Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
A delicious MEXICAN STREET CORN Pasta salad with tons of veggies, bacon, and a simple creamy CHILI LIME dressing. Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies and a simple creamy chili-lime dressing.

A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies, bacon, and a simple creamy chili-lime dressing. Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

I have a pretty close schedule I stick with on what I share here on the blog. The months are planned by the days I’m sharing a recipe and what recipe I will be sharing on that particular day. But sometimes, I’ll switch up my entire schedule because I’m literally BURSTING at the seam to share something.

Today is that day. This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is one of my all time favorite meals (salads?) to hit the blog. Primarily because corn is my favorite veggie, Mexican Street Corn is my favorite way to enjoy said veggie, and adding pasta for a self-proclaimed carb-addict was the best.decision.ever. Also did I mention avocados, lime, cilantro, jalapeños, cheese, green onions, and BACON?!

A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies, bacon, and a simple creamy chili-lime dressing. Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Dressing

I’m pretty sure those are all my favorite ingredients together in one happy place. Annnnnd we haven’t even started on the dressing yet.

Speaking of that dressing, I adapted it from my latest favorite sauce shared on the blog which has mayo, lime, and Sriracha. This chili-lime dressing has the same 3 ingredients plus a few spices and it is out-of-this-world delicious.

The best part is you just have to quickly whisk the few ingredients together and it’s ready to go. No blender needed!

Up close photo of avocado

Controlling the spice in this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  • If you are worried about the spice, just leave out the jalapeños, paprika, and half the hot sauce in the dressing.
  • Alternatively, feel free to increase any of the above ingredients for a spicier Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Up close photo of roasted cornUp close of the cotija cheese and jalapenos

Cheese

And now lets talk cheese for a second. For more authentic Mexican Street Corn you are going to want to use Cotija cheese. It’s typically near speciality cheeses in the grocery store. An easy alternative is Queso Fresco cheese which is generally near mozzarella and refrigerated tortillas in the grocery store. A last resort that will still work fine is feta cheese.

Preparing the corn

The CORN which is the star of this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad. There are a couple of options for the corn in this salad.

  • One is going to authentic route and grilling the corn until lightly charred all over. If you have a grill and the extra time, I would highly recommend going this route — it is incredible what freshly grilled corn does for this salad.
  • Another option: buy pre-roasted canned corn (near regular canned corn in the grocery store) and use 2 cans of that drained.
  • Another option: buy just regular canned corn and roast it for a few minutes on the stovetop. More details on how to do that here.

A delicious MEXICAN STREET CORN Pasta salad with tons of veggies, bacon, and a simple creamy CHILI LIME dressing. Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.comA delicious MEXICAN STREET CORN Pasta salad with tons of veggies, bacon, and a simple creamy CHILI LIME dressing. Recipe: chelseasmessyapron.com

Similar recipes:

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

5 from 40 votes
A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies and a simple creamy chili-lime dressing.
A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies and a simple creamy dressing. Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com
Print Recipe

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies and a simple creamy dressing. Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com
5 from 40 votes
A delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta salad with tons of veggies and a simple creamy chili-lime dressing.
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8 as a side

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups miniature farfelle pasta, uncooked
  • 3 cups either 2 (15-ounce) cans, or 3-4 corns on the cob
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
  • 6-8 strips hardwood smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup Queso Fresco Cheese (or cotija or feta -- add cheese to preference (we like ~1/2 cup depending on the cheese used (cotija is saltier so use less))
  • Optional: 1/2 canned cup black beans

