Mexican Street Corn Queso – Creamy white queso is cooked with green chiles and roasted corn to make for a yummy twist on the classic cheese dip.
Who else is snacking wayyyyy more than they like to admit while stuck at home? It’s so hard to stay away from the pantry when you’re home 24/7. I’ve been trying to eat only healthy snacks but every once and a while I break down and make something to indulge my unhealthy side.
This queso was a result of those cravings. Homemade queso is one of my favorite things to make. I decided to switch up my recipe a little and combine the queso with another one of my favorite foods – Mexican street corn. The result was a smooth, spicy queso with bites of sweet, charred corn. I don’t need to tell you how incredible each bite was!
Without further ado, here is my Mexican Street Corn Queso!
What is Mexican street corn?
Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is usually served on the cob, charred, and then covered with typical toppings of mayo, cheese, chopped cilantro, and sprinkled with spices like paprika and cayenne. It’s one of my favorite side dishes to order at Mexican restaurants.
For this queso, we take those same flavors as inspiration and add them to my white queso. Let’s talk through how that queso is made.
How to make this queso
Charring the Corn
The most important flavor in this queso is the charred corn. It’s what takes this queso from ordinary to extraordinary. To char the corn, I just do it on the stovetop. This keeps me from having to buy corn on the cob and grilling it. You only need one cup of corn kernels for this recipe so stovetop is the easier option.
Once the corn is charred, we set it aside to make the queso.
Making the queso
To make queso from scratch, you need to start with a roux of butter and flour. This ensures the queso is nice and thick. Half and half is added to the roux and heated slowly. You don’t want it to be too hot or it will burn and/or cause the cheese to separate.
Once the half and half is heated, the shredded cheese is slowly added about 1/4 cup at a time. I use a combination of Monterrey Jack cheese and pepper jack cheese. They are both great melting cheeses but the pepperjack has an added spice that adds great flavor to any queso.
Once all the cheese is added, I add in green chiles, garlic powder, and ground cayenne for more spice. Finally, the corn is stirred into the queso. I like to save some of the corn kernels to place on top of the queso for a nice presentation with some Parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro.
Tips & Tricks
- I use cheese that I shred myself. Cheese that you buy already shredded has additives that makes the cheese not stick together. These additives make it hard for the cheese to melt together into one cohesive piece.
- To make a queso with real cheese, you need to slowly melt the cheese into the milk base. Otherwise, the cheese will clump up and never get smooth. Don’t worry though – my recipe below will walk you through the right steps to make sure this doesn’t happen.
- Be very careful not to heat the milk mixture too high – if it’s too hot, the cheese will begin to separate once it’s added to it. It’s not a pretty sight.
Mexican Street Corn Queso
- 1 cup corn kernels (from canned or frozen)
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese shredded
- 4 ounces pepperjack cheese shredded
- 1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- tortilla chips for serving
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- ¼ teaspoon chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
- First, add corn to a skillet with ½ teaspoon of oil. Cook on medium-high until the corn begins to char, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter and let it melt completely. Once melted, add flour and whisk together to make a roux. Once flour and butter have combined, let it cook until it starts to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Very slowly whisk in the half and half.
- Let the milk mixture heat up until bubbles start to form around the edge. Reduce heat to low. Add about 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture and whisky continuously until it completely melts. Repeat with rest of cheese in 1/4-cup increments. Do NOT add more than 1/4 cup of cheese at a time. Otherwise, the cheese will clump up and remain lumpy.
- Once the cheese is completely smooth and melted, add diced chiles, 3/4 cup of corn, and spices. Stir together with a wooden spoon. Raise heat back to medium to get the cheese nice and hot. Continue stirring until cheese is hot.
- Give cheese a taste. Add salt and pepper, if necessary. Place cheese into a large skillet or other serving dish. Toss the remaining corn with Parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro. Place on top of the queso. Slice fresh jalapeno and place on top of the queso. Serve queso with a bowl of tortilla chips.