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top down view of a plate of mexican street corn pasta salad with a partial view of large platter on right
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5 from 1 vote

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

You're gonna flip for this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad. If you love Elote, then you'll love all the sweet and spicy flavor in this easy, creamy, pasta salad recipe that's drizzled in a tasty chile lime dressing.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad/Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican/Tex-Mex
Servings: 6
Calories: 584kcal
Author: Nikole Berg


  • 16 oz rotini bowties, penne or other short pasta noodles
  • 3 ears fresh or grilled corn on the cob about 2 cups
  • 1 cup queso fresco or Cotija cheese divided, reserve ¼ cup for garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp cilantro chopped, optional

For the Chile Lime Dressing

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, large or 2 small zest removed; juice reserved (about 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp water or milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder chipotle
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool on a large baking sheet.
  • If using fresh uncooked corn, or leftover grilled corn, just cut the kernels from the cob.
  • If grilling the corn, lightly coat it with oil. Char it over high heat with the lid down for about 8-10 minutes. Turn occasionally to cook evenly. Since grills vary, be sure to pull the corn off before it's overcooked, otherwise it will be quite dry. Remove from the grill and remove the kernels when cool enough to handle.
  • If roasting corn in the oven, cut the kernels off and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook at 450º F for about 15 minutes.
  • Make Chile Lime Dressing.
  • Combine pasta, corn, queso fresco, dressing, and cilantro in a large bowl. Gently mix until well combined.
  • Serve immediately or chill.

For the Chile Lime Dressing

  • Combine ingredients and mix well.


  • Use raw, fresh corn. Did you know you can eat corn straight from the cob? I love the pop of fresh corn when it's at its peak in summer. It works well in this pasta salad.
    If fresh corn isn't available, simply use 2 cans of whole kernel corn that's been drained. You should have about 2 cups.
  • I like this pasta salad with rotini and bowties best, but penne (especially mezze penne) or other short pasta shapes will work great.
  • Serve right away or chill in refrigerator to eat later. If salad dries out (which happens as the liquid gets absorbed by the pasta) mix some fresh lime juice (or water) with a bit of sour cream to a thin consistency and toss into salad.
  • To make a day ahead, keep dressing in a separate container and add to pasta salad before serving.
  • Garnish with chili powder and paprika sprinkled over the top, slices of fresh avocado, and several slices of lime.
Adapted from Salt and Lavender


Calories: 584kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 667IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 1mg