These Mexican side dishes are inspired by Latin flavors and ideal for pairing with tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more!
Making a Mexican-style dinner and looking for some sides? Try these Mexican style side dishes, inspired by the best of Latin flavors! These recipes honor the great tradition of Mexican cuisine, and highlight this incredibly rich culinary experience. Some are more traditional, others are free-form interpretations on a theme. From bean dip to Spanish rice to Mexican slaw, there are loads of options to pair with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more.
First up in our Mexican side dishes: this fast and easy Bean Dip! Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine.
When it comes to Mexican side dish recipes…this one is a staple everyone needs. Try this easy Cilantro Lime Rice recipe! Fresh cilantro, lime juice and lime zest and it catapults it to an entirely different level. The ways to serve it are endless: use it in burrito bowls, tacos, or as a side for grilled shrimp skewers. It’s incredibly versatile.
Ever wonder what to serve with tacos and enchiladas? This Mexican-style salad is a chopped salad with Latin-style flavors: colorful veggies, cilantro lime salad dressing, and tortilla strips. It all combines into a super-flavorful side dish that works with many different Mexican style dishes.
The best refried beans? Homemade refried beans! The flavor and texture are loads better than the canned ones you can find at the store. They're seriously simple to make, and you can do it with canned beans or beans that have been cooked from dry.
This Mexican coleslaw has no mayo, and instead focuses on fresh flavors: crunchy cabbage, red onion, cilantro, and cumin. It’s got both cumin seed and ground cumin for a double hit of flavor. Oh–and it doubles as a taco topping!
Sure, you can buy guacamole from the store. But the best way is to make it at home! This easy homemade guacamole is a total showstopper. It’s classic and has the perfect balanced flavor: perfectly savory, creamy, and tangy. Serve it up with tortilla chips and you won’t be able to stop eating it.
One of the most beloved Mexican side dishes is elote! This irresistible Mexican street corn is sweet, smoky, savory, creamy, and tangy: all at once. It’s charred perfection and slathered in a creamy spiced sauce with cheese crumbles. Don't have a grill? Make it with Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob.
Spanish rice is a classic Mexican side dish, sometimes called Mexican rice or arroz rojo (“red rice” in Spanish). It gets its red color from cooking it with tomatoes. It's possible that it go its name because the Spanish introduced rice to Mexico when they invaded back in the 1500’s. Whatever the case, it’s darn good and worth adding to your Mexican side dish arsenal.
Salsa means "sauce" in Spanish, and you can make salsas of all kinds outside of the traditional tomato-based sauce. Fresh mango salsa is a total crowd pleaser, and a great Mexican style side dish for savory, heavy main dishes. It’s tangy, sweet, salty and spicy all at once.
Black beans and rice are a classic Mexican side dish that's ideal for serving with tacos, enchiladas, and more. The beans are jumbled with rice and green bell pepper, then seasoned with cumin, lime and cilantro. They're a healthy addition to any meal!
This pineapple salsa is another fruit salsa that's ideal as a side dish! The zing of the lime and heat of the jalapeno are the ideal pairing for this sweet fruit. Grab a juicy, ripe pineapple for this one: scoop it up with chips and each bite is an explosion of sweet, savory, salty and spicy.
This Elote salad features smoky sweet corn kernels slathered in an irresistible sauce! It’s absolutely irresistible, pairing corn with a tangy sauce and bursts of salty cheese. You can use corn on the cob or frozen corn in this salad, and saute it on the stovetop.
Pico de gallo translates to “beak of the rooster” in Spanish. It’s a type of salsa made with fresh tomatoes. The name might refer to the bird feed-like texture, but no one seems to know the true origin! If you have the time, homemade pico de gallo with fresh tomatoes is zingy and fresh. Use it as a salsa with tortilla chips or throw it onto a taco.
There’s nothing quite like fresh homemade tortilla chips warm from the oven. The audibly crispy crunch (imagine it!) and the searing salt as it hits your tongue makes it one of the world’s most satisfying bites. Serve a pile of these crunchy warm chips with rich guacamole as the ideal Mexican side dish.
This quick black bean and corn salad is a tasty Mexican style side dish you can make injust 5 minutes, no chopping required! The shortcut? Storebought pico de gallo, which makes this salad come together in a flash. We
These refried black beans are a revelation! Mince garlic and simmer it with beans and olive oil with a bit of the can liquid for about 15 minutes, then mash down the beans with the back of your spoon. What results is a silky, savory bean mixture that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours—and it’s absolutely worth the minimal time and effort!
Want a healthy Mexican style side dish? Try cucumber tomato avocado salad! It's a play on Mexican-style flavors with ripe and juicy tomatoes, cool cucumbers, and creamy avocado. They’re mixed with lime juice and cilantro for a tangy pop that perfectly accentuates their flavors.
Some slaw recipes take lots of time to chop all the vegetables and mix up a vinaigrette. But who wants to spend 20 minutes on a slaw when you're also making a main dish? This fast slaw recipe pares it down to the essentials so you can whip it up in a flash. Head to the recipe and make a double batch.
Add a can of black beans to fresh tomatoes and a few veggies, and you’ve got Black Bean Salsa! This zesty recipe is simple and follows the formula of a classic salsa fresca: tomatoes, onion, lime, and jalapeño. We love adding a bit of filling plant-based protein to our salsa. It’s a delicious Mexican-style side dish that's simple to whip up.
More recipe inspiration
Want more Mexican side dishes or other ideas? Here are a few more ideas for tasty sides and other Mexican style recipes, listed by type, diet, and more!
Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan: no need to drain or rinse the beans (add the can liquid too)! Warm it over medium heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Mash beans gently with a masher if you’d like a smoother texture. Taste and add another pinch of salt if necessary.
Serve immediately with tortilla chips. If desired, you can garnish with chopped veggies: we used a bit of finely chopped tomato, red onion and green onion with a drizzle of Cholula hot sauce.
*We used 2 13-ounce jars of borlotti beans we found at our local grocery, but pinto beans work just as well!