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What to Serve with Taco Boats? (8 Great Options)

One of my favorite meals is taco boats.

While the main event is always delicious, I’m always looking for new and exciting sides to serve with them.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of 13 easy sides that will elevate your taco boat experience!

Read Also: 15 Fruits That Go With Tacos

What to Serve with Taco Boats

Whether you’re looking for something fruity, cheesy, or savory, I’ve got you covered.

So get ready to raise your taco game to a whole new level!

See Also: 22 Best Mexican Vegetable Side Dishes

Why Consider Serving Sides for Taco Boats?

Taco Boats

There are a few reasons why considering sides for taco boats is important.

First of all, it can help prevent overwhelming the palate when you have a lot going on in your dish.

Multiple flavors and textures make up a good taco boat, but too many types of ingredients can ruin the balance needed to complement your main dish.

Also, there’s the flavor element.

The flavors of taco boats are complicated, and many ingredients have a strong taste that can overpower your other ingredients.

You want to create a dish that has a well-balanced flavor, but adding too many different types of flavors will make it difficult for your palate to enjoy.

A side dish can even be spicy, but it should not overwhelm the flavor of the main course since its job is to compliment the flavors in your taco boat.

What to Serve with Taco Boats?

There are many options for what to serve with taco boats. You can keep it simple with just taco meat and cheese, or you can add in other toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sour cream.

You could also serve them with a side of refried beans or Spanish rice. For a sweet treat, you could top the taco boats with shredded coconut or serve them with a fruit salsa.

Ground Beef Taco Boats

Keep scrolling for more ideas!

1. Refried Beans

Refried Beans

Refried beans are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and they make a great addition to taco boats.

They have a smooth, creamy texture that pairs well with the crunchy shell of the taco boat.

You can use any type of bean you like for this recipe, but black beans and pinto beans are the most common.

There are endless possibilities for what you can add to your refried beans.

Some popular additions include cheese, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

You can also add ground beef, pork, or chicken to make a heartier dish.

If you want to keep it vegetarian, you can add sauteed vegetables like onions, peppers, and mushrooms.

Refried beans are typically made by cooking the beans until they are soft, then mashing them and adding spices.

You can also add herbs and spices to taste, such as cumin, chili powder, garlic, and onion powder.

If you want a smoother texture, you can blend the beans in a food processor or blender.

Pair refried beans with other Mexican-inspired dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or enchiladas.

They also go well with rice, grilled meats, and salads.

2. Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

If there’s one thing I know about Spanish rice, it’s that it’s the perfect accompaniment to taco boats.

The rice provides a great contrast in texture to the soft tacos, and it also soaks up all the delicious flavors from the fillings and toppings.

Plus, it’s a great way to bulk up your meal if you’re serving taco boats for a crowd.

There are tons of different ways you can make Spanish rice, but my favorite is to start with a base of sautéed onions and garlic.

Then, I add in long-grain rice and cook it until it’s nice and tender.

For the liquid, I like to use a combination of chicken broth and tomato sauce.

This gives the rice a lot of flavor without making it too heavy.

Once the rice is cooked, I like to stir in some chopped green onions and cilantro for a bit of freshness.

Then, it’s time to pile it into the taco boats and dig in!

3. Fruit Salsa

Fruit Salsa

Fruit salsa?


Yes, really!

This unique and flavorful salsa is the perfect accompaniment to taco boats.

The sweetness of the fruit pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of the taco filling, and the texture is just right.

To make fruit salsa, simply combine your favorite fruits with some chopped onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a touch of jalapeno pepper.

You can use any combination of fruits you like, but I suggest using at least one citrus fruit, such as orange or grapefruit, for a bit of tang.

Once you’ve mixed everything together, give it a taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Then, spoon it into a serving dish and enjoy!

4. Lettuce


Lettuce is known for its crunchy texture and its ability to add a fresh flavor to dishes.

When using lettuce with taco boats, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, consider the recipe you are using. If you are making a traditional taco boat, then you will want to use a crunchy lettuce like iceberg or romaine. If you are making a more modern taco boat, then you can use a leafy lettuce like arugula or spinach.
  • Second, think about the other ingredients you are using. If you are using a lot of fresh ingredients, then you might want to use a milder lettuce like iceberg or romaine. If you are using more robust ingredients, then you can use a more flavorful lettuce like arugula or spinach.
  • Finally, consider the cooking method. If you are grilling or frying your taco boats, then you will want to use a more sturdy lettuce like iceberg or romaine. If you are baking or steaming your taco boats, then you can use a more delicate lettuce like arugula or spinach.

