Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Our family has enjoyed this salad quite a few times over the summer! It’s sweet, salty, creamy, and just delicious. The recipe is also quite forgiving in terms of ingredients, which makes it great to please a crowd. You can make it mild or more spicy by using either red bell pepper or jalapeno, make it gluten free by omitting the pasta and add more veggies, replace the mayo with sour cream for an even creamier dressing, etc. Have fun with making it your own or follow the recipe as shown. I do recommend making at least a 1/2 batch more of the dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 2 cups miniature farfelle pasta or any other pasta, uncooked
  • 3-4 corns on the cob or 2 10oz frozen corn.
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno (use Red Bell Pepper to keep it mild)
  • 6-8 strips hardwood smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup Queso Fresco Cheese (or cotija or feta — add cheese to preference (we like ~1/2 cup depending on the cheese used (cotija is saltier so use less))
  • Optional: 1/2 canned cup black beans

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup full fat regular mayo (or sour cream)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce (optional)
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Make sure the pasta is completely dry.
  2. Corn: if using corn on the cob: Heat the grill to medium. Pull back the husks to the base and take off all the silk from each ear of corn. Fold back the husks into place.
  3. Place the corn on the grill, cover the grill, and cook for 15-20 minutes turning the corn every 5 minutes.
  4. You’ll know the corn is done when the kernels are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Alternative Corn: use 2 10 oz frozen corn — heat a large skillet on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until very hot. Place corn in a single layer and cook for about 5 minutes stirring once in between or until browned. Avoid stirring too often as this will keep the corn from getting a good roast.
  6. Meanwhile prep the veggies: chop the avocado into small pieces, chop the green onions, coarsely chop the cilantro, very finely chop the jalapeno, and cook then crumble the bacon. Crumble the cheese. Add black beans if desired.
  7. In a large bowl combine the completely dry and cooled pasta, cooled corn, avocado, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, bacon, and cheese. **If you don’t plan on eating this in one sitting and immediately after making, don’t add the bacon, cheese, or avocado. Add those in separately right before enjoying.**
  8. Toss together.
  9. In a small bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until completely combined.
  10. Toss with the salad and enjoy!
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