taco sides

What To Serve With Tacos? Try These 7 Easy Side Dishes

Tacos are some of the best dinner or lunch ideas out there. Not only are they universally liked, but they are also easy to make. Plus, you can fill them with pretty much every meat or ingredient you can think of.

Here, we will tell you all the best side dishes for tacos. Do not make the mistake of serving the wrong thing next time you make this dish at home for taco night or Taco Tuesday!

What Are Tacos?

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a handmade corn tortilla filled with meat or vegetables. While the original recipe comes with corn tortillas, you may now see wheat tortillas as well. The filling may be beef, pork, chicken, seafood, beans, cheese, and vegetables.

These days, tacos have become more elaborate than the original recipe that only comes with a filling of meat and beans. You will often see tacos topped with queso fresco, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and tortilla chips.

In Mexico, tacos are considered street food, available at any time of the day and in any corner.

While the original taco has a soft shell, you may now find hard shell tacos, breakfast tacos, lettuce tacos, and ethnic tacos with ingredients and seasonings from other cuisines.

In the United States, tacos are extremely popular and many states and cities even declare national taco days. You may also see taco-making kits at your local grocery store, containing all the ingredients you would need and making the process easier.

Nutrition Facts

One medium-soft taco with meat and beans (145 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 276 calories
  • 90.8 g water
  • 12.3 g protein
  • 11.4 g fat
  • 31.3 g carbohydrate
  • 4.02 g fiber
  • 3.49 g sugar
  • 158 mg calcium
  • 2.92 mg iron
  • 37.2 mg magnesium
  • 218 mg phosphorus
  • 355 mg potassium
  • 857 mg sodium
  • 18.6 µg selenium
  • 29.2 mg choline
  • 43.2 µg vitamin A
  • 22.4 mg cholesterol

Tacos are a fun, filling, yet fresh dish that everyone loves. Whether you want to make them full of meat, vegetarian, vegan, or seafood, tacos are always the right choice. To make your tacos healthier, pick the ingredients carefully and prepare them yourself at home.

What Goes Well With Tacos Anytime

Below are some of the best sides for tacos that you can make and serve at any time!

#1. Rice with Lime and Cilantro

There is nothing that compliments tacos more than a good bowl of rice. This recipe has lime and cilantro and is a delicious yet simple addition to whichever tacos you are serving.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups Mexican rice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your rice with lime and cilantro:

  1. Warm your vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add the rice and mix until it is fully coated.
  2. Add the water, broth, and garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  3. Cook the rice for about 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and add the lime and cilantro. 
  4. Mix well, and serve warm on the side of the tacos.

#2. Refried Beans

Beans are a staple of Mexican food, so it should not come as a surprise that serving refried beans is a good idea. You can make this recipe within minutes and have a side dish that goes well with tacos, burritos, taquitos, fajitas, and more!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cans of pinto beans
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your refried beans:

  1. In a skillet, warm up the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
  2. While the oil is cooking, drain your beans.
  3. Add the beans to the skillet along with the cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes, add salt and pepper.
  4. After they are done cooking, remove the beans, add the lime juice, and set them aside on a bowl or plate.
  5. With a fork or potato masher, mash the beans until they reach the texture you want.
  6. Serve warm or cold according to your preference.

#3. Mexican Elote

Elote is the word for street corn from Mexico, and it is famous everywhere. This Mexican street corn recipe is extremely easy to make, but also delicious and fresh. Grilled corn is perfect for accompanying your tacos without overpowering the flavors.


  • 8 husks corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Mexican elote:

  1. Begin by preheating the grill to medium heat.
  2. Roast your corn husks for about 15 minutes, until they become more tender.
  3. In a bowl, mix the sour cream and lime juice. Add the garlic and mix well.
  4. Add the cheese to a flat plate.
  5. Roll your corn onto the sour cream mix, and then onto the cheese.
  6. Top with chili powder and cilantro.
  7. Serve warm with tacos on the side.

