* If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

What To Serve With Taco Salad [17 Best Side Dishes]

A taco salad uses the flavors of traditional tacos in salad form (incase you hadn’t guessed). It usually includes lettuce, seasoned ground beef or chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and onions.

If you’re wondering what to serve with taco salad, you’re in the right place. In this article, I list 17 of the most popular side dishes for taco salad.

The best side dishes to serve with taco salad are elotes, spicy guacamole, jalapeno bread, Mexican rice, or corn pudding. Chips and salsa are a popular side, and you can try fun options like blueberry and pineapple salsas. For something unique, try avocado fries. And churros are the best dessert!


Taco salad can be a meal on its own, but you can easily beef it up with snacks like avocado fries or corn ribs to make it more satisfying. 

I personally like to cut fresh corn tortillas into strips and fry them to add a crunchy element.

Avocado Fries

4.8 ⭐️ (8 ratings) | 25 mins

I thought I’d tried it all when I had some avocado ice cream, but then I came across these avocado fries. They’re the perfect option if you have some leftover avocado from making your salad.

The avocado slices are coated in a mixture of panko and Everything Bagel seasoning, which gives them lightly crisp exteriors while keeping the insides creamy.

The recipe has become an instant favorite in my household, and I’m not even mad because these “fries” are healthier than the regular ones.

What readers are saying…

“The easiest to follow recipe, and spot on with the crunch factor. My favorite is the bagel seasoning which gives it the most mouth-watering flavors. Thanks for giving me the best new and easy snack!”

“These were amazing!!! A perfect healthy alternative to regular fries.”

Jalapeno Corn Pudding

4.8 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 50 mins

Do you enjoy corn but hate getting the kernels stuck in your teeth? One way to enjoy its buttery sweetness without that issue is to make corn pudding.

The creamy and cheesy corn bake will complement your lighter taco salad. Plus, the added jalapeños give it a spicy kick that’ll tickle your taste buds.

Psst… this recipe uses fresh corn for the best flavor, but you can also use frozen kernels in a pinch.

What readers are saying…

“Made this for Thanksgiving and it was delish and so easy! I made it in a disposable aluminum pan… and it still came out well. I also used frozen corn which came out just fine. Don’t skip out on eating it with a dab of butter and honey – so delish!”

No-knead Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

4.8 ⭐️ (81 ratings) | 20 hours

Want your taco salad to be the star of the show, but think it needs something more? 

Well, what it needs is some bread to mop up all the leftover salsa. And this cheesy jalapeno bread is flavorful enough that you only need a small slice, so you don’t have to feel too guilty. 

The only catch is you’ll need to let the dough proof overnight and ferment. This technique gives the loaf a sourdough-like appearance without needing a starter.

What readers are saying…

“Turned out really well, I doubled the jalapeño and added an extra half cup of cheese. Worked perfectly.”

“This is the first bread I have made and it is so good. I’ve made it twice now and it is a big hit in my house.”

An excellent & super-easy bread recipe! You have to plan ahead for it but it’s SO worth it! Just follow Sally’s great instructions & ya got bread bliss!


5.0 ⭐️ (23 ratings) | 17 minutes

Juicy, charred Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is a summer party must-have.

Grilling the corn gives it a delicious smoky twist, but it doesn’t end there! It’s then smothered with a cheesy, tangy sauce and garnished with cilantro. It’s a bit messy to eat – but worth every bite.

Enjoy your taco salad with a side of freshly-made elotes for the ultimate Tex-Mex-inspired meal.

What readers are saying…

“This recipe was really good.  I didn’t have a few things so I had to make some substitutions.  I used regular sour cream and substituted Parmesan cheese for the cotija cheese.”

“This corn is amazing! I made it exactly as written and it turned out great!”

“Delicious, an easy recipe! Making it for the third time this week for another dinner party. It was a huge hit at my last party and perfect for a special day.”

Main Dishes

Serving your taco salad as a starter or side dish? A simple but delicious cheesy beef quesadilla works great as a main dish. 

You can also whip up some burritos for a heartier meal or some pasta for an Italian twist.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

5.0 ⭐️ (270 ratings) | 40 minutes

Elevate your taco salad with some zesty cilantro lime shrimp.

This dish is a delightful mix of flavors, featuring sweet shrimp marinated in a bright mixture of lime juice, cilantro, and garlic. It’s light but satisfying and adds a fancy twist to the taco salad.

Psst… when the shrimp start to curl really tightly, this means you’re overcooking them so get them off the heat sharpish.

What readers are saying…

“Made this several times… nice, easy and tasty!!!”

“Absolutely delish! Added this into pasta and it was blowing everyone’s socks off.”

“Very flavorful and delishes. Only added a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. I will make this regularly.”

