Kick your summer BBQ up a notch with a fun side dish like this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad! A classic side dish with unique flavors and a healthier twist.
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Creamy Mexican Pasta Salad
I love my Mexican Street Corn Salsa and it is one of the most popular recipes on this site – ever! I have been incorporating it into different unique recipes and this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is a fun twist on these delicious flavors.
This pasta salad is a great side dish for a summer BBQ or grilling party.
What is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican Street Corn, also called Elote, is AMAZING.
A corn cob is roasted and slathered in mayonnaise, chili powder, lime, cilantro, and cotija cheese. It is a special, special thing.
A popular street food in Mexico, I use the same classic flavors in this easy pasta salad recipe.
What is in Mexican Pasta Salad?
Here is what you need to make this recipe:
- Pasta (Shape of Choice)
- Sour Cream (or Plain Greek Yogurt)
- Chili Powder
- Corn Kernels
- Cotija Cheese
- Fresh Cilantro (optional)
What is Cotija Cheese?
Cotija cheese is a crumbly, dry Mexican cheese very similar in texture and flavor to feta.
It is the traditional cheese that is sprinkled on elote, bringing a great salty flavor.
What is an alternative to cotija cheese? You can use feta or even a shredded cheese like Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack.
What Corn is Best?
Fresh corn cooked and cut off the cob is ideal, but difficult to get unless in season.
I recommend frozen corn since it still has a lot of its fresh flavor and is easy to get.
Canned corn will work, although it tastes slightly different from the juice it is canned in. Just drain before using.
How Can I Make Pasta Salad Healthier?
I love to use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in a pasta salad, and sometimes even for part of the mayonnaise!
It still brings a creamy and tangy flavor but with lighter nutrition.
You can also choose a different pasta type such as those made with beans or vegetables in place of wheat.
How to Make Corn Pasta Salad
First cook your pasta to al dente, which means it still has a texture to it and is not too soft. Drain and refrigerate to cool.
Make the sauce by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, and salt. Chill until close to serving time.
Mix together the pasta, corn, jalapeno, cheese, cilantro, and the sauce when ready to serve. Enjoy!
Can I Make Pasta Salad in Advance?
If you want to make this in advance, I recommend keeping the sauce and pasta separate until close to serving time, up to 4 hours before.
The longer the sauce is sitting on the pasta, the more moisture is going to be absorbed which means a less creamy pasta salad.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe
Mexican Street Corn Salsa
- Cook the pasta as per package directions until al dente. Drain and cool in a container in the refrigerator.
- In a large bowl, make the sauce. Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chili powder, juice of 1 lime, and salt. Season to taste as desired.Chill the sauce if not serving soon so it does not get too absorbed by the pasta from sitting too long.
- When ready to serve or up to 4 hours in advance, mix the pasta, sauce, corn, cheese, jalapeno, and cilantro in a large bowl. Adjust seasoning as desired including more of the mix ins.
- Garnish with additional cotija, chili powder, cilantro, or corn as desired. Serve cold.