PERFECTLY CHARRED CORN IS THE STAR OF THIS CORN PASTA SALAD. TOSSED IN A CREAMY CHILI-LIME CILANTRO DRESSING WITH COTIJA CHEESE AND CRUMBLED BACON. THIS SALAD IS LOADED WITH FLAVOR!
Nutty, smoky, a little tart and super creamy, this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad has all the great flavors of delicious Mexican Street Corn. Easy to make and incredibly flavorful, this is the ideal dish to make for your next gathering.
If you have never had Mexican street corn, you are totally missing out! Trust me you don’t actually have to walk the streets of Mexico to get one! They are quite popular in some areas of the country and the best part is, it’s so easy to make that you can make it in your own backyard.
Mexican street corn is basically grilled corn on the cob, slathered with a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, chili powder and Cotija cheese. It may sound a little weird at first but trust me, it is delicious!
I am not a big fan of creamy pasta salads, but this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is not about the pasta but all about the corn! Roasted, toasty, nutty flavorful corn! This recipe only calls for two cups of cooked pasta – that is about 2 ounces of dried pasta! That’s not a lot! (of course measurements vary depending on size and shape of the noodle and all those shenanigans) *yawn*eye roll*
My little one loves corn and pasta so I make this salad for him. Funny enough, my oldest doesn’t like mayonnaise but loves this dish. He knows it is creamy but I don’t actually tell him what’s in it (yes, like every good mom I do lie to my children. And when it comes to food, I keep some information to myself).
- In the recipe, I give you two different methods to cook your corn. Fresh corn on the cob is plentiful in the summer and grilling it is the way to go! Fire that grill and go for it!
That being said, when I don’t feel like using the grill (sometimes it is so hot outside I just want to stay inside), or when I don’t have corn on the cob, I use frozen corn. I put the corn in a hot cast iron skillet and toss it occasionally until nicely charred. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!
- In a pinch, you can use roasted canned corn.
- Cotija cheese is a mild Mexican cheese sold in most supermarkets. If you can’t find it – queso fresco is a good substitute (you can find it by the mozzarella). Feta cheese is also an alternative.
- This is the best way to cook bacon without making a greasy mess in your kitchen. How To Perfectly Cook Bacon in the Oven.
- Adjust the chili powder and cayenne pepper to suit your taste. My little one doesn’t like spicy foods, so I omit the cayenne altogether.
- Love recipes with a Mexican twist? This Mexican Three Bean Salad is bold with flavor and the perfect make ahead-salad.
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- 2 12 ounces bags frozen corn or 5 to 6 ears of fresh corn
- 2 cups cooked pasta (any small shaped pasta) like mini penne or mini shells
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup Cotija cheese or Queso Fressco
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lime juice and zest
- 1/4 teaspoon Ancho chili powder (or any other chili powder)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- 6-8 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium hot heat. When hot, add the corn kernels in a single layer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until the corn is charred. You may have to repeat this process until all the corn is nicely charred.
Shuck and clean the corn. You don't have to worry about removing every piece of silk as it will burn on the grill.
Heat your grill to medium hot. Place the corn directly on the grill. Grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until charred and cooked through.
In a large bowl, mix the charred corn, the cooked pasta, green onions, jalapeño, cilantro and cheese.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, minced garlic, lime zest and juice and the chili powder. Whisk until well combined.
Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the corn/pasta mixture and toss well. Add the bacon and mix together. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Serve! You can also keep it in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days.