enchiladas sides

What To Serve With Enchiladas?

Enchiladas are a very filling dish, but they are often not served alone. Preparing and serving enchiladas takes some work, so you will likely want to plan ahead of time. Instead of worrying about your other dishes, check out what to prepare along with enchiladas.

Here we will show all the best side dishes for enchiladas at any time! 

What Are Enchiladas?

Enchiladas are corn tortillas rolled and filled with a sauce. For the most part, the sauce is chili-based, such as salsa roja, mole, or chile with cheese. Other ingredients include meats, beans, cheese, potatoes, vegetables, and more.

This dish is originally from Mexico, and some believe that it dates back to Aztec times. Aztecs would use corn tortillas folded with fish inside. These days, there are a variety of enchiladas, and the preparation and filing depend on the region of Mexico.

You might also find enchiladas in neighboring countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. These are not traditional Mexican dishes, but they are somewhat similar. Some of these include sour cream, lettuce, cilantro, and avocados.

Unlike a burrito, the enchilada is more elaborate, as they are carefully rolled and baked. The most famous sauce is the “salsa roja” made with tomatoes and chiles. A “salsa verde” is made with tomatillos and has a distinct green color.

Nutrition Facts

One enchilada with beans, meat, and sauce (132 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 164 calories
  • 97.7 g water
  • 8.67 g protein
  • 7.74 g fat
  • 16.1 g carbohydrate
  • 3.7 g fiber
  • 2.63 g sugar
  • 112 mg calcium
  • 1.54 mg iron
  • 37 mg magnesium
  • 166 mg phosphorus
  • 308 mg potassium
  • 358 mg sodium
  • 7.52 µg selenium
  • 12.3 mg vitamin C
  • 31.7 µg vitamin A
  • 19.8 mg cholesterol

While one enchilada seems to be low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, the truth is, you will likely never eat just one. Most enchilada dishes come with at least three servings that add calories, fat, carbs, and sodium. By choosing the ingredients and baking them at home, you can make this dish healthier.

What Goes Well With Enchiladas

Below are some delicious sides for enchiladas that you can serve at any time!

#1. Mexican Rice and Beans

When you prepare enchiladas, you honor Mexican cuisine, so why not keep going with the tradition? This dish is easy to make, the flavors are great, and you can save it for the rest of the week if there are leftovers.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 serrano or habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can pinto or black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Mexican rice and beans:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the serrano pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic powder and cook for another minute. Stir in the rice, and coat it with the oil.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and the chicken broth. Add the pinto beans after one minute.
  4. Add one cup of water and season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
  5. Continue simmering for 20 minutes or until your rice is tender.
  6. Serve warm after fluffing it and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.

#2. Traditional Guacamole

As with any other Mexican dish, including avocados is always a good choice. This traditional guacamole packs flavor and a bit of heat that complement your enchiladas perfectly.


  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your traditional guacamole:

  1. Peel and pit your avocados. Place your avocados in a large bowl.
  2. Wash your tomatoes and chop them, and add them to the bowl with the avocados. 
  3. Dice your red onion and add it to the bowl as well.
  4. Chop your cilantro and add it too. Toss well.
  5. Add the lime juice, jalapeno, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  6. Mix everything well and serve cold with your enchiladas.

#3. Mexican Creamed Elote

Elote means corn in Mexican Spanish, and this recipe is creamy and tasty. You can add more ingredients to turn this dish into something more filling.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 cups sweet corn, fresh or frozen, and thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ cup cotija cheese or queso fresco
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Mexican creamed elote:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Cook for 5 minutes or until they soften.
  2. Pour the cream and sour cream slowly, alternating each carefully. Mix and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in your corn and cook for another couple of minutes. Season with cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Lower the heat to a simmer, and continue cooking for a few more minutes. The mixture should begin to thicken.
  5. Add the lime juice and cook some more.
  6. Stir in the cheese and cilantro. Continue mixing so the cheese melts.
  7. Serve warm with your enchiladas.

#4. Crispy Roasted Mexican Potatoes

Who says potatoes cannot be Mexican too? This recipe is delicious, full of flavor, and crispy, adding more texture to your enchiladas.


  • 10 to 15 red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup fresh cheese (cotija or queso fresco)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your crispy roasted Mexican potatoes:

  1. Preheat your oven to about 375 to 400 degrees °F.
  2. Cut your potatoes into halves and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Chop your red onion and place it in the bowl as well.
  4. Add the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Toss your potatoes and onion, covering them well in the spices and oil.
  6. Line a baking sheet and add the potatoes and onion. Make sure you space them.
  7. Sprinkle your fresh cilantro and fresh cheese on top.
  8. Bake for at least ten minutes, move your potatoes around and then bake for another ten more minutes.
  9. Serve warm with more cilantro.

#5. Refried Bean Dip

If you want a side dish that goes well with anything, this refried bean dip is the right choice. You can serve it next to your enchiladas or in the middle of the table with some tortilla chips.


  • 1 can of refried beans or homemade refried beans
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese mix or shredded cheddar or fresh cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your refried bean dip:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350-375 degrees °F.
  2. Combine your refried beans, cheese, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Transfer the bean mixture onto a baking dish.
  4. Add a little extra cheese on top. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with cilantro on top and tortilla chips.

#6. Tangy and Spicy Slaw

This tangy and spicy slaw is a fantastic dish to add some tartness and crunchiness to your meal. You can add more or fewer vegetables or flavors to switch things up.


  • 1 package coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your tangy and spicy slaw:

  1. Wash and chop your vegetables. Transfer them to a large bowl.
  2. Mix the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Add the vinaigrette to the large bowl and continue tossing.
  4. Add the cilantro and mix one more time.
  5. Place your tangy and spicy slaw in a refrigerator for at least one hour.
  6. Serve your dish cold next to your enchiladas.

#7. Homemade Salsa

Salsa is always a good idea when it comes to Mexican meals. You can prepare this salsa right at home and keep it for a few days to keep enjoying the tasty flavors.


  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your homemade salsa:

  1. Wash and chop your vegetables. You can then place them in a food processor or blender.
  2. Add cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sugar, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Blend until smooth but not completely liquid.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and jalapeno pepper. Blend once more until smooth again.
  5. Taste and add more salt, lime, or spice.
  6. Refrigerate your homemade salsa and serve it cold with tortilla chips.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Enchilada Sides?

Enchiladas are so much fun and very tasty. Choosing the correct side dish is hard to do, but there are various options out there. You can mix and match depending on the flavors you want.

For a cheese and vegetable enchilada, you can serve something denser and more filling. Go with the refried bean dip, which is not only flavorful but also contains some protein. You can also pick Mexican rice and beans to get more fiber too.

When your enchiladas contain meat, such as chicken, beef, or pork, a lighter side dish is not a bad idea. Try the traditional guacamole with some chips, as well as the homemade salsa. You can also try the Mexican creamed elote for crunch.

If you are serving fish or vegetarian enchiladas, you might want to choose a side dish that compliments these flavors. Try the crispy roasted Mexican potatoes, which are denser but delicious. The tangy and spicy slaw is light and fresh, perfect for citrus flavors.


Since you are putting tons of thought into your enchiladas, why not save time when you think of side dishes? These are all easy-to-make yet delicious recipes. Pick one, two, or three, and serve them with your favorite enchiladas.

Up next: How to reheat enchiladas

*image by PantherMediaSeller/depositphotos

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