This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is loaded with corn, cotija and a deliciously tangy, creamy dressing that is the stuff dreams are made of. It's quick and easy to throw together and is made up of mostly pantry ingredients that you've probably already got in your kitchen!
Moderately salt your pasta water! Salting the pasta water is the first step in seasoning this dish and it's going to do a lot to boost the flavor of the pasta itself. I recommend adding 2-4 tablespoons of Kosher salt to the boiling water before adding the uncooked pasta. You want the pasta water to be as salty as the sea, literally. Once you start salting your pasta water, you will never stop, I promise.
Cook the pasta just until al dente. Nothing ruins a pasta salad quicker than mushy, overcooked pasta. I like to cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the lowest recommended cooking time on the package directions. So if the package recommends 9-11 minutes, I start (carefully) tasting the pasta after 8 minutes and pull it off the heat and strain it as soon as it's al dente.
If sweet corn is in season where you are, you can definitely use corn on the cob instead of frozen corn! There's no need to cook the corn before adding it to the pasta salad. Freshly cut, uncooked corn from the cob is one of life's greatest pleasures. OR if you have leftover grilled corn on the cob - cut it from the cob and use that!
The dressing in this pasta salad will thicken as it sits. I would recommend dressing it just before serving, or if you'll be enjoying this pasta salad a few hours after you make it, feel free to add a splash of lime juice or even milk to loosen things up.
Keywords: elote pasta salad, street corn pasta salad, Mexican pasta salad