Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

This healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is easy to make and so flavorful, it is sure to be a hit! It’s perfect for summer barbecues and pot lucks.

As far as side dishes go, pasta salads are definitely at the top of the list during barbecue season. I mean what is not to love with perfectly cooked pasta covered in a delicious dressing and tossed with loads of delicious add-ins?

While a traditional macaroni salad is a standard hit, there is so much fun to be had with pasta salads by playing around with the toppings and dressings. Why settle for a standard macaroni salad when you can have Corn, Bacon and Arugula Pasta Salad, Healthy Caesar Pasta Salad, Healthy Greek Pasta Salad, or Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad?

There are so many ways to include delicious seasonal veggies in pasta salads and the Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad I am sharing with you today is yet another delicious option. This tasty salad combines two delicious dishes- pasta salad and Mexican street corn. The end result is a delicious and creamy pasta salad that is loaded with fresh corn and cotija cheese.

A bowl of Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad topped with lime wedges and set on a grey marble counter in front of a bowl of cotija cheese.

While this salad does capture the flavors of Mexican street corn, it isn’t exactly authentic since this dressing has been tweaked to make it healthier. You won’t find loads of mayonnaise, Mexican cream, or sour cream here. Instead, I cut the amount of mayonnaise needed by replacing it with Greek yogurt instead. This helps cut down on the fat content while adding in more protein than you’d get using a full-fat sour cream.

A bowl of Mexican street corn pasta salad topped with lime wedges and set on a grey marble counter next to more lime wedges and a wooden serving spoon.

Why you’ll love this Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  • This recipe combines two great things- pasta salad and Mexican street corn to make a delicious side dish!

  • The pasta salad is made healthier by using Greek yogurt instead of full fat sour cream and loads of mayonnaise.

  • It is easy to make!

  • You’ll especially love making this dish during corn season when fresh corn is at its best but it can be made year-round with frozen or canned corn too.

  • Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad goes with so many main courses.

  • Pasta salad can be prepped ahead of time making it perfect for simplifying dinner or taking along to a potluck.
A bowl of mexican street corn pasta salad on a grey marble counter next to a wooden serving spoon, a striped black and white cloth napkin and a bowl of cotija cheese.

Ingredients in Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  • Pasta: I used fusilli pasta this time but I love to change up the pasta options. Any short pasta variety works including penne pasta, bow tie pasta, rotini pasta, or even shells. You can use gluten-free pasta or whole wheat options too.

  • Olive oil

  • Corn: I love making this salad during corn season when sweet, delicious corn is easily found in grocery stores. You really can’t beat the fresh corn on the cob. That said, if you can’t get your hands on fresh corn, substitute frozen corn or canned corn kernels.

  • Jalapeno: seeds removed and finely diced. This adds a bit of heat to this pasta salad and can easily be controlled by adding in more or less.

  • Fresh cilantro

  • Cotija cheese: This aged Mexican cheese is used to make authentic Mexican street corn. While all the other ingredients in this recipe can be easily found in grocery stores, depending on where you live, cotija cheese can be a little trickier to find. If that is the case for you, you can substitute feta cheese instead.

  • Seasoning: Chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt to taste.

  • Lime: Lime juice is used to add a lovely citrus zing to the dressing. I also like to serve the salad with lime wedges so guests can squeeze on a little more if they want to.

  • Greek yogurt: Used to replace the Mexican cream / sour cream as well as most of the mayonnaise used in traditional Mexican street corn recipes.

  • Mayonnaise: Just a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise are added to the dressing. While you can omit it and just use Greek yogurt, a little mayonnaise goes a long way in adding creaminess and flavor to the dressing.

**Note: Ingredient quantities and full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.**

How to Make Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

  1. Boil the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the fusilli. Cook according to package directions. Drain.

  2. Saute the corn and jalapeno. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and saute them for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the jalapeno and saute for 1 more minute. Set aside.

  3. Make the dressing. To make the dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients plus half of the cotija cheese together in a bowl until well combined. Alternatively, you can place the ingredients all in a food processor or blender and blitz them until smooth.

  4. Toss it all together. Place the pasta, corn, and jalapeno in a large serving bowl and drizzle on as much dressing as desired. Toss to coat the pasta evenly.

  5. Add toppings and serve. Sprinkle the pasta salad with the remaining cotija cheese, cilantro and chili powder. Serve with lime wedges.
Closeup of a bowl of Healthy Mexican Street corn pasta salad with lime wedges on top.

Can you make this pasta salad in advance?

This Mexican street corn pasta salad works well for meal prepping. You can have it prepped the day before your meal which signigicantly cuts down on the prep time.

As with most pasta salads, though, as the salad sits, the pasta will absorb a lot of the moisture from the dressing. To prevent this, I recommend making the salad and dressing ahead of time but wait until just before serving to toss them together. This ensures the pasta salad is at its creamiest when serving.

Storing leftovers

Leftover pasta salad can be kept in an airtight container or simply kept in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. As mentioned above, as it sits the dressing may get a bit absorbed by the pasta and it won’t be as creamy when you go to eat your leftovers. You can simply stir in a little more Greek yogurt and mayonnaise to make it creamy again.

Topview of a bowl of Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad topped with cilantro and lime wedges set on a kitchen counter.

We love serving this recipe at our summer barbecues as it goes well with so many mains including Homemade Hamburgers, Chicken Kofta Kebabs, and Grilled Chili Lime Chicken. I hope you give this recipe a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Bon appetit!

-Cathy

You may also my other pasta salad recipes:

Healthy Greek Pasta Salad
Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad
Healthy Caesar Pasta Salad
Corn, Bacon and Arugula Pasta Salad
Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Are you a fan of Mexican flavors? You may like:

Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mexican Street Corn Salsa
Queso Blanco Dip
Beef Empanadas
Baked Chicken Taquitos
Taco Stuffed Mini Peppers
Authentic Taco Seasoning Recipe
Cucumber Margarita

A bowl of Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad topped with lime wedges and set on a grey marble counter in front of a bowl of cotija cheese.

Healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Catherine
This healthy Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is easy to make and so flavorful, it is sure to be a hit! It's perfect for summer barbecues and pot lucks.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 303 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 4 cups fusilli pasta or similar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno seeds removed and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (can sub feta cheese), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • lime wedges, for serving

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the fusilli. Cook according to package directions. Drain.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and saute them for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the jalapeno and saute for 1 more minute. Set aside.
  • To make the dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients plus half of the cotija cheese together in a bowl until well combined. Alternatively, you can place the ingredients all in a food processor or blender and blitz them until smooth.
  • Place the pasta, corn, and jalapeno in a large serving bowl and drizzle on as much dressing as desired. Toss to coat the pasta evenly.
  • Sprinkle the pasta salad with the remaining cotija cheese, cilantro and chili powder. Serve with lime wedges.

Note: Metric ingredient measurements are provided as a courtesy using a third-party calculator and are rounded to the nearest unit. The recipes provided on this site have not been tested with metric measurements and their accuracy cannot be verified.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 11gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 360mgPotassium: 254mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 206IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided is based on third-party calculations and is an estimate only. Accurate nutritional facts will vary based on the particular brands used, portion sizes, measurement accuracy and more.

Keyword cookout, fresh corn, frozen corn, grilling, pasta, pasta salad, pot luck, potluck
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