The idea for Elote Pasta LITERALLY came to me in the middle of the night a few weeks ago, while I was staring at my ceiling trying to go to sleep. Clearly, I don’t just dream of carbs when I’m sleeping, they’re always on my mind….
But wait! I know when you hear “pasta” you immediately write this off as a carb-laden splurge meal, but actually, this dish is higher in protein than it is carbs! If you’ve never had true elote- it’s Mexican Street Corn slathered in spices, creamy sour cream/mayo/cheese, and finished with herbs, lime, and more spices. It truly is a delight, but I am not here for sour cream or mayonnaise. Thus, to create the “creaminess” as the base, I reverted to one of my favorite vegan “alfredo” sauces- made primarily from silken tofu- making it protein packed instead of fat-heavy like a traditional cream-based sauce. Also, I use a green lentil pasta- so not only is the sauce full of muscle building amino acids, the pasta is too! While there are many “alternative” pastas out there, Tolerant Foods is the only one I’ve found to like so far (because it’s not dry or waxy!) and that’s what I feature in Elote Pasta.
While this recipe does call for some specific ingredients, they are staples that I promise you will love! Number one is the “Everything But the Elote” seasoning from Trader Joe’s. This is TJ’s latest and greatest product, that I have LITERALLY BEEN PUTTING ON EVERYTHING since I tasted it! I love it on eggs, butternut squash, popcorn, and now…Elote Pasta! Pick up a jar (or two), you won’t regret it. Next is the frozen “Roasted Corn” at TJ’s. I’ve seen several food bloggers post about this in the past, but this was my first time trying it, and I am now HOOKED! It has such amazing flavor, cooks up in just a couple minutes, and then you don’t have to get your kitchen splattered in corn juice trying to cut the kernels off the cob (I know I’m not the only one!).
All in all, this Elote Pasta has been hands down INCREDIBLE since the second I made it up! The pasta is chewy, the silky sauce gives it a “comfort food” vibe without the heaviness, the little bursts of corn add just the right amount of sweet to balance out the peppers + chili powder, and the brightness from the lime to finish it all off makes every bite feel fresh and complete! You will want to put this on your short list of things to make- enjoy!
- Yield: 5-6 servings
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
Elote Pasta has been hands down INCREDIBLE since the second I made it up! The pasta is chewy, the silky sauce gives it a "comfort food" vibe without the heaviness, the little bursts of corn add just the right amount of sweet to balance out the peppers + chili powder, and the brightness from the lime to finish it all off makes every bite feel fresh and complete!
- For the creamy sauce:
- 1 large yellow onion - diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic - minced
- 1-14 ounce package silken tofu
- 1/2 cup water
- 2T lime juice
- 2 tsps sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- For the rest of the dish:
- 1 large poblano pepper - roasted
- 2T avocado oil - olive oil and butter work fine too
- 1 large red onion - diced
- 2 jalepeno peppers - stem + seeds removed, diced
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels - I love the frozen Roasted Corn from Trader Joes
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- sea salt and black pepper - to taste
- 1 bunch of green onions - heaping 1/2 cup chopped goes in the pasta, the rest is for garnish
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro - heaping 1/2 cup minced goes in the pasta, the rest is for garnish
- 8 ounces macaroni pasta - preferably green lentil pasta, I love
- one batch of the creamy sauce - recipe above
- 4 tsps Everything But The Elote - from Trader Joe's
- 1 cup + crumbled cotija cheese - feta will also work
- lime juice/wedges for serving
- If you have a gas stove, turn the flame on and place the poblano pepper on top until it's black on one side. Turn the pepper and repeat, until all sides are blackened. (If you have an electric stove, turn on your broiler and repeat these steps with the pepper on a baking sheet lined with foil). Place the roasted pepper in a brown lunch bag or a bowl covered in plastic wrap. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes, then peel the blackened skin of the pepper. Cut out the stem and seeds, then dice the pepper in to 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
- While you're waiting on the pepper to sit after roasting- make the creamy sauce. In the large skillet you plan to make the pasta in, heat 1T of oil, then saute the diced onion 5-8 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a food processor or blender with the silken tofu, water, lime juice, sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Blend until completely smooth. If you want the consistency to be thinner, add an additional tablespoon or two of water. Set aside. This can be done 1-2 days in advance, too, but store it in the fridge if you won't use the sauce right away.
- In a medium sized pot, start to bring the water for the pasta to a boil (I recommend sprinkling salt in to the water before boiling).
- While the water is coming to a boil, heat 2T of avocado oil in a large skillet. Add the red onion and a dash of sea salt, cooking on medium-high for 5-8 minutes until softened. While the red onion is cooking, remove the stem and most of the seeds from the jalepeno (the more seeds you leave, the spicier it will be) then chop into a small dice. Add to the hot skillet with the red onion, followed by the corn. Stir every minute-or-so to keep the veggies from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook for the MINIMUM cooking time, or even one minute less.
- Add the garlic and spices to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute. Add the green onions and cilantro (be sure you've reserved some for garnish!) and turn the heat to low.
- When the pasta is finished, scoop out a cup of pasta water before draining the noodles. After draining, add the noodles to the skillet with the veggies, then immediately pour the creamy sauce on top of it all. Stir gently until everything is coated evenly.
- Last, mix in the Everything But The Elote seasoning, 3/4-1 cup of the crumbled cotija cheese and adjust seasonings to taste. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add 1T of pasta water at a time to it.
- Serve warm in individual bowls topped with chopped green onions, cilantro, and a lime wedge to drizzle on before eating! An extra dash or two of the Elote seasoning wouldn't hurt either 😉 Enjoy!
*If you want to keep this recipe entirely plant-based, swap diced avocado for the Cotija cheese!