This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is loaded with flavor! Charred corn, pasta, crumbled bacon and Cotija cheese are tossed in a creamy chili-lime cilantro dressing. This Mexican Pasta Salad is a delicious and easy Mexican side dish sure to become a favorite!
Nutty, smoky, a little tart and super creamy, this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad has all the great flavors of the delicious Mexican Corn on the Cob. Easy to make and incredibly flavorful, this is the ideal Mexican side dish recipe to make for your next gathering.
If you have never had Mexican street corn (Elotes), you are totally missing out! Trust me you don’t actually have to walk the streets of Mexico to get one! It is so easy to make at home. Perfectly grilled corn on the cob is slathered in 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! This Mexican Pasta Salad is my take on that wonderful Mexican recipe.
How To Make Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- This salad comes together very easily. On the recipe below, I give you two different methods for charring the corn. You can read all about roasting corn here.
- In the summer when fresh corn is plentiful, grilling it is the way to go! When all I have is frozen corn handy, I thaw out the corn and roast it in a hot cast iron skillet. In a pinch use canned roasted corn, drained.
- 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 the size and shape of the noodle and all those shenanigans).
- Cotija cheese is a hard and crumbly cow’s milk cheese. A good substitute is Feta cheese or the milder Queso Fresco.
- We love crispy bacon! I always cook bacon in the oven to prevent messes. HERE I tell you How To Perfectly Cook Bacon in the Oven.
- The dressing for this corn pasta salad is so creamy and dreamy! You can adjust the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper to suit your taste.
- The dressing will keep refrigerated, in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days.
- Fresh lime juice is key!
- Love Mexican sides and salads? Check these out!
Mexican Three Bean Salad (Lemon Blossoms)
Mexican Green Chile Rice Casserole (Lemon Blossoms)
7 Layer Taco Salad (The Life Jolie)
- Serve this easy Mexican side dish with
Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs (Lemon Blossoms)
Tequila Lime Chicken (Lemon Blossoms)
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (Lemon Blossoms)
Bloody Mary Flank Steak Marinade (West Via Midwest)
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- 2 12 ounces bags frozen corn, thawed 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 cut into small cubes
- 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 1 inch cast iron skillet over medium high 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 heat. 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.
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