In this article we’re going to discuss something a little different than the many recipes on recipefairy.com. We’re going to be looking at the perfect pairing and sides for tacos. Nothing hits the spot like a plate of homemade tacos. But what to serve with tacos? There are many great Mexican side dishes and here is a look at just five classics that will work great with any taco main dish. Lets dig into great side dishes to serve with tacos.
Best Taco Sides Dishes
If you’re wondering what goes with tacos, then this list is going to provide you with the ultimate taco side dishes to accompany your meal.
1. Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa is a general go-to side dish for all Mexican dishes. Nothing accentuates the flavors and texture of the main dish like the satisfying crunch of a perfectly fried tortilla chip dipped in some spicy, sweet, or tangy salsa.
It’s something that many people crave immediately when they think of Mexican food, and some people feel that no Mexican food meal is complete without at least a small amount of chips and salsa. The greatest thing about chips and salsa is that you can have it as a side dish or snack every single day and not run out of different salsa options for years.
There are so many different salsas that you can make homemade or buy pre-purchased at the store, you will never get tired of it!
Salsas can be sweet, spicy, tangy, or a little bit of all three. We recommend making your own for the ultimate authentic salsa experience. You can make your own based on a recipe or just experiment with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Just chop your ingredients up and puree them and you will have a great and unique salsa to share with your meal.
While most salsas traditionally have a tomato base, there are also plenty of other great salsas that don’t, such as mushroom salsas, mango salsas, and pico de gallo. There is so much to experiment with when it comes to pairing different salsas and chips with all varieties of tacos, you will never get bored!
2. Chips & Guacamole
Of course, besides salsa, you can also pair tortilla chips with a hearty portion of guacamole. Just like with salsa, guacamole can be pre-purchased, sometimes even freshly made, but it is once again the best experience to make your own.
The laws of making guacamole are a little more strict than the laws of making salsa, as guacamole is always made from an avocado base. Besides that, you are free to experiment. Guacamole can be as spicy or as mild as you prefer, depending on the types of peppers you choose and how many you use. Besides guacamole and peppers, traditional guacamole ingredients include onion and cilantro.
Also, did we mention how easy it is to make your own tortilla chips? Even if you aren’t making your own tortillas (which you can), you can buy ready-made tortillas at the store, cut them into triangles, and fry them up in your favorite cooking oil to make the tastiest tortilla chips possible. Impress friends and family with these unique homemade tortilla chips that can’t be bought at any store!
3. Beans and Fried Rice
Besides chips and salsa, the other Mexican staple side dish most people picture when they picture Mexican food is beans and fried rice. And for good reason! Beans and fried rice are not only delicious but are a slightly healthier alternative to fried tortilla chips and salsa. And just like with salsa, there is plenty of room to experiment with different types of beans and different types of rice. Most commonly, refried beans you will find at Mexican restaurants are going to be made from pinto beans but black beans are also fairly common.
You can buy beans already refried in the canned goods section of your local grocery store, but making refried beans at home is incredibly easy and most people feel that the homemade taste and texture are worth the small effort. Simply cook your beans like normal, mash them up, and fry them in a pan with your favorite cooking oil. Some people lightly spice them while others will even add some salsa to accentuate their flavor. You can also top your beans off with a little bit of melted cheese!
For the Mexican fried rice, you can buy packets in the store that come with all the ingredients you will need, including rice and pre-packed spice packets, but most people feel that it is easier and more fun to simply buy the rice and spices separately.
This allows you to make the rice taste anyway you choose, personalizing the flavor. To make fried rice, simply coat a pan with your favorite cooking oil, heat it to medium-high heat, and stir in the rice. Fried rice is traditionally made with a tomato sauce base and from there you can add any spices you desire. Some other traditional ingredients for fried rice are corn, chopped peppers, garlic, and onion.
4. Baked Sweet Potatoes
For those looking for a more subdued and health-conscious side dish for their tacos, baked sweet potatoes with a little bit of salsa are a perfect match. Simply bake the sweet potatoes like normal with a little bit of olive oil, take them out, cut them in half, and adorn them with either homemade or store-bought salsa. Some sweet and tangy salsas would be especially good here.
The taste and texture are the perfect accompaniment to any kind of tacos, and the extra fiber and nutrients the sweet potatoes bring to the table make this one of the best side dishes out there.
