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What To Serve With Mexican Rice – 39 BEST Side Dishes

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

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

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best dishes to serve with Mexican rice are turkey tacos, chicken enchiladas, Chile Colorado, and Spanish meatballs. For seafood options, try ranchero-style shrimp or chili lime salmon. If you want a meat-free choice, go for Mexican black beans, Chile Relleno, mushroom carnitas, or tofu fajitas. 

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Cilantro lime salmon

Elevate your plain seared salmon with this fantastic recipe.

By seasoning the filets with a simple blend of cayenne, cumin, and coriander, you end up with an infinitely tastier dish!

And this recipe goes even further by topping the salmon with a cilantro cream sauce, which brings a refreshingly zesty bite to your meal. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s easy and fuss-free. 

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Cilantro lime salmon
Set up the grill
Grilled salmon with mango salsa
Fire up the oven
Sheet pan honey lemon salmon

Turkey tacos

These turkey tacos are a delicious and healthy alternative to the usual beef version.

The ground turkey filling is light and low in calories but, thanks to the seasoning, still packs a flavorful punch.

Top these tacos with your favorite fixings – sour cream, Cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, etc. – and serve with Mexican rice for a fun and filling meal. 

Why we love this recipe: you can indulge without feeling guilty. 

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Turkey tacos
Skip the meat
Baja fish tacos
Make it heartier
Beef burritos

Tofu fajitas

If you want to keep your Mexican rice meat-free, these tofu fajitas are an excellent accompaniment. 

They’re an absolute breeze to make. The tofu and veg are both cooked in one pan, allowing you to get your fill of protein and veggies in just 30 minutes!

Why we love this recipe: it’s great for meal prep.

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Tofu fajitas with onions and peppers
Make it different
Tequila lime marinated tofu cutlets
Another meat-free alternative
Portobello mushroom fajitas

Chicken enchiladas

These chicken enchiladas are a mainstay in my meal plan rotation.

They’re super easy to make because you can take tons of shortcuts, like using rotisserie chicken and pre-shredded cheese.

But the recipe recommends always making your enchilada sauce from scratch – nothing comes close to a homemade version.

Why we love this recipe: it has a 4.65 rating from 413 votes. 

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Chicken enchiladas
Make it meatless
Black bean enchiladas
Make it low-carb
Enchilada lettuce wraps

Mexican black beans

Keep things super simple with these Mexican black beans.

All you need is a can of beans and a spare 30 minutes. Plus some spices, but you can just use whatever you have on hand in your cupboard.

You can mix the beans into the rice for a complete meal, or add a spoonful to a Mexican-themed Buddha bowl.

Why we love this recipe: the leftovers are great in a breakfast burrito!

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Mexican black beans
Make it colorful
Mexican black bean and corn salad
Make another side
Refried beans

Chile Relleno

If you’re a cheese lover, this is a must-try dish.

Inside each golden, battered poblano chile is a gooey cheesy filling made using Oaxaca cheese.

Can’t find Oaxaca cheese? Manchego and Monterey jack are excellent substitutes. 

Pop a Chile Relleno on your rice and drizzle both with some Salsa Roja for a decadent Mexican meal – yum! 

Why we love this recipe: it’s like upgraded jalapeno poppers. 

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Chile Relleno
Preheat the oven
Carnitas-stuffed poblano peppers
Fire up the smoker
Smoked stuffed poblano peppers

Mushroom “carnitas”

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just want to try something new, this mushroom carnitas is definitely worth a try.

You can use any mushrooms, but this recipe suggests king oysters.

They absorb the marinade really well, plus they have a robust, meaty texture when shredded. 

Why we love this recipe: even non-vegans will love this plant-based substitute. 

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Mushroom “carnitas”
Add veggies
Portobello mushroom fajitas
Another alternative
Jackfruit carnitas

Spanish meatballs

Also known as albondigas, these meatballs are usually made with a blend of minced beef and pork.

But this recipe splits from tradition, instead opting for ground lamb and chorizo. The result are juicier meatballs with a hint of spice and smokiness. 