#4. Avocado Salad

Avocados are the signature element in all things Mexican, so it makes sense to make a salad full of flavors where they can shine. You can add or remove as many things as you need in this recipe.


  • 2 avocados or more if too small
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your avocado salad:

  1. Peel, pit, and dice your avocados. Transfer them to a bowl.
  2. Wash your red bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes. Chop them and add them to the bowl.
  3. Add the cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss everything.
  4. Serve the dish cold or at room temperature with tacos on the side.

#5. Crispy Yuca Fries

Yuca is a starchy vegetable famous in many Latin American cuisines. If you want to serve your tacos with a tasty carb and something different, then these crispy yuca fries are the best choice.


  • 1.5 lbs yuca root
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream to serve

Follow these steps to prepare your crispy yuca fries:

  1. Start by peeling your yuca root. Cut it into long wedges as wide as you want. Rinse the wedges.
  2. Place the yuca in a pot with water, bring to a boil, and cook for at least 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain your yuca wedges, and remove the fiber core you see at the center.
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet, and carefully add the yuca. Fry each wedge for about 3 to 5 minutes or until brown.
  5. Set a paper towel on top of a deep dish. Drain the excess oil of each wedge by setting it on it.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot with cilantro on top, and sour cream to dip in.

#6. Mexican Coleslaw

Not everyone serves pulled pork with rice pilaf, but it is a great choice when you want something delicate. This recipe takes only a few ingredients and minutes to make but tastes great.


  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Mexican coleslaw:

  1. Start by washing and chopping your vegetables and draining the beans and corn. Transfer them to a large bowl along with the cilantro.
  2. Separately, combine the mayo, sour cream, chili powder, and lime juice.
  3. Slowly add the mayo mix onto the slaw. Toss everything and add salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Cover your Mexican slaw and place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  5. Serve cold next to the tacos.

#7. Pico de Gallo

Also called fresh salsa, pico de gallo is a traditional Mexican topping and side dish. Since it is fresh and subtle, it can be a great addition to any taco you are serving, whether served on top or on the side.


  • 3 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your pico de gallo:

  1. Wash your vegetables and chop them. Transfer them to a bowl.
  2. Wash and seed your jalapeno. Chop it carefully and add it to the bowl. Be very careful not to touch your face after you do this. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  3. Add the lime juice, cumin, fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Toss everything.
  4. Cover the bowl and transfer to the fridge or leave at room temperature.
  5. Serve next to your tacos or on top.

Tip: if you like your pico de gallo less chunky, place everything from step 2 in a food processor and blend a little. Then continue following the steps.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Taco Sides?

Nothing says summertime or the weekend like tacos. This worldwide popular dish is versatile and filling. Still, since it can have all sorts of toppings and fillings, you should be aware of what to serve them with, and these options are all delicious and appropriate.

For a classic side dish that everyone will like, you may want to go with traditional fan favorites. In this case, the rice with lime and cilantro and the refried beans are the winners. Serve them at the same time for a more wholesome meal.

On the other hand, if you want something refreshing that is delicious and easy to make, then you can try a vegetable. We suggest serving the tacos with Mexican elote, avocado salad, and pico de gallo. You can serve the pico de gallo any time and use it as a topping, so you can prepare any of these together.

Finally, you could serve taco sides that are denser and different. To make the meal more filling and completely new, try the Mexican coleslaw and crispy yuca fries. You can serve these together, or pair them with the Mexican elote or rice with lime and cilantro as well.


Tacos are such a popular dish these days that you may often find yourself making them constantly. Instead of serving something that does not pair well with the flavors and takes too long to make, then try any of these taco side dishes recipes. Often, you can serve them in the same meal without ruining any flavors. If you use leftover tacos, make sure you reheat tacos before serving for the best taste.

See more: Sides for fish tacos

*image by racool_studio/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top