taco sides

18 Taco Side Dishes: Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Meal

Tacos are traditional and the most well-known street food in Mexico. The dish consists of a tortilla that is topped with a filling, and the tortilla is folded with the filling inside and eaten by hand. Interestingly tacos are not eaten as a main meal but rather as a snack, either during the day or later in the evening.

Avo, corn, coriander, lime, and tomato are common ingredients and flavors found in Mexican cuisine, and you will see a lot of them on the sides with tacos. 

If you are unsure what side dishes to serve with tacos or what goes well with tacos, here are my suggestions for taco sides.

Here’s What to Serve With Tacos:

#1. Mexican Street Corn Salad

Corn is a staple in Mexico, and no wonder- it’s delicious! This recipe calls for frozen corn, but you could also cut the corn from a fresh cob.

The corn is sautéed and bound in a creamy sauce of mayonnaise and feta, mixed with typical Mexican flavors of lime, jalapeno peppers, and fresh coriander. 

This salad can be used as a topping for your tacos or as a side with tacos.

Recipe: heartvegetables.com

#2. Cilantro Lime Taco Slaw 

This slaw can be served as a topping for your taco and as a side dish too. You could chop up your cabbage and grate your carrots if you’d like, but this recipe calls for the prepared “coleslaw mix.” 

The dressing makes a good slaw, and this one is made up of mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, garlic, and cayenne pepper. 

The coleslaw mix is folded through the dressing and finished with chopped green onions and fresh coriander. For an even better slaw, make it in advance for the flavors to develop and marry.

Recipe: wholesomeyum.com

#3. Easy Mexican Chopped Salad 

This chopped salad is full of Mexican flavors like tomato, corn, avo, lettuce, and peppers; The vegetables are chopped up into small chunks and tossed with a simple dressing. 

The dressing is a classic vinaigrette of olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and oregano. Mix all dressing ingredients until they are emulsified, toss the salad and serve.

Recipe: slimmingeats.com

#4. One Pan Mexican Quinoa

This is a one-pan wonder; the whole dish is made in one pan. The garlic and jalapenos are fried until fragrant, and then the quinoa, broth, tomatoes, beans, corn, and spices are added to the pan. 

The broth is brought to a boil and simmered until the quinoa is cooked. Once cooked, the quinoa is finished with chopped avo, coriander, and a squeeze of lime.

Recipe: damndelicious.net

#5. Best Guacamole 

Traditional guacamole is not filled with lots of ingredients, and this recipe only has a few. Chopped tomatoes, avo, onion, coriander, and jalapeno peppers are all mixed together and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime. It’s as simple as that and so tasty. 

Recipe: downshiftology.com

#6. Tomato Avocado Salad

This salad is a great side dish for tacos- it can be eaten on the side or as a topping for the taco. It’s a simple salad of avo, tomato, red onion, and coriander and it takes minutes to rustle up. These ingredients come to life with just a simple seasoning of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime.

Recipe: lifeloveandsugar.com

#7. Mexican Corn Ribs

Corn makes great sides for tacos, and these are ingenious and a great alternative to real ribs. The “ribs” are spiced with cumin, paprika, and chili powder and then grilled, and the corn is grilled until slightly blackened. 

In a bowl, the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime, and chopped jalapeno are combined, and then the ribs are coated in it and then sprinkled with cotija cheese and chopped coriander.

Recipe: servedfromscratch.com

#8. Fiesta Rice

This rice is often served at a celebration, hence the name. Packed full of color and flavor, this recipe uses brown rice, giving the dish a lovely taste and texture. The color comes from red and green pepper, yellow corn, and black beans, and it’s like a fiesta of color and flavor in a bowl. 

The rice is tossed in a  dressing of lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and crushed garlic, and it’s finished off with some chopped coriander.

Recipe: cookingclassy.com

#9. Grilled Mango Salsa

Salsas make great taco side dishes, and this grilled mango salsa is no exception. It is full of sweet and savory flavors with a bite from the added jalapeno. 

The tomatoes, mangoes, onions, and jalapeno are grilled, bringing out their great flavor. The ingredients are then chopped and mixed with the fresh coriander,  seasoned with salt and pepper, and a generous squeeze of lime.

