This super easy Mexican Street Corn Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfect summer staple main dish or side dish recipe. Healthy, delicious, and full of flavor!
This easy Mexican corn salad has all the good stuff I crave in a fresh Summer salad. Avocado, a spicy and tangy mayo dressing, tender pasta noodles, crisp spinach, and hearty shredded chicken.
I love recipes that serve multiple purposes. Like a jello salad that can be an appetizer or a dessert, or a chicken salad like this one that can be a side dish or a main entree.
I love to whip up this salad for backyard bbqs and family get togethers because it can feed a lot of people as a side dish, and it’s a total crowd pleaser, but it’s quick and easy enough that whenever I get a craving for it I don’t hesitate to make it for dinner on a busy weeknight.
Straight up it’s 100 percent amazing, but I love to turn this salad into a wrap or a sandwich for a little more oomph!
So how do you make this salad?
Just throw together some fresh baby spinach, cooked pasta noodles (I usually use bowtie but feel free to sub any other short pasta noodle here), shredded chicken (YES, rotisserie chicken is perfect!), onions, cilantro, black beans, avocado, cotija or queso fresco cheese (I’ve used feta in a pinch too and it works great) and of course – grilled corn.
If you aren’t grilling your corn on the cob, you aren’t living my friends. I discovered the magic of grilling corn a few years ago and have never looked back.
I think I’ve boiled corn ONE time in the past three years, no joke. And to answer that question I know you ‘ll have – no you do not need to boil the corn before putting it on the grill, the grill will cook it through.
How do you grill corn on the cob?
To grill your corn, just brush it with a bit of olive oil and season with salt to taste. Use tongs to place the cobs directly on the grill grates and rotate every 1-2 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Keep rotating like this until the kernels start to blacken, then remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly before either serving immediately on the cob, or using a sharp knife to cut the kernels off of the cob.
Bring all of that goodness together with an amazingly tasty, two-minute dressing with mayo, cayenne pepper, garlic, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine, and serve.
Feel free to customize the salad by adding halved cherry tomatoes or by swapping out spinach for something like arugula – you can’t go wrong with this salad any way you make it!
Mexican Street Corn Chicken Pasta Salad
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded chicken - rotisserie chicken works well
- 3 cups cooked bowtie pasta noodles - or another short noodle
- 2 ears of corn
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- 2 avocados - sliced
- ½ cup black beans
- 1 bunch cilantro - chopped
- ½ red onion - thinly sliced
- ½ cup crumbled cotija - or queso fresco cheese
- ⅓ cup light mayo
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Brush corn with oil and season with salt to taste. Grill over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, turning throughout, until kernels begin to char. Allow to cool slightly before using a sharp knife to cut kernels from the cobs.
- In a large bowl combine spinach, chicken, pasta, grilled corn, avocados, cilantro, onions, and cheese. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine. Serve immediately.