Tacos are a staple in Mexican cuisine and are a favorite of many. Tacos can be made with different meats and fillings, but the most popular ones are tacos de carne asada (grilled meat), tacos de Pollo (chicken), and tacos de Pescado (fish).
Sides for tacos are also important because they can add to the flavor and make the meal more filling. Some popular side dishes for tacos include guacamole, pico de gallo (chopped tomato, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro), salsa Roja (red sauce), salsa verde (green sauce), queso fresco (fresh cheese), crema Mexicana (Mexican cream), horchata (rice milk drink).
In this article, we will discuss some of the best side dishes for tacos.
20 Best Side Dishes For Tacos
We all know how good guacamole is with tacos—but did you know it’s also good on its own? If you’re feeling a little fancy (or just want to impress your guests), make some guacamole from scratch. It’s easy to do—just mash up some avocado with lemon juice, salt, and pepper—then add some salsa or hot sauce if you want it spicy. Serve it in a bowl with tortilla chips on the side for dipping.
Salsa is another great option for your taco night. You can make it by chopping up tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro leaves… whatever you like! Then mix everything together in a bowl until smooth (or chunky), depending on how thick or thin you’d like it. Serve this alongside chips or sliced vegetables as an appetizer before dinner.
3. Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo is a fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos. It’s named after the rooster’s crest, which is the spiky protuberance on top of its head. Pico de gallo translates to rooster’s beak, referring to its appearance.
4. Tomatillo Salsa
Tomatillo salsa is a tangy green salsa made from tomatillos and chiles. Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes covered in papery husks. The tomatillo has a tart flavor that complements spicy foods like tacos.
5. Mango Salsa
This sweet and spicy salsa adds a burst of color and flavor to your tacos. Mango is a great fruit for eating raw, but it works especially well when cooked in this salsa because it softens the texture while preserving its natural sweetness. The best part is that this recipe uses only five ingredients — mangoes, red onion, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, and cilantro!
6. Pineapple Salsa
Pineapple salsa is a bit sweeter than mango salsa. It also adds some texture to the chunks of pineapple. It’s perfect for tacos made with pulled pork or chicken.
7. Chili-Lime Corn Salsa
If you’re looking for something more savory than sweet, then chili-lime corn salsa is a perfect choice! The blend of chili powder, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic will give your tacos a nice kick!
8. Kiwi Avocado Salsa Verde
This dish is so simple and flavorful that it will become a staple in your kitchen. It’s full of vitamin C from the kiwi, antioxidants from the avocado, and fiber from both fruits. The salsa verde (green salsa) makes it feel like summer no matter what time of year it is.
9. Vegan Cheese
Vegan cheese is an easy way to add flavor without adding calories or fat to your meal. You can find vegan cheeses at most major grocery stores or online. My favorite brands are Daiya and Follow Your Heart brand products. These brands make shredded cheese that melts well on tacos without adding any animal products into your diet!
10. Corn Pudding
This side dish is perfect for any Mexican-themed dinner. The corn pudding recipe is easy, and it’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen.
11. Mexican Coleslaw
This coleslaw recipe is an easy side dish that will complement any taco dinner. The flavor of the cabbage and carrots pairs well with tacos and other Mexican food recipes.
12. Native American Cornbread Dressing
This Native American cornbread dressing recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday dinner where you want to serve a traditional side dish. This stuffing recipe can be made ahead of time, which makes it ideal for busy cooks who are hosting a large gathering.
13. Jicama with Mango Slaw
Jicama is a Mexican root vegetable similar in texture to an apple or potato. It’s crunchy, sweet, and slightly nutty. If you haven’t tried this before, it’s delicious when paired with mango! The mango slaw adds sweetness, tanginess, and crunch to this dish.
This crunchy root vegetable is a great addition to tacos. It’s also known as a Mexican turnip, and it has a mild flavor that pairs well with savory toppings like pulled pork. The mango slaw is a great summer side dish to go along with your favorite tacos.
14. Spanish Rice
This is the classic Spanish rice that goes well with any Mexican meal. It’s simple to make and tastes amazing! You can make this ahead of time and reheat it before serving it for dinner or even for lunch the next day.
Rice is an essential side dish for any taco meal, but Spanish rice takes it up a notch by adding spicy chorizo and tangy lime juice. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, this dish is perfect!
15. Mexican Black Beans
This is one of my favorite dishes for black beans. They are great to make ahead and freeze for later use. I always have a batch in my freezer so I can just pull out a bag whenever I want to make taco meat, quesadillas or enchiladas. If you want to add more flavor, feel free to add cumin and chili powder. These beans are also good with a little bit of cheese mixed in or added on top after cooking.
16. Mexican Cream
This Mexican cream sauce is smooth, creamy, and full of fresh herbs and spices. It’s perfect for topping any type of Mexican food, including tacos and burritos! Top it with cheese for extra deliciousness!
Horchata is a rice-based drink that’s very popular in Mexico. It’s made from ground rice, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar and can be flavored with almonds or sesame seeds. In Mexico, it’s served cold with a variety of sweets such as tres leches cake and flan. If you like Mexican chocolate, you’ll love this refreshing beverage!
18. queso fresco (fresh cheese)
Queso fresco is a type of fresh cheese that’s used in many Latin American recipes. It’s similar to ricotta or farmer’s cheese but has a milder flavor because it doesn’t have any added salt or preservatives. Queso fresco has a soft texture and is slightly crumbly when broken into pieces. It melts easily when heated over medium heat so it works well in dishes like enchiladas or quesadillas.
19. Mexican Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great addition to tacos. They’re sweet, but not too sweet. They’re hearty and they taste good with just about anything. And they’re really easy to make.
The first thing you have to do is get some sweet potatoes. I usually just buy them from the grocery store, but if you have your own garden or live in an area where they grow naturally, feel free to use those instead.
Once you have your sweet potatoes, cut them into small cubes and then toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper. I like to leave mine out for about 20 minutes so that the flavors can soak in. If you’re short on time, put them in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes (until they’re tender).
20. Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is basically just green salsa (which isn’t actually green). It’s made with tomatillos instead of tomatoes which gives it a tangy flavor that’s perfect for tacos or anything else Mexican-inspired! You can make it yourself or buy it pre-made at most grocery stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market.
The best thing about making your own is that it’s super easy! All you have to do is take your tomatillos, cut off the tops and bottoms, then put them in a pot with water and boil them until they’re tender. Then you blend them with some onions, cilantro, and lemon juice. That’s it!
We hope you enjoyed this guide about side dishes for tacos!
While tacos are simple food, they can be made to fit every occasion and taste. From the classic tacos de carne asada to the exotic Korean-inspired bulgogi tacos, there’s something for everyone.
Tacos are also an easy way to introduce new flavors into your diet—whether it’s a sweet dessert taco or a savory breakfast taco, your options are endless.
If you have any questions about these recipes or suggestions for other ingredients to add, please leave us a comment below!