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Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

When your regular-old pasta salad is feeling tired, it’s time to try our elote version, inspired by the Mexican street food beloved for its contrasting charred, creamy, and acidic flavors. Serve it alongside a Tex-Mex burger, or eat a big old bowl of it on its own. 

Get the recipe for elote pasta salad:

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Elote Pasta Salad

  • Author: Misfits Market



For the pasta

  • 16 ounces of any short cut pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 45 ears of corn
  • ⅔ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped

For the dressing

  • ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente. Strain and toss cooked pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl and let cool at room temperature.
  2. Heat a large skillet over high heat and cook corn, rotating occasionally, until kernels have softened and look charred. Let corn come to room temperature, remove the kernels, and transfer to bowl with pasta.
  3. For the dressing, whisk together crema, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Add cotija and cilantro to the bowl with pasta, reserving about 1 tablespoon of each for garnish. Pour dressing over the pasta and toss to coat. Garnish the pasta salad with the remaining cotija and cilantro and serve.

Hungry for more? Try one of these summery pasta dishes:

Corn Cacio e Pepe Pasta

“The Summer Pasta Salad” with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Lemon Shallot Dressing

Zesty Jalapeño Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Corn