This Mexican-Inspired Street Corn Orzo Pasta Salad is a healthy, family-friendly vegan meal. 30-minute recipe using budget-friendly ingredients.
This quick and easy pasta salad is one of my go-to weeknight recipes when I'm in a rush to make dinner. It's fresh, flavorful, and always a hit. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
- Olive oil
- Frozen corn
- Cannellini beans
- Red bell pepper
- Red onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Distilled white or apple cider vinegar
- Chipotle powder
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano
- Tajin seasoning (optional)
- Vegan feta cheese for serving (optional)
- Kale (optional)
See recipe card for quantities.
Mexican-Inspired Street Corn Orzo Pasta Salad is versatile and easy to make.
Cook the orzo pasta first so it has time to cool before mixing it into the salad. You can also serve this as a warm salad as desired.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the corn kernels. You can use fresh or frozen corn to make this recipe. You do not need to thaw frozen corn before using.
To save time, chop your veggies while the corn is browning. Stir the corn occasionally so it doesn't burn.
Serve your flavorful Mexican Street Corn Orzo Pasta Salad as is, or top with vegan feta, chopped parsley, or other fresh herbs you have on hand.
- Orzo - instead of orzo, use macaroni, conchigliette, or another variety of small pasta shape
- Cannellini beans - use Great Northern, navy, pinto, or black beans instead
- Herbs - add chopped fresh herbs you have on hand (cilantro, green onion, dill, thyme)
- Red onion - instead of red onion, used chopped shallots
- Red bell peppers - substitute for yellow or orange bell peppers
- Kale - add finely chopped kale for extra nutrients and to increase the number of servings
- Brussels sprouts - Add shredded Brussels sprouts for a power bowl! Pulse the Brussels in a food processor until evenly shredded before adding.
See this Chickpea & Brussels Vegan Caesar Salad on my website!
Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight container. Good for up to 3 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
💡 Top Tip
Massage the kale into the salad (if using) until just wilted.
Tajin was created by a Mexican company. It is made from a mix of dried and ground red chilis, salt, dehydrated lime juice, and a small amount of anti-caking agent. No artificial flavors, artificial colorants, or sugar are used.
Tajin adds a fresh, citrusy, and mildly spicy flavor, and pairs well with fruit, veggies, popcorn, salads, stews, soups, and more. It's a great seasoning to experiment with. There's also a low-sodium version.
Some major supermarket chains carry it, or you can purchase Tajin from Amazon.
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Mexican Street Corn Orzo Pasta Salad
- ¼ cup dry orzo
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cups sweet corn kernels frozen
- 15 ounces cannellini beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red bell pepper diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 small red onion diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 small jalapeño seeded, and minced
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise vegan
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon Tajin seasoning (optional)
- Vegan feta cheese for serving (optional)
- 2 cups finely chopped kale (optional)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to directions on the packet until al dente. Drain. Set aside to cool.
- Sauté the corn: Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook the corn for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Mix ingredients: Add the corn, orzo, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, vinegar, chipotle, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and Tajin to a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the kale if using. Use your hands to massage the kale into the salad. Adjust lime juice to taste. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Add feta if using: Break the feta into crumbles. Top the salad with the feta crumbles as desired.
- Use frozen, fresh, or canned drained corn kernels.
- I used Violife vegan feta and Chosen Foods vegan mayonnaise to make this recipe.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.