Start to Finish: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Warm, cheesy corn dip with a hint of spiciness takes just minutes to prepare when you need a robust snack -- fast. A can opener, bowl, spoon and microwave oven are all the tools you need to whip up the satisfying blend of golden corn kernels smothered in silky white cheese with flecks of green chilies. Elegant in its simplicity and perfectly flavor-matched with tortilla or corn chips, the dip can be served plain or as a sophisticated appetizer with an array of savory seasonings and garnishes.
- 2 16-ounce cans of whole kernel corn
- 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese
- 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies
Open each can of corn and the chilies with a can opener. Hold the separated metal lid in place and gently press as you invert each can over the sink, allowing the liquid to drain out.
Tip the drained corn and chilies into a microwave-safe bowl.
Set the unwrapped blocks of cream cheese on top of the vegetables. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Microwave on the oven's standard or medium setting for 30 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the microwave and press the softened cream cheese into the corn and chili mixture. Sections of the cream cheese may not yet be melted, and that's OK at this point.
Microwave for another 30 seconds, then stir to blend all the ingredients.
Continue to microwave in 12- to 15-second intervals, stirring between each session, until the dip is completely warmed through. The finished dip should be just soft enough to slide off the spoon with ease, but not soupy.
Tips and Variations:
Boost the corn dip's basic flavor profile by stirring in one of these seasonings:
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
- 2 or 3 dashes of hot sauce.
Increase the cheesy flavor balance by mixing 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese into the mixture.
Two boxes, or about 3 cups, of frozen whole-kernel corn can be used instead of canned corn. Thaw the corn thoroughly and place it in strainer to allow excess moisture to drain off before using it in the dip recipe.
Substitute 2 8-ounce blocks of American Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese to create a reduced-fat dip. Neufchatel is typically found next to full-fat cream cheese in the grocery store's refrigerated section.
Corn and cream cheese dip can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated in a covered container. Before serving, microwave for about 90 seconds. Then stir and microwave in 10- to 15-second intervals until the dip is warm and soft.
Roasted Corn Variation
Mix the drained corn kernels with 2 tablespoons of melted butter or vegetable oil, a large pinch of salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste.
Spread the mixture in a single layer on a cookie sheet with low sides.
Roast the coated corn on the top shelf of an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, stir the corn and spread it evenly again across the pan's surface. Return the pan to the oven for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the kernels have turned a light golden brown.
Stir the hot corn and drained green chilies into cream cheese that has been softened for 1 minute in the microwave. If necessary, microwave the mixture for another 30 to 60 seconds until it reaches a smooth dipping consistency.
For a no-frills, hurry-up snack, corn and cream cheese dip can easily be served in the same bowl you use for preparation accompanied by an open bag of corn chips.
To create a festive party presentation, spread the dip in a low, wide bowl. Sprinkle the top with olive slices, diced tomatoes, thin-sliced green onion tops and fresh cilantro. Serve with bowls of blue-corn and white-corn tortilla chips.
Make elegant, individual appetizers by arranging fresh-baked homemade sweet potato chips on small plates. Add a scoop of corn and cream-cheese dip to each serving and garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.
Use an oven mitt to handle the bowl when you remove it from the microwave and return it after stirring.
Carefully lift the plastic wrap covering the bowl from the side farthest from your body to prevent any steam build-up from damaging your face or hands.
Use reinforced oven mitts to handle the cookie sheet when you are removing or placing it in the hot oven when you make roasted corn and cream cheese dip.
- The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook; Donna Klein; 2004
- Photo Credit gorkemdemir/iStock/Getty Images
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