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 burst of lime juice, and tangy queso fresco, all tossed together with elbow macaroni and a creamy sour cream sauce.
Easy Elote Style 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 (elote) 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 Tex-Mex pasta salad in advance so you can save some prep time or use it as a lunchtime meal prep option!
Want more fusion flavor? Try our Elote Ramen where we combine ramen noodles with plenty of elote flavored sauce.
How to Make Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
This pasta salad recipe takes a little bit of prep but the results yield big flavor! We realize it’s not authentic elote. This recipe creates a delightfully tasty dish that incorporates a similar flavor mixed with tender pasta. Here’s how we do it.
Scroll to the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, and about 3 minutes before it’s done add the ears of corn to the pot.
- Remove the corn from the water, and drain the pasta.
- Heat a griddle pan or skillet over medium heat and grill the cooked corn for about 10 minutes. Make sure all sides are toasted and blackened.
- Cut the kernels off the cobs, and place them into a large bowl to cool.
- Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, salt, and chipotle powder in a separate bowl.
- Pour the corn into 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.
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 noodles, uncooked
- 4 ears of corn, fresh, husks removed and cleaned
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped
- ½ purple 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 noodles4 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 freshly squeezed lime juice½ teaspoon paprika½ teaspoon kosher 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 purple 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.