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This Mexican street corn pasta salad incorporates all of the best elote street corn flavors in one creamy pasta salad recipe. It includes crunchy roasted corn, red onion, and cotija cheese in a creamy Greek yogurt cilantro dressing. Everyone at the summer bbq is going to ask you for this recipe!

mexican street corn pasta salad in a serving bowl with wooden spoons
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What is Mexican Street Corn?

Authentic Mexican street corn, also called Elote, is a Mexican corn dish featuring grilled corn that’s slathered in a lime and sour cream mayo, then covered in cotija cheese, Tajin, and fresh cilantro. Elote translates to corn cob in Spanish, which is where it got its name! It’s a beloved street food in Mexico.

My goal was to make this pasta salad an exact replica of authentic street corn flavors—plus some extra crunch from red onion and nutrients from sneaky kale.

Use Tajin to season the corn or make my homemade elote seasoning at home with everyday spices. You are going to fall in love with this delicious pasta salad recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  • Tastes just like traditional Mexican street corn.
  • All the best textures—creamy dressing, crunchy corn, and tender pasta.
  • Delicious side dish for summer parties and cookouts.
  • Everyone loves the Mexican flavors.
  • Get creative with mix-ins like avocado, bell pepper, black beans, or grilled chicken.
  • Easy to make in advance.

Do you love pasta salad? Try Caesar pasta salad or summer orzo salad next.

Mexican street corn pasta salad recipe toss with creamy dressing and cilantro

Ingredients You Need

Here are the simple pasta salad and dressing ingredients for this Mexican street corn pasta salad recipe.  Jump down to the recipe card for the exact measurements.

Pasta Salad

  • Pasta: Short cut pasta is best for pasta salad. And I love a twisty one that grabs and clings to all the creamy dressing. I used Fussilli corti bucati.
  • Fresh Corn: This is the star of the recipe, so fresh sweet corn is best. 
  • Tajin: Just like authentic Elote. If you’re a Trader Joe’s fan, use their Everything but the Elote blend, or try my homemade Elote seasoning.
  • Red onion: For crunch, color, and flavor.
  • Cotija cheese: this salty cheese is a classic for Mexican street corn. Queso fresco and feta cheese are great options too.
  • Kale: For some substance, nutrients, and structure. It makes the pasta salad look amazing.
  • Jalapeño: dice it small and remove the seeds for a little heat.
kale, corn, red onion, pasta, and cotija cheese on a countertop

Dressing

  • Greek yogurt or mayo: Greek yogurt is lighter and adds protein, but I’ve also made this with mayo with delicious results.
  • Sour cream: It’s a staple Mexican ingredient, especially in street corn and Mexican crema.
  • Cilantro: Use the leaves and stems to make it easy.
  • Fresh lime juice: This is a must for all Mexican recipes! You’ll need 2 medium limes.
  • Garlic: two cloves of fresh garlic add just the right bite to the dressing, just like guacamole.
  • Tajin: more spices for the most flavor!
cilantro, yogurt, sour cream, lime, garlic, and tajin on a table

Finish your summer menu: use the Tajin for the rim of a skinny spicy margarita or pineapple jalapeno margarita.

How to Make Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Here are the basic steps, with images, for this Mexican street corn salad. Skip down to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe.

  1. Cook the corn: Cover the corn cobs in olive oil and dust them generously with Tajin. Roast corn in the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes, turning halfway, or grill them over high heat (450) for 10 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta: cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  3. Make the dressing: Add the pasta salad dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Prep the ingredients: rub a teaspoon of olive oil into the kale and remove the corn kernels from the cob (I love this corn peeler). Chop the onion and jalapeno.
  5. Mix it all together: Add the pasta, kale, corn, red onion, jalapeno, and crumbled cotija cheese to a big bowl. Drizzle 3/4 of the dressing on top and to coat everything in dressing.
  6. Garnish and serve: before serving, crumble a little more cheese on top then drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle it with cilantro and Tajin.

What Pasta is Best for Pasta Salad?

The best pasta for pasta salad is a short and twisty one with lots of nooks and crannies to catch all the creamy dressing. Rotini and fusilli are classic kinds of pasta for pasta salad.

I went with an extra twisty type of fusilli called fuilli corti bucati that’s a little longer, to contrast the small pieces of corn and onion in this Mexican street corn pasta salad.

Finish Your Mexican Meal

I could add grilled chicken and consider this a whole meal on its own! But you could easily serve it with any Mexican recipe or grilled recipe. Find a main course:

Mexican street corn pasta salad in a ceramic bowl with wood spoon and lime garnish

If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!

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3.86 from 7 votes

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
This Mexican street corn pasta salad is just like authentic elote (street corn), but in an easy and creamy pasta salad. It includes crunchy roasted corn, red onion, and cotija cheese in a creamy Greek yogurt cilantro dressing. Everyone at the summer barbecue is going to ask you for this recipe!

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Servings: 6

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 16 oz short cut pasta (I used Fusilli Corti Bucati), gluten-free if needed
  • 6 ears corn
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Tajin
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese plus more for topping
  • 2 cups shredded kale massaged with a drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 jalapeno diced (optional)

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or mayo
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1 1/2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro plus more to top
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tajin

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub each ear of corn with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with Tajin. Bake for 20-22 minutes, flipping halfway (Note 1 grilled corn). Cool slightly then remove corn from the cob.
    6 ears corn, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons Tajin
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.
    16 oz short cut pasta
  • Add all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl or food processor and blend until smooth. Alternately, chop the garlic and cilantro and mix it in a bowl.
    3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or mayo, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon Tajin, 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Add the pasta, cotija cheese, shredded kale, red onion, and jalapeno to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with 3/4 of the dressing and toss to coat well. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, more crumbled cheese, and fresh cilantro before serving.
    1/2 cup red onion, 1/2 cup cotija cheese, 2 cups shredded kale, 2 jalapeno
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Equipment

  • Blender or Food Processor

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 55.8g | Protein: 9.6g | Fat: 17.9g | Cholesterol: 6.9mg | Sodium: 515mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 8.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. Maureen says:

    Made this tonight and added grilled chicken breasts that we marinated in extra dressing I made. This will be a summer staple! Perfect as is.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thank you!! Love the idea to marinade the chicken in extra dressing—genius!!

  2. Emily says:

    3 stars
    Very very spicy!
    I had a sister in law omit the jalapeños and chilies and it was very good so I asked her for the recipe. When I made it I went by the recipe…like I said VERY spicy!