Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad – corn, black beans, bell peppers, cheese, bacon and fresh herbs with a creamy chili-lime dressing-irresistible summer side dish.
My daughter mentioned 2 or 10 times “we” should make Mexican Street Corn.
If you have adult children, you know that translates to “Mom, make this next time I’m over”.
The truth is, slathering mayonnaise and cheese on beautiful summer corn didn’t appeal to me but to prevent an 11th ‘request’, I made it.
Turns out I loved it! — and this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad was born.
There is everything delicious and absolutely nothing boring about this Mexican Street Corn Salad — and it goes with practically anything.
With the taste of Mexican street corn — plus pasta FTW – it’s a crazy-good side dish you won’t find at every summer barbecue and potluck.
It’s blended with an creamy, spicy citrus dressing for an explosion of flavors.
what is Mexican Street Corn?
Mexican Street Corn (elote) is classic street food where whole ears of corn grilled and slathered with mayo, lime and chili powder and sprinkled with cheese.
WHAT’S IN Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad?
- any short pasta
- bacon cooked to crisp + drippings
- fresh sweet corn, frozen or fire-roasted canned corn
- bell pepper any color
- fresh jalapeno
- black beans drained and rinsed
- queso fresco cheese
- sour cream
- lime juice and zest
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN STREET CORN PASTA SALAD:
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cook pasta (any short pasta works well) per package directions to al dente then drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, cook bacon to lightly crisp in a large skillet. Remove from the skillet, cool and chop into bite size pieces
Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings then remove corn kernels from the ears of corn and add to the same skillet.
and sauté over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Note: some kernels may pop – this is normal.
Add pasta salad ingredients to a large bowl.
Top with dressing. Gently stir well to combine.
Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes to let the flavors come together then enjoy
VARIATIONS AND SUBS:
- Use any short pasta you may already have on hand.
- If you prefer, grill the corn on your outdoor grill instead of a skillet (though you won’t get the bacon-y flavor).
- If you can’t find queso freso cheese, try cotija cheese or even feta cheese.
- Greek yogurt can be added instead of sour cream.
- Fresh sweet corn, frozen or canned fire-roasted corn can be used.
- Red onion can be used instead of shallot.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS:
Leftover Mexican pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
What TO SERVE WITH PASTA SALAD:
Any of these delicious recipes would go perfectly with this salad:
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Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- 2 cups short pasta such as elbow macaroni
- 4-5 strips bacon cooked to lightly crisp (reserve 1T drippings
- 3-4 ears fresh corn or 2 cups frozen
- 2 tablesoons shallot finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups bell pepper any color, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh jalapeno minced
- 1/2 cup black beans canned/rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup queso fresco cheese or more to taste
- ecumin 1/2 teaspoonchili powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teasooncayenne pepper small pinch1 tablespoon honeysalt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons lime juice + zest from half of one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cook pasta (any short pasta works well) per package directions to al dente then drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, cook bacon to lightly crisp. Remove from the skillet, cool and chop into bite size pieces. RESERVE 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings!
- Add corn to the same skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Note: some kernels may pop – this is normal.
- Add pasta salad ingredients to a large bowl. Top with dressing. Gently stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes to let the flavors come together then enjoy.