This spicy Mexican-style Street Corn Pasta Salad incorporates all the flavors of street corn into the creamiest corn-filled summer pasta salad. Sweet summertime corn, mixed with creamy dressing and tossed with pasta, grilled corn, spicy chili butter, and salty crumbled Mexican cotija cheese. It’s quick to make and totally delicious, especially with extra lime mayo and chili butter. A quintessential summer pasta salad, serve this up at your next summer party, it’s always delicious.
I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but August is the best month for summer produce. The corn is at its sweetest this time of year. And I love creating new recipes to help you all use up summer’s bounty of goodness!
Oddly the corn we’ve been getting so far this season hasn’t been the best, so instead of grilling and enjoying it on the cob, I’ve found myself incorporating it into more flavorful dishes.
We all loved the street corn dip I shared last summer, so I thought I could take those flavors and toss them up into a pasta salad.
I love pasta salad in the summer, so the idea of incorporating the two sounded fun!
My dad would cook dinner for the family growing up, a pasta salad was always on rotation throughout the summer.
His were simple with broccoli, bell peppers, so much fresh basil, and big chunks of cheddar cheese. He’d then toss in the hot pasta and dress it all up with lots of olive oil. My dad’s secret was tossing everything together while the pasta was HOT. The cheese would melt over the pasta. It was so good. I use his same trick anytime I make a pasta salad, including this street corn salad too!
Delicious with the creamy dressing and spices.
Step 1: mix the dressing
In the bottom of a big salad bowl mix together softened cream cheese, sour cream, olive oil, fresh chives, salt, and pepper. Then add crumbled feta or cotija cheese.
This is the salad’s base and what makes it so yummy and creamy!
Step 2: cook the pasta
Use your favorite shortcut pasta, anything works! Boil it and then toss the hot pasta up with the dressing in a salad bowl.
The heat from the pasta melts the dressing into the pasta.
Step 3: mix the salad
Now for the salad. You’ll need lettuce, grilled or roasted corn, basil, cilantro, cubes of spicy cheddar cheese, and an avocado too.
Gently toss the salad with the pasta to get everything all mixed up!
Step 4: the chili butter + lime
For my spices, I used chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. I wanted to add a little smokiness and a little more kick of flavor.
Melt the butter, then mix in the spices. And lastly, mix some mayo or yogurt with lime juice and salt. Do not skip this. The butter really, really flavors the pasta salad in a wonderfully delicious way.
Step 5: top it and serve
Simply top the tossed pasta salad with lots of chili butter and then drizzle or dollop the lime may0/yogurt on top.
Don’t forget to add fresh herbs, I use basil, cilantro, and green onions. It’s such a yummy combination!
So creamy with a spicy flavor – but not too much spiciness. And you can always adjust the heat to your own personal taste.
This is one of those pasta salads you’ll crave time and time again!
Looking for other salad recipes? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make this Street Corn Pasta Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Street Corn Pasta Salad
Calories Per Serving: 473 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 pound short cut pasta
- 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
- 2 cups grilled or roasted corn (3-4 raw)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup spicy cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to your taste
- 1/4 cup mayo or yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
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- 1. To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper.2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain. Immediately toss with the dressing. Add the lettuce, corn, cheddar, basil, cilantro, and avocado. Toss to combine. 3. In a skillet, melt the butter until golden. Mix in the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Cook another minute, then remove from the heat.4. Mix the mayo or yogurt with lime juice with a pinch of salt.5. Serve the pasta warm or cold, topped with lime mayo and chili butter. The salad will develop more flavor as it sits.