Beef Quesadillas

4.8 ⭐️ (18 ratings) | 45 minutes

Quesadillas are one of the easiest Mexican food you can make.

They’re ideal for a party because people can grab however many slices they want. And they’re not too heavy, so they won’t overshadow the taco salad. 

Top the quesadilla with some guacamole or the salsa I mention below for an even tastier treat.  

Psst… Don’t want to use beef? You can also use chicken or veggies for your quesadillas.

What readers are saying…

“So good. My son who is very picky loved it.”

“This is a staple in my house now! Everyone including kids absolutely loves them! I would give 10 stars if I could.”

“Fabulous recipe – looking for a recipe other than usual to use ground beef – a hit with family!!!”

Mexican Rice

4.9 ⭐️ (26 ratings) | 30 minutes

What better way to accompany your Mexican meal than with Mexican rice?

It’s a comforting addition to any Taco Tuesday menu. And despite it being heavily seasoned, the taco salad’s fresh veggies help balance out the bold flavors.

The best part is how easy it is to make. Everything gets cooked into one pot and once all the ingredients are added, all you need to do is let them simmer for 15 minutes.

What readers are saying…

“As close as I’ve come across to my late mom’s recipe! Thank you. Very easy to make, taste was phenomenal.”

“Easy and delicious even without the jalapeno! Thanks.”

“My family and I loved it! And so easy to prepare. Next time I will add chicken or sausage to be enjoyed with it!”

Chicken Enchiladas

4.6 ⭐️ (650 ratings) | 30 minutes

Want to impress your guests at your Tex-Mex feast? Whip up a batch of these enchiladas to go with your taco salad.

These are loaded with a saucy shredded chicken mixture and then slathered with enchilada sauce and lots of cheese, making each bite an absolute delight.

I always use rotisserie chicken for these enchiladas, but you can also make flavorful shredded chicken from scratch with this recipe.

What readers are saying…

“They were great and so easy to prepare, used a homemade sauce, and loved them.”

“Loved this!! I had the time so I followed your recipes for the easy sauce and shredded chicken and everything came out perfect.”

“Soooooo good! And easy! Makes me wonder why I ever go out for Mexican food.”

Chile Relleno

4.7 ⭐️ (273 ratings) | 45 minutes

Chile relleno is one of my favorite classic Mexican dishes to make. 

The smokiness and mild heat from the poblano pepper, combined with the Monterey Jack’s gooey goodness is simply irresistible. And you also get a light, crunchy bite from the golden fried crust. What more can you ask for?

Psst… want to make this even more substantial? Use shredded chicken or picadillo as a filling!

What readers are saying…

“This is the ultimate authentic recipe! My friends were so pleased when I made this for them.”

“Just as I remembered! Great taste and authentic!”

I LOVE this recipe, so great! It’s a bit tricky, but even with sloppy toothpick placement, no cheese leaks.”

Blackened Cod

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 15 minutes

Skip the beef and bulk up your taco salad with shredded blackened cod instead. 

The blackened seasoning gives the usually mild-flavored cod a fiery, zesty kick that’s guaranteed to perk up your taste buds. 

You can easily buy this blackened seasoning anywhere, but I prefer making a big batch from scratch because you get so much use out of it! You can use it to season other proteins or even sprinkle it over veggies for a quick flavor boost.

What readers are saying…

“I found the easiest way to distribute the blackened seasoning over the fish was to put the fish fillets in a shallow bowl and sprinkle the seasoning over them with a spoon. Then flip and repeat, shaking off any excess. I also dip the ends of the fillets in any remaining seasoning as well so that the whole fish fillet is coated.”

Sauces and Condiments

Sauces and condiments are an easy way to jazz up your taco salad. Nothing beats classic guacamole, but you can also go with a creamy, refreshing crema to shake things up. Or try something spicy if you’re feeling adventurous.

Cheese Queso Dip

4.9 ⭐️ (14 ratings) | 15 minutes

Nothing says party like a warm, creamy cheese queso dip. It’ll be a hit at any gathering and goes perfectly with the crunch of a taco salad.

It’s made with a blend of melted cheeses, tomatoes, and just the right amount of chili. And iit’s super easy to whip up.

Pro tip: I’d recommend having extra tortilla chips on hand so people can adhoc dip them in!

What readers are saying…

“Excellent Queso recipe. Really good taste and texture and I appreciate the healthy ingredients.”

“CRAZY GOOD. Made this almost exactly.”

“Super happy with the outcome of this recipe — definitely on repeat! I used my electric fondue pot to keep the dip warm for serving.”

Spicy Guacamole

4.6 ⭐️ (11 ratings) | 10 minutes

Guacamole is a staple of Mexican cuisine, so this list wouldn’t be complete without it. But it can get predictable.

