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25 Sides for Tacos: Delicious Add-Ons for Your Taco Night

I’ve attached a video for every recipe below from my favorite home cooks. Since you prefer video over reading, I thought that might be helpful.

When Taco Tuesday rolls around, you want your tacos to be the star of the show, but the sides are what truly bring the meal to life. Whether you’re looking for classic sides like guacamole and salsa or something a bit more adventurous, you’ll find options here that everyone will love.

From zesty Mexican street corn to creamy refried beans, the sides for tacos can be just as exciting and delicious as the main dish. These side dishes not only complement the flavors in your tacos but also add variety and color to your table. Imagine biting into a fresh and tangy coleslaw or a flavorful Mexican rice – each bite bringing different textures and tastes to your meal.

Whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing like a fruit salsa or hearty like a cheesy bean dip, there are options to satisfy every craving. Dive into these recipes and get ready to make your Taco Tuesday even more special with the best sides that everyone will enjoy.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or salsa
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.



  2. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.



  3. Stir in the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes until the rice is lightly toasted.



  4. Add the tomato sauce, broth, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.



  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.



  6. Cover the pot and simmer for about 18-20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.



  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.



  8. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.


Refried Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant. (Skip this step if using garlic powder.)
  3. Add the refried beans, cumin, and salt to the skillet.
  4. Stir well and cook until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes.

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Use a fork to mash the avocados to your desired texture.
  3. Pour lime juice over the mashed avocados and add salt. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the diced onion, chopped cilantro, and minced garlic.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and mix gently.
  6. If you like a bit of heat, sprinkle in the ground cayenne pepper.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Enjoy your guacamole with tacos, chips, or your favorite sides!

Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños, finely chopped (depending on your heat preference)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the diced tomatoes and finely chopped red onion.
  2. Add the jalapeños and minced garlic to the bowl.
  3. Pour in the lime juice and mix well.
  4. Stir in the fresh cilantro.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix everything together until well combined.

Enjoy your fresh, homemade salsa!

Shredded Lettuce

Shredded lettuce is a classic addition to tacos, adding a refreshing, crunchy texture. It’s easy to prepare and makes your tacos even tastier.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Lettuce (Iceberg or Romaine)
  • A cutting board
  • A sharp knife

Instructions:


  1. Cut the Lettuce: Remove any outer leaves and wash your lettuce thoroughly. Pat it dry using a clean towel.



  2. Quarter the Lettuce: Cut the head of lettuce into quarters. This makes it easier to handle and shred.



  3. Shred the Lettuce: Use a sharp knife or a box grater to finely shred the quarters. If using a knife, slice thin strips. For a box grater, slide the flat side of the lettuce down the grater with large holes.



  4. Ready to Use: Place your shredded lettuce in a bowl and it’s ready to top your tacos.


Shredded lettuce adds a refreshing crunch to any taco, whether beef, chicken, fish, or veggie. Enjoy!

Diced Tomatoes

Ingredients needed:

  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Instructions:


  1. Prepare the Tomatoes:
    Rinse your tomatoes under cool running water to remove any dirt.



  2. Cut the Tomato:
    Using a sharp knife, slice the tomato in half from the stem to the bottom.



  3. Remove the Core:
    Cut out the core from the top of each half by making a small V-shaped incision.



  4. Slice Vertically:
    Place the tomato halves flat side down and make evenly spaced vertical cuts.



  5. Slice Horizontally:
    Rotate the tomato and make evenly spaced horizontal cuts, creating a grid pattern.



  6. Dice the Tomato:
    Run your knife through the tomato pieces one last time to ensure uniformity.


Now you have perfectly diced tomatoes ready to top your tacos!

Sliced Jalapeños

Ingredients

  • 4 large jalapeños
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.



  2. Slice the onions and jalapeños. Be careful when handling the jalapeños and avoid touching your face.



  3. Add onions and jalapeños to the skillet. Let them cook on one side for about 3 minutes without stirring.



  4. Flip them over once the onions are caramelized and jalapeños are charred on the first side.



  5. Season with salt to taste and cook for another 2-3 minutes until both sides are nicely charred.


Enjoy your sliced jalapeños as a perfect spicy side for your tacos!

Sour Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Instructions:

  1. Pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice or white vinegar to the cream.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Gradually add the whole milk while stirring.
  5. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth.
  6. Let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  7. Once thickened, refrigerate until ready to use.

Fresh Cilantro

Add a burst of fresh flavor to your tacos with a cilantro dressing. This simple, delicious side will elevate your tacos to the next level.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare Cilantro: Remove the stems from the cilantro and coarsely chop the leaves.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil.
  3. Blend: Pulse until smooth and well-mixed.
  4. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve: Pour the dressing over your tacos or use it as a dip on the side.

This fresh cilantro dressing is perfect for Taco Tuesday! Enjoy!

Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • Fresh corn on the cob
  • Heavy-duty foil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Cotija or Parmesan cheese
  • Chili powder

Instructions


  1. Prep the Corn: Shuck the corn and wrap each ear in heavy-duty foil.



  2. Grill Corn: Place wrapped corn directly on the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally.



  3. Make the Topping: In a small bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, minced garlic, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and lime juice. Stir well.



  4. Grill Again: Remove the corn from foil and place directly on the grill until slightly charred, about 3 minutes per side.