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup full fat regular mayo no substitutes
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Make sure the pasta is completely dry.
  • Corn: if using corn on the cob: Heat the grill to medium. Pull back the husks to the base and take off all the silk from each ear of corn. Fold back the husks into place.
  • Place the ears of corn in a large bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes and then remove from water and shake to dry. Place the corn on the grill, cover the grill, and cook for 15-20 minutes turning the corn every 5 minutes.
  • You'll know the corn is done when the kernels are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Alternative #1: use pre-roasted canned corn -- drain and allow to dry. Alternative #2: use regular canned corn: heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until very hot. Drain corn and place in a single layer and cook for about 5 minutes stirring once in between or until browned. Avoid stirring too often as this will keep the corn from getting a good roast.
  • Meanwhile prep the veggies: chop the avocado into small pieces, chop the green onions, coarsely chop the cilantro, very finely chop the jalapeno, and cook then crumble the bacon. Crumble the cheese. Add black beans if desired.
  • In a large bowl combine the completely dry and cooled pasta, cooled corn, avocado, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, bacon, and cheese. **If you don't plan on eating this in one sitting and immediately after making, don't add the bacon, cheese, or avocado. Add those in separately right before enjoying.**
  • Toss together.
  • In a small bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until completely combined.
  • Toss with the salad and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

The focus of this pasta salad is more on the corn that the pasta. If you want a more "pasty-y" salad, increase by 1 cup dry noodles. You will also probably want to do more dressing.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




162 Comments

  1. Looks delish! I could be mistaken but the picture looks like it shows black beans but the recipe doesn’t call for black beans? Are there black beans in here?

    1. Thank you Kari! Nope you are right 🙂 They are listed in the recipe under optional: 1/2 cup black beans. They are an optional addition if you’d like more protein.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this today with the last of the sweet corn that I had left from a friend in Iowa. I charred the corn in an iron skillet, but after the fact. I wondered if cooking it in the bacon fat would have been awesome. The salad is fantastic and I love that it has a bit of heat. I will make this again.

    1. Ooo I bet that would have been super delicious! 🙂 Next time right? 🙂 So glad this was enjoyed, thanks for the comment Kristi!

  3. 5 stars
    Outstanding! I took this to a concert in the park and everyone asked for the recipe. Thank you! I love Mexican street corn, and I make sure get one anytime I’m up in LA and see a vendor. This is my new favorite recipe.

  4. I was just about to start making this but realized it doesn’t say how much cheese to use. How much Cojita cheese should be used?

  5. I have a question, for the mayonnaise, have you tried the Mexican mayonnaise? It already has lime it, im wondering if that would cut a step out and make it easier?

  6. 5 stars
    I had some ears of corn leftover from another recipe, so I searched through my “to try” recipes, and chose this one to use up the corn. This recipe did not disappoint. It was really delicious! I loved the combination of ingredients and flavors. I know it was supposed to be more of a corn salad, but I thought it was quite heavy on the pasta, IMO. I used 2 cups uncooked pasta (right? Not 2 cups cooked pasta?), and I thought that made for a really pasta-y salad, actually. I thought the salad wasn’t “wet” enough. It could be perhaps that I misread the recipe about the black beans, and I put in a whole can, instead of half a cup? No biggie though, since I love beans! Anyway, I made a second batch of dressing and drizzled a little more over individual servings. This is definitely a keeper!

    1. So happy to hear you enjoyed this dish! Thank you so much for the comment Kristin 🙂 And yes, right about the pasta!

  7. If I am bringing this to a potluck, will it get soggy if I put the dressing on too early? Should I wait till right before to put the dressing on?

  8. I look forward to making this at our next gathering but I wanted to mention that Trader Joe’s has nicely charred roasted corn in their freezer section.

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Carol! It is delicious. Have you tried it yet in this recipe? I’m sure it has to be defrosted and drained dry.

  9. Since I’m not a huge fan of cilantro, i was thinking of cutting the amount required in half. Is the cilantro taste very prominent? Could I even get away with eliminating it? Or would it be a huge difference?
    Thanks!

    1. Emily, you can definitely do away with the cilantro. It’d be a lot less prominent cut in half but if you don’t like it at all i’d just cut it out all together. Hope you enjoy!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend making it the day before; it is best made right before enjoying! Yes that will work fine.

  10. This looks delicious and I want to give it a try. I’m allergic to avocados so I was wondering what you would recommend…just leave them out and make the recipe as is or should I sub in something else? Thanks! 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    I made this dish this weekend and it was a big hit! I made the pasta and charred the (canned) corn the night before, stored in the same container. The rest I chopped and assembled the day of. Tasted great!

