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.

A close up photo of a bow tie pasta salad with avocados, peppers, grilled corn, cilantro, and cotija cheese making up an Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

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:

  1. Pick corn that is ripe and sweet
  2. Do the same for your avocados and make sure they are large and not small
  3. 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.

A close up photo of a bow tie pasta salad with avocados, peppers, grilled corn, cilantro, and cotija cheese making up an Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

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’.

photo of a bow tie pasta salad with avocados, peppers, grilled corn, cilantro, and cotija cheese making up an Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Look for Indentations– An avocado that has indentations has been bruised or is far past ripe and is black inside.
  4. 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:

More CORN RECIPES You Are Sure to Love:

Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

3.65 from 40 votes
Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Description

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.

Ingredients 

  • 6 Ears Corn, husked
  • 1/2  teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces Pasta, bowtie, half a box, 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
  • 1/4  teaspoon  Black Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 Red Onion, minced
  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Bell Peppers, large red, chopped

Instructions

  • Prepare your pasta salad by starting with your grilled corn.
    6 Ears 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.
    1/2  teaspoon Salt, 8 ounces 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.
    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, 1/4  teaspoon  Black Pepper, 3/4 Cup Cotija Cheese, 1/2 Red Onion, 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, 2 Avocados, 1 1/2 Bell Peppers
  • Fold gently with a rubber spatula, seasoning with additional salt as needed. (Seasoning is key!)
  • Serve slightly warm, room temperature or cold.

Notes

Make sure that you just over cook the pasta so that it won't absorb the dressing. Mayonnaise can be used a substitute for crema.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 192kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 6gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 322mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 861IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Over 50 Easy Grilling Recipes

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A close up photo of a bow tie pasta salad with avocados, peppers, grilled corn, cilantro, and cotija cheese making up an Elote Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

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