Mexican Street Corn (Elote) Pasta Salad Recipe

Elote Pasta Salad

I have quite the love for all things corn! I incorporate corn into many of my recipes such as my Cheesy Corn Casserole or my Avocado Chicken Salad. Heck, sometimes I just break open a can of corn, melt some butter over it and enjoy a nice corn filled snack. But my favorite corn food of all time are Elotes! Nothing beats an authentic Elote straight from the streets of Los Angeles! But this Elote Pasta Salad sure does come close. 😉

Elote Pasta Salad

This dish came into fruition during one of my “feeling-creative” moments. I really wanted pasta salad but was tired of the same old recipes. I opened my pantry to see an over abundance of canned corn. So naturally, something clicked in my brain to put one of my two favorite dishes together into an incredibly unique and DELICIOUS Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad!


Elote is a type of Mexican grilled corn that’s usually topped with mayo, crema, chili, lime and cotija cheese. I tried to incorporate as much of these ingredients as possible into this pasta salad to keep the essence of a traditional Elote with just a few minor differences. For the sauce, I used mayo as the base, mixed with lime juice, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (instead of chili). I just personally like the taste of cayenne more than plain chili. For the cheese topping, I used a mix of crumbled cotija cheese and grated parmesan cheese. 


In order to really get the right kind of taste for this recipe, you MUST sauté the corn first before mixing it into the pasta salad. All the other vegetables can be added in raw, but you really want the corn to develop a slightly “charred” look in order to mimic traditional Mexican grilled corn. Since we’re using canned corn, the easiest way to do this is to sauté the corn in some oil, salt and pepper in a large skillet. If you have the time to spare, you’re more than welcome to grill a few ears of corn and cut the kernels for the salad instead! But for me, I’m all about shortcuts when I cook so I didn’t mind using canned corn at all. And the result was still extremely scrumptious! 

Elote Pasta Salad


After sautéing the corn, I like to save a handful on the side in order to top the pasta salad for the final Mexican street corn look. And since this pasta salad is best served cold, I would highly recommend making it a few hours before you’re ready to serve or the night before if you’re able to. It could take anywhere from 2-4 hours to cool completely. I find that occasionally mixing the salad during the refrigeration time helps to cool it faster. 

Elote Pasta Salad


This Elote pasta salad has definitely become one of my top favorite meals to make! It’s a unique way to get my Mexican street corn fix when the craving hits. It’s also a bonus that the ingredients are pretty basic so I usually always have them on hand. And not to mention the recipe can be easily customized. I hope you guys enjoy this dish as much as I did! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂


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Mexican Street Corn (Elote) Pasta Salad Recipe

Course: Main, PastasDifficulty: Easy


Prep time





This pasta salad is a unique spin on the beloved Mexican Street Corn. It has all the same flavors and ingredients to give you that authentic grilled street corn taste.


  • 16 oz pasta of your choice

  • 1 Tbs olive oil

  • 2 x canned corn, drained (15 oz each)

  • 2 tsp salt, divided

  • 2 tsp black pepper, divided

  • 1/2 white onion, chopped

  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped small

  • 4 sticks green onions, chopped

  • 1 cup mayo

  • 1 Tbs lime juice

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain the pasta and set aside
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the drained corn, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper.
  • Mix and cook until the corn has a slightly browned/charred look. Remove the corn from heat and set aside for now
  • In a small bowl, prepare the sauce by mixing the mayo, lime juice, cayenne pepper, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper.
  • In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta. Then pour about HALF the sauce onto the pasta and mix
  • Add all the chopped vegetables including the corn, bell peppers, onions and green onions to the bowl (you can set aside some green onions and corn for topping later)
  • Add the rest of the sauce to the bowl and mix until all ingredients are coated well
  • Top the pasta salad with the cotija cheese, parmesan cheese and any extra green onions and corn
  • Refrigerate for about 2-4 hours until completely cool before serving


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