Bow tie pasta loaded up with avocados, peppers, cotija cheese, grilled corn and that creamy crema dressing makes for one killer Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad you won’t want to miss out on.
Does pasta salad ever get old? And does it seem like pasta salad is totally trendy right now? It’s all over pinterest and this Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad is going to be as well. There’s just something about grilled corn and those smoky seasonings, but then you throw in carbs in the form of pasta and I’m totally all in.
There are some really important questions we answer in our Easy Bacon Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad recipe, so if you haven’t ever checked out that post, just hop over there really quick and read up on the secret to pasta salad so it isn’t bland and why you shouldn’t serve it one particular way.
Pasta salad always seems so easy to make, and it totally is, but there are a few things that people do wrong and it totally makes for a bland, soggy or even dry pasta salad. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there. You’re all excited, go to dig in and are totally disappointed.
How to Avoid Bland Pasta Salad
With Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad you can skip the bland bus entirely if you do three things:
- Pick corn that is ripe and sweet
- Do the same for your avocados and make sure they are large and not small
- Overcook the pasta (see that Easy Bacon Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad recipe I linked to above)
The corn is the most important add in for our pasta salad as it’s an Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad so it must be chosen well and cooked to perfection. Usually a farmers’ market has better corn than your grocery store but unless you live in an area with fantastic farmers’ markets you may need to stick with the store. We’ve got a few ideas to help though.
What’s the Difference Between White Corn and Yellow Corn?
Actually, there really isn’t much difference at all between white corn and yellow corn. Both are considered to be sweet corn, though there are people who argue that one is sweeter than the other. Color just really doesn’t matter when you really look at it. We love yellow because colorful food actually makes a difference in your brain, so you may see those bright yellow kernels and feel more drawn to the yellow and enjoy it more.
Why Does Corn Have Dents in it?
If you’ve husked your corn and it has dents in it it’s called Dent corn and has already dried out. No amount of butter or boiling will fix that. Actually, dent corn is still used though. It’s used to make tortillas and chips!
How to Choose Good Corn on the Cob
Ahhh yes, corn is starting to arrive in grocery stores and everyone is standing around the barrel, peeling back the husks to pick a good corn on the cob. That always bothers me a stitch as it doesn’t seem like good etiquette.
Is there a way to know how to choose good corn on the cob without peeking?
Yes there is! In fact we go into full detail in our post, THE SECRET TO THE BEST GRILLED CORN ON THE COB. It might even be life changing for you. Just sayin’.
How to Pick a Good Avocado
Hi, I’m Carrian and I’m obsessed with avocados. 🙂
I’m also totally judging you at the store if you’re palming all of the avocados. It’s the only thing I’ll judge you on, so go ahead and wear your pajamas to the grocery store or play your Britney Spears from 2001.
Palming avocados leads to bruising for the next customer so here’s how to pick a ripe avocado.
- Look at the color– A ripe avocado is darker in color than an underripe. So if you’re wanting to use the avocado right away look for a very dark avocado. If you want one in a few days choose an avocado that is more green.
- Firmness– Place your thumb at one end and your pointer finger at the other end and gently press. A ripe avocado will yield slightly to the pressure while an unripe avocado will not.
- Look for Indentations– An avocado that has indentations has been bruised or is far past ripe and is black inside.
- Pull out the stem– If you push the stem off is it brown or green underneath? Brown is generally overripe while green to green brown is ripe.
How to Store Avocados
There are a few different ways to store avocados depending on needs.
- Avocados ready to eat– Store avocados on the counter, out of direct sunlight but not in a closed pantry or cupboard.
- How to Ripen Avocados- If your avocado needs to ripen, store in a paper bag out of direct sunlight so it doesn’t over ripen too quickly, unless you need it to hurry up.
- Storing Ripe Avocados– If your avocado is ripe but you want it to last, store it in the refrigerator.
- How to Store Avocado That Has Been Cut – If you’ve cut your avocado, save the peels and pit, put the avocado back together as if it’s whole and store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator.
Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
This elote Mexican corn pasta salad was created after making our Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Salad, our favorite summer side with corn.
It’s a delicious combination of pasta, dressing, cheese, fresh veggies and of course, sweet grilled corn.
We talk about each of the ingredients, what they are, substitutions and where to buy things in our Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Salad, so if you need answers head there.
We know you and your guests will be chowing down on this delicious summer side dish recipe, and good news, it’s still yummy the next day and the next!
How Long will Pasta Salad Keep for
You can store this pasta salad for up to 3 days, though it’s best eaten the day of. But I happen to love pasta salad the next day for lunch, so I’m just sayin’, hiding some in the fridge for later isn’t a bad idea.
Pasta Salad RECIPES
Looking for more Pasta Salad recipes like this Elote Grilled Mexican Corn Pasta Salad? We always are too as we love a good pasta salad, so make sure you try:
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Pizza Pasta Salad
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad
- Easy Bacon Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Teriyaki Chicken Pasta Salad
More CORN RECIPES You Are Sure to Love:
- Perfect Corn on the Cob
- Jalapeno Bacon Elote Mexican Grilled Corn Salad
- Slow Cooker Potato Broccoli Corn Chowder with Bacon
- Cheesy Zucchini Corn Casserole
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad
- Bacon Ranch Corn Dip
- Ham and Potato Corn Chowder
- Mexican Corn on the Cob
- Fiesta Corn
- Ham Sandwich and Corn Chowder
- Best Creamed Corn
- How to Freeze Corn
- Cilantro Butter Corn
- Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Rice
- Cheesy Jiffy Cornbread Casserole
- All our SIDE DISHES here!
Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
- 6 Ears Corn, husked
- 2/3 Cup Crema *see note for substitution
- 5 Tablespoons Lime Juice, fresh is best
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 3/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
- 3/4 Cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 Red Onion, minced
- 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
- 8 ounces Pasta,, bowtie, half a box, cooked and drained *see note
- 2 Avocados, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 Bell Peppers, large red, chopped
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold gently with a rubber spatula, seasoning with additional salt as needed. (Seasoning is key!)
- Serve slightly warm, room temperature or cold.
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