Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad takes traditional pasta salad and adds in the unique flavors of Mexican street corn. Packed with roasted corn, spicy jalapenos, savory red onion, a bust of lime juice, and tangy queso fresco, all tossed together with elbow macaroni and a creamy sour cream sauce. Easy to whip up, this pasta salad is perfect for picnics and outdoor gatherings all summer long!
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
Mexican Street Corn may seem like an odd variation of Pasta Salad but trust us, this combination is a winner! All the spicy, tangy flavors you love in Mexican street corn now mixed with everyone’s favorite summer side dish.
Add in grilled chicken to turn this dish from a side to a whole meal. Great for lunch or dinner and this recipe can easily be doubled for a large crowd for a potluck or party. Make this pasta salad in advance so you can save some prep time or use it as a lunchtime meal prep option!
How to Make Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Then, about 3 minutes before the pasta is done, add the ears of corn to the pot to boil.
- Remove the corn from the water and set aside. Drain the pasta and set that aside to start cooling.
- Heat a griddle pan or skillet over medium heat and grill the ears of corn for 10 minutes. Turn the corn every 2-3 minutes so all sides are toasted and a touch blackened.
- Cut the corn kernels off the cobs (cut as close to the cob as you can). Toss them into a large bowl and set aside to allow the corn to cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, salt, and chipotle powder. Stir until combined.
- Add the corn to the bowl of pasta. Then add the queso fresco, chopped jalapeño, diced red onion, and fresh cilantro. Toss gently to combine.
- Pour the sour cream sauce over the pasta salad and stir. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. When ready to serve, garnish with extra cilantro, a dash of chili powder, and additional cheese crumbled. Enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Once the pasta has cooked and been drained, you can rinse it with cold water for about 60 seconds to cool it off and stop the cooking process. This ensures that the pasta doesn’t become overcooked and gummy.
- We like to use elbow macaroni for this pasta salad but any short noodle will work. Rotini, penne, small/medium shells, or even bow tie pasta are all good options.
- Chilling the pasta is important in letting the ingredients cool and allow all the flavors to meld together. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before serving.
- Always salt your pasta water. It adds flavor into the noodles as they cook.
Storage: Leftovers of this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni uncooked
- 4 ears of corn fresh, husks removed and cleaned
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
- 1 jalapeño deseeded and finely chopped
- ½ red onion diced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro freshly chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. About 3 minutes before the pasta is done, add the ears of corn to the pot.8 ounces elbow macaroni4 ears of corn
- Remove the corn from the water then drain the pasta and set aside.
- Heat a griddle pan over medium heat then grill the corn for about 10 minutes, turning the corn a little bit every 2-3 minutes so that all the sides of the corn are toasted and blackened.
- Cut the kernels off the cobs as closely as you can to the cob. Then add it to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
- In the meantime, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, salt and chipotle powder together in a medium bowl.1 cup sour cream½ cup mayonnaise2 tablespoons lime juice½ teaspoon paprika½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- Add the corn to the bowl of pasta, along with the queso fresco, jalapeño, onion and cilantro. Toss gently to combine.1 cup queso fresco1 jalapeño½ red onion1 tablespoon cilantro
- Pour in the sour cream sauce and stir to combine. Cover, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving with fresh cilantro, a dash of chili powder and additional cheese crumbles for garnish if desired.
- See post for storage options.