Mexican street corn pasta salad is a fresh, vibrant side dish perfect for summer BBQs. It’s a mix of rotini pasta, grilled corn, black beans, diced jalapeños, avocado, red onion, and cojita cheese tossed in a creamy and spicy Greek yogurt lime dressing.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
Are you ready to meet your new favorite summer BBQ side dish?!
Introducing my healthy but so delicious Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad. She’s a beauty and I know you’re going to love her ❤️
Mexican Street Corn (also known as Elotes) is grilled corn slathered in a creamy, spicy, lime sauce and topped with more spices and cojita cheese. It takes humble corn to a whole new flavor level! My husband and I first ate it at a street fair in Chicago and instantly became addicted.
Actually, I convinced my husband to try (and start liking) avocado toast when I topped it with with this creamy corn mixture – (click here for my elotes avocado toast).
I decided to take all these flavors and put them into a pasta salad; A decision I certainly don’t regret. Pasta salads and corn are quintessential summer BBQ sides and together they create magic.
My husband told me he LOVED this dish and went for seconds, and lefties the next day. So, I am confident this dish is delicious and you will love it too!
Ingredients in Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
There are a few simple and delicious ingredients in this pasta salad:
- rotini pasta (bowtie would work too). I used Banza gluten-free chickpea pasta.
- grilled corn.
- red onion.
- black beans.
- cojita cheese.
- creamy chili and lime dressing.
How to cook the corn for this Mexican street corn pasta salad
The corn is best grilled for this pasta salad. I coated it in a little butter and grilled it over medium high heat until some of the kernels were slightly charred. Then topped it with a little salt.
The grilled corn adds smoky flavor that helps add more vibrancy to the dish!
The creamy, spicy dressing for the pasta salad
This dressing is what makes the pasta salad pop! It’s creamy, garlicky, and full of bold spices. Plus, it’s made healthier than the traditional sauce because I subbed greek yogurt with some of the mayo (an easy, undetectable healthy swap!).
The dressing is made with:
- greek yogurt
- light mayo, I use Sir Kensington’s
- lime juice
- a touch of agave
- Worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce
- and spices (garlic & onion powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, and paprika)
Simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl (measurements below) and stir until well-combined and creamy. If the dressing seems to thick, add a little water to thin it out.
The result is a creamy, spice-forward, addictively delicious dressing that pairs perfectly with he Mexican flavors in the pasta salad.
How is it made healthier?
I made a few healthy swaps to lighten up this dish.
First, I replaced a good amount of the mayo with protein-rich and low fat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt still provides creaminess and richness so you can’t even notice the difference!
I also used gluten-free rotini pasta. I love Banza, which is a gluten-free chickpea pasta, because it tastes just like regular pasta. Secretly, I have used it in meals I’ve cooked my family and they couldn’t even tell a difference!
Finally, this salad is packed with veggies and black beans, making it a wholesome side dish.
This pasta salad is packed with so much flavor and goodness. Perfectly al dente rotini pasta, grilled corn, hearty black beans, creamy avocado, zippy red onion, sharp cojita cheese all tossed in a spicy garlicky creamy lime dressing. It’s the perfect side dish for summer!
If you make this Mexican Street Corn pasta salad, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest~
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayo I used an olive oil or avocado oil based mayo, like Sir Kensington
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder*
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash black pepper
- Juice of a lime about 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon agave
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1 8oz box rotini pasta cooked according to package instructions, I used Banza chickpea pasta
- 3 ears of corn cleaned and stalks removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
- 1 15 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 large jalapeño ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 1/2 cup cojita cheese + 1/4 cup for topping
- Half of red onion diced
- 1 avocado diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro torn into pieces + 1 tablespoon for topping
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh back pepper
For the dressing, mix together the Greek yogurt through Worcestershire sauce until smooth and creamy. If too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until reach desired consistency (it should be pourable by still thick).
Heat an outside grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat the ears of corn with olive oil or melted butter. Add corn to the grill and grill for 5-8 minutes, turning constantly, until corn is cooked and slightly charred on the outside. Remove from grill and let cool. Cut kernels of the cobb.
In a large bowl add the cooked rotini pasta. Top with all the pasta salad ingredients, except salt and pepper. Pour in dressing and toss until al the ingredients are well-coated (use as much dressing as desired, I used all of it for mine). Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary (I used 1/2 teaspoon more salt to get the seasoning just right!)
Garnish with extra cojita cheese and cilantro, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
I think the spice level is just right in this pasta salad – a nice little spicy kick! But if you are sensitive to spice, you can reduce the chipotle chili powder to 1/2 teaspoon.