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Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect way to use up those fresh summer ears of corn! Fresh vegetables and pasta are tossed in a Mexican chili lime sauce and served chilled.
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican Street Corn is also called Elote (which translates to “corn cob”) and is a popular street food in Mexico. Corn on the cob with the husk peeled back and used as a handle to hold on to while eating it, is covered in Mexican Crema, or Mayonnaise and sprinkled with cojita cheese, chili powder and cilantro.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I love a good pasta salad, and this one is no different. I love the combination of pasta, fresh corn, black beans, a little red onion and lots of flavorful spices. The dressing for this salad is a creamy lime dressing with a little bit of a kick of paprika and chili powder. The pasta I used in this recipe is ditalini pasta and you can find it at Walmart or any well stocked grocery store. You don’t have to use ditalini, any short cut pasta will work. Use what you have on hand.
Want more Mexican Street Corn recipes? I’m kind of obsessed…give these a try! Mexican Street Corn, Mexican Street Corn Guacamole, Mexican Corn Casserole, Mexican Corn Salad Hot Dogs, Grilled Corn Salsa
How to Make Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
While the list of ingredients might seem long, you likely have most of these in your pantry already! For full recipe details, including ingredients and measurements needed, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what you can expect when making this pasta salad:
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt liberally, add pasta and cook to “al dente” according to package instructions. Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Cut the Corn off the Cob
Cut fresh corn off the cob and use the back of the knife to scrape out the milk.
Combine in Large Bowl
Add cooked pasta, corn, red onion, jalapeno, black beans, cilantro, and cojita cheese to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Make the Dressing
Add all dressing ingredients (sour cream, mayo, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice) to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Combine Pasta, Veggies + Dressing
Add dressing to the main bowl of ingredients and stir well until all pasta and vegetables are coated with sauce. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with additional grated cojita and fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Variations
If you want to amplify the flavors in this pasta salad try adding one or all of these optional additions.
- bacon (crumbles)
- green pepper (diced)
- green onion (diced)
- olives (sliced)
- avocado (diced)
Storing + Make Ahead Directions
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container with good fitting lid. Leftovers should stay fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days.
If you want to make this pasta salad ahead of time, I would wait to add the dressing to the salad until just before serving. The dressing seems to soak into the pasta over time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
I mean…Yes, but fresh is best! If you’re making this “out of season” for fresh corn on the cob or just wanting to use a can out of your pantry, you would want to use 3 cans of corn. You can also use “fire roasted” corn for a little bit of a charred corn flavor. Frozen corn would also be an option. You would need about 4 1/2 cups of frozen corn.
Yes! Cojita is similar to parmesan and has more of a salty flavoring. Queso Fresco is similar to a very mild feta. Both give a great texture and taste to this pasta salad.
If you don’t like the taste of mayo, you can replace it with sour cream or plain greek yogurt. The taste will not be altered much and you likely won’t even notice the difference.
Yes! Feel free to use whatever short cut pasta you can find or have on hand. Rotini, Farfalle, Mezzi Rigatoni are all good short cut pasta options.
No. Because of the dairy products used in the dressing, I wouldn’t recommend freezing this salad. Mayo and sour cream separate after freezing and never remix very well.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes to Try!
- Beef Birria Tacos
- Amazing Pico de Gallo
- Rosa Mexicano Guacamole
- Mexican Pizza
- Taco Dip
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star review! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.
The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends!
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
for the pasta salad
- 2 cups ditalini pasta measured dry (about half box)
- 6 ears corn fresh
- 1 cup red onion diced (about 1 small onion)
- 1 jalapeno pepper small to medium, depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup cilantro fresh, chopped
- 6 oz cojita cheese crumbled
for the dressing
- grated cojita cheese
- chopped cilantro
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt liberally, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Cut fresh corn off the cob and use the back of the knife to scrape out the milk
- Add cooked pasta, corn, red onion, jalapeno, black beans, cilantro, and cojita cheese to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
for the dressing
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add sauce to the main bowl of ingredients and stir well until all pasta and vegetables are coated with sauce.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with additional grated cojita and fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!