Taco Tuesday is a time-honored tradition, and is a great opportunity to taste some of the fantastic cuisines that Mexico has to offer.
But no Taco Tuesday meal would be complete without some tasty side dishes – that’s why we’ve made this list of the 13 best sides to serve with your tacos!
If you’re looking for ideas of what to serve next Taco Tuesday, then you’re in luck!
This list of delicious side dishes has plenty to choose from, from dips to dishes.
So let’s jump right in, shall we?
Side Dishes For Taco Tuesday
1. Mexican Rice
Mexican rice is one of the most popular side dishes in a lot of Mexican cuisines.
Made by simmering rice with chicken stock and tomato sauce before adding some finely chopped veg like onions, pepper, and sweetcorn along with some spices, this rice is the perfect addition to your tacos.
On top of tasting great, Mexican rice is incredibly simple to make and can be prepared in less than half an hour; and because a lot of the cooking involves simmering the rice, broth, and sauce, you can leave it to cook while you’re making your tacos.
This delicious side dish (see also ‘30 Simple Side Dishes To Beat The Heat This Summer‘) brings some gentle heat that balances perfectly with a bit of sweetness – the only problem is leaving enough room for your tacos!
While nachos can easily be a whole meal on their own, they also make a great side dish if you make a smaller portion.
Because you’re already making tacos, you don’t need to go all in with a ton of ingredients and effort (pro tip – using some leftover taco filling will save you a lot of time and hassle!).
Simply put some salsa and cheese on a bed of chips and grill it for a quick and tasty side dish; alternatively, feel free to change things up with some ground beef, refried beans, sour cream, and any other toppings you like!
These nachos are crunchy, gooey, and absolutely delicious – what more could you ask for?
A staple at Mexican restaurants, a good queso dip is one of the best sides for practically any Mexican dish – and tacos are no exception!
This recipe uses a mix of American cheese and pepper jack (see also ‘What Can I Replace My Pepper Jack Cheese With? 5 Best Substitutes‘), though you can switch out the American cheese for mature cheddar if you prefer a sharper taste.
All you need to do is fry up some onion, garlic, and jalapenos until fragrant, then add your cheeses and some milk to keep it gooey.
Then, add some chilis and tomatoes, before finishing it off with some fresh cilantro and salt and pepper.
You can add your queso to your tacos, or break off a piece of the shell to scoop some up.
And if you’re also making some nachos, then this dip is perfect for them too!
Elotes are a type of Mexican street food made by grilling corn and adding various toppings.
Making elotes at home is really easy, and brings the taste of Mexican street food straight to your table.
Start by grilling a fully shucked cob of corn until the kernels start to char; the best way to make elotes is to grill them directly over hot coals, but the grill in your oven will work just fine.
Then, you can start adding your toppings!
The best part about elotes is the amount of freedom you have when it comes to choosing your toppings.
Traditionally, elotes are coated in a layer of mayonnaise or sour cream and topped with chili powder, lime juice, and cotija cheese.
However, feel free to switch things up depending on your preferences.
Sopes are another popular Mexican street food, made by frying a masa dough base and covering them with various savory fillings.
The dough is flattened into circles and partially baked, before being shaped into a small bowl by pinching the sides into a shallow rim.
From here, they are fried and topped with things like chicken or steak, salsa, and grilled vegetables.
They can be a bit tricky if you’re making them at home, but they’re definitely worth the effort! With their combination of a crispy base and tasty savory fillings, you might end up craving these more than your tacos!
6. Mexican Sweet Potatoes
Looking for a delicious, low-effort side for your tacos? Then look no further than these baked sweet potatoes, stuffed with tasty fillings!
Simply bake some sweet potatoes in the oven until their skin is crispy and the inside is fluffy, before adding your favorite toppings.
Fried vegetables, cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo are all popular choices.
On top of tasting great, this is also a healthier alternative to a lot of the other recipes on this list – perfect if you want some tasty authentic Mexican cuisine that’s as nutritious as it is delicious!
7. Cilantro Lime Rice
Cilantro lime rice is just as popular a side dish as Mexican rice, and is the perfect accompaniment to your tacos.
It’s fresh, tangy, and a great palate cleanser.
This recipe is as simple as it sounds; the rice is lightly fried with garlic and olive oil before being simmered with water or chicken stock that has a bit of lime zest added.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in some lime juice and cilantro for a zesty and light side dish. This rice dish is far lighter than Mexican rice, but is just as delicious.
8. Roast Pepper Salad
Another healthy addition to this list, this veg-packed salad features roasted peppers along with some other tasty veg.
Four different types of pepper are roasted, before being sauteed with some avocado, onion, and corn, with a squeeze of lime juice for a zesty kick.