Recipe: purewow.com

#10. Roasted Mexican Zucchini

This recipe will make you look at zucchini in a new light. The zucchini is diced up and spiced up with chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, and it is then roasted on high heat until golden brown and crisp. 

The zucchini is finished with a squeeze of lime, crumbled cotija cheese, and chopped coriander. 

Recipe: bowlofdelicious.com

#11. Sweet and Spicy Mexican Roasted Sweet Potatoes

These are the perfect side for taco night. Leave the skins on and slice the potato into rounds. Toss the potato rounds in olive oil and the spices, then roast them in a hot oven. When the potatoes are caramelized and tender, remove them from the oven and generously drizzle them with honey.

Finish the potatoes with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro for garnish; it’s the perfect balance of spice and sweetness to serve with your tacos.

Recipe: nyssaskitchen.com

#12. Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans

The perfect flavors to compliment your tacos are mixed in this rice side dish. The rice is cooked in chicken stock until tender; black beans and corn are added and mixed through the rice.

Be sure to use frozen or fresh corn; canned corn is not the best option for this recipe. Finish the rice with a squeeze of lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Recipe: canadiancookingadventures.com

#13. Tomatillo Salsa 

Still not sure what to eat with tacos. Give this Tomatillo salsa a try. Tomatillos, otherwise known as the Mexican green tomato, have a tart, but a fruity flavor and are great in salsas. This salsa can be made up ahead of time, a day in advance even; it will only allow flavors to develop and marry. 

All the ingredients are combined in a saucepan, brought to a boil, and simmered until the tomatillos soften. The salsa is then blended to your liking. Store this in an airtight container and enjoy it with your tacos.

Recipe: savoryexperiments.com

#14. Refried Bean Dip with Cream Cheese

This dip is a classic Mexican side dish, and this recipe only calls for a few ingredients, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, refried beans, and seasoning. The ingredients are all mixed together and seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning. 

Pour the bean dip into a baking dish, top with some remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese has melted and hot. Finish the baked with some chopped green onions for garnish, and enjoy!

Recipe: theanthonykitchen.com

#15. Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers Cheese Balls

These are a play on the traditional jalapeno poppers, only better. The cheese balls are made up of cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, cheddar cheese, chopped jalapenos, and bacon bits. The ingredients are all creamed together and seasoned with salt and sriracha sauce. 

The mixture is then shaped into bite-size balls, crumbed, and air-fried. Make sure that there is enough space between them when you air fry them, and they are not touching.

Fry until golden brown and serve.

Recipe: dailyyum.com

#16. Grilled Chili Lime Butter Corn on the Cob

This chili lime butter is a game-changer for corn. The butter is melted and mixed with sweet chili, sriracha, minced garlic, lime juice, and chili flakes. 

Grill the corn on high heat, basting it and turning it every couple of minutes. Grill the corn until it is blackened and tender, baste with the butter once more, and garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced Thai chili.

Recipe: eatwell101.com

#17. Salsa Cruda

Instead of buying your salsa, make it fresh, it’s so easy to make, and everything just tastes better fresh. This salsa is made up of chopped fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and coriander. 

The best salsas are the ones that have sat overnight and allow the flavors to marry. So you can prepare this in advance before your Mexican themed party of tacos and margaritas.

Recipe: marthastewart.com

#18. Easy Cornbread

This cornbread is such a versatile bake. The bread can be served as a side dish to a savory meal, or it is equally good served as a cake with jam. 

The sweet bread is made with polenta, flour, sugar, and baking powder, then the wet ingredients of milk and egg are stirred through. The batter is baked in a cake tin or a cast iron pan until cooked and golden. Serve it warm to the table so everyone can tuck in.

Recipe: eatlittlebird.com


What side dishes go with pork tacos?

Side dishes that complement pork tacos well include Mexican rice, refried beans, a fresh pico de gallo or salsa, and sliced avocado or guacamole, providing a mix of flavors and textures to the meal.

What side dishes go with birria tacos?

Common side dishes that go well with birria tacos include consommé (the flavorful broth from the birria), chopped onions and cilantro, lime wedges, and maybe a simple salad or pickled vegetables to balance the richness of the meat.

If you make too much tacos, learn how to reheat tacos so you can always have fresh meals.

*image by bhofack2/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top