Throwing a Mexican fiesta and want to know what sides will perfectly complement tacos?
You’ve come to the right place! Tacos are incredibly versatile and pair well with a variety of flavors and textures. The key is choosing dishes that enhance the Mexican flavors in the tacos.
In this article, we’ll explore lots of delicious options for sides that will take your taco party to the next level.
Beans are a staple in Mexican cuisine and make a fantastic pairing with tacos.
Their creamy texture and earthy flavor complement the tacos beautifully. Refried beans are a classic choice, and black or pinto beans seasoned with onions, garlic, and spices are also delicious.
Make a pot of beans from scratch or heat up canned beans and jazz them up with extras like cheese, salsa, or cilantro. Beans add protein and fiber, making them a nutritious and tasty taco accompaniment.
Rice is another classic side dish for tacos. Spanish rice flavored with tomatoes, garlic, and spices is an excellent option.
Cilantro lime rice also pairs incredibly well with tacos, as the bright, fresh flavors enhance the tacos. For a heartier rice dish, make Mexican red rice by cooking the rice with tomato sauce and spices.
Rice fills out the meal, soaking up any taco drippings. It provides a neutral base that absorbs the rich, complex flavors of the tacos.
What goes better with tacos than creamy, green guacamole?
The cool, lush avocado dip offers the perfect contrast to the warm, crispy tacos.
Make it fresh by mashing avocados with lime juice, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, and serrano chilies. Guacamole adds a burst of fresh flavor and texture to every bite of taco.
It also makes a great topping for nachos, another excellent taco side. The tangy lime, herbal cilantro, and rich avocado are an unbeatable match with tacos.
Pico de Gallo
For another fresh, flavor-packed dip, whip up a batch of pico de gallo.
Also known as salsa fresca, pico de gallo is made with chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime. The bright vegetables and citrus cut through the richness of the tacos.
Pico de gallo adds a satisfying crunch and plenty of flavor. Not only does it pair perfectly with tacos, it also livens up tostadas, nachos, burritos, and more.
Mexican Street Corn
Also known as elote, Mexican street corn makes a fun and tasty taco accompaniment.
Grilled corn is slathered in creamy mayonnaise, tangy Mexican crema, zesty cotija cheese, and fresh lime juice. The sweet corn balances beautifully with the tacos while the toppings add creaminess, saltiness, and acidity.
Make it on the grill alongside the meat for your tacos for a hands-on party activity. Kids and adults alike will love customizing their elote with their favorite toppings.
For an easy yet crowd-pleasing side, make a platter of loaded nachos.
Tortilla chips are topped with refried or black beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, guacamole, salsa, and anything else you love.
Nachos make a shareable snack that provides a crunchy, craveable contrast to the soft tacos. Set out bowls of melted cheese, chopped tomatoes, and other toppings and let guests assemble their own custom nacho plate.
Warm, cheesy quesadillas are always a hit. Simply fill flour or corn tortillas with cheese like mozzarella, Monterey jack, or Mexican cheeses like queso fresco or queso Oaxaca.
Then grill or pan fry them until the tortillas become golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey. Cut into triangles and serve with salsa for dipping. Easy to make and customize, quesadillas complement tacos wonderfully.
Tortilla Chips & Dips
Along with nachos, tortilla chips and salsa make a fantastic accompaniment to tacos.
Offer a few types of chips and several salsa options and let guests mix and match.
Try serving your favorite store-bought varieties along with homemade salsas like salsa verde, pico de gallo, and guacamole. This snacks table will be a hit!
The crispy chips paired with the fresh salsas balance the textures and flavors of the tacos perfectly.
Cool, crunchy coleslaw offers the ideal contrast to hot, savory tacos. Making coleslaw is easy—simply toss shredded green and red cabbage with carrots, cilantro, and a tangy dressing like lime juice mixed with mayo.
The cabbage adds refreshing crispness while the dressing cuts through the richer flavors. Mexican-style creamy cabbage salad is also an excellent option. Try recipes with mango, jicama, cumin, and chili powder.
Fresh fruit salad makes a bright, vibrant side for tacos.
The sweetness balances the spices and acidity perfectly. Make it fun by shaping fruits like watermelon and pineapple into flowers or tacos! Pineapple, mango, watermelon, jicama, and cucumber all pair wonderfully.
Toss the fruit with lime and chili powder or include some pickled fruits or vegetables like jicama and radishes for flavor and crunch.
This potato salad with peas and carrots is a popular Mexican side dish.
Also called Russian salad, it combines potatoes, carrots, peas, and mayonnaise or cream for a cooling, creamy side.
