Wondering what to serve with empanadas? You’ve come to the right place.
I’m such a sucker for empanadas. Whenever I see these scrumptious turnovers, I turn into a bottomless mosh pit.
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Look, I’m not ashamed to say that I can eat a bunch of these treats in one sitting!
It doesn’t matter the filling – chicken, pork, beef, vegetarian – I’ll eat them, I’ll eat them all.
So for the sake of everyone else dining with me, I make it a point to serve empanadas with at least two side dishes.
It’s the only way I can control myself from having the hand pies all to myself.
With these equally delectable sides, I’m able to keep my empanada obsession at bay.
From corn and fried plantains to coleslaw and guacamole, these Mexican side dishes will turn your lunch or dinner into a hearty, colorful feast!
1. Mexican Rice
Rice and empanadas? Intriguing, am I right?
While it does sound strange, think of it as eating burritos, but instead of the rice being inside the wrapper, it’s served separately.
Plus, with its bright colors and tasty flavors, you really won’t think twice about eating Mexican rice and empanadas together.
Rice is cooked in a savory broth, flavored and colored with a rich tomato paste.
Together with empanadas, it makes for a delicious Mexican meal.
This tandem is very hearty, so it’s perfect, especially when you’re feeling super-hungry.
2. Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is a tomato-based dip and sauce perfect for chips, enchiladas, and everything in between.
Unlike regular salsa, salsa verde is made of tomatillos or Mexican husk tomatoes, giving its trademark green hue.
You can always just get a jar of salsa verde from your local grocery, but there’s a simple reason why you should give this recipe a try.
It’s a hundred times more delicious than any store-bought salsa.
The secret is the tomatoes are roasted beforehand to create that lovely, delicious char.
3. Mexican Street Corn Salad
Mexican street corn salad or esquites is more than just a salad.
Bursting with savory, smoky, spicy, and tangy flavors, this is truly one of the best.
Every bite is an explosion of flavors! How can it not be? The corn is sauteed in butter and flavored with onions, chilies, and salt.
It’s then topped with hot sauce, chili powder, salt, mayo, and a spritz of lime juice. It’s madness, and I love it!
This version takes it to new realms of taste bud-pleasure by adding colorful veggies, avocado slices, feta and cotija cheese, sour cream, and various herbs into the mix.
4. Qdoba Queso
Can’t get enough of Qdoba queso? Why not make it yourself, then?
This copycat is a pretty impressive replica and costs a lot less. It’s a win-win!
Featuring Monterey Jack cheese, American cheese, cheddar cheese, this dip is undeniably cheesy.
Heavy cream, tomatoes, and roasted poblano peppers make it even more irresistible.
Serve this cheesy dip with an assortment of crackers, crostini, and crudites, and watch it disappear in a snap.
For the most phenomenal experience, though, try dipping your empanadas in this bad boy! You’re welcome.
5. Strawberry Salsa
Salsa is traditionally made with tomatoes, but we’re switching it up a little to make an even more delightful and refreshing dip.
Fresh strawberries offer a wonderfully tart flavor to your usual salsa. The stark color contrast in this dip is pretty mesmerizing, too.
Red strawberries plus green cilantro and jalapenos = amazing.
And the smell is so heavenly!
Just like regular salsa, this version is also great with chips, crackers, and enchiladas.
I just love the contrast between the savory empanada filling and tangy salsa.
6. Corn on the Cob
It’s very basic, but it sure hits the spot. Those sweet, crunchy, and juicy golden kernels are always welcome at the dinner table.
You’re probably used to boiling corn on the cob, but did you know that you can also cook it in the microwave?
This method is a lot easier, quicker, and mess-free!
The result is perfectly cooked corn on the cob.
The microwave even retains the natural sweetness of the corn, so it actually tastes even better!
Stick to this recipe, and your life will be much simpler and sweeter.
7. Black Beans and Rice
Black beans and rice don’t sound exciting, but this recipe transforms the two basic ingredients into a stunning side dish.
