Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad: A Fiesta in Your Bowl!

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This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is here to spice up your BBQs and simplify your weeknight dinners. This vibrant salad combines the zesty, creamy goodness of elote (Mexican street corn) with tender pasta, making it an irresistible side dish or a stand-alone meal for those lazy days when cooking feels like a chore.

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IMG 9251 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!

Imagine biting into juicy kernels of corn, crispy bell peppers, and creamy cotija cheese, all tied together with a tangy lime dressing that has just the right kick of chili and smoked paprika. Whether you’re prepping for a picnic, a BBQ, or just need a quick and satisfying lunch, this salad is your new best friend.

What is Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad?

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is a delightful fusion of elote, the classic Mexican street food, and pasta salad. Traditionally, elote is grilled corn slathered in a creamy, tangy sauce, and sprinkled with cheese and chili powder. By mixing these flavors with pasta, we get a hearty, satisfying salad that’s perfect for any occasion.

What are some other names for this salad?

You might also hear this delicious dish referred to as:

  • Elote Pasta Salad
  • Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
  • Street Corn Macaroni Salad
  • Southwest Corn Pasta Salad

What makes this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad recipe healthy?

This salad packs a nutritional punch with fresh veggies and a lighter dressing. The corn provides fiber, while the bell pepper and red onion add a dose of vitamins. Swapping in Greek yogurt for some of the mayonnaise can make it even healthier, without sacrificing any of the creamy goodness.

RELATED: Heart Healthy Mexican Bean Salad – This Heart Healthy Mexican Bean Salad is not only a delicious addition to any meal but is also a nutritious powerhouse that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. With its simple ingredients and bold flavors, it’s easy to see why this salad has become a favorite among salad lovers everywhere.

a bowl of pasta salad

Why you’ll love this simple Elote Pasta Salad recipe

  • Quick and Easy: Ready in just 25 minutes!
  • Flavorful: Each bite is a fiesta of flavors.
  • Versatile: Perfect as a side dish or a main meal.
  • Make-Ahead Friendly: Tastes even better after chilling.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Ideal for BBQs, picnics, and potlucks.

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Ingredients you’ll need

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 1 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!

For the Pasta salad

  • 8 ounces (about 225g) rotini or fusilli pasta
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or queso fresco)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional garnishes:

  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  • Additional cilantro and cheese for garnish (optional)

Be sure to check out the full ingredient list and printable recipe in the recipe card below.

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How to make a delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the Pasta: Follow package instructions to cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  1. Combine Ingredients: Add the cooked corn, diced red bell pepper, chopped red onion, and chopped cilantro to the bowl with the pasta. Toss gently to combine.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 5 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!
  1. Make the Dressing: In a separate small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper until smooth.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 4 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!
  1. Mix it All Together: Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated. Gently fold in the crumbled cotija cheese.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 12 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!
  1. Chill and Serve: Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro and cotija cheese if desired. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 27 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!

Make this Elote Pasta Salad, then check out my Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad and more of my pasta salad recipes.

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TIPS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Read on for tips and substitution ideas on how to make this recipe, such as how to customize this salad, and how to store this salad.

Can I use frozen corn?

Yes, just thaw it first.

Is there a substitute for cotija cheese?

Queso fresco or feta cheese work well.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! It tastes even better after the flavors meld together in the fridge.

What if I don’t like cilantro?

Substitute with fresh parsley or leave it out entirely.

How to store leftovers of Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This salad will stay fresh for up to 3 days, making it a great option for meal prepping your lunches.

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Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 23 - This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!

This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Enjoy every bite of this vibrant, tasty salad!

☀️ CELEBRATE Summer with 

36+ Easy summer Salad Recipes

Summer is here, and do you know what that means? It’s time to lighten things up with these summer salad ideas that your whole family will love!

Other Pasta Salad recipes to try

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The perfect summer side dish—fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ or just want a quick and delicious meal, this salad is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 8 ounces (about 225g) rotini or fusilli pasta
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or queso fresco)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For garnishishes

  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Cilantro, optional
  • Cotija cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In the same bowl with the pasta, add the cooked corn kernels, diced red bell pepper, chopped red onion, and chopped cilantro. Toss gently to combine.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper until smooth and well combined.
  4. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  5. Add the crumbled cotija cheese to the salad and gently fold it in.
  6. Taste the salad and adjust seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, pepper, or lime juice according to your preference.
  7. Cover the pasta salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  8. When ready to serve, garnish the salad with additional cilantro and cotija cheese if desired. 
  9. Serve with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over individual portions.

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