All of the bold flavors of Mexican street corn, but in a delicious chilled pasta salad! Perfect for summer cookouts and potlucks, and super easy to customize to your tastes.
This is one of my Cookout recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Pasta salads are such an iconic summer food… in fact, at just about every cookout this summer, you’ll probably see a bowl of some kind of pasta salad.
Everyone loves them, and they’re the ultimate thing to BRING to a cookout, because you can make them up ahead of time.
That being said, some pasta salads are… well… pretty boring! A handful of vegetables, mushy/flavorless pasta, and some dressing that tastes like plain mayonnaise… sound familiar?
But not this recipe! This version combines everything you love about Mexican street corn with everything you love about a creamy summer pasta salad.
The pasta is perfectly cooked, the dressing is creamy with the perfect blend of spice and lime, and there’s plenty of crunch and texture.
Your cookout or summer potluck deserves to have a big bowl of this!
How to make street corn pasta salad?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Make dressing. No fancy tools needed, just a whisk or a fork/spoon.
- Boil pasta. For this recipe, al dente is what you’re looking for. Drain and rinse.
- Combine. Combine the pasta, add-ins, and dressing. Cover and chill.
- Serve. Before serving, stir well, then add avocado and more cilantro.
For this recipe only real mayonnaise will do. Miracle Whip and other spreads have other additives and flavors and just won’t taste right in this salad. For maximum creaminess, I highly recommend using full-fat mayo. Hellmann’s, Best Foods, and Dukes are the mayo brands I regularly use.
Variations of this recipe
- Pasta – we love to use fusilli pasta, since the sauce really likes to hang out in those ridges and swirls. However, you can make this salad with just about any short-cut of pasta (such as farfalle, elbows, shells, etc).
- Cheese – for a fun nod to true Mexican street corn, feel free to add (or garnish with), some cotija cheese!
- Tajin – another pop of flavor you can add is to garnish this salad with a generous sprinkle of Tajin (a chili lime seasoning).
- Corn – if you’re making this in the summer, you can absolutely use fresh corn that you’ve sliced off the cob. I would use 3-4 ears of corn. You can also use fire-roasted canned corn, thawed frozen corn, or add the corn to a skillet and char it a bit.
- Beans – typically, I make this with black beans. But one time, I accidentally picked up a can of red kidney beans, and it was delicious. However, if you’re not a fan of beans at all, you can omit them.
I make no claims of authenticity with regards to this recipe. It’s a fun twist on a classic elote (Mexican street corn), turned into a summer pasta salad, and not made authentically.
Absolutely! We prefer it either cold or at room temperature, but you can serve it while it’s still a bit warm. The warmth will likely cause the avocado to oxidize (turn brown) more quickly, but it will still taste delicious.
Making pasta salad ahead of time
Pasta salad is an amazing potluck recipe because it’s actually supposed to be made ahead of time.
After the salad has chilled for about an hour, give it a good stir, then add the avocado and more cilantro and serve!
Leftover macaroni salad should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 3-4 days.
For best results, I wouldn’t store the salad with the avocado pieces in it. Those can be added before serving.
I love these mixing bowls for two main reasons: the non-slip bottoms make mixing easier, and the airtight lids mean you don’t have to transfer the contents to another container to refrigerate!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 – 3 tsp sriracha sauce
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ancho chile pepper optional but recommended
- 1 lb. dried pasta we used fusilli
- 2 15 oz cans corn drained well
- 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup diced green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup canned diced green chiles roughly chopped
- 1 large avocado peeled and diced (added before serving)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add some salt (amount not included in the recipe – it's up to you).
- As the water is coming up to a boil, in a small mixing bowl, add dressing ingredients, then whisk or stir well to combine.
- Add dried pasta to boiling water, following package directions for al dente.
- Drain well and let cool a bit.
- To a large mixing bowl, add cooled pasta, drained corn, drained beans, red onion, green onions, cilantro, and canned chiles. Stir to get everything well combined.
- Pour dressing over the top, and stir well to combine.
- Cover mixing bowl tightly, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- To serve, give the salad a stir to redistribute the dressing, then add the diced avocado and some additional cilantro if you'd like.
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- I’ve estimated this recipe serves approximately 8 people, however feel free to divide it up into as many servings as you’d like.
- If you’d like a saucier pasta salad, feel free to double the dressing ingredients.
- Any short cut of pasta will work for this recipe (penne, rotini, farfalle, etc).
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.