  12. I was so excited to come across this! I’m always looking for new recipes for my husband’s lunches! Now I usually make them in advance so I would love your advice- do you think I could mix up everything except cheese, pasta, avocado and dressing? And he could add those each day? Either that or possibly layering it like a mason jar salad and holding back on the avocado. Your thoughts?

    1. I think that would be perfect — add everything except cheese, avocado, and dressing — and then add those each day! I hope he loves his lunches 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I have only used canned corn but I think freshly grilled corn on the cob would make it 10x better! And she is not lying when she says to use full fat mayo. I tried it with low fat mayo once because this is all I had on hand… the sauce was clumpy even after mixing for a while. Still tasted fine but did not mix as well. Used Cholula for the hot sauce.

  14. 5 stars
    We brought this to a potluck BBQ and it was a big hit. People were asking about it. It didn’t even need the avocado.

  15. I made this last night and threw in shredded rotisserie chicken breast. It made a terrific cool, light summer dinner!

  16. 5 stars
    You show black beans in the video, but not on the ingredients list. Amount of black beans please? I plan to quadruple recipe for for 100 people! This will be epic! Thanks! !

    1. The black beans are on the ingredient list as an optional ingredient (last bullet on salad ingredients) at 1/2 cup 🙂 That does sound epic (and awesome!) Good luck 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    My fiancé and I have made this recipe 3 times this past week because it’s just.so.good. We halved the recipe since it’s just the two of us and we cannot get enough! Thanks for a winning summer recipe!

    1. Wow!! What a compliment! 🙂 I’m so thrilled this has been a hit for the two of you and thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    Simply incredible! I was looking for a dish to take to a Mexican themed party when I stumbled across this recipe. I followed the recipe to the exact, then multiplied it by three for a party of 50 people. I did include the Black Beans, as the picture shows. The flavors and colors worked beautifully together. The dressing really makes this dish pop, but still very tasty without it. The recipe was very easy follow and to make. This will become a new party go-to dish. Thank you

    1. I’m thrilled to hear this was a hit for the party 🙂 Thank you so much for the comment Kelly 🙂

  19. 5 stars
    Wow, this salad was incredible! I have been craving it since I ate it the other night. I did add grilled chicken to accommodate my large family. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. It was perfect!

  20. 5 stars
    Chelsea, this is an awesome recipe! I don’t care for avocados so as per your advice to someone else I just omitted them. It was easy to BBQ the corn, and getting it together in advance was a breeze, your instructions were very clear. We are a family of serious foodies and there were fights for the leftovers ( I doubled the recipe). Thanks! If I could give you more stars I would!!!

  21. Is it just as good without the bacon? I want to make this for vegetarian friends. They do eat cheese but zero meat.

  22. How can I char corn without a grill? I’d prefer to use corn on the cob and then cut it off (a friend made this for a summer potluck, and I practically ate the whole bowl by myself ??).

    1. You can cut it off the cob and put it in a skillet (dry; don’t add anything else) and let it char in the skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the corn occasionally, but not too often so you do get a nice char 🙂 Enjoy!

  23. 5 stars
    I made this for a tailgate party at Angel Stadium and everyone totally dug it! I added tomatoes and roasted the jalapenos…YUM! Thanks!
    The Angels, sadly lost :/ I should’ve gotten some of this to the dugout

    1. Haha!! This could have definitely helped them win 😉 I’m so happy you liked it and love you additions! Thanks for the comment Kim 🙂

  24. 5 stars
    Literally the best pasta salad I’ve ever had. So fresh and flavorful. Definitely will be trying more of your recipes- you’ve gained a follower!!! Xo

  25. 5 stars
    I made this just as written and I want the whole thing for myself. The guests will have plenty of other stuff, but this bowl of delicious is MINE!!!

    Seriously, this is a huge hit and going in to the regular rotation. Thank you !!

