Mexican Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican corn pasta salad in a grey bowl on a wood surface.

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This Mexican corn pasta salad is packed with seasoned and pan roasted corn, crisp red onions, and a lime crema dressing. The perfect dish at any cookout or party!


2 and 1/2 cups macaroni noodles
2 10 oz bags of frozen corn, cooked according to package instructions
1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese
1/2 cup finely diced red onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the dressing
1 cup Mexican crema
1/2 cup sour cream
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to box instructions. Once cooked, strain into a bowl and place in the fridge until you’re done with the rest of the recipe.

2. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the corn. In a large pan melt the butter, then add the cooked corn. Season with the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir so the corn is coated in the spices and butter, then cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the grated garlic for the final minute of cooking. You want the corn the get brown, with some little charred bits forming at the bottom of the pan. Once cooked, pour into a bowl.

3. To make the dressing, mix the crema, sour cream , lime juice and zest, salt, and pepper.

4. To assemble the pasta salad, pour the dressing over the noodles and stir to coat all of the macaroni. Add the corn, diced red onions, and Cotija…stir to combine. 

When serving you can add more Cotija and a squeeze of lime wedge! Enjoy!


  • If you like things spicy, you can increase the cayenne pepper from 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon! I recommend eating this within 1 day of making it for the best consistency of the crema sauce. 
  • You could use canned or fresh corn if you’d like! You’ll need about 2 and 1/2 cups of corn if you’d like to substitute for the frozen corn.

Keywords: Mexican corn pasta salad