Oh mama, this is the ultimate Summer Pasta Salad Recipes!!! Our Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken is my new favorite pasta salad recipe and even summer side dish.

a wooden bowl filled with a bowtie chicken and corn pasta salad with avocados and peppers and cotija cheese

There are so many pasta salad recipes out there, but many of them lack flavor. It seems like bland pasta has become far too common. This Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken is bursting with flavor, texture, and plenty of carbs. I only mention carbs because we all know carbs make the world go round.

We’ve talked to you all about our Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Salad and how incredibly flavorful it is. We’ve also made an Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad because the grilled corn salad was just so darn good. We couldn’t help it. If something is delicious, why not make new versions?

It’s kind of like Mom’s Famous Caramel Brownies. Such a delicious recipes that we just had to make into Caramel Brownies from Scratch, and the ULTIMATE indulgence, Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies. Yeah, just let that deliciousness soak in for a moment.

a wooden bowl filled with a bowtie chicken and corn pasta salad with avocados and peppers and cotija cheese

Summer is one of the best times to get out and buy fresh food. Here in Utah we don’t have many big farmers’ markets, more just small stands, but we still use them as much as we can.

In both the Elote Grilled Mexican Corn Salad and Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad we talk about everything you need to know about pasta salad and the ingredients listed. We highly suggest you head over to both posts and take a little scan as they have very important information you’ll want to know before you make our Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken recipe.

Grilled Chicken

The grilled chicken is the only addition to an already delicious pasta salad recipe, but it’s a very important one. There’s not just merely grilled chicken that has been shredded, but instead we use Easy Grilled Chicken for Tacos because the flavor is just outstanding.

The spices and smoke add a delicious layer of goodness to the pasta salad that cannot be replicated. We also learned that it was best to chop the chicken versus shredding it as the size was more uniform with the other ingredients and you could taste it a little better.

Can You Use Canned Chicken in Pasta Salad?

If it’s the end of the world as you know it… just kidding. I started to type that and the song popped into my head so I just had to go for it…

Anyway, if you have no other choice you could just add canned chicken to this Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken, but we aren’t big fans. Canned chicken takes on a different flavor and texture. It shreds into tiny bits and tastes, well canned and almost fake.

Using grilled chicken adds smokiness and the spices are warmed on the grill which enhances their flavor as well.

a wooden bowl filled with a bowtie chicken and corn pasta salad with avocados and peppers and cotija cheese

Can You Cook the Chicken in the Oven or Stovetop?

Grilled chicken definitely gives that smoky flavor because of the grilling over a flame, but not everyone has access to a grill. In that case, can you cook the chicken in the oven or stovetop?

Yes, totally!

While you won’t have the smoky flavor from the grill, the spices will still bloom in the oven or stovetop on a pan. More on that below.

Heat an oven to 350 degrees and proceed with the recipe as normal. Place the chicken in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is no longer pink. Let stand for 5 minutes before chopping.

To cook chicken on the stove, heat a pan to medium high heat and add a small drizzle of oil.

Add the chicken to the pan and immediately you should hear a sizzle. Turn the pan to medium low and cook for 5-7 minutes, flip and cook an additional 5-7 minutes. You can read our post on How to Cook Chicken in a Pan for more information and the secret to knowing when chicken is done without cutting into it. 

What Does it Mean to Bloom Spices?

Blooming spices is one of our favorite things to do in cooking as it really enhances flavors and aromas. Heating spices allows them to really come to life, open up and share their flavor, much like a flower blooming in spring. It’s better, more vibrant and far more exciting in a dish.

No matter what you end up doing to this recipe for Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken, I’m sure you’re going to love it.

If you don’t like avocados, skip it. Got zucchini you want to grill too? Oh man, totally add that, it would be delicious!!

a wooden bowl filled with a bowtie chicken and corn pasta salad with avocados and peppers and cotija cheese

Chicken Salad RECIPES

Looking for more chicken salad recipes like this Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken? We always are too, so make sure you try:

Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken

Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Description

Oh mama, this is the ultimate Summer Pasta Salad Recipes!!! Our Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Pasta Salad with Chicken is my new favorite pasta salad recipe and even summer side dish.

Ingredients 

  • 6 Ears of Corn, husked
  • 2 Breasts of [Easy Grilled Chicken for Tacos]
  • 1/2  teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4  teaspoon  Black Pepper
  • 8 ounces half a box Bowtie Pasta, cooked and drained *see note
  • 2/3 Cup Crema *see note for substitution
  • Tablespoons  Lime Juice, fresh is best
  • teaspoon  Ground Cumin
  • 3/4  teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 3/4 Cup Crumbled Cotija Cheese
  • 1/2 Red Onion, minced
  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Large Red Bell Peppers, chopped

Instructions

  • Prepare your pasta salad by starting with your grilled corn.
  • Heat a grill to medium heat. Add the corn, turning occasionally until slightly charred on each side.
    6 Ears of Corn
  • Also follow the directions in the link above for the Grilled Chicken, adding it to the grill as well.
    2 Breasts of [Easy Grilled Chicken for Tacos]
  • Remove from the grill and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Holding the corn by the small end, cut off all of the kernels.
  • Place the kernels in a big bowl to cool.
  • Pull the meat off and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before chopping.
  • Heat a pot of water over medium high heat. Once boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook until just over done. NOT al dente, you want to cook past that point so that the pasta will not absorb the dressing, but instead coat the pasta.
    1/2  teaspoon Salt, 1/4  teaspoon  Black Pepper, 8 ounces half a box Bowtie Pasta, cooked and drained *see note
  • Drain the pasta well and run under cold water in a colandar, tossing with your fingers occasionally to cool it completely.
  • Add pasta to the corn bowl along will all other ingredients, including the chicken.
    2/3 Cup Crema *see note for substitution, 5  Tablespoons  Lime Juice, 1  teaspoon  Ground Cumin, 3/4  teaspoon Smoked Paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder, 3/4 Cup Crumbled Cotija Cheese, 1/2 Red Onion, 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, 2 Avocados, 1 1/2 Large Red Bell Peppers
  • Fold gently with a rubber spatula, seasoning with additional salt as needed. (Seasoning is key!)
    1/2  teaspoon Salt
  • Serve slightly warm, room temperature or cold.

Notes

* You can find the crema by the meat department in the Mexican food section
* Head to our post on our Easy Southern English Pea Pasta Salad to read about cooking past al dente
You can refrigerated left overs for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 43.5gProtein: 13.1gCholesterol: 28.7mgSodium: 219mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 6.5g
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 Family Favorite Easy Healthy Recipes

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a wooden bowl filled with a bowtie chicken and corn pasta salad with avocados and peppers and cotija cheese