  26. 5 stars
    This is truly and amazing recipe!! I tweaked it a little, making the salad with Orzo, and adding red onion too..! Bomb. I loved the salad plain, just as much as I love it with the dressing. So when I served it I left the salad plain, placed the dressing on the side, along with some Tajin on the table. So many options, some people ate it plain with tajin, some with dressing, some with dressing and tajin. Served with chips too…! Probably my new favorite orzo salad! Thanks SO much.

    1. I’m so happy to hear this Samantha! I like it both ways too, there is just so much flavor! Glad you enjoyed:)

  27. I wonder, do you think subbing mexican crema or sour cream instead of mayo would work? Hoping to give it a more ~mexican~ flavor

    1. You can definitely give it a try 🙂 I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure how it will work.

  28. 5 stars
    This is amazing! Added three cloves of finely chopped garlic to the dressing and used about 1/4 bunch of cilantro. Omitted cumin. My husband said this is the best recipe I’ve ever made! Thank you for sharing!

  29. 5 stars
    I have a question. Would it be ok to add the avocado to the dressing recipe if the avocado is super ripe? Is th

    1. That will make a pretty different dressing and I think it will need some tweaking (or it end up a bit too thick/bland). Let me know if you give it a try!

  30. Great recipe, but the cook time was way off! Between the bacon, cooking the pasta, and roasting the corn I easily spent close to an hour prepping this dish.

    1. Thank you so much! If you scroll down to the recipe part of this post, there will be a print symbol next to it. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

  31. 5 stars
    LOVE this! I made it for a sports banquet. I added a little more jalapenos and a little more siracha. I have people texting me for the recipe months later!

  32. I know it says no substitutes for the mayo but anyone made with vegan mayo? I made it before and it was amazing! I want to share with others but they are vegan. I usually put the bacon and cheese on the side anyways so all that would need to be change is the mayo. I don’t want to make it taste bad. Personally I like the vegan mayo but I’m not sure how it is in this

    1. I’ve made with veganaise and no one was the wiser. I obviously left out the bacon but left it on the side for the non vegan folks to add.

  33. This looks amazing! I am excited to try it. How long does it last in the fridge if I won’t eat all of it right away? Also are there things that I should leave out of the sauce and only add right before eating?

    1. I hope you love it! 🙂 If you don’t plan on eating this in one sitting and immediately after making, don’t add the bacon, cheese, or avocado. Add those in separately right before enjoying 🙂 I’d also add the dressing to just what you are eating.

  34. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful!!! I made this last to complement smoked chicken and there were no leftovers! Followed recipe to the letter and couldn’t be easier! Thank you Chelsea for sharing you now have one more messyapron follower. Keep the delishousness flowing!!!

  35. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS! Such a wonderful combination of flavors. It all balanced out very well for a wonderful dish. My husband and I loved it!! The only downside is that it took me an hour to prep everything. The whole time I was thinking this better be worth all this work. But it WAS! 🙂 So so yummy. I will definitely make it again.

    1. I’m so glad to hear it was worth it! You should be able to hopefully cut down on prep time now that you have already made it before! I hope you continue to enjoy! 🙂

  36. I know you made a point of saying no subs for the mayo but what about Mexican sour cream? I swear it is sour cream and mayo mixed together. (I also realize this post was 2 years ago so maybe you aren’t still monitoring.) Either way I am making it for a potluck on Thursday with quinoa (our boss has celiacs so I try to provide something for everyone including her and those just trying to be gluten free). It looks delicious I am very excited to try it!

  37. 5 stars
    I love this recipe so much Chelsea! It always gets rave reviews. Awesome for entertaining … makes a pretty presentation. It’s fresh, tangy, and has a tasty paring of flavors.

  38. I made this recipe for a church function on Sunday evening and it was a huge hit. Our Women’s ministry is going to feed each of our school campuses this year (one a month) and this is our main course. I had numerous requests for the recipe. AWESOME! Blessings!

  39. 5 stars
    This is sooooo good. I made if for a bbq about a month ago and my family just loved it. The sauce is excellent and I’ve used on breakfast burritos as well. Thanks for the recipe. I’m making it again tonight for dinner!!

