This amazing Corn Pasta Salad is loaded up with fresh crisp veggies, roasted sweet corn, thick-cut bacon, and a tangy chili-lime dressing. Try my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad for another refreshing pasta salad.
Corn Pasta Salad
Inspired by the traditional street-style Mexican corn on the cob, this street corn pasta salad will be a delicious addition to all your summer picnics and side dishes. (It pairs wonderfully with my bang bang shrimp.) So much more flavorful than the traditional pasta salad, the dressing has a little zing from the lime and a little zap from the hot sauce. To make sure every bite is better than the one before, don’t skip roasting the corn kernels.
How to Make Corn Pasta Salad
I was just recently introduced to Mexican Sweet Corn. Let me tell you, I was missing out! The flavor of the roasted sweet corn is out of this world! The process is really simple, and you can use fresh corn on the cob, frozen, or canned corn.
Find yourself a good-sized skillet and then in small batches, you simply char the corn. (Or, if your skillet is large enough, you may be able to fit all the corn in one batch.) If using corn on the cob, I like to leave it right on the cob and flip it until I have hit all edges. However, many people will cut the corn off the cob and then just use a spatula to turn the corn in the pan. The benefit of the second method is that you char more sides of the individual corn kernels. And, drained canned corn works, too! Play around with it and see what works best for you.
Chili Lime Dressing
Fresh roasted corn, creamy avocado, thick and crispy bacon chunks, topped with a creamy tangy chili-lime dressing…are you drooling yet? This dressing can be used on so many other salad variations! It’s perfectly balanced with fresh lime juice and chili seasoning (among others). I like to make a big batch and serve with chicken, shrimp, salmon, or even pork!
Here is a great recipe for cilantro lime chicken that my family loves. You could make this into a salad and use the chili lime dressing on top. So yummy! This chili lime dressing is so easy! You’ll never want to buy store-bought dressing again!
Tips Tricks and Variations
- Swap out the bacon and add some chicken instead, or go crazy and add both!
- I sometimes like to use cotija cheese instead of feta cheese, but feta is sold at the store near me so it depends on where I am shopping.
- You can skip the pasta noodles entirely and add some chips on the side; this makes a great dip, too!
- 2 cups (6 ounces) uncooked farfelle pasta noodles (or pasta of choice)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) corn kernels, drained
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 6 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
- ½ cup full-fat mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, approximately 2-3 limes
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the noodles, toss them with olive oil, and set them aside.
- In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, add the corn kernels in a single layer. Heat just until slightly charred (2-3 minutes). Then, flip to char the second side. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, corn, avocado, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, bacon, feta, and black beans.
- In a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.