Hey you, taco lover!
Have you ever wondered what to serve with tacos besides rice and beans?
There are a lot of ways to make your tacos extra special, and today we’re going to share some of our favorite ideas for doing just that.
Sure, rice and beans are traditional and delicious, but sometimes you want to spice it up a little and try something new.
After reading this post, you’re going to want to whip up some tacos ASAP so you can try them all out!
What to Serve with Tacos Besides Rice and Beans
Taco Tuesday is the best day of the week, but sometimes you need to spice it up a bit.
You’ve probably tried all of the classic sides with your tacos—rice and beans, chips and salsa, queso and guacamole—but what about some more inventive options?
From fruit to greens, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Here’s a side dish to serve with tacos that’s out of the ordinary—and way tastier than rice and beans.
Roasted Brussels sprouts with a honey mustard drizzle are a perfect complement to your tacos.
They’re salty, tangy, sweet, and savory—just like your favorite taco fillings.
Here’s how to make them!
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts (look for small sprouts)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- While you’re waiting for the oven to heat up, wash the Brussels sprouts and cut off their ends (the white part) and any brown leaves.
- Cut them in half lengthwise, then toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Spread them out on a baking sheet in one layer.
- Roast for 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned on the edges.
- While they’re roasting, whisk together the honey and mustard until smooth.
- Remove the sprouts from the oven and drizzle with the honey mustard sauce before serving!
Chicken fries are crunchier, meatier versions of french fries, so they’re perfect for serving with tacos.
They’re also easier to eat than regular french fries because they have more substance and less grease, so you don’t have to worry about making a mess while eating them.
You can make them yourself at home or buy them pre-made at places like McDonald’s or Taco Bell if you don’t feel like putting in the effort to make them yourself!
Nachos are a classic side dish that goes well with any meal, but they’re especially delicious with tacos.
You can top them off with guacamole, sour cream, and jalapeños for extra flavor.
Strawberries are delicious, but they’re also frequently overlooked as an ingredient—especially in savory dishes!
Strawberries are a great addition to tacos because they add some sweetness without overpowering other flavors like fruit might do in other recipes.
Cauliflower rice is a great option for those looking for a low-carb alternative to traditional rice.
It’s also easy to make at home if you don’t want to buy pre-made versions (though those can be great too!).
- Simply grate cauliflower florets by hand or in a food processor, then steam them until tender (about 10 minutes).
- Finally, throw them in a large bowl and add whatever seasonings you’d like: cumin, chili powder and garlic powder are all tasty options!
Zucchini noodles are another good option for those who want a healthier alternative to traditional pasta.
They’re made with zucchini and can be prepared in no time!
7. Flax and Chia Seed Salad
If you’re looking for something to serve with your tacos other than rice and beans, Flax and Chia Seed Salad is a healthy, flavorful option that will keep your diet on track while also giving you some extra energy for your next round of margaritas.
8. Fruity Salsa
This fruity salsa is just what you need.
It’s quick and easy to make, it’s vegan-friendly, and it goes perfectly with all sorts of meaty tacos—including vegetarian ones!
- 1 mango
- 1 avocado
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 cucumber
- Chop up all of the ingredients.
- Mix them together.
- Serve immediately.
How to serve it:
- This salsa is great on tortilla chips, but you can also add it to soft tacos or burrito bowls.
- It would also be good as a salad dressing—just add some lime juice and oil and blend it up!
Note: This recipe is great because it’s ready in about 15 minutes, so if you don’t have much time for cooking, you can still put something delicious together to accompany your meal.
9. Kale Salad
Kale salads are great because they’re easy to make and they’re healthy. You can make it as spicy as you’d like, so even if you’re a spice-lover, this is a good option for you.
Here’s how we like to make it:
- 1 head of kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl, toss well, and serve.
10. Shredded lettuce
If you’re not going to use tortillas for your tacos, shredded lettuce is a great way to add some freshness.
It’s got a lot less carbs than tortillas do too—so if you’re trying to eat healthy while still enjoying Taco Tuesday, this is a good option!
You can also add tomatoes and onions if you want more flavor—they’ll give your taco an extra kick without being overpowering or ruining its simplicity.
11. Baked potatoes
Another option is baked potatoes.
Just wrap them in foil with a little butter and salt and bake them for about an hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can even split them open, top them with your favorite taco fixings, and serve them up!
12. Green salad
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, try serving your tacos with a green salad instead of rice or beans; it will give you more space for your favorite taco toppings while still keeping things healthy!
Queso is a perfect side dish for tacos because it’s rich and creamy but also has tons of flavor from spices like cumin and chili powder.
