Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad Recipe 🌽


  • Pasta Salad:
    • 2 cups (6 ounces) radiatori noodles (or your noodle of choice)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 can (15 ounces) corn kernels, drained
    • 1 large avocado, diced
    • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
    • ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
    • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
    • 6 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
    • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Dressing:
    • ½ cup full-fat mayonnaise
    • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 2-3 limes)
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon paprika
    • ½ teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
    • Salt and pepper, to taste


Pasta Preparation:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, toss with olive oil, and set aside.

Corn Roasting: 2. In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, add the corn kernels in a single layer. Char for 2-3 minutes, then flip to char the other side. Remove from heat.

Salad Assembly: 3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, charred corn, avocado, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, bacon, feta cheese, and black beans.

Dressing: 4. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine: 5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.

Additional Information:

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Calories: Approximately 350 kcal per serving
  • Servings: 6 servings

FAQs about Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  1. Can I use fresh corn instead of canned corn?
    • Yes, you can use fresh corn. Simply boil or grill the corn and then cut the kernels off the cob.
  2. What other types of pasta can I use?
    • You can use any short pasta such as bowties, penne, or rotini.
  3. Can I make this salad ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare it a few hours in advance. Just add the avocado and dressing right before serving to keep it fresh.
  4. Is there a substitute for mayonnaise in the dressing?
    • You can use Greek yogurt or sour cream as a substitute for mayonnaise.
  5. How long will this salad keep in the refrigerator?
    • The salad will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  6. Can I use a different cheese instead of feta?
    • Yes, cotija cheese or queso fresco are great alternatives.
  7. What can I use instead of bacon for a vegetarian version?
    • You can use crispy fried tofu or tempeh bacon as a vegetarian substitute.
  8. Can I add more vegetables to this salad?
    • Yes, feel free to add bell peppers, tomatoes, or red onions.
  9. Is there a way to make this salad spicier?
    • Yes, you can add more jalapenos, hot sauce, or even a dash of cayenne pepper.
  10. Can I use frozen corn?
    • Yes, just thaw and pat dry the frozen corn before roasting it.
  11. What kind of hot sauce works best?
    • Use your favorite hot sauce, such as Tabasco, Cholula, or Sriracha.
  12. Can I use canned beans instead of black beans?
    • Yes, you can use any canned beans like pinto or kidney beans.
  13. Can I skip the cilantro if I don’t like it?
    • Yes, you can omit the cilantro or replace it with parsley.
  14. Can I use lemon juice instead of lime juice?
    • Lime juice is preferred for its distinct flavor, but lemon juice can be used in a pinch.
  15. How do I prevent the avocado from browning?
    • Toss the diced avocado with a little lime juice before adding it to the salad to prevent browning.
  16. Can I serve this salad warm?
    • It’s best served chilled or at room temperature, but you can serve it slightly warm if you prefer.
  17. Is there a low-fat version of this recipe?
    • Use low-fat mayonnaise and reduce the amount of cheese and bacon for a lower-fat version.
  18. What can I use instead of olive oil for the pasta?
    • You can use any neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil.
  19. Can I use red or green bell peppers instead of jalapenos?
    • Yes, if you prefer a milder flavor, bell peppers are a good substitute.
  20. Can I use store-bought roasted corn?
    • Yes, store-bought roasted corn can be used for convenience.

By following these tips and answers, you can create the perfect Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering! Enjoy your delicious and vibrant salad!

 secrets to achieve the perfect Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad:

  1. Fresh Ingredients: Use the freshest ingredients possible, especially for the corn, avocados, and cilantro.
  2. Char the Corn: Ensure you properly char the corn to bring out its smoky, sweet flavor. This step adds depth to the salad.
  3. Rinse Pasta with Cold Water: After cooking the pasta, rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and keep it from becoming mushy.
  4. Dry Ingredients Well: Make sure all ingredients, especially corn and black beans, are well-drained and dry to prevent the salad from becoming watery.
  5. Balance the Dressing: Taste the dressing before adding it to the salad. Adjust the lime juice, spices, and hot sauce to your preference.
  6. Use Fresh Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice offers a brighter flavor compared to bottled lime juice.
  7. Dice Avocado Last: Dice the avocado right before mixing the salad to prevent it from browning.
  8. Chill Before Serving: Let the salad chill for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together better.
  9. Customize Spice Level: Adjust the amount of jalapeno and hot sauce based on your desired spice level. For less heat, remove the seeds from the jalapeno.
  10. Season Each Layer: Lightly season each layer as you add it to the salad for better overall flavor distribution.
  11. Use Cotija Cheese: If available, use Cotija cheese instead of feta for a more authentic Mexican flavor.
  12. Add Crunch: For extra texture, consider adding crushed tortilla chips or crispy fried onions just before serving.
  13. Use Full-Fat Mayonnaise: Full-fat mayonnaise gives the dressing a richer, creamier texture compared to low-fat versions.
  14. Mix Dressing Separately: Always mix the dressing separately and add it to the salad right before serving to keep ingredients crisp.
  15. Double Dressing Batch: Make extra dressing and serve on the side for those who prefer their salad more dressed.
  16. Keep Components Separate: If making ahead, keep components separate and mix together just before serving to maintain freshness.
  17. Cilantro Stems: Use cilantro stems along with the leaves. They add extra flavor and crunch.
  18. Sweet Corn: Use sweet corn for the best flavor. If using canned, look for brands labeled “sweet corn.”
  19. Roast Your Own Corn: If you have time, roast fresh corn on the cob yourself for the best smoky flavor.
  20. Serve with Lime Wedges: Serve the salad with lime wedges on the side for an extra burst of freshness.

By following these secrets, you’ll ensure that your Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is flavorful, fresh, and a hit at any gathering! Enjoy!