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What To Serve With Pupusas – 15 Best Side Dishes

Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran dish made from corn or rice flour filled with cheese, beans, pork, and vegetables.

They are flavorful and delicious on their own, but it can be tough to know what to serve with pupusas.

If you’re looking for some tasty and unique side dishes to serve alongside your pupusas, then you are in the right place.

I’m sharing 15 of the best side dishes to pair with pupusas including salads, slaws, salsas, condiments, and more.

So grab your ingredients and get ready to make a delicious meal!


Why Serve A Side Dish with Pupusas?

  1. To add variety to the meal: Pupusas are a delicious and filling dish, but they can be quite heavy on their own. Serving a side dish with your pupusas adds variety to the meal and helps balance out the flavors.
  2. To provide additional nutrition: A side dish is an excellent way to add more nutrients to your pupusa-based meal. For example, you could serve a salad or vegetable-based side dish for added vitamins and minerals.
  3. To make it easier to share: If you’re serving pupusas at a party or gathering, having a side dish makes it easier for everyone to share in the experience of eating them together without having too much of one type of food on their plate at once.
  4. To give guests options: Having different types of dishes available gives guests more options when it comes time for them to choose what they want from the table—they don’t have to just eat pupusas if they don’t want to!
  5. To create an aesthetically pleasing presentation: Serving up multiple dishes creates an attractive spread that looks inviting and appetizing—it’s sure to draw people in!

What To Serve With Pupusas – 15 Best Side Dishes

Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran dish that is sure to please any crowd.

But what should you serve with it?

Here are 15 delicious side dishes that will go perfectly with pupusas:

1. Spicy Curtido (Pickled Cabbage Slaw)

This slaw is a classic Salvadoran recipe made of cabbage, carrots, and onions that have been marinated in vinegar and toasted spices like cumin, oregano & red pepper flakes.

It is crunchy, tangy, and slightly spicy, and perfectly compliments dishes like pupusas.

2. Salsa roja

A traditional Mexican condiment made with fire-roasted tomato, jalapeño peppers, and onion seasoned with garlic powder, cumin, and dried oregano.

Roja salsa adds great flavor and piquancy to whatever it’s paired with making it an ideal companion for any dish such as pupusas!

3. Cilantro Lime Slaw

There might not be a better topping than fresh cilantro lime coleslaw for those flavorful Latin American recipes like Pupusas!

Throw together some shredded green cabbage combined with lime juice, olive oil, chopped fresh cilantro leaves & diced white onion then top off your finished dish for the perfect finishing touch!

4. Fried sweet plantains

Perfectly ripe plantains are sliced and fried in strips or rounds. This crispy, sweet side dish is a great way to add color, texture, and flavor to any meal.

5. Mexican rice

Also known as arroz rojo (“red rice”), this traditional accompaniment to pupusas (and many other Latin American dishes) uses vegetables such as tomatoes and onions for flavor, with spices such as cumin adding fragrant aromas.

6. Fresh veggie chow chow

A mixture of cabbage, green tomatoes, carrots, onions or whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand-make up this colorful side dish that cooks quickly. The result has a mild tartness that adds just the right kick to your finished meal.

7. Cilantro lime crema

This zesty, creamy sauce is an excellent accompaniment to rich and savory pupusas. It adds acidity as well as herbaceousness without overpowering the main dish.

8. Homemade guacamole

Guacamole provides a smooth contrast in texture compared with your pupusas – plus who doesn’t love it? Make sure to get the ingredients just right, including diced tomatoes and onions, seasoned with garlic and salt.

9. Creamy tomato and cucumber salad

Brighten up your plate with fresh chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and avocado cubes all combined into one flavorful salad finished off with a simple oil-and-vinegar dressing.

A refreshing option that pairs perfectly with any type of pupusa!

10. Grilled vegetable kabobs

A skewered combination of colorful vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms is an easy way to add flavor and texture to any meal. You can marinate the veggies prior to grilling for added flavor.

11. Pico de gallo

This classic salsa of tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeno is usually served as a condiment or with chips. But it’s also delicious alongside pupusas or other Latin dishes – its tangy freshness wakes up any plate!

12. Spicy refried beans

Refried beans are hearty enough to serve as an accompaniment but still manage to be light on the stomach. Spicing them up with cumin, chili powder or even chipotles in adobo will take your pupusa side dish from blah to unforgettable!

13. Black bean and corn salad

This bright and flavorful salad features black beans, roasted corn, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a lime-cumin dressing. Perfect served chilled or at room temperature.

14. Pickled red onions

Refreshing pickled onions provide great flavor to pupusas when added as condiments with their intense acidity along with a sweet and spicy flavor.

15. Creamy Chipotle Lime Coleslaw

A deliciously creamy coleslaw made with cool cabbage slaw mix, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for the slight kick of heat, mayonnaise or yogurt for creaminess, and fresh lime juice for that zesty tang. Serve it alongside the pupusas!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, pupusas are a delicious and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or meal. But, to make the perfect pupusas meal, you need the perfect sides.

The best sides to serve with pupusas are spicy curtido, salsa roja, cilantro lime slaw, fried sweet plantains, Mexican rice, fresh veggie chow chow, cilantro lime crema, homemade guacamole, creamy tomato and cucumber salad, grilled vegetable kabobs, pico de gallo, spicy refried beans, and black bean and corn salad.

These sides provide a variety of flavors, textures, and colors that will bring your pupusas meal to life. So, next time you make pupusas, don’t forget to serve these delicious sides!


What To Serve With Pupusas – 15 Best Side Dishes

When you know what to serve with pupusas, you can create a flavorful and satisfying meal. That's why I'm excited to share my top 15 best side dishes to serve alongside this traditional Salvadoran dish. From simple salads to hearty stews and casseroles, these side dishes will pair perfectly with pupusas and provide a delicious and well-rounded meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 478 kcal


  • Spicy Curtido (Pickled Cabbage Slaw)
  • Salsa roja
  • Cilantro Lime Slaw
  • Fried sweet plantains
  • Mexican rice
  • Fresh veggie chow chow
  • Cilantro lime crema
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Creamy tomato and cucumber salad
  • Grilled vegetable kabobs
  • Pico de gallo
  • Spicy refried beans
  • Black bean and corn salad
  • Pickled red onions
  • Creamy Chipotle Lime Coleslaw


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a side dish in 30 minutes or less!
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.