If you love Mexican Street Corn Salad then you are going to swoon over this delicious Street Corn Pasta Salad!
It’s made with corn, cilantro, cotija cheese, bell pepper, noodles, and tons of flavorful spices.
Easy Mexican Street Corn Salad
This Mexican-inspired street corn salad recipe is a fusion of pasta salad and elote. Combined they make one wicked Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad recipe that is seriously so good served at any party or gathering.
Our Street Corn Salad is one of our most popular salad recipes on Fit Foodie Finds and we know you’ll love this twist too. It’s made with bursting sweet corn, tons of spices, cotija cheese, your favorite noodle, and a creamy cilantro lime dressing.
Why you’ll love it!
Serves a Crowd
Easy to Prepare
- Pasta: the best kind of pasta salad noodles are shorter/bite-sized. Feel free to pick your favorite.
- Corn: Corn is the star of the show. We’ve made this with both frozen corn and fresh corn.
- Bell Pepper: any color bell pepper works.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is thick and creamy. Make sure to use plain Greek.
- Sour cream: sour cream adds a delicious tang to the sauce.
- Lime juice: citrus adds brightness to this salad.
- Red onion: just enough minced red onion is perfect in street corn pasta salad.
- Spices: spices needed for the sauce include chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Types of Corn You can Use
Frozen corn: frozen corn is definitely the easiest corn to use for this recipe.
Grilled corn: grilled corn on the cob is the most delicious, but most work. Honestly, it’s worth it if you have the time to use fresh corn!
Canned corn: don’t have frozen or fresh corn? Use canned corn. Just make sure to drain and rinse it.
- Cook corn: Heat avocado oil in a cast iron skillet and add corn. Season the corn with the spices and pan-fry until the corn begins to turn golden brown.
- Make the sauce: combine Greek yogurt, sour cream, starchy pasta water, cotija cheese, lime juice, lime zest, and salsa.
- Prep veggies: finely dice the red onion and dice the bell pepper.
- Toss: combine corn, noodles, veggies, and sauce. Mix to combine. Add fresh cilantro and mix again. Serve and enjoy!
Add a protein: toss in any of your favorite cooked proteins to make this a complete meal.
Add more veggies/beans: got more veggies in your fridge? Try adding tomato, green onion, black beans, hominy, or jalapeño.
Switch up the noodle: don’t limit yourself to conchiglie noodles. Feel free to use what you have!
Store leftover Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- 16 oz. dried pasta we used conchiglie noodles
- ½ cup reserved starchy pasta water
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 8 cups frozen corn canned corn or fresh corn cut off the cob work too
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoons flaked sea salt separated
- 1 cup Greek yogurt any % fat works
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 4- oz. Cotija cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Zest from 1 small lime
- 3 tablespoons salsa
- 1 large red bell pepper matchstick or chopped
- ½ medium red onion minced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook the pasta until al dente. Remove ½ cup of starchy pasta water from the pot and set aside for later. Strain the pasta and set it aside for later.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium/large heat. Add avocado oil to the skillet. When the avocado oil is fragrant and hot, add the minced garlic to the skillet. Let the garlic sauté for 1 minutes.
- Add the corn to the skillet and toss with the garlic. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, paprika, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt over the corn and toss. Cook the corn until it begins to brown (about 10 minutes). Be sure to toss the corn periodically so it does not burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove the skillet from heat and let cool briefly.
- Once the corn has cool a bit, add the Greek yogurt, sour cream and ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water to a large bowl and whisk them together. Add the remaining salt, cotija, lime juice, lime zest, and salsa and stir to combine.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss and then add the cooked corn, red pepper, and onion to the pasta. Toss again until all of the ingredients are coated. If you want it a bit saucier, you can add a little bit more starchy pasta water.
- Finally, add the cilantro to the pasta salad and toss one last time. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
Tips & Notes
- If the pasta salad sauce is still too thick after adding ¼ cup of the pasta water, add another 1-2 tablespoons until it reaches the desired consistency.
- We used frozen corn but we have tested this with fresh corn, too.
- The flavor of the sauce will determine what kind of salsa you use.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.