  5. Coat the Corn: Using a brush or spoon, spread the mayonnaise mixture onto the grilled corn.



  6. Add the Finishing Touches: Sprinkle with cotija or Parmesan cheese and a pinch of chili powder.


Serve your delicious corn on the cob alongside your tacos and enjoy!

Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Shredded carrots
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sliced green onions
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Honey
  • Minced garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the coleslaw ingredients in a large bowl: shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions.
  2. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients: olive oil, lime juice, honey, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  3. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture.
  4. Toss everything together until well-coated.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Sautéed Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers (any color), sliced into strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Optional: red pepper flakes, dried oregano

Instructions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the bell peppers and onions to the skillet. Toss to coat them in the oil.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper. Add optional red pepper flakes and oregano if desired.
  4. Allow the vegetables to cook for 2-4 minutes on one side without stirring to get a light char.
  5. Stir the vegetables and cook for another 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and lightly charred.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt if needed.

Serve immediately as a tasty side for tacos!

Crispy Tortilla Chips

Ingredients:

  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Cooking oil (canola, vegetable, or olive oil)
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cut the tortillas into triangles or your preferred shapes.
  3. Lightly brush each side of the tortilla pieces with oil.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt evenly on both sides.
  5. Arrange the tortilla pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake on the top rack for 8-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

That’s it! You’re ready to enjoy your crispy tortilla chips with your favorite dip.

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients:

  • Roma tomatoes, diced
  • White onion, finely chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • Jalapeño or serrano pepper, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Tomatoes: Dice the roma tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Chop the Onion: Finely chop the white onion and add it to the tomatoes.
  3. Add Cilantro: Chop fresh cilantro and mix it into the tomato and onion mixture.
  4. Season with Lime Juice and Salt: Squeeze fresh lime juice over the mixture, and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  5. Optional: Add finely chopped jalapeño or serrano pepper for extra heat.
  6. Let it Rest: Allow the pico de gallo to sit for 15-30 minutes for the flavors to blend before serving.

Fresh Fruit

Incorporating fresh fruit as a side dish for tacos adds a burst of sweetness and tanginess. Grilled pineapple, in particular, is a delicious and refreshing option that pairs well with the savory flavors of tacos.

Grilled Pineapple

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple and remove the skin.
  2. Slice the pineapple into rings, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. In a small bowl, mix honey, lime juice, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Brush the pineapple slices with the honey mixture.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  6. Grill pineapple slices for 2-3 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and pineapple is caramelized.
  7. Serve warm with your tacos.

Grilled pineapple adds a delightful contrast to tacos, making your meal more exciting and flavorful.

Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it into bite-sized florets and placing them onto a large baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt.
  4. Toss to combine all the ingredients, ensuring each floret is well-coated with the seasoning.
  5. Arrange the florets in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  6. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the cauliflower is golden brown and tender.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy your roasted cauliflower as a delicious side to your tacos.

Air Fryer Home Fries

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Toss the diced potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place the seasoned potatoes in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  5. Serve immediately with your tacos.

Buttermilk Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened.
  6. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Let it cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Spanish Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or salsa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Optional: chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions:


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.



  2. Add diced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until it becomes translucent.



  3. Stir in minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.



  4. Add the rice to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.



  5. Pour in the tomato sauce or salsa and mix well with the rice.



  6. Add the chicken broth, salt, cumin, and paprika. Bring the mixture to a boil.



  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let it simmer for about 18-20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.



  8. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.



  9. Optionally, garnish with cilantro and serve warm alongside your tacos.


Crunchy Coleslaw

Making a crunchy coleslaw to complement your tacos is a breeze! This recipe will bring fresh flavors and a satisfying crunch to your meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions.
  2. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt until well mixed.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture.
  4. Toss everything together until the coleslaw is evenly coated with the dressing.
  5. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Serve alongside your tacos and enjoy the crunch!

Cooling Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the sliced cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion.
  2. Add the chopped mint and cilantro to the bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.
  5. Toss gently to combine all the flavors.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one hour before serving.

Flavourful Mexican Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • Lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns golden.
  3. Sprinkle the rice with salt and cumin while cooking.
  4. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 17-20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the frozen corn and optional jalapeño pepper if using.
  7. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice before serving.

Stuffed Mini Peppers

Ingredients

  • Mini sweet peppers (about 12-15)
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 oz cream cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Slice the mini peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds.
  3. Place the halved peppers on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  4. In a skillet, cook your ground beef or turkey over medium heat until browned.
  5. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until soft.
  6. Mix in the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, and water. Let it simmer until the liquid reduces.
  7. If using, stir in the cream cheese until blended and creamy.
  8. Spoon the meat mixture into each pepper half.
  9. Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly on top of the stuffed peppers.
  10. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted.
  11. Remove from oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy your tasty and colorful stuffed mini peppers as a perfect side for tacos!

Elote-Style Grilled Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions


  1. Prepare the Corn: Shuck the corn and remove any silk. Wrap each cob in a piece of aluminum foil or leave them bare if you prefer a more charred flavor.



  2. Mix the Toppings: In a bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, minced garlic, chili powder, and a pinch of salt.



  3. Grill the Corn: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the corn on the grill grates. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are tender and have a nice char.



  4. Add the Toppings: Remove the corn from the grill and carefully unwrap it (if using foil). Brush each ear with the sour cream mixture, then sprinkle with cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.



  5. Serve: Serve the corn with lime wedges for squeezing over the top. Enjoy your flavorful Elote-style grilled corn on the cob!


Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.