21 Best Side Dishes For Tamales

Tamales can be savory delights all on their own, but if you’re looking for an even more complete meal, why not pair them with one of these 21 incredible side dishes? From black beans to refreshing cucumber salads, there’s something here that will perfectly complete your tamales. Enjoy the Ultimate Mexican Feast!

1. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

With this simple recipe, you’ll be able to whip up the perfect pair for tamales: Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad!

This fresh and crunchy salad provides a pleasant contrast to the richness of the tamale, while herbs like cilantro and acidic elements such as lime juice add tangy notes that bring out all of its flavors. Get ready for a unique culinary experience with just minutes of effort!


2. Braised Black Beans

Braised black beans are a scrumptious, effortless dish that features a nutty flavor. This Korean geomeun-kongjorim recipe offers a tasty treat that pairs perfectly with tamales!

The medley of braised beans and tamales is an unbeatable match! The braised beans are soft and creamy in texture while being tender yet full of classic bean flavors. Together they make for one mouth-watering dish that your guests will love!


3. Puerto Rican Tostones

Puerto Rican Tostones 

If you want a bit of texture and flavor to your tamales, look no further than Puerto Rican Tostones! This salty side dish is crunchy on the outside, perfect for balancing out the soft richness of the tamale.

To make them, just simply follow the steps, and you can make it in no time. This recipe will guide you through every step in crafting this delicious Puerto Rican dish!


4. Cucumber Salad

Prepare to savor the smooth and crisp cucumber slices with our cucumber salad recipe. The salad provides a refreshing contrast to warm and rich tamales, resulting in a balanced repast that gives you both luscious flavors and fun textures.

Not only is this recipe simple to create and quick to prepare, but you can even make it while your tamales finish cooking!


5. Street Corn Salad

Street Corn Salad

Complete your Mexican feast with Street Corn Salad, a delightful blend of flavors and textures. Sweet, spicy, and savory—this flavorful dish is the perfect side to piping hot tamales!

Further, it’s an iconic street food in Mexico that has been paired with tamales for eras. Bring these two staples together for one heavenly meal that will have you craving more.


6. Queso Blanco

Queso Blanco is a unique cheese often melted and served warm. It usually comes as a dip or with crunchy chips. But its versatility continues even further. Have you ever tried pairing Queso Blanco with tamales? It’s truly heavenly!

Its velvety texture and subtle flavor make it the perfect pair to tamales, as it mellows out their indulgent richness while adding a creamy and savory contrast.


7. Mexican Black Beans

Mexican Black Beans

Mexican cuisine wouldn’t be complete without black beans. This Mexican Black Beans recipe shows the basic way to make it!

It features slow-cooked beans with spices and seasonings. The black beans’ creamy texture contrasts the tamales’ dense yet delicate texture. Not to mention the savory flavors blending in on your taste buds.


8. Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde is a refreshing salsa made with green tomatoes, chili peppers, garlic, and other spices. Its tart flavor pairs perfectly with the savory nature of tamales for a unique meal!

The pairing brings together differing textures and flavors that make for a delicious meal. Whether you’re celebrating or just looking for something unique to enjoy, this traditional combo will tantalize your taste buds!


9. Baked Zucchini  

Baked Zucchini

Baked zucchini is a tasty and nourishing side dish that adds savory flavor to any main course, particularly tamales. Its savory yet subtly sweet taste pairs perfectly with the spicy heartiness of tamales—making it an ideal culinary mix!

Also, this simple dish requires minimal effort to prepare and takes no time at all. If you want a more complex side dish, then try out this recipe.


10. Guacamole

Experience the authentic flavors of Mexico with guacamole: a tasty dip crafted from creamy ripe avocados, citrusy lime juice, and tantalizing seasonings. Not only does it add heat to tacos and burritos, but also perfectly pairs tamales for a unique experience!

Create a simple, delicious guacamole with this marvelous recipe. With the option to customize it according to your own flavor preferences, you can guarantee yourself an unforgettable taste sensation!


11. Frijoles Negros

Frijoles Negros

Frijoles Negros, otherwise referred to as black beans, is a traditional Mexican dish that is famous for its earthy flavor. To further enhance its taste profile, it’s often paired with many Mexcian dishes.

It makes for an all-encompassing meal that tantalizes your taste buds! So if you want to experience classic Mexican cuisine in one juicy bite. Frijoles Negros should definitely be on your plate.


