Fresh and Flavorful Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad

Are you looking for a refreshing and vibrant dish to bring to your next summer gathering? Look no further than this delightful pasta salad bursting with the flavors of corn and tomatoes. With the addition of cilantro and a zesty lemon dressing, this recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Whether you serve it warm or chilled, alongside your favorite grilled proteins or as a standalone dish, this pasta salad is sure to be a hit.


Pasta salad ingredients, organized into individual bowls on a white table.

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the star ingredients that make this pasta salad shine:

  • Grilled corn: Grilled corn kernels add a smoky sweetness and provide a satisfying crunch to every bite.
  • Cherry tomatoes: These little bursts of color and flavor add a touch of sweetness to balance the dish.
  • Good olive oil: With so few ingredients, the quality of the olive oil really matters. We recommend using a brand like EXAU for the best results.
  • Fresh cilantro: The bright and herbaceous notes of cilantro elevate this pasta salad to new heights.
  • Fresh lemon juice and zest: The tangy lemon juice and zest form the base of the dressing, adding a refreshing citrusy twist.
  • Starchy pasta water: Saving a bit of the pasta water helps the sauce cling to the noodles and brings everything together.


Hand using a glass measuring cup to scoop pasta water out of a pot.

To begin, boil the pasta in salted water until it’s just shy of al dente. Before draining, save about 2 tablespoons of the starchy pasta water. This will come in handy later when we bring the dressing together.

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Next, rinse the cooked pasta with cold water to cool it down and set it aside while we prepare the sauce.

Whisking lemon zest and juice with olive oil in a large glass bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of one lemon with a bit of olive oil.

Stirring pasta water into a bowl with cooked pasta and lemon dressing.

Add the cooked, cooled pasta to the sauce, along with the reserved pasta water. Give everything a good stir to ensure that the dressing coats each strand of pasta.

Pasta in a large glass bowl with lemon dressing.

As the pasta sits and continues to cool, the sauce will absorb into the noodles, infusing them with the zesty lemon flavors.

Mixing grilled corn, cilantro, and tomatoes into pasta salad.

Now it’s time to add the star ingredients: tomatoes, cilantro, and grilled corn kernels. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to enhance the flavors. Toss everything together, ensuring that each bite is filled with a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.

Storing Leftovers

This pasta salad is best enjoyed on the day it’s prepared. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two. Just keep in mind that after a few days, the tomatoes may dry out, and the cilantro might start to wilt.

So, what are you waiting for? Give this fresh and flavorful Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad a try at your next summer gathering or weeknight meal. Your taste buds will thank you!

Love this recipe? Try our Greek Yogurt Potato Salad next →