5. Tomatoes


Tomatoes are amazing in taco boats!

They provide a lovely texture and can be cooked in so many ways.

You can fry them, roast them, or even just leave them raw.

If you’re looking for some recipe ideas, try adding some chopped tomatoes to your favorite taco boat recipe.

You can also use them as a topping for your tacos.

6. Onions

French Fried Onions

Onions are used in pretty much any type of cuisine, so they pair well with taco boats.

They can be diced and used as a topping, or cooked and used as a filling.

You can also use them as a base for other ingredients.

When using onions as a topping, you can either leave them raw or cook them.

If you cook them, you can do so by sautéing, grilling, or caramelizing them.

This will add a different layer of flavor to your dish.

If you’re using onions as a filling, you can cook them in a variety of ways.

You can sauté them, fry them, or even use them in a slow cooker recipe.

Just make sure that they’re cooked before adding them to the taco boats.

Pairing onions with other ingredients is a great way to create a delicious and filling dish.

Some great ingredients to pair with onions include ground beef, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, and avocados.

You can also add in some herbs and spices to give the dish an extra kick.

7. Brown rice

Brown Rice

For a filling and satisfying meal, pair taco boats with brown rice.

This grain pairs well with the Tex-Mex flavors of the taco boats, and its chewy texture contrasts nicely with the crispy shell.

Plus, brown rice is a healthy and nutrient-packed option that will fill you up without weighing you down.

There are several ways to cook brown rice, but for this dish, I recommend using the stovetop method.

Simply bring two cups of water to a boil, then add one cup of brown rice and reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and cooked through.

Once the rice is cooked, add it to the taco boats in whatever proportion you like.

For extra flavor, try adding some chopped onions, garlic, or cilantro to the rice before serving.

Other good pairing options include black beans, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese.

And of course, don’t forget the hot sauce!

8. Grilled vegetables

Grilled Vegetables Salad

Why not try grilling your vegetables for your next taco boat adventure?

This will add a beautiful charred flavor to your veggies that will complement the flavors of your tacos.

Try grilling zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and onions.

You could even throw on some mushrooms or tomatoes.

For extra flavor, you can brush your veggies with olive oil and season them with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices.

Try pairing your grilled veggies with a tangy salsa or a creamy guacamole.


3 Taco Boat Filling Ideas

For a fun and easy meal, nothing beats tacos.

And when it comes to taco fillings, the options are endless.

Here are three of my favorite filling ideas for taco boats:

  1. Tex-Mex: This classic taco filling is made with ground beef, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and cheddar cheese. For a little extra flavor, add some diced onions and green peppers.
  2. Chicken: Another popular option is chicken tacos. For this filling, I like to use shredded chicken breast, diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce, and shredded cheese. You can also add some diced onions and green peppers for extra flavor.
  3. Fish: Fish tacos are a light and flavorful option. I like to use grilled fish fillets, diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce, and shredded cheese. You can also add some diced onions and green peppers for extra flavor.

These are just a few of my favorite taco boat filling ideas. Whatever filling you choose, be sure to enjoy your tacos with family and friends!


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Fruit Salsa

What to Serve with Taco Boats? (8 Great Options)

There are few things more fun to serve at a party than taco boats. They're easy to make, highly customizable, and always a hit with guests.
But what should you serve with them? Here are a few of my favorite options:
For starters, you'll need some tortillas. I like to use flour tortillas, but you can use whatever type you prefer. You'll also need some protein. I typically use ground beef, but chicken or pork would work just as well.
Once you have your tortillas and protein, the sky's the limit in terms of toppings. I like to keep it simple with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese, but you could also add guacamole, sour cream, or salsa.
If you're looking for something a little heartier, you could also serve your taco boats with rice and beans.
This adds some substance to the meal and helps to round out the flavors. And of course, no Mexican-inspired meal would be complete without a little hot sauce.
Whether you go with a classic like Cholula or something more adventurous like Sriracha, be sure to have plenty on hand for your guests to enjoy.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 266 kcal


  • Refried Beans
  • Spanish Rice
  • Fruit Salsa
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Brown rice
  • Grilled vegetables


  • Pick one of the foods from this list (or more) to serve with your taco boats.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What to Serve with Taco Boats