t naturally spicy unless you use a hotter chile pepper, so if you want heat, add add sauce or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Lime- I used lime slices for garnish, but a spritz of fresh lime juice is divine for quickly brightening the whole dish.
- Tortilla Chips, Carrots, Potato Chips, Fritos or Celery Sticks– Use whatever you like for serving!
This hot corn dip can be assembled ahead of time and then heated in the oven when you are ready to serve. Just pop it into the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until it is back to being soft and creamy.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, be patient and don’t crank of the heat. Bacon will burn and so will the grease. Add the bacon, cooking for 6-7 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess and chop when cooled.
- Drain the bacon fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet which will be used as the oil to saute veggies. If you use precooked bacon, just use 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or canola oil. Reheat (if you turned off the heat) the skillet to medium and add the chopped vegetables. Cook for 4 minutes, just long enough to cook slightly, but keep the snap.
- Add the corn kernels.
- Stir in the cream cheese and seasonings until smooth. Cubing the cream cheese or having it be room temperature will speed up the process and prevent the other veggies from overcooking.
- Stir in the cooked bacon and cheese.
- Transfer to a serving dish or baking dish, top with the fresh lime, optional, and serve with tortilla chips or other desired dipping options. Green onions (scallions), fresh cilantro, a dusting of taco seasoning or chile powder are also good toppers.
Make Ahead & Leftovers
This dish can be assembled up to a day ahead of time and then heated when ready to serve.
If you want to get creative, the sky’s the limit. Leftovers (which are rare when it comes to this dish)are a great way to create new and fun mashups for the dinner table. The possibilities are truly endless.
Add it on top or some yellow or blue corn chips with all the normal fixings for the ultimate game day nachos. Maybe you are making burritos for dinner and this can be used as part of the stuffing.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, but I doubt it will last that long. Enjoy it cold, at room temperature or reheated.
If you like this easy recipe, try these other great appetizer recipes:
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Olive Oil Bread Dip
- Maryland Crab Cakes
- Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Mexican Street Corn Dip
Creamy Hot Corn Dip
- 6 strips center cut bacon
- 3 cups corn kernels
- 1/2 red onion , chopped
- 1 fresh green chile , such as Hatch green chile, poblano or Anaheim, seeded and chopped *
- 1 red bell pepper , seeded and chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper , seeded and chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened or cubed
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce , optional
- 1 cup shredded cheese , such as cheddar or Mexican blends
- Fresh lime wedges
- Tortilla Chips , for serving
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon, cooking for 6-7 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and chop when cooled.
- Drain the bacon fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Reheat (if you turned it off) to medium heat and add the corn, red onion, green chile and both bell peppers. Cook for 4 minutes until slightly soft, but still crisp.
- Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, salt and hot sauce, if desired. Stir until it has melted and smooth. Stir in the bacon and shredded cheeses.
- Transfer to a serving dish, top with fresh lime, if desired, and serve with desired chips. Serve warm.
- If you have tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.