Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad with fresh corn, tomatoes, chilies, bacon, cilantro, cotija cheese and orecchiette pasta in a creamy Tajin dressing.
Delicious the first day and even better the following day. This pasta salad is my go-to dish for picnics, BBQ gatherings and camping. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for two days.
The orecchiette pasta is the perfect shape for cupping all the corn, peppers, bacon, tomatoes and cheese, so you get all the flavor in one bite. When cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water, orecchiette pasta really holds up in this creamy pasta salad.
Ingredients in Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Orecchiette Pasta – Ear shaped pasta, perfect for holding all the tasty bits.
- Corn – Yellow corn is preferred for color and flavor.
- Fresno Chilies – Red, medium heat chili pepper. Can also use serrano or jalapeno.
- Cherry / Grape Tomatoes – These smaller, sweeter tomatoes hold up well in pasta salad.
- Red Bell Pepper – Adds extra texture and color.
- Scallions – a.k.a. green onions for a fresh herbiness.
- Cilantro – Fresh cilantro.
- Bacon – The bacon in this pasta salad really makes the dish.
- Cotija Cheese – Crumbly Mexican cheese similar to feta.
- Tajin Seasoning – A Mexican seasoning staple.
- Mayonnaise– Real Mayo, full fat.
- Lime – Adds a light, zesty flavor.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- 4 cups Orecchiette pasta cooked according to package directions
- 6 ears yellow corn on the cob cut off the cob
- 1 tbsp. avocado oil
- 2 Fresno chilies (can sub serrano or jalapeno) minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 small pkg. cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 bunch green scallion / onions chopped
- 8 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup cotija cheese crumbled
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. Tajin seasoning
- 1 lime juiced
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until completely cool. Strain and remove all of the water from pasta, pat dry if necessary.
- While pasta is cooking, cook bacon either on a sheet pan in 400 degree oven until browned or in a pan on the stove. Remove grease from cooked bacon and crumble.
- Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add avocado oil and let it come to high heat. Add corn that has been cut off the cob. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until just heated, but still firm.
- Place completely cooled pasta in a large serving bowl. Toss together with corn, chilies, red bell pepper, tomato, scallions, cilantro and bacon. Stir in Tajin dressing to coat. Top with cotija cheese and more cilantro. Serve right away or refrigerate for even more flavor.