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Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe

Street Corn Pasta Salad is a unique side dish that will spice up any party! This pasta salad combines sweet corn, black beans, chili powder, and cilantro to create a deliciously creamy side dish.

bowl of street corn pasta salad in a white bowl on a white napkin

Street Corn Pasta Salad

Tired of the same dishes being passed around at every potluck, dinner party, or get-together? This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad will surely spice up the usual lineup of dishes.

It combines sweet and crunchy corn kernels with the creamy goodness of mayonnaise and sour cream. To top it all off, the cayenne pepper and chili powder gives this pasta salad a nice kick of flavor.

This simple 30-minute side dish is a perfect complement to juicy burgers, crispy fried chicken, crunchy tacos, or any other pairing. This fun twist on classic street corn will quickly become a party favorite!

Want to leave out the pasta? Just make street corn salad and serve it as an appetizer in these fun street corn wonton cups or in empanadas!

labeled picture of ingredients in individual white bowls.

Ingredients Needed

Pasta – I use rotini pasta in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite short pasta. Penne, shells, and even elbow pasta will all work.

Corn – I love the crunch that fresh corn adds to this dish, but you can also use canned or frozen corn. 

Mayonnaise – Feel free to use your favorite brand of mayonnaise. I love the creamy texture and delicious flavor of Duke’s Real Mayonnaise.

Sour Cream – Original or light will both work here. You can also swap in Mexican Crema. 

Lime – Lime will add the perfect amount of tart and zest to this dish.

Spices – Chili powder for heat, cayenne pepper for zing, garlic salt and black pepper.

Cotija Cheese – I love Cotija Cheese for its creaminess, but if this cheese is hard to come by, feta is a great substitute. 

Cilantro – If you don’t like cilantro, feel free to swap in parsley. 

Jalapenos – Dice up some jalapenos if you’re looking for some extra heat.

Green Chiles – If you want to add even more heat, feel free to add in green chiles as well.

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How to Make Street Corn Pasta Salad

First: Prepare pasta according to the package, then drain and rinse with cold water to cool the pasta quickly. Over medium-high heat, roast the corn in a non-stick skillet until golden brown.

Second: Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic salt in a large bowl. Add pepper to taste.

Third: Combine the dressing mix, corn, cooked pasta, cheese, and cilantro. Toss together until it is well combined, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Feel free to garnish with green onions when serving. Enjoy!

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

close up of creamy pasta salad with street corn

Is corn in pasta good?

Corn is often overlooked as a great mix-in. The crunchy sweetness of the corn kernels is an excellent complement to the tender pasta.

What is traditional street corn made with?

Traditional Mexican street corn is a common street dish that starts by grilling corn on the cob. The grilled corn on the cob is then coated with a mixture of mayonnaise, Cotija cheese, sour cream, chile powder, and lime.

Should I rinse pasta after cooking for a pasta salad?

If you are making a cold pasta salad (like this one), yes. Rinsing the pasta helps lower the temperature quickly, which will help it cool alongside the other cool or raw ingredients.

Rinsing the pasta also ensures the pasta won’t overcook and get soggy. The water also washes away the leftover starch, which will prevent clumping once you add the other ingredients.

rotini pasta in a street corn pasta salad in a white bowl

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, feel free to substitute your favorite gluten-free short pasta.

Can I make street corn pasta salad vegan?

To make this recipe vegan, swap in your favorite plant-based mayo, cheese, and sour cream.

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Undercook the pasta by 30 seconds to keep it firm. If the pasta is too mushy, it will get even mushier once you add the dressing.
  • Use fresh corn for more of a crunch.
  • While fresh lime adds a refreshing zest, feel free to swap in lime juice from concentrate.
  • Mix the salad dressing in a separate small bowl and make sure it is fully combined before adding it to the other ingredients. You can make it ahead of time!
  • The longer you chill before serving, the better. Chilling 24 hours before serving will make the dressing even creamier.
  • Don’t store leftover pasta salad in the freezer. Instead, keep in an airtight container in your fridge.
  • The great thing about pasta salad is that it often tastes better the next day! This pasta salad can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and still taste fresh.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

bowl of street corn pasta salad in a white bowl on a white napkin with text  "Mexican street corn pasta salad"

The combination of traditional street corn and pasta salad makes this Mexican street corn pasta salad recipe unique. This fun twist on two beloved dishes is not only bursting with flavor but simple and ready in 30-minutes!

bowl of street corn pasta salad in a white bowl on a white napkin

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Street Corn Pasta Salad is a unique side dish that will spice up any party! This pasta salad combines sweet corn, black beans, chili powder, and cilantro to create a deliciously creamy side dish.
Give me a rating:)
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Course: Salads
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 2 cups corn frozen, canned or fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add your pasta and cook to al dente. Cook 1-2 minutes under recommended time to avoid overcooking.
  • Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, and set aside to cool completely.
  • In a large non-stick skillet roast the corn on medium-high heat until the corn starts to get dark brown spots.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, the juice of the lime, chili powder, cayenne pepper and garlic salt. Add pepper to taste. 
  • To the dressing mix add the cooled corn, cooled pasta, Cotija cheese, and cilantro.
  • Toss together until everything is well combined. 
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled.
  • Serve!

Notes

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Undercook the pasta by 30 seconds to keep it firm. If the pasta is too mushy, it will get even mushier once you add the dressing.
  • Use fresh corn for more of a crunch.
  • While fresh lime adds a refreshing zest, feel free to swap in lime juice from concentrate.
  • Mix the salad dressing in a separate bowl and make sure it is fully combined before adding it to the other ingredients.
  • The longer you chill before serving, the better. Chilling 24 hours before serving will make the dressing even creamier.
  • Don’t store leftover pasta salad in the freezer. Instead, keep in an airtight container in your fridge.
  • The great thing about pasta salad is that it often tastes better the next day! This pasta salad can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and still taste fresh.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 305mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

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