An easy way to jazz it up is to add a cheeky dollop of Sriracha, like with this recipe. It’s a simple addition, but it brings a fiery pop to your typical refreshing guac.

Spoon a dollop of spicy guacamole over your taco salad and serve — YUM.

What readers are saying…

“I love the addition of Sriracha! I only tried that for the first time recently and it’s my new favorite hot sauce!”

“Love guacamole in all its forms, and textures. And in this case the spicy sound wonderful.”

Chips and Salsa

5.0 ⭐️ (8 ratings) | 5 minutes

When it comes to “what goes with taco salad”, there’s nothing more traditional than chips and salsa.

But salsa isn’t just about tomatoes. There’s a lot to try. Sweetcorn, mango, or pineapple salsa would all add a wonderfully fruity sweetness to your salad.

But if you want something truly unique, go for this refreshing blueberry salsa. Every bite tastes like summer!

Psst… if you have the time to spare, let the salsa rest for about an hour before digging in.

What readers are saying…

“Love this salsa! The perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy! Will make this again for our next BBQ.”

“I love the refreshing flavor from the blueberries and it’s so simple and quick to put this salsa together!”

“This looks so good! What a great combination of sweet and sour!”

Spicy Refried Beans

5.0 ⭐️ (25 ratings) | 30 minutes

You could cheat and use refried beans from the can, but that would be doing a disservice to your taco salad. Homemade is always best, and your taco salad deserves the best.

And no worries, the process couldn’t be any easier, especially if you use canned pinto beans. You simply have to cook everything in one pot and mash to your desired consistency.

These homemade refried beans are warm, filling, and a little bit spicy – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

What readers are saying…

“YUM!! I usually season my refried beans and add cheese… this recipe is even better… It’s so delicious.”

“OMG! I’m never going back to canned refried beans again. These are so good! I used dried pinto beans and a tsp of ancho chili powder and a tsp of cumin. Definitely a keeper!”

“I didn’t know how easy it was to make refried beans. This is getting put into my monthly rotation.”


End your taco salad meal on a sweet note with these desserts! Churros are always a guaranteed hit, but my favorite has to be a decadent, creamy flan. 

You can also go with ice pops for a light and refreshing treat.


4.9 ⭐️ (109 ratings) | 35 minutes

Churros are the perfect treat to enjoy after your taco salad.

These classic Mexican delights are crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, making them addictive. And if that’s not enough, they’re even better when served with a dipping sauce! Chocolate sauce is the classic option, but I also love whipping up a caramel sauce to shake things up.

Psst… better make a double batch of these to make sure there’s enough for seconds!

What readers are saying…

“Just made these tonight and they were AWESOME!!! They puffed up and were Super flakey and just sweet enough.”

“I love this recipe!! They turned exactly as you showed them! THANK YOU so VERY much!! My family loved them!!! 🙂 They won’t last long in our house 😉”

“These were delicious and hit the spot. Easier than expected and was great the next morning for breakfast. Will be making again.”


5.0 ⭐️ (16 ratings) | 35 minutes

Think churros are too predictable? Whip up these traditional sopaipillas instead. 

Despite their light and pillowy texture, you only need six pantry staples to make them, including water.

You can serve them with savory dishes, but they’re always an after-meal treat in our household. I usually finish them off with a drizzle of dulce de leche – yum! 

What readers are saying…

“Growing up in New Mexico these were a staple always on my abuela’s table. This recipe reminds me of when I was a little girl walking into the kitchen. They are delicious!”

Made these and brought back many memories from Deming, New Mexico. They came out perfect. Thank you.”

Frozen Margarita Pops

5.0 ⭐️ (1 rating) | 4 hours

These frozen margarita pops are the way to go if you’re craving a light dessert after your taco salad. 

You’ll need your favorite margarita mix and an ice pop mold to make these. Just a heads up, though– if you use a margarita mix with a high percentage of alcohol, the pops won’t completely harden and will be more like a slushie. But make no mistake, they’re still oh-so-refreshing despite being softer than the usual pops.

What readers are saying…

“It’s nearly 100 in Seattle this week. These look super delicious right now. Whoa! Ultimate boozy cool-down pops!!”

What To Serve With Taco Salad [17 Side Dishes]

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your taco salad.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: side dishes for taco salad, what to serve with taco salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 141kcal


  • 1 portion avocado fries
  • 1 portion elotes
  • 1 portion cheesy beef quesadillas
  • 1 portion Mexican rice
  • 1 portion spicy guacamole
  • 1 portion churros … and more


  • Prepare your taco salad according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: Mexican rice, spicy guacamole, chicken enchiladas, avocado fries, mexican corn pudding, chips and salsa, jalapeno bread, spicy refried beans, cheesy beef quesadillas, elotes, and churros.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 141kcal

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating