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Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

This easy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is loaded with creamy dressing, sauteed corn, pasta, lime, and cotija cheese. It takes about 20 minutes to make this delicious meal or side dish!

Mexican street corn pasta salad

Elote Pasta Salad

“Elote” is the word for corn on the cob in Spanish. It has become so popular in the United States as the popularity of “Mexican Street Corn” has grown. Elote (Mexican Street Corn) is a grilled corn on the cob topped with cotija cheese, creamy sauce, chili powder, and lime. It is absolutely delicious and if you haven’t tried it, definitely try to seek it out soon.

I thought the flavors of Mexican street corn would go so well with pasta salad so I wanted to create a fun summertime dish that I could bring to all my get togethers and BBQs this summer. I normally really love using orzo in my pasta salads but since the size of the corn is small too, I wanted to choose a larger, more substantial pasta for this pasta salad. However, feel free to use any pasta shape that you have lying around. If you love orzo like I do, check out my Orzo Salad with Feta recipe.

elote pasta salad

Mexican Street Corn

Mexican street corn is so fun to eat. I have made a version on top of nachos: Mexican Street Corn Nachos and I have also made Elote Dip, which is really called “Esquites” in Mexico. Esquites is Mexican street corn served in a dish or cup instead of on the cob. This recipe for Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is similar to my recipe for Elote Dip, I just halved the amount of corn, and I added 8oz of pasta. It came out so good and I am so proud of it.

Traditional Mexican Street Corn is made with Elote. Elote means “corn on the cob” in Spanish. It is frequently eaten slathered with creamy mayo, chili powder, cotija cheese, lime juice, and cilantro. It’s messy to eat but sooo worth it. This pasta salad combines all of those delicious flavors into one amazing side dish

What is Cotija cheese similar to?

I use cotija cheese in this recipe because that is what is traditional for Mexican street corn. Fresh cotija cheese is similar to feta cheese and aged cotija cheese is similar to parmesan cheese. They are both salty delicious cheeses and they add so much flavor to any dish.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad with a creamy dressing and cotija cheese

INGREDIENTS FOR MEXICAN STREET CORN PASTA SALAD

  • 16 oz Corn I use frozen yellow corn out of convenience.
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 8 oz Dried Pasta cook it per package instructions
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream Plain Greek Yogurt or whipped cottage cheese will also work
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise you can use 3 or 4 tablespoons
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, grated plus extra based on preference
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion or Shallots
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Optional

  • 1 small jalapeno, seed removed, finely diced You can also used canned poblano peppers where are a bit more mild.
  • Also, if you like a saucier pasta salad, double the mayo, and then add a little bit more chipotle pepper powder and cumin

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Once it is cooked, drain the pasta.
  • In a large skillet, add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the minced garlic and diced red onion or shallot.
  • Once the garlic is starting to get light brown, add the corn and 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix well and cook until the corn starts to get golden brown.
  • Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl and add the corn mixture once it is done cooking.
  • Add in the sour cream, mayo, chipotle pepper powder, and cumin. Mix well
  • Add in the lime, finely diced Jalapeno, cotija cheese, and cilantro.
  • Mix well. You can add a little more cotija cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise based on your preference.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

This easy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is loaded with creamy dressing, sauteed corn, pasta, lime, and cotija cheese.
4.84 from 6 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz Corn I use frozen yellow corn out of convenience.
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 8 oz Dried Pasta cook it per package instructions
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream Plain Greek Yogurt or whipped cottage cheese will also work
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise you can use 3 or 4 tablespoons
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Cotija Cheese, grated plus extra based on preference
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion or Shallots
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Optional

  • 1 small jalapeno, seed removed, finely diced You can also used canned poblano peppers where are a bit more mild.

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Once it is cooked, drain the pasta.
  • In a large skillet, add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the minced garlic and diced red onion or shallot.
  • Once the garlic is starting to get light brown, add the corn and 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix well and cook until the corn starts to get golden brown.
  • Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl and add the corn mixture once it is done cooking.
  • Add in the sour cream, mayo, chipotle pepper powder, and cumin. Mix well
  • Add in the lime, finely diced Jalapeno, cotija cheese, and cilantro.
  • Mix well. You can add a little more cotija cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise based on your preference.

Notes

Also, if you like a saucier pasta salad, double the mayo, and then add a little bit more chipotle pepper powder and cumin

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20 Comments

  1. Jay Aronowitz says:

    5 stars
    Such interesting stuff. Would love to try that Mexican street corn.

  2. 5 stars
    Really excited to try this one!

  3. Made this for dinner tonight . I just added chicken and seasoned it with taco seasoning and it came out delicious. My new favorite meal.

  4. Marta Leja says:

    5 stars
    I LOVED this recipe! I made it last week and it was a huge hit. I personally love more corn so I used 2 full bags (10z) and added more onion. I also doubled the sour cream because we love things extra creamy which was fantastic. Would highly recommend that if you do like creamier pastas, but make sure you adjust your chipotle and cumin (and potentially cheese) accordingly so you maintain the flavor.

  5. Man this dish was AMAZING!!! I subbed feta for the cotija cheese and wow. I could eat this forever

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy, really good for hot weather. I served mine with flakes of cold smoked salmon over top. I would also recommend using smoked paprika or smoked salt if you can.

  7. This is served warm isn’t it? Would it be good cold as well?

    1. It is warm only because the corn had just come out of the pot. But, it can be served cold or actually, room temperature would be best.

  8. Becky Steadman says:

    4 stars
    I had assumed that since this is called a salad that it was supposed to be served cold. At warm/room temperature, it was delicious. Once it was chilled, it congealed and all the flavors were lost or muted. I highly recommend serving it immediately.

    1. Yes, it tastes best freshly made or at room temperature. Any of my pasta salads or potato salads are also better this way.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for my mom and I because we’re both corn fanatics. This recipe was so satisfying, flavorful, and fun. Great recipe!

  10. How do you use the lime? Juice from 1 lime? Thanks

  11. What do I do with the lime? Use the juice of 1 lime? Thanks