It’s also easy to make at home—just throw everything into a blender until smooth!
14. Fruit salad
Fruit salad is another easy way to make sure everyone at your table gets their daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables—and it’s also delicious!
You can add berries or melon or grapes
If you’re looking for something to serve with tacos besides the obvious rice and beans, try sweet potato fries.
They’re a great alternative to classic fries, but they’re still crispy, salty, and delicious.
You can make them in the oven, or you can make them in the air fryer if you have one!
- To make them in the oven: cut your sweet potato into sticks or wedges and toss with oil or melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or any other seasoning), then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
- To make them in an air fryer: cut your sweet potato into sticks or wedges and toss with oil or melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or any other seasoning), then place into an air fryer basket at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.
Jicama is a crisp, white root vegetable that’s part of the turnip family.
It’s got a mild flavor and a slightly sweet taste, so it’s delicious served on its own.
This recipe uses jicama as the base for an easy chip recipe—you just need four simple ingredients and 15 minutes to make them!
To make them, all you’ll need are:
- 1 large jicama (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Peel your jicama and slice it into thin wedges about ¼-inch thick.
- Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until browned around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before serving!
For something a little different than the usual, try cornbread.
This recipe is simple and easy, so you can have it done in a pinch, and it’s full of that sweet-and-salty flavor that pairs so nicely with tacos.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1¼ cups milk
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Slice into squares and serve!
18. Cucumber slices
Not everyone is a fan of refried beans, and even those who are may not have the time to cook them on a weeknight.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a delicious, healthy side dish with your tacos.
This recipe is simple, refreshing, and totally homemade. It’s perfect for potlucks, or a family dinner that needs a bit of extra crunch.
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- salt to taste
- Cut the cucumber into thin slices.
- Lay the slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for 1 hour.
- Put the cucumber slices in a bowl, and add the yogurt, making sure it coats all of the slices evenly.
- Add salt to taste. You can also use garlic powder instead of salt, if you prefer a little more savory flavor.
- Store in the fridge until time to serve.
If you’re looking to add a little something extra, try making some croutons!
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 loaf crusty bread (French or Italian) cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon each of salt, black pepper, and dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Drizzle olive oil in the center of the pan, then spread it over the entire surface using a pastry brush or your hands.
- Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on the pan.
- Sprinkle with garlic (if using), salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Bake until golden brown, tossing once halfway through baking time.
- Let cool completely before serving.
How to serve it: Serve the croutons on top of your tacos right before eating! The crunchy texture is a nice complement to the soft tortillas and saucy fillings. Toasting them in olive oil makes them extra flavorful as well!
20. Macaroni and cheese (don’t knock it till you try it!)
Sometimes you’ve got to zag when everyone else zigs.
If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with tacos that isn’t rice or beans, you’ll be delighted by this simple and delicious recipe for macaroni and cheese.
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- 1/2 cup macaroni noodles, uncooked
- 1/8 tsp salt (optional)
- Heat a small pot of water to boiling, add the macaroni and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a roux. Add the milk slowly, stirring as you go. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens, then add the cheese and stir until it melts. Add salt if desired.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and pour into a serving dish.
How to serve it: Serve with your favorite taco recipe! The salty, cheesy goodness is an excellent complement for spicy Mexican flavors, but also goes well with carne asada or fish tacos. Mac’n’cheese tacos are another great option; simply combine mac’n’cheese with your favorite taco toppings and fillings inside a warm taco shell or tortilla!
Note: This is a recipe that can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re feeding a crowd!
21. Potato salad
When you’ve had it with rice and beans, why not try potato salad?
It’s familiar, but not boring—the perfect side dish for tacos.
- 1 pound new potatoes
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives or green onions, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes until they’re tender but still hold their shape.
- Then let them cool down.
- Cut them into quarters and put the pieces in a large bowl.
- Add the celery, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper.
- Mix everything well but gently so you don’t mash up the potatoes too much.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in your fridge for an hour before serving.
What to Serve with Tacos Besides Rice and Beans
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with a honey mustard drizzle
- Chicken Fries
- Cauliflower Rice
- Zucchini Noodles
- Flax and Chia Seed Salad
- Fruity Salsa
- Kale Salad
- Shredded lettuce
- Baked potatoes
- Green salad
- Fruit salad
- Sweet potato fries
- Jicama chips
- Cucumber slices
- Macaroni and cheese
- Potato salad
- Pick any of the foods on this list to serve instead of your beans and rice.
- Prepare the rest of your taco meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!