We’re now entering that time of year where potlucks and parties are on a consistent basis.
Cookouts, graduations, Memorial Day…it’s all going on right now. If you’re like me, you both love and hate this time of year.
You love it because of the food, family, and fun.
Hate it because your schedule is so jam-packed you can’t breathe.
The foods people bring to these late-spring, early-summer festivities are the best you’ll find all year. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Thanksgiving and Christmas party, but summer-style foods are my favorite.
Pasta salads, potato salads, fruit salads, dips—the options are endless. I’ve got cookbooks out the wazoo that have gigantic sections dedicated to ‘salads’—and I’m not talking leafy green salads. I’m talking heavy on the mayo, hold the healthy. If you sat a bowl of macaroni salad and a bowl of Caesar salad in front of me, I’m going to be reaching for the macaroni salad 99% of the time.
At the station this week we held a cookout. Burgers & hot dogs were on tap and my coworkers and I brought the sides and desserts. I knew I wanted to bring a pasta salad, but was torn between which I should bring. Pea and bacon? Classic macaroni? Asian style Ramen salad?
None of those would suffice. I wanted something packed full of delicious veggies and cheese. That’s where this Mexican street corn salad came from.
I thank the Gods everyday that Trader Joe’s is in my life. I didn’t have to roast any corn myself because of that wonderful grocery store. They sell bags of frozen roasted corn and all you have to do is heat it up and eat. That’s what drove me to make this pasta salad; it was loaded with roasted flavor yet so effortless to make.
The addition of cilantro, queso fresco, jalapeno, bacon and avocado really ramped up the salad. I made a dressing with mayo, cumin, lime, chili powder and Sriracha and all was right with the world. If you’re looking for a unique side dish to bring to your next barbecue, this one’s for you. If you like heat, this one’s for you. If you want to please all the corn lovers in your life…this one’s for you.
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
A zesty, spicy pasta salad that tastes like Mexican street corn.
- 3 cups roasted corn kernels (or 2 cans corn, drained)
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1-2 avocados, cubed
- 1/2 cup queso fresco
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup bacon crumbles
- 16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- Juice & zest of 1 lime
- 2 TBS. Sriracha
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayo, lime juice and zest, Sriracha, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine cilantro, jalapeno and bacon. Add drained, cooked pasta, beans and corn. Drizzle mayonnaise mixture over the top. Toss to combine. Add in queso fresco and avocado and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayo, lime juice and zest, Sriracha, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine cilantro, jalapeno and bacon.
Add drained, cooked pasta, beans and corn. Drizzle mayonnaise mixture over the top and toss to combine. Stir in queso fresco and avocado. Refrigerate until ready to serve.