  40. My family loves this recipe!! I add in grilled chicken if we want to make it the whole meal… It’s also a great carry-in dish. Thank you for this fantastic recipe!!

  41. I didn’t scroll through all the comments but wanted to let you know that I have made this using frozen avocado found in the smoothie fruit section of the freezer aisle. This means that (short cilantro and green onions) I always have the ingredients on hand (and I usually have cilantro and onions because we use them often). For anyone worried about picking ripe avocados this is awesome as all you do is let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes and then cut up to add to the salad!

  42. I found this recipe on Pinterest about a year ago, and it is still one of my most favorite things ever. In a moment of procrastination at work, I decided to check out some of your other recipes… GIRL. You are my food soul sister. All my favorite flavors, ingredients, spices- they are all here. I finally stopped looking because I have pinned every single recipe I’ve looked at and have about a months worth of meals to try. I kind of want to ditch work for the rest of the day to go home and make Peruvian chicken. I am so glad I found this blog! My heart and tummy are happy ?

    1. You seriously made my day!! Haha I am sooo beyond happy you love my recipes!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! 🙂

  43. I know it says no substitutes on the mayo but I am not a big may fan. What are your thoughts on replacing mayo with sour cream?

    1. I haven’t personally tried sour cream, but I do think it would change the flavor to be a lot more sour/tangy.

  44. 5 stars
    Hi. Thank you for your recipe!! Am gonna make it for the third time and I would like ur advise… I want to prepare it from the day before to save me some time… please tell me until what point I should make it.

    1. I’d prepare the salad (without the avocado) and store in an airtight container and then prepare the dressing and store in a separate airtight container. Toss and add avocado before enjoying!

  45. 5 stars
    Oh my lord this was crazy stupid amazing! I have deleted all other corn salad recipes no kidding! Fire roasted my ears of corn basted with bacon drippings added cilantro sparingly even though I have a pure hatred for the herb but lo and behold even that touch of cilantro was a bonus to the dish..
    LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS

    1. I am soooo happy to hear this!! I need to try the bacon drippings, that sounds AMAZING!! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  46. 5 stars
    This recipe is on my “Keepers” board on Pinterest for a reason…it’s spectacular! I am making it again today, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it, always with someone asking for the recipe. The flavours are so amazing. I actually bbq corn and freeze it so I can make it in the winter months. I’m obsessed with this salad and trust me, you bring this to a party and there won’t be another one like it! thank you.

  47. 5 stars
    This is one of the best salads ever! I used fresh, grilled corn and added marinated, grilled chicken to make it a complete meal. We all loved it and I will be making it without the chicken for an upcoming potluck. Thank you for a delicious recipe!

    1. I am soooo happy to hear how much you enjoyed this! Thanks soo much for your comment! 🙂 I’m excited for everyone to try it at your potluck!

    1. I’m so happy you’re enjoying this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad! Thanks so much for sharing Grace! 🙂

  48. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious I doubled the Mayo with the spices and it was a hit at our home. I will be making it again and again.
    Thank you so much for posting

  49. I made this salad in the morning and served it to my book club that evening. Unfortunately the pasta absorbed the dressing and the salad was dry. I recommend adding the dressing right before serving. I did not add black beans. It has a lot of delicious flavor! I would make again, but not too far ahead of serving it.

  50. This recipe looks great and would love to try. However, you indicate NO SUBSTITUTES for Mayo. But I literally cannot eat may. Since publishing do you have any recommendations? Thx!

    1. Sorry I don’t Glen! I haven’t had success with other ingredients flavor-wise. Maybe a vegan mayo if you can have that? I’m not sure what else; wish I could be of more help.

  51. In grilling the corn, after you soak it in water, do you put it on the grill with the husks back up around the corn? How hot should the grill be, medium heat? Also giving a wedding shower for 35 people and this is the main entree with shrimp. Fruit salad, green beet orange salad and rolls will also be served. How many times should I multiply the recipe?

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.