The potatoes soak up the taco juices while the peas and carrots add freshness. To make it more flavorful, add some cumin, cayenne pepper, cilantro, or serrano chilies. The ensalada rusa adds hearty texture and tang to complement tacos.
For an impressive appetizer, make ceviche, raw fish or shrimp marinated in citrus.
The lime or lemon juice “cooks” the fish, resulting in a refreshing, bright seafood salad. Diced tomatoes, onions, chilies, and cilantro are classic ceviche mix-ins.
The citrusy, spicy ceviche makes an incredible pairing with rich, meaty tacos. The combo of textures and bold flavors is sure to wow your guests. Consider setting up a ceviche bar with an array of toppings.
Escabeche consists of pickled vegetables and sometimes proteins like chicken or fish.
Common ingredients are carrots, cauliflower, onions, jalapeños, and bell peppers pickled in a vinegar solution. The tanginess of the pickled veggies perfectly complements the tacos.
Display the escabeche in pretty jars so guests can grab pickled veggies to top their tacos for some crunch and acidity. Quick-pickled red onion and radishes are other simple options.
Also called cowboy beans, these pinto beans are simmered with bacon, onions, tomatoes, chilies, and beer.
The smoky bacon, savory broth, and mild beans make a hearty side for tacos. To serve them, ladle the charro beans into bowls and provide minced onion, avocado, cilantro, lime wedges, and tortilla chips for scooping.
The charro beans add comfort and richness that enhances the tacos beautifully.
Papas con Chorizo
This dish of potatoes with Mexican chorizo sausage is comfort food at its finest. Chopped potatoes are fried up with spicy chorizo, onions, tomatoes, chilies, and spices for an irresistible side.
The smoky meatiness of the chorizo complements the tacos perfectly.
The noodles and vegetables soak up the taco juices for finger-licking goodness. Try serving the papas con chorizo in little skillet “boats” for a fun presentation.
For an amazing street food-style side, make esquites, Mexican street corn off the cob.
The grilled corn kernels are tossed with tangy mayonnaise, creamy Mexican crema, chili powder, cayenne, cilantro, and lime juice. The sweet corn pops with texture and flavor.
Esquites make an easy side—just grill, boil, or microwave the corn kernels. Let guests customize their own esquites bowls with their favorite toppings.
These baked or fried pastries are a fun, portable taco accompaniment. Fill empanada dough with fillings like seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken, cheese, beans, or spinach. Bake or fry them until the outside becomes golden brown.
Let guests enjoy picking them up with their hands—no silverware required! Offer classic red or green salsa for dipping. Empanadas work well as appetizers or sides—their portability makes them perfect for a taco fiesta.
Whip up a batch of tamales with masa dough, corn husks, and your favorite fillings.
Tamales take some effort but make a spectacular, authentic side dish for tacos. Fill them with ingredients like seasoned meats, cheese, beans, roasted veggies, chilies, or savory mole sauce. Wrap them up in corn husks and steam until the masa is soft and fluffy.
Give your guests the fun experience of unwrapping their tamales tableside as the perfect accompaniment to their tacos.
Mexican Potato Salad
Potato salad gets a Mexican makeover with flavors like cumin, chili powder, lime, and cilantro. Chopped potatoes are tossed in a dressing of olive oil, vinegar, diced chilies, cumin, cilantro, and spices. Top with sliced scallions for a pop of color. The cool, creamy potato salad complements sizzling hot tacos wonderfully. The potatoes also soak up any taco juices for added flavor. Add some beans or corn to make it heartier.
For a lighter slaw, try an apple-jicama slaw with oranges and a citrus vinaigrette. Shred jicama and green apples and toss them with orange segments and a dressing of lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and chili powder.
The crisp texture and sweet, citrusy flavors pair magnificently with savory tacos. Add some sliced radishes or cilantro for more color and freshness.
The jicama slaw provides moistness and crunch with each juicy bite of taco.
Sopa de Tortilla
Warm bowls of sopa de tortilla, Mexican tortilla soup, make soul-satisfying accompaniments for tacos.
Sopa de tortilla is made with simmered tomatoes, chilies, onions, garlic, and crisp fried tortilla strips. Top it with shredded chicken, avocado, cheese, cilantro, or lime wedges.
The rich, tomatoey broth provides beautiful contrasting textures and flavors to tacos. Make it spicier with extra jalapeños or serranos for some added heat.
Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
A fresh green salad tossed in a bold cilantro lime vinaigrette is a fantastic pairing with tacos. The greens offer a refreshing, healthy contrast while the tangy dressing ties everything together.