12. Mexican Cabbage Salad

Mexican cabbage salad is a healthy and low-calorie dish that can act as the perfect partner for tamales. The pleasant crunch and freshness of the cabbage create a perfect balance to break up the creaminess of this dish.

Not only that, but it’s easy to whip together in no time at all! Enjoy a fresh and fulfilling meal any night of the week.


13. Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo

If you’re looking for a tangy and tasty side to pair with your tamales, look no further than Pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresca!

This recipe’s vibrant and citrusy flavor is the perfect pair to tamales, offering a light yet fulfilling meal. The freshly chopped ingredients also create a delightful crunch that contrasts perfectly with the pillow-soft masa dough in each tamale.


14. Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice is a savory and classic staple of Mexican cooking, making it an ideal side dish for any dinner. But why not double up the pleasure by including this rice dish as a side to your freshly steamed tamales?

Enjoy the unique flavors of Mexican culture with this quick and easy Mexican rice recipe! Indulge in a tasty venture that will tantalize your taste buds. With a few simple ingredients, you can create a superb dish in no time at all—so don’t wait to give it a try!


15. Calabacitas


Calabacitas, meaning “little squash,” is a Mexican dish with sautéed summer squash as the star. When served alongside Tamales for dinner, this delightful mix creates a unique taste experience that highlights traditional Mexican cuisine.

The Tamales provide irresistible tenderness, while the Calabacitas add a pleasant crunchy freshness—making for one satisfying feast!


16. Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad with Tamales is a nutritious and satisfying amalgam of two beloved dishes. Perfectly complementary, the light and tantalizing quinoa salad complement the hearty tamale’s robust flavor for an appetizing and healthy meal that will leave you feeling satisfied without being weighed down.

Enjoy this unique combination to reap the benefits of all its healthy ingredients!


17. Mexican Roasted Broccoli

Mexican Roasted Broccoli

Enjoy a delightful and filling meal of smoky, crunchy roasted broccoli combined with rich tamales.

The contrast between the freshness and flavor of the vegetables, along with the savory taste of meat, will be sure to spark your appetite! Enjoy every bite as you indulge in this scrumptious combination with this easy recipe.


18. Mexican Watermelon Salad

Mexican Watermelon Salad

To experience a delectable flavor combination, try the Mexican Watermelon Salad with Tamales. This unexpected union of two different meals will create an unforgettable taste sensation that you won’t soon forget!

And don’t worry, this simple-to-make salad recipe is sure to please your palate with delightful flavors.


19. Risotto 

Cozy up to a comforting bowl of Risotto—the perfect nostalgic accompaniment for your tamales. This warm and homey rice dish is sure to satisfy all your cravings!

Risotto packs a delightful punch of flavor, but it can be too intense for some tastes. With this simple risotto recipe, you can find the ideal balance to complete your meal.


20. Cornbread


Want a pastry to go along with your tamales? Indulge in the comforting taste of classic cornbread with this easy-to-follow recipe.

With its subtle yet flavorful profile, it’s a perfect complement to tamales and other dishes alike—all made within the comfort of your own home! Enjoy a delicious treat today when you give this classic bread a try.


21. Potato Salad

You can never go wrong with the side dish classics. The potato salad is a refreshing and carb-heavy addition to the delicious and hearty tamales. With this basic recipe, you can have a side dish in no time.

Get your potatoes ready for this delightful recipe that will take your tamales to the next level. Here is one of the best ways to make a delicious potato salad!

In Summary 

Ready to experience something extraordinary? Treat yourself to a Mexican feast and delight your senses by pairing mouth-watering food with any of the incredible 21 Side Dishes for Tamales! Enjoy an unforgettable culinary journey that will leave you wanting more.

Best Side Dishes For Tamales

2 thoughts on “21 Best Side Dishes For Tamales”

  1. I seriously don’t know how or whom comes out with this ideas, as an Mexican-American raised in Mexico, we never had any of this sides with tamales, except rice, beans & salsa which are traditional sides to most dishes. At least in the North side of Mexico.
    I would like to try some of your suggestions but not with tamales.

    • Thank you for sharing your perspective on traditional Mexican cuisine. It’s always interesting to hear different experiences. Our article was written based on research and contributions from various sources, including Mexican chefs and food experts. We acknowledge that there may be variations in traditional sides depending on the region and personal preference.

      We appreciate your willingness to try some of our suggested side dishes. You are welcome to explore and experiment with different flavors and combinations that suit your taste. We hope you find some new and delicious side dishes to enjoy with your Tamales.


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