Some time ago, I was squatting in front of a lower shelf at Trader Joe’s, twirling a jar of Cowboy Caviar Salsa in my hands, wondering if I should get it. “Oh my gosh! You have to try that. It’s sooooo good. And you have to make the corn dip recipe on the website. I make it every week,” said a neighborly employee that was stacking chicken broth nearby (they must swallow sunshine every morning and that’s why they glow joy).
I bought the salsa, made the dip, and now I am here, many years, many jars, and many dips later, to share the recipe with you. It’s out-of-this-world delicious, so easy to make, and I have yet to meet anyone that won’t go back for more.
This recipe is inspired by the Kickin’ Corn Dip recipe created by the Trader Joe’s test kitchen. Their recipe calls for five ingredients: cream cheese, the Cowboy Caviar Salsa, two kinds of cheese (Pepper Jack and Mexican-style blend), and roasted corn. I make mine without the Pepper Jack and roasted corn—honestly because it’s two less ingredients to buy and I don’t miss them. Plus, the salsa already has corn in it and the dip is still plenty creamy, cheesy, and spicy.
The Easiest Trader Joe’s-Inspired Corn Dip Recipe
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 jar Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar Salsa
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican-style cheese blend, plus a little extra for the top
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 7×11-inch or 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside. Place the cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave uncovered for 1 minute—stopping halfway through to stir with a fork until it’s no longer lumpy. You may need an extra 30 seconds depending on your microwave.
Cream cheese isn’t my favorite, but I don’t mind it at all in this dip. The jalapeños, chipotles in adobo, and spices in the salsa mask the tang. I tried the recipe with sour cream and Greek yogurt, and both were meh. I’d stick to full-fat cream cheese.
Stir in the cowboy caviar and cheese. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are bubbling and lightly golden. Allow it to cool just at bit so that you don’t scorch your mouth. Serve with a giant bowl of tortilla chips for dipping.