In less than 15 minutes, you can enjoy this simple and delicious vegan esquites-inspired pasta salad. Loaded with freshly roasted corn, cilantro, a spice-packed creamy dressing, and hearty pasta, it’s the perfect budget-friendly side to bring to picnics all summer long!
- 16 ounces of fusilli pasta
- 3 1/2 cups roasted/charred corn kernels
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- Salt, to taste
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.
- For the corn, you can either use frozen roasted corn or roast it yourself. To prepare fresh corn: Husk the corn. Using a knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobs. The neatest way to do this is by placing a small bowl upside down in a large bowl and balancing the cob vertically on the small bowl so the kernels fall in the large bowl.
- Roasting on the stovetop: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or vegan butter) and the corn kernels. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the kernels are lightly charred, 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then set aside to cool.
- Roasting in the oven: To roast corn in the oven, brush olive oil on each ear of corn and season with salt and pepper. Wrap ears individually in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. Open the foil and broil until charred as desired.
- Mix vegan mayonnaise, lime juice, vegan parmesan cheese, fresh cilantro, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, garlic in a large bowl.
- Add the cooked pasta, jalapeños, bell pepper, and red onion, and stir to coat thoroughly. Season with salt to taste.
- Garnish with additional vegan parmesan, corn kernels, and fresh cilantro.
- Optional: Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- You can use fresh corn and roast it yourself, or opt to use frozen already roasted corn for this recipe.
- For a spicier salad, don’t remove the jalapeño seeds.
- Vegan sour cream would also work great in this recipe.
- If you want to add an extra kick to this recipe, we recommend adding some cayenne pepper.
- Add the zest from 1/2 of the lime to brighten up the recipe.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, opt for gluten-free pasta.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Category: Pasta, Salad
- Cuisine: Vegan
Keywords: Appetizers, Salad, Sides, Entree, Pasta, Vegan Party, Corn, Summer, Roasted