22 Best Side Dishes For Tacos to Elevate Your Taco Night

Tacos are my favorite Mexican food. They are simple and quick to make and are eaten with your hand and finger food. Tacos are the Mexican version of one of my favorite North American foods – Sloppy Joes.

Not only are Tacos simple to make but they reduce the amount of clean-up after preparing and eating. No knives and forks; reduced number pots and pans to clean and if you serve on paper plates as I do, voila, more time to spend sipping on a good post meal tequila and lime.

If you consider tacos your main dish and want to know what to serve with tacos, this list is not necessarily in order of importance but has been taste-tested by guests and are simple to prepare. So, if you are looking for some great ideas, please read on.

1. Mexican Coleslaw

Mexican Coleslaw

Mexican Slaw is usually made with shredded cabbage but I have also made it with kale and in a pinch Swiss Chard. You can add other crunchy ingredients to the mix- like grated radishes, carrots, jicama, or kohlrabi. For added taste, throw in a handful of sunflower seeds or walnut bits.


2. Mexican Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a popular dish in Central Mexico and are a favored autumn fixture in this region. They are mostly grown and sold by small farmers.

A little bit of history; they were included on the menu for the banquet served by the Aztec emperor Montezuma to the Spanish invaders in 1519.


3. Mexican Black Beans

Mexican Black Beans

These black beans are very popular in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and are also known as black turtle beans, the Latin name being Phaseolus Vulgaris. They are usually cooked and eaten as-is or incorporated into so many recipes, I cannot list them all here.


4. Chips and Salsa

Use white corn tortilla chips if you really love the taste of salsa. If you don’t want to use store bought salsa then chop up fresh tomatoes, chilies, onions, cilantro, some lime juice, and seasonings of your choice and mix, adding different ingredients to your taste.


5. Elote or Mexican Street Corn

Elote or Mexican Street Corn

Elote is a lot more than just grilled corn. When served Mexican-style, on a stick, it is loaded up with various toppings including cotija cheese.

This cheese has sharp, salty cheese, but if you can’t find it then you can use grated parmesan cheese. This is one of my favorite side dishes for tacos.


6. Corn Pudding

The great thing about corn pudding is that it can be served alongside any Mexican dish you can think of. It’s a really tasty potluck dish and can also be served as a vegetarian main dish alongside a simple salad.

Corn pudding is a simple dish, created from a mixture of fresh sweet corn kernels, scraped off the cob with water added. The milky liquid component runs from the kernels as they are grated.


7. Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

This is my all-time favorite rice. Just about every Mexican food restaurant in Texas serves this reddish, tomato sauce-tinted rice as a side dish along with refried beans or charro. It is essentially a rice pilaf but with southwestern flavorings including onions and garlic.


8. Jicama with Mango Slaw

Jicama is a vegetable if this name is not familiar. It can be eaten raw, chopped into salads, or can be fried, steamed, boiled, or sautéed. Don’t overcook it. Jicama’s flavor is on the neutral side, with a little hint of starchiness and sweetness.


9. Avocado Tomato Salad

Avocado Tomato Salad

If you love Mexican food, combining tomatoes and avocado is not only tasty but as healthy as all get out and a great side dish for tacos.

The good health news on this side dish is the fat in the avocados seems to help the body absorb more lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that lowers the risk of developing some cancers and provides very good sun protection and provides increased heart health.


10. Easy Mexican Rice

There’s a difference between Spanish and Mexican rice in that Spanish rice has more texture. It also has a stronger aroma and needs a longer cooking time. Mexican rice is more delicate and has a softer texture and a milder aroma. When it comes down to nutritional value, they are virtually identical.


11. Refried Bean Dip

Refried Bean Dip

Bean dip sauce for dipping using corn chips or crisp taco pieces is made using refried beans as the primary ingredient. It is usually served with tortilla chips.

It can also be served with crudités or crackers. Most types of beans can be used. Whether fresh-cooked or flaked beans or canned, they are all tasty.


12. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are easy to make and one of the most satisfying side dishes. They call for a mix of cream cheese and Pepper Jack that is stuffed into jalapeños that are then wrapped in bacon.

A little hot and a lot yummy. The cheese gets hot and melty and the peppers mellow somewhat. When it comes to side dishes for tacos, this is in my top five.


13. Cheesy Mexican Cauli Rice

Cheesy Mexican Cauli Rice

This dish has some Tex-Mex vibes. It is made with chopped jalapeños, tomatoes, cumin, and black beans. It has a flavorful taste and channels some cauliflower rice flavor.

And, It’s super simple to throw together. Cauliflower rice is a low-carb substitute for couscous or rice. It’s often provided as a side dish with herbs or some dressing for flavor.


14. Mexican Corn Salad

This very tasty side dish is made by combining sweet corn, onion, tomatoes, and coriander in a large bowl. The accompanying dressing is made by whisking the lime juice into olive oil and adding honey. To complete, just season to taste and pour over the corn salad.


15. Best Guacamole and Pita Bread

Best Guacamole and Pita Bread

Guacamole is always a great dish to serve with tacos. I really like this side dish with fish tacos. Use spiced pita chips as scoops.

This side dish is easily made and is well complimented with an iced tea beverage. As well as one of the better side dishes for tacos, it’s a great standalone snack.


16. Black Bean Soup

Not only is this side dish or entre delicious, it is also great for your health. It is a rich protein, a great source of magnesium, iron, manganese fiber, B vitamins, folate, and potassium. It’s gluten-free and its high fiber content makes it a great choice as an ongoing part of your meals.


17. Crock-Pot Chicken Posole

Crock-Pot Chicken Posole

This traditional Mexican and very tasty pozole (posole) or soup is a rich, broth-like dish made with red chilies, hominy, and pork.

This soup goes well with lots of toppings like avocado, cilantro, shredded cabbage, radishes, and lime. This dish can be served as an entree or enjoyed alongside your tacos.


18. Black Bean Dip

To make this delicious bean dip to complement your taco meal, toss the following into a food processor: lime juice, black beans, garlic, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and spices of your choice and blend down until smooth. Ole! You have a very tasty side dish, full of flavor and healthy for you as well.


19. Keto Taquitos

Keto Taquitos

Some people have asked this question: Are corn tortillas, Keto? The answer is No. The real deal Mexican authentic corn tortillas are not keto-friendly because they are made of corn flour.

Weight watchers should know this high-carbohydrate flour contains 80 grams of carbs in every 100 grams. You can make keto corn tortillas using any other low-carb flour.


20. Cilantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe is the perfect side dish for cilantro lovers. It also goes well with your favorite taco meals and is a quick, tasty side dish to complete any Mexican meal.

This is an easy recipe and is perfect for both taco meals and weeknight burrito bowls. It’s great with grilled avocados or next to grilled veggie kabobs with a little chipotle dressing.


21. Roasted Mexican Zucchini

Roasted Mexican Zucchini

There can’t be many easier recipes to make than this one. You just chop up your zucchini, add some olive oil; add spices to your taste, and then bake.

This is a great side dish for the vegans at the dinner table. People recommend serving it with some grated or crumbled Mexican queso fresco cheese.


22. Tangy Mexican Slaw

This dish is ideal for warm night barbecues and for yummy taco nights. It is loaded with delicious ingredients: black beans, red pepper, grilled corn, coleslaw-chopped mixed veggies, mayo, fresh cilantro, jalapeno, sour cream, taco seasoning, and lime juice.

You can’t beat that for a lineup of ingredients when you are considering side dishes for tacos.



These side dishes for tacos are many of my favorites and these recipes can be regarded as guidelines. The great thing about Mexican food is the wide range of ingredients available, so let your taste buds dictate the final version of how each dish tastes.

If you love holding Mexican-style dinner parties, surprise your dinner guests with your own variation of these side dishes. Mexican food is fun both in the making and in the eating.

Best Side Dishes For Tacos

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