These are usually served as a snack (tapas), but they’re also great for a hearty dinner, especially when paired with Mexican rice. 

Why we love this recipe: everyone will be asking for the recipe.

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Spanish meatballs
Skip the tomato sauce
Mexican meatballs with salsa verde
Make it enchilada-style
Cheesy enchilada-style meatballs

Chile Colorado

This classic Mexican stew involves cooking beef chunks in a red chile sauce until the meat is so tender is starts to fall apart.

What more could you want?

Pro tip: you’ll be dealing with dried chiles for the recipe, so be careful! They can be very hot.

Why we love this recipe: you can make the chili on the stovetop, in an oven, in a slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot. 

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Chile Colorado
Change the flavor
Chili Verde
Make it plant-based
Black bean and butternut squash chili

Adobo rubbed grilled pork tenderloin

Jazz up a regular weeknight dinner with this grilled pork tenderloin

Although the recipe recommends serving this with cilantro lime rice, Mexican rice also works a treat. 

The key to this dish is the adobo seasoning – it gives the tender pork a smoky, garlicky bite with a fiery kick. 

Psst… don’t want to set up your grill? You can broil this dish instead. 

Why we love this recipe: it requires minimal hands-on cooking. 

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Adobe grilled pork tenderloin
Add a fruity note
Grilled pineapple chili pork chops
Skip the grill
Spicy honey lime pork chops

Ranchero-style shrimp

Reminiscent of classic shrimp scampi, this dish just takes 15 minutes to whip up!

Plus, you’ll only need one skillet.

After cooking the spiced shrimp, the tomatoes and serrano peppers are cooked in the same pan for extra flavor.

Why we love this recipe: one-skillet dish = less cleaning up!

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Ranchero-style shrimp
Fire up the grill
Grilled tequila lime shrimp
Make a salad
Mexican shrimp salad

Huevo en Chile Verde


In this classic Mexican dish, scrambled eggs are simmered in a homemade salsa verde sauce, giving them a tangy twist. 

And heads up, regular scrambled eggs are soft and fluffy. But you don’t want that with this dish – they must be fully cooked for the best results.

Enjoy these saucy eggs alongside your Mexican rice and a pint of Michelada.

Why we love this recipe: you can use the extra salsa verde for other tasty dishes. 

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Huevo en Chile Verde
Make it familiar
Loaded Mexican omelet
Make it plant-based
Tex-Mex tofu scramble

Mexican street corn-style grilled zucchini

Grilled zucchini is tasty, but this recipe takes it to another level by topping it with mayo, cheese, cayenne, and lime juice.

The results?

A highly addictive veggie side that’ll have all your guests coming back for more.

The dishes creamy goodness makes it a superb side dish for your tomatoey Mexican rice. 

Why we love this recipe: it’s a fun and delicious way to serve zucchini. 

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Mexican street corn-style grilled zucchini
Make a classic
Stick with the basics
Mexican street corn salad (esquites)

The best dishes to serve with Mexican Rice

  • Cilantro lime salmon
  • Turkey tacos
  • Tofu fajitas
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Mexican black beans
  • Chile Relleno
  • Mushroom “carnitas”
  • Spanish meatballs
  • Chile Colorado
  • Adobo rubbed grilled pork tenderloin
  • Ranchero-style shrimp
  • Huevo en chile verde
  • Mexican street corn-style grilled zucchini

What To Serve With Mexican Rice

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your Mexican rice.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican rice side dishes, what to serve with mexican rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 82kcal


  • 1 portion Mexican rice


  • Prepare your Mexican rice according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: cilantro lime salmon, turkey tacos, tofu fajitas, chicken enchiladas, Mexican black beans, Chile Relleno, mushroom “carnitas”, Spanish meatballs, Chile Colorado, adobo rubbed grilled pork tenderloin, ranchero-style shrimp, Huevo en Chile Verde, and Mexican street corn-style grilled zucchini.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 82kcal

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