A large oval white serving plate topped with a Mexican corn and pasta salad garnished with cotija cheese and cilantro.

Mexican elote corn pasta salad

Total Time
55 min
10 min
15 min
Look no further for a perfect potluck dish. In this tasty mash-up, we’ve taken the essence of Mexican elote—a street delicacy of grilled corn on the cob smothered with mayo, then topped with spices, cheese, and lime juice—and merged it with a chilled American-style pasta salad. You can make this recipe up to 1 day in advance, leaving out the cilantro until just before serving so its fresh flavor really pops.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s)

Barilla Campanelle, N. 99

4 oz, uncooked pasta, or penne, fusilli, or radiatore

Uncooked corn

3 cup(s), (from about 4 ears)


½ cup(s), chopped, chopped

Jalapeño pepper

1 medium, seeded and finely chopped


2 clove(s), finely chopped

Light mayonnaise

3 Tbsp

Fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Cotija cheese

2 oz, crumbled


¼ cup(s), chopped

Chili powder

¾ tsp


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water; drain well again.
  2. Meanwhile, coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Add the corn, scallions, and jalapeño and cook until the corn is browned, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice, and salt. Add the pasta and corn and toss to combine. Stir in the cheese and cilantro. Sprinkle with the chili powder. Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Serving size: about 1 cup