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Pasta Salad With Corn and Tomatoes

4.2

(136)

A bowl of pastacorn salad with a serving spoon in it.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Olivia Mack Anderson

Perfect for picnics, potlucks, or those hot nights when you simply cannot fathom turning on the oven, this corn and pasta salad recipe tastes like summer in a bowl. Fresh corn and in-season tomatoes and basil make it sing, though you can substitute defrosted frozen corn in a pinch. The easiest way to cut corn off its cob is with a rimmed baking sheet, small bowl, and serrated knife: Place the bowl upside down on the baking sheet, hold the ear vertically on top, and slice downward. All the kernels will fall neatly within the sheet. If you use frozen corn, opt for a quality brand since it will provide a lot of the flavor and texture in this easy recipe. To make this a vegan corn pasta salad, swap in a ¼ cup nutritional yeast for the grated Parmesan. You can also use different pasta shapes like orecchiette, rotini, or jaunty elbow macaroni. Substitute chopped parsley for some or all of the basil, or throw in a handful of chopped mint or oregano.

The garlic-basil dressing is versatile too. Drizzle it onto a Caprese salad or mix in some mayo to turn it into a sandwich spread, use it to dress baby spinach or microgreens, or add it to chunks of roasted eggplant and chopped green olives for a caponata-style summer side dish.

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    10 minutes

  • Yield

    4–6 servings

Ingredients

5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, finely grated on a Mircroplane
1½ cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears) or frozen, thawed
1¼ lb. plum tomatoes (about 6), chopped
8 oz. penne pasta, freshly cooked
½ cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Step 1

    Whisk 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, ½ cup chopped fresh basil, and 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated on a Microplane, in a large bowl to blend.

    Step 2

    Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add 1½ cups fresh or frozen, thawed corn kernels, and sauté until just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add corn to dressing in bowl. Add 1¼ lb. plum tomatoes, chopped, 8 oz. penne pasta, freshly cooked, and ½ cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese; toss to blend. Season salad with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Editor’s note: This corn and pasta salad recipe was first printed in August 2017. Head this way for more of our best summer side dishes

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Reviews (136)

Back to TopTriangle
  • This is a great recipe. I’ve made it with half the vinegar and the full recommended amount. I prefer half the vinegar.

    • Anonymous

    • Alamogordo, New Mexico

    • 6/17/2023

  • I triple the recipe for a large gathering. My proportions weren’t all x3 (less Parmesan cheese, a little more corn, fewer tomatoes) and I used grape tomatoes, not Roma. Wow! Would 100% make this again. It was a hit. Very fresh, not heavy, and with so many flavors. Just right for summer.

    • KarenD

    • Charlotte, NC

    • 6/2/2024

  • A great summer time salad. I will definately serve this one again. Each of my quests asked for the recipe. A tip for the health minded cooks: This is great even with less oil in the dressing.

    • Anonymous

    • Boise, ID

    • 5/15/2000

  • A great summer time salad. I will definately serve this one again. Each of my quests asked for the recipe. A tip for the health minded cooks: This is great even with less oil in the dressing.

    • Anonymous

    • Boise, ID

    • 5/15/2000

  • A great summer time salad. I will definately serve this one again. Each of my quests asked for the recipe. A tip for the health minded cooks: This is great even with less oil in the dressing.

    • Anonymous

    • Boise, ID

    • 5/15/2000

  • This was a terrific hit at my daughter's 1st Communion celebration this weekend. Many people requested the recipie. As an added twist I mixed the pasta's and put regular penne along with Sundried tomato penne (found at Trader Joe's)...added nice color and flavor.

    • Terri Pollino

    • Corona, CA

    • 5/23/2000

  • This was a terrific hit at my daughter's 1st Communion celebration this weekend. Many people requested the recipie. As an added twist I mixed the pasta's and put regular penne along with Sundried tomato penne (found at Trader Joe's)...added nice color and flavor.

    • Terri Pollino

    • Corona, CA

    • 5/23/2000

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