Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican Street Corn often known as Elote can be found on the streets of Mexico, at fairs, boardwalks, and farmers markets and it’s irresistible. Now I’ve taken it to the next level and turned it into a pasta salad. Perfect for lunch, summer side dish to your grilling items, the flavor is so delicious, add some diced jalapenos for extra spice.

ELOTE (Mexican Corn) Macaroni Salad @createdbydiane

Mexican corn pasta salad will become your favorite for all street corn lovers.

Another option for this recipe is to make it with quinoa, add 2 cups cooked quinoa to the recipe instead of pasta. Wishing there was no pasta… leave it out and simply make this tasty corn salad. 

With fresh lime juice, yummy tangy crumbled Cotija cheese, and other seasonings that’ll have you craving it more often than you would think!

This has such an irresistible flavor, and since this recipe is way more than just a roasted ear of corn… it’s a meal in itself, want more protein, add some cooked diced or shredded chicken.

It can be served on its own or makes a perfect side dish to tacos, Carne Asada, or Pollo Asada

roasting corn in a cast iron skillet @createdbydiane

I love that I often have everything I need on hand to make this dish, I did use frozen corn. You can roast corn on the cob if you prefer.

I used a mix of yellow and white corn as it’s what I had on hand. I do find frozen white corn to be sweeter and think it’s a great choice and easier than dealing with cutting corn off the cob.

I use a cast-iron skillet, for oh so many reasons. It gets super hot, which helps brown and slightly caramelize the corn in this dish and gives added flavor to all sorts of foods.  As frozen corn starts to cook, it’ll steam, add some coarse kosher salt and in the next few minutes you’ll see it start to become golden brown and carmelize, that is what you’re looking for, the water to evaporate from the corn, the salt to help dry it out a bit and the sugar in the corn to become golden and toasted. That toasted corn flavor is fantastic!

I have many cast iron skillets, if you don’t already have one… this may be just the time to do so.

If you are using pasta the sauce is key with the homemade mayo.… if you’re using quinoa the recipe can be made without the mayo, or less if you prefer.

One thing I won’t budge on is the mayo,  I REALLY have to insist if you haven’t made homemade mayo, you must!

It’s so delicious and brings this dish to a whole new level of delicious flavor. My homemade mayo recipeI suggest making one change to the recipe since this dish is so great with lime juice, swap out the lemon juice or vinegar with lime fresh lime juice, or use a mixture of both. But add some lime juice to the dish, it really give it great flavor.



  • I use fresh corn cut off the cob in the summer and it’s so delicious you’ll need at least 4 ears.
  • I add extra lime juice often when tossing it together.
  • Add as much jalapeno as you like. If it’s a really spicy jalapeno I often add 1/2 if it’s mild I’ll add more.
  • If you really like cilantro add some to the aioli it really kicks up the flavor of the mayo.

Be sure to check out my post on Homemade Mayo if you’ll be making the mayo from scratch as I do. You can use store-bought mayo, but homemade tastes best!

If you’re looking for a more traditional elote on the cob, check here.


Add some Tajin to give it a fun kick of flavor!

Mexican Corn Macaroni Salad


  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 24 oz frozen corn yellow or white or both
  • 2 oz cotija cheese crumbled found in the Mexican Cheese section
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 cup mayo homemade is best, link in blog post
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced or paste
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican Hot Chili Powder or regular chili powder
  • 4 green onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 whole jalapenos, seeded and diced to add spice to this recipe (OPTIONAL)


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente, rinse in cold water until pasta is cold.
  • Prepare homemade mayo recipe but replace the lemon juice or vinegar with lime juice or use store bought
  • Add to the mayonnaise: garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper
  • In cast iron skillet heat on high with a tablespoon of oil
  • Saute the jalapeno and corn, stir and cook on high until the corn is golden and browned nicely.
  • In a large bowl mix the macaroni, corn, and jalapeno with the mayo mixture, green onion, cilantro, cheese and additional lime juice.
  • top with Mexican hot chili powder, additional cheese, cilantro, lime and jalapeno slices.
  • Pasta salad recipes are great when made and refrigerated, it amplifies the flavor. Make the pasta the day before, mix the "dressing" with the pasta, and place it in the fridge overnight (or a few hours) for the best flavor. Mix the remaining ingredients the next day, chill, and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


enjoy elote a whole new way


I dare you not to want to grab a big spoon and dive right in!



Mexican Macaroni Salad @createdbydiane


    1. After making the recipe for the Mexican Corn Macaroni Salad, yes chill it and serve it as you would any macaroni salad. The flavors really meld together when you chill salad like macaroni and potato salads. But if you are in a hurry and make it and need to serve it asap, then go right ahead, it’s great at room temperature too. For a party I would chill it completely before serving.

  1. Thanks for the reply. I needed it the next day so I went ahead and made it and chilled it. It came out perfect. It was a hit at the gathering and more than one asked for the recipe. Thanks for a great and different salad!

  2. Do you devein and remove seeds from jalapeno, or is that optional…based on personal preference? Thanks!

    1. Hi, It’s personal preference, if you like it spicier like I do leave the seeds and vein, if you prefer things mild, remove them! Either way, it’s delicious.

  3. About how many servings does this make? I’m going to make it for a barbecue next weekend and just want to make sure I have enough. Thanks!

    1. I would make this for 15 people as a side dish as long as there are other items being served as well. If the party is for 30 people make a double batch.

  4. This looks great. I am really excited to try this recipe. Thank you so much, Diane you’re so creative!

  5. Just with the simple and easy-to-find ingredients I could have had a great meal to eat. Thank you for sharing this I love mexican street corn.

  6. I love that the sauce is made fresh, I find that makes all the difference in recipes, and I do love macaroni salad and this flavor combo is so great.

  7. Everything turned out perfectly, this is my new favorite recipe from your blog, but really so many are so delicious and easy to make, I always look forward to your emails to discover new recipes all the time, thanks!

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