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Esquites-Inspired Pasta Salad (Mexican Street Corn-Inspired)

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


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


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Mix vegan mayonnaise, lime juice, vegan parmesan cheese, fresh cilantro, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, garlic in a large bowl.
  6. Add the cooked pasta, jalapeños, bell pepper, and red onion, and stir to coat thoroughly. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Garnish with additional vegan parmesan, corn kernels, and fresh cilantro. 
  8. 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