Alternatively, you can leave the ingredients raw to get even more of the healthy nutrients!
9. Mexican Slaw
Crunchy, creamy, and ever-so-tasty, your tacos aren’t complete unless you serve them with this delicious Mexican slaw!
Built around shredded red cabbage, this slaw recipe also includes grated carrots and chopped fresh cilantro.
Some lime juice adds a bit of zing, while fresh chopped jalapenos (see also ‘23 Interesting Jalapeno Recipes‘) bring a bit of heat that elevates the whole dish.
This slaw is refreshing and makes a great palate cleanser alongside your tacos, and you can whip it up in less than 20 minutes; alternatively, you can prepare it the day before and store it in the fridge until you need to use it.
10. Pico De Gallo
Just like queso, no Taco Tuesday can go without a good pico de gallo.
This type of salsa tastes a lot fresher than other salsas, which mostly comes down to its ingredients and preparation.
Fresh tomatoes, chilis, and onion are chopped into small pieces.
From here, add some roughly chopped cilantro along with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime juice.
Mix all the ingredients together, and you’ll have a sweet. spicy, and slightly acidic pico de gallo ready to go!
Another iconic Mexican dip, guacamole is up there with salsa and queso as one of the most popular additions to tacos.
And just like the others, it’s super easy to make and tastes fantastic. All you need is some avocado, onion, chilis, and a handful of other ingredients for flavor.
Mash up the avocado along with some finely chopped onion and chili until it’s the right consistency for you; some people like chunky guac while others prefer it smoother, it’s entirely up to you!
Then add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lime juice, and a handful of chopped cilantro, and you’ve got yourself a delicious guacamole!
12. Black Bean Salad
While it might be a bit more Tex-Mex than just Mexican, this black bean salad is nonetheless a perfect side dish to bring to the table next Taco Tuesday.
You can prepare the black beans yourself, but it’s much more convenient to use canned beans instead.
Combine the black beans with corn, pepper, tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and some seasonings in a bowl, and toss it all together – it’s really that simple!
Serve it on its own or with some cilantro lime rice for a delicious and healthy side dish that takes barely any time to prepare.
13. Salsa Verde
While many other salsas bring some heat to your tacos, you’ll want to use this salsa verde recipe if you’re a real fan of spice.
Salsa verde is incredibly simple, and only requires a handful of ingredients.
All you need to do is saute and blend some jalapenos, tomatillos, garlic, onion, and cilantro together until the salsa is smooth, before adding a pinch of salt to taste.
You’ll be left with a fiery salsa that you can use to top your tacos or scoop with nachos.
Add as much to your tacos as you dare!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Sides Are The Healthiest?
For the most part, the recipes on this list are all fairly healthy. However, there are some dishes that pack a lot more nutrition than others.
Black bean salad, roasted pepper salad, pico de gallo, and Mexican slaw are all full of healthy vegetables and packed with nutrients.
Mexican sweet potatoes are also a delicious and healthy choice that is also hearty and filling, while salsa verde is as healthy as it is simple.
If you’re health-conscious and want to know which recipes to steer clear from, then things like nachos and sopes can be a bit on the unhealthy side.
However, there are still plenty of options to choose from; alternatively, simply using a smaller portion is a great way to enjoy these sides without having to feel any guilt!
What Is Traditionally Served With Tacos?
These recipes are all traditional Mexican cuisine, but they aren’t all necessarily dishes that you’d see served alongside tacos.
Mexican slaw, cilantro lime rice, and Mexican rice are all common sides in Mexican cuisine that you’d find served with tacos at a Mexican restaurant or taco bar.
However, don’t let this stop you from serving the other dishes on this list as sides for your Taco Tuesday meal – it all depends on what you like.
What Drinks Go Best With Tacos?
So we’ve covered the best sides for tacos, but what about drinks?
Sangria, mojitos, and margaritas are all great choices if you’re looking for an alcoholic accompaniment to your tacos; alternatively, a beer like Corona or Modelo is also a perfect option.
If you aren’t looking for something alcoholic, then a lemon iced tea or horchata (a sweet drink made of rice and spices such as cinnamon and vanilla) makes the perfect taco drink pairing.
You can also make virgin versions of cocktails like margaritas and mojitos for alcohol-free options.
So there you have it – 13 of the best side dishes to serve with your tacos next Taco Tuesday!
Like we mentioned before, no Taco Tuesday would be complete without some tasty sides. And with how much variety we have on this list, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
So whether you want something simple like a queso or pico de gallo, or a bit more complicated such as sopes or Mexican sweet potatoes, you have so many options to choose from.
The only downside is that these delicious recipes might end up overshadowing your tacos!
Now that you’ve seen all these recipes, all you have to do now is choose the right ones for you. Enjoy!
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