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What To Serve With Empanadas – 39 Delicious Side Dishes

If you’re wondering what to serve with your empanadas, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I list 39 of the most popular side dishes for empanadas.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side dishes to serve empanadas are Spanish rice, Cuban black beans, and creamy coleslaw. You can also serve them with a side of pico de gallo, guacamole, or chimichurri sauce. For refreshing salad options, try a tossed green salad, corn and mango salad, or a creamy potato salad.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Tossed green salad

Empanadas are already so hearty that you can eat them alone.

But nothing beats the clean flavors of a bright and leafy salad.

This simple tossed green salad has a honey dijon vinegar dressing and some crispy bacon bits that make sure it’s super tasty.

Why we love this recipe: the zesty dressing will balance out the heavy empanadas.

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Simple tossed green salad
Make a classic
Caesar salad
Make it hearty
Super green grain salad with walnut dressing

Cuban black beans

Cuban black beans might look boring, but they’re actually packed with flavor.

The thick, savory sauce is slightly spicy from the jalapenos, slightly smokey from the paprika and cumin, and then chopped cilantro brings some freshness.

It’s perfect for dipping an empanada (or two) into!

Why we love this recipe: you can make it in less than 30 minutes.

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Cuban black beans
Go traditional
Homemade baked beans
Go Mexican
Refried beans

Fried plantains

Fried plantains will add sweet fruity notes to your empanadas.

And the best part about them? Unlike potato chips, they’re flavorful enough on their own that you don’t need to smother them in seasoning.

Why we love this recipe: you only need two ingredients!

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Fried plantains
Make it spicy
Kelewele (spicy plantain)
Make it sweet
Sweet and sticky plantain

Spanish rice

Make your empanada meal even more hearty with a bowl of this easy Spanish rice.

It’s a vibrant, fluffy rice mix that I always make extra of because I think it tastes even better for lunch the next day.

If you want a little bit of heat, add some red pepper flakes.

Psst… lime and cilantro rice works too if you want something a bit fresher.

Why we love this recipe: it turns the humble rice into something super tasty.

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Restaurant-style Spanish rice
Make it unique
Arroz amarillo (yellow rice)
Make it simple
Garlic fried rice

Creamy coleslaw

Make your summer days extra special with a hot empanada and cold coleslaw. 

The creamy, cooling coleslaw will mellow out the strong savory flavors of the empanada, as well as adding a nice crunch.

And if you want to make it lighter, swap the mayo for Greek yogurt.

Why we love this recipe: it’s SO much better than the store-bought stuff.

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Creamy coleslaw
Make it mayo-free
Vinegar coleslaw
Make it tropical
Caribbean mango coleslaw

Corn and mango salad


Corn and mango salad is a fresh and colorful treat that will add some island vibes to your empanadas.

It’s great for summer or if you’re serving a crowd because there’s no cooking involved, just some, okay quite a lot, of chopping.

Why we love this recipe: a serving is under 100 calories (yay!).

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Corn and mango salad
Make it creamy
Creamy corn salad
Make it crunchy
Frito corn salad

Chimichurri sauce


Make your empanadas even more flavorful by serving them with a classic chimichurri sauce.

It’s a bright and herbaceous sauce that has a spicy kick to it, but it’s not so hot that it puts anyone off.

Why we love this recipe: you can make a big batch and store it for up to a week.

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Chimichurri sauce
Make it creamy
Creamy chimichurri sauce
Make it spicy
Smoky red chimichurri sauce

Potato salad

There’s no beating the simple clean flavors of a potato salad.

You can keep it simple with just potatoes and a dressing, or go crazy and load it with extras like veggies, eggs, and bacon.

One secret ingredient I like to add is avocado… it makes the salad extra creamy. 

Why we love this recipe: you can make it in advance to save you time.

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Simple potato salad
Make it loaded
Loaded baked potato salad
Make it mayo-free
Lemon dill potato salad


Elevate your basic corn on the cob with some mayo, cheese, chili and lime.

Now you’ve got some elotes – a zesty, fun side to serve with your empanadas.

The only issue with this dish is that it can be pretty messy to eat! But if you don’t like the sound of that, you can serve the salad version instead (esquites).

Why we love this recipe: it’s a dish that looks as good as it tastes.

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Make it a salad
Mexican street corn salad
Make it warm
Mexican street corn soup

Pico de gallo

Make the Mexicans proud by serving your beef empanadas with a traditional pico de gallo.

The chopped tomatoes make it super juicy and they have a sweetness to them that pairs nicely with a meaty empanada.

Psst… there are loads of variations from strawberry and pepper to pineapple and cucumber.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a low-calorie way to add more flavors to your meal.

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Authentic pico de gallo
Add fruits
Mango avocado salsa
Make it unique
Salsa Verde


Guacamole is a well-loved dip that will add a creamy freshness to your crunchy empanadas.

Everyone has their own ways of making guacamole, but I think it sometimes gets little complicated.

For me, the best guacamole is the simplest.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a back to basics recipe.

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Add fruit
Fresh mango guacamole
Make it unique
Loaded guacamole salad with lime vinaigrette

Jamaican rice and beans

Wasn’t feeling the tangy flavors of the Spanish rice?

How about some Jamaican flavors instead.

It’s more of a comforting dish, with coconut, jerk seasoning, all spice, and garlic. Plus some scotch bonnet, but don’t worry – it’s not spicy.

Why we love this recipe: it’s healthy, filling, and budget friendly.

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Jamaican rice and beans
Make it unique
Veggie rice and beans
Make it simple
Easy rice pilaf

Roasted garlic aioli

One of my favorite dips is aioli.

It goes with everything – including empanadas (and especially the beef ones). 

And this one takes things up a notch but roasted the garlic to give it a caramelized flavor.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

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Roasted garlic aioli
Make it spicy
Sambal aioli
Make it unique
Avocado lime crema

The best side dishes to serve with empanadas

  • Tossed green salad
  • Cuban black beans
  • Fried plantains
  • Spanish rice
  • Creamy coleslaw
  • Corn and mango salad
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Potato salad
  • Elotes
  • Pico de gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Jamaican rice and beans
  • Roasted garlic aioli

What To Serve With Empanadas

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your empanadas.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: South American
Keyword: empanada side dishes, what to serve with empanadas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 335kcal


  • 1 portion empanadas


  • Prepare your empanadas according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: tossed green salad, Cuban black beans, fried plantains, Spanish rice, creamy coleslaw, corn and mango salad, chimichurri sauce, potato salad, elotes, pico de gallo, guacamole, Jamaican rice and beans, and roasted garlic aioli.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 335kcal

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