5. Roasted Zucchini with Corn
Another great vegetable to pair with your tacos is zucchini. Zucchini can be prepared in all different ways (and even used in salsas) but for this article, we are going to focus on roasted zucchini. Just like with sweet potatoes, the taste and texture of zucchini work perfectly with the flavors of any taco dish. Simply dice the zucchini up, coat in a baking dish with a little bit of olive oil, add a little bit of corn and salsa, then throw in in the oven while you’re frying up your meat and tortillas for your tacos. This is an easy dish that is also very healthy and will make a great substitute for beans and rice or chips and salsa for those who have tacos often.
6. Texas Roadhouse Seasoned Rice
The texas roadhouse rice recipe that we’ve whipped up is something special and should accompany any dish, whether it’s tacos, boiled chicken or any other meal. The seasoned flavors will make you question why you haven’t added this to your taco Tuesday dish. One thing for certain is this will become a regular addition to your tacos once you try the recipe out for yourself. Quick to prepare and delicious in nature, you should definitely consider adding this the next time tacos need a pairing on your home menu.
Another amazing side dish for tacos has to be coleslaw, not just any but specifically our copycat kfc coleslaw. This creamy mixture is so flavorsome and compliments any taco dish around to give you the best possible add on to a meal. Have it inside the tacos or accompanying on the plate, it doesn’t matter, it will bring an extra oomph to your dish. Although the last addition in our segment but certainly reigns above many of the other options in my opinion.
8. Mexican Rice
This is a savory side dish that is often cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices. The result is a flavorful and fragrant rice that perfectly complements the flavors of any type of taco. It is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit your preference for spice level and additional ingredients.
9. Black Bean Corn Salad
This salad is a refreshing, light side dish that is packed with flavor. It’s made with black beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, and dressed with a tangy lime vinaigrette. The sweetness of the corn balances out the spice of the tacos, and the beans add a nice texture and additional protein.
10. Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a type of fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos, and lime juice. It’s a zesty and refreshing side dish for any taco meal. The fresh ingredients add a burst of flavor and the lime juice brings a tangy brightness that enhances the overall taste of the tacos.
11. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables like peppers, zucchini, and onions can add a delicious smoky flavor to your taco meal. They can be marinated with olive oil, lime juice and spices before grilling to enhance their flavor and they make a healthy and colorful addition to the meal.
12. Queso Fresco
Queso fresco is a soft, mild cheese that is a great side dish for tacos. It adds a creamy texture and a hint of saltiness that balances the flavors of the tacos. It’s also very versatile and can be crumbled over salads or melted on top of hot dishes.
13. Chiles Rellenos
These stuffed peppers are a flavorful and spicy side dish that will kick up the heat in your taco meal. They’re usually made with large poblano peppers, stuffed with cheese or meat, battered and fried. The result is a spicy, cheesy delight that makes a great companion to any taco dish.
14. Sweet Plantains
Sweet plantains are a unique side dish that adds a tropical flavor profile to your taco meal. They’re cooked until caramelized, which brings out their natural sweetness. This sweetness provides a nice contrast to the spicy and savory flavors typical in tacos. They’re also a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber.
15. Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
This is a refreshing and tangy side dish that adds a nice crunch to your taco meal. It’s made with shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro and a lime-based dressing. The lime and cilantro flavors provide a fresh and zingy contrast that complements the spices in tacos perfectly.
What are some traditional sides to serve with tacos?
Traditional sides include refried beans, Mexican rice, and a variety of salsas such as pico de gallo or salsa verde. Guacamole and sour cream are also popular accompaniments.
What are some lighter/healthier sides to serve with tacos?
For a lighter side, consider a fresh salad with a citrus vinaigrette, grilled vegetables, or a corn and black bean salad. You could also serve a bowl of fresh fruit like pineapple or mango to add a sweet and tangy contrast.
What drinks pair well with tacos?
Traditional Mexican drinks like Margaritas or Mexican beer pair well with tacos. Non-alcoholic options can include horchata, a sweet rice drink, or agua fresca, fruit-infused water.
Can I serve soup as a side dish with tacos?
A: Absolutely! A light, brothy soup, like chicken tortilla soup or a spicy black bean soup, can complement the flavors of tacos nicely.
What are some unique sides to serve with tacos?
A: For a unique twist, consider serving your tacos with a side of grilled sweet potatoes, a zesty quinoa salad, or a fresh avocado and corn salad.
Should I serve my taco sides hot or cold?
This largely depends on the side dish. Some sides like refried beans or Mexican rice are traditionally served warm, while others like salsas, guacamole, or salads are often served chilled.
How many side dishes should I serve with tacos?
This depends on your preference and the number of guests you’re serving. A standard rule of thumb could be to serve 2-3 side dishes for a balanced taco meal.