Make your salad festive by including corn, black beans, jicama, cranberries, oranges, or other fun mix-ins. Top with toasted pepitas for crunch. The acid in the vinaigrette cuts through the oiliness of the tacos for perfect balance.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
For a corn-based salad, try this Mexican street corn salad recipe. Grilled corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado and red onion are tossed in a creamy lime-cilantro dressing.
It’s then showered with crumbled cotija cheese and chili powder. The sweet grilled corn, cool beans, rich avocado and tangy dressing pair divinely with tacos. Add some protein like grilled chicken or shrimp to turn it into a heartier main-dish salad.
Cool, crunchy cactus salad provides a refreshing, hydrating accompaniment to tacos.
Chop nopales (prickly pear cactus paddles) and toss them with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, and a light vinaigrette of lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and olive oil. The juicy cactus soaks up the taco juices while adding moisture with every bite.
Turn it into a full meal by topping the salad with grilled steak, chicken, or fish.
Black Bean & Mango Salad
Vibrant black beans and sweet mango chunks come together in this easy salad. Toss black beans, diced mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, olive oil, and chili powder.
The sweet fruit perfectly balances out the savory beans and spice. The salad provides Vitamin C, fiber, and protein—essential nutrients lacking from tacos alone. Add some crunchy peppers, jicama or cucumber for more texture and nutrition.
Arroz con Pollo
This classic Latin chicken and rice dish combines savory chicken, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, and herbs with fluffy rice.
Cook the seasoned chicken right in with the rice for tons of flavor. Arroz con pollo provides a rich, protein-packed accompaniment to fill out a taco meal. The rice soaks up the delicious juices for a comforting pairing. Serve the arroz con pollo family-style in a large skillet or paella pan for a satisfying meal.
For a flavor twist, make arroz verde, Mexican green rice. Cook white rice in flavorful green tomatillo sauce along with herbs like cilantro and epazote. The tart, bright sauce perfectly complements the taco flavors.
Stir in some corn, peas, or carrots for texture and color. Arroz verde offers a creamy, comforting base for your tacos. Serve it directly in the skillet or rice cooker to keep it warm throughout your fiesta.
Also called drunken beans, these pinto or black beans are simmered in beer and bacon.
Tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro amp up the flavors. The sweet, malty beer and smoky bacon add incredible depth that pairs marvelously with tacos.
Try light and dark Mexican beers or go bold with a porter or stout. Ladle the borracho beans into bowls and let guests top them with avocado, onions, cilantro, cheese, and salsa.
One of the easiest yet most delicious taco sides is a platter of roasted vegetables. Try roasting cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onions, squash, bell peppers, eggplant, or potatoes tossed in olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic, and lime juice.
The high heat caramelizes their natural sugars. Roasted veggies add sweetness, moisture, and nutrition to complement tacos perfectly.
They also soak up any leftover taco juices nicely! Roast them on a sheet pan while the meat cooks.
These Spanish-influenced Mexican beans are simmered with tomatoes, onions, chilies, bacon, chorizo, and herbs.
Pinto, black, or kidney beans work well. The smoky, slightly spicy broth infuses the beans with flavor. Top them with cheese, salsa, avocado, or cilantro.
Frijoles charros offer the ideal hearty, comforting base to create a satisfying taco meal. Make them in a slow cooker or Instant Pot for easy hands-off cooking.
Ensalada de Frutas
For a sweet, fruity salad, try an ensalada de frutas with lime juice and chili powder.
Dice up fresh fruit like mango, pineapple, melon, grapes, banana, kiwi, strawberries, peach, jicama, and oranges. Toss everything with fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt, chili powder, and mint.
The mixture of sweet, juicy fruit with tart citrus and spice makes a perfect palate cleanser after tacos. It also aids digestion and provides an extra serving of fruit.
You can’t have a Mexican fiesta without churros for dessert!
These crispy fried pastries are rolled in cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat with every bite. Offer a rich dipping sauce like dulce de leche, chocolate, caramel, or Mexican hot chocolate sauce for drizzling.
Making churros is easier than you think when you use a piping bag to shape them. They provide the ideal sweet finish to soak up any lingering taco spices on your guests’ palates. Ole!
With all of these amazing sides, your taco fiesta will be a huge hit! From street food favorites like elote and ceviche to hearty mains like tamales and arroz con pollo, you can’t go wrong. Set up a taco bar with flavored salsas, guacamole, and lots of fixings so guests can build their perfect tacos. Then offer a variety of fresh, flavorful sides so everyone can customize their plates. Your friends will leave happy and full after indulging in incredible tacos alongside these fantastic