Rice and beans are cooked in a savory broth. Sauteed garlic, onions, lime juice, and cilantro give it an awesome flavor.
This versatile staple goes well with a variety of dishes!
Aside from empanadas, you can also serve this as a side dish to meat and veggie entrees or use it as a filling to burritos, enchiladas, and tacos.
The best part is this hearty dish comes together in just 30 minutes!
8. Fried Plantains
Rich and savory empanadas meet sweet fried plantains in this epic food pairing.
If you love the combo of sweet and salty, this duo is a must-try.
The dish is very simple – ripe sweet plantains are fried until golden brown.
Frying gives the plantains a soft, almost melt-in-your-mouth texture, and a sweet caramelized flavor.
It’s like giving the humble fruit a makeover!
9. Mexican Potato Salad
Tender potatoes, sweet corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, and a hot and creamy sauce join forces to make one phenomenal salad.
I’m not a huge fan of salads, but this one, I 100% approve of.
The vibrant colors alone already make my mouth water. Seriously, I don’t mind eating this all day.
There are so many different elements that go into this Mexican salad but somehow, they all work together to create a beautiful harmony.
10. Mexican Coleslaw
This coleslaw doesn’t contain mayo, but trust me, it’s still delicious.
Sure, it doesn’t taste like the creamy coleslaw we all know and love, but it’s so good!
This coleslaw features shredded cabbage, red onions, and cilantro with a tangy olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Read more: How To Cook Rice And Beans In A Rice Cooker
What makes it extra special is the cumin. It adds an earthy aroma and flavor, along with a sweet and mildly bitter flavor.
This refreshing take on the classic doesn’t disappoint!
Did you know that Chipotle revealed their guacamole recipe a few years back? Well, now you do!
There are tons of guac recipes out there, but to me, this is the one to beat.
Of course, there are also a lot of ready-made guacamoles at the supermarket.
But nothing’s better than homemade! It’s fresher, cheaper, and just plain better than any you’ll find anywhere else.
Smother this guac all over your empanada for a ridiculously addictive snack! The diet starts tomorrow.
12. Avocado Tomato Salad
Here’s another avocado-based treat for ya. This refreshing salad is like summer in a bowl!
Slices of avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, and cucumber are dressed with oil, lime juice, and cumin.
Both colorful and scrumptious, it’s a treat for the eyes and the palate.
While it’s technically a salad, feel free to use it as a chip accompaniment as well.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can add as many veggies as you want.
Raid the fridge and use up whatever you can find!
13. Cilantro Lime Rice
While I love rice, I do admit that on its own, its very bland. This recipe solves that problem right up!
When combined, cilantro, lime, and rice give you a dish that, let’s just say, will ruin your diet, if you’re on one.
It’s amazing how two basic ingredients can make such a huge impact on flavor. It’s so simple, yet mind-blowing at the same time.
Seriously, with this recipe, it’s hard not to stop at one serving!
Add empanadas to the picture, and all self-control will be thrown out the window.
14. Refried Beans
I was never a huge fan of refried beans until I came across this recipe.
Man, these refried beans are rich, creamy, and simply divine.
A splash of lime juice and a sprinkling of cilantro give the beans even more layers of flavor.
The medley of flavors and textures pair wonderfully with savory empanadas.
The best part is this side dish is actually healthy. Pinto beans are a great source of protein and fiber.
Delicious and nutritious – that’s a perfect combo right there.
15. Mexican Sweet Corn Cakes
These corn cakes are wonderfully sweet and outrageously moist! And, as expected, they’re bursting with delicious corn flavor.
How can they not be? It gets its corn-y goodness from three different sources.
The batter is made of masa harina and cornmeal.
Of course, the cakes are studded with sweet, golden corn kernels. There’s corn in every bite.
Also, look how adorable these golden morsels are! Serve these beauties at any party, and they’ll be the first to disappear.
While they’re called cakes, you can still definitely serve them as a side to any Mexican entree.