Spicy Corn Queso Dip

Spicy Corn Queso Dip

A cheesy, spicy, delicious dip that will ruin you for all other party snacks. Make a double batch – it’ll go fast.



3 jalapeño peppers
2 tsp canola oil
2 C frozen corn kernels, defrosted
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
3 T butter
3 T all-purpose flour
2 ¼ C whole milk
5 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 ½ C pepper jack cheese, grated (pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes to make grating easier)
1 ½ C sharp cheddar cheese, grated (ditto)
34 dashes hot sauce


Over a medium-high flame on a gas burner, char the jalapeños whole, turning occasionally until they are black all over – this usually takes me about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a gas range, no worries, just put them in a dry, cast iron skillet and char in the pan. This takes longer but achieves the same effect. Place charred jalapeños in a plastic zipper bag and let steam while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

In a cast iron skillet heat oil over a medium-high flame until shimmering, but not smoking. Add corn and spread into one even layer. Let corn cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, then stir. It should be starting to brown and char in a few places – it may even pop a bit. Add salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Lower heat to medium-low. Add butter to skillet. When completely melted add flour and whisk until no dry flour remains. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add milk, slowly at first, whisking constantly to incorporate the flour mixture. You’ll notice at the beginning it will start to thicken dramatically, just keep adding more milk and whisk thoroughly to avoid lumps. Once all the milk is in, bring to a gentle boil and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low and add all the cheeses. Stir until everything is completely melted. Turn off heat.

Rescue the jalapeños from the plastic bag and using the edge of a knife blade, scrape the charred skin off of the peppers. They don’t have to be pristine so don’t worry too much. Remove the stems and finely chop the jalapeños. I left the seeds in. If you’d like something milder go ahead and de-seed them before you chop them.

Add the jalapeños and hot sauce to the queso and stir to combine. Taste and add more jalapeño if desired. Season with salt if necessary.


Jalapeños are tricky in that sometimes they’ll turn you into a fire breathing dragon and other times you’ll just get a dud. I suggest preparing all three jalapeños (or more if you’re a dirty, rule breaker), but adding them into the queso one at a time so you can taste and decide what’s right for you.

Also, please grate your own cheese. It doesn’t have to be the fanciest block at the store, in fact I think it works better if it’s not, but the pre-grated kind has weird stuff like anti-clumping agents in there. “Mmm…those anti-clumping agents taste mighty fine” said no one, ever.

If you want to make this ahead, just let the finished queso cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each.

Keywords: corn queso, party dip, party snacks, spicy queso dip