Side Dishes

What to Serve with Fajitas: 15 Incredible Side Dishes

Make your fajitas into a fiesta!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated September 4, 2022

Don’t know what to serve with fajitas? Don’t worry! These tasty side dishes will turn your meal into a fiesta.

what to serve with fajitas

Fajitas are one of the most popular Tex-Mex dishes. Usually, they’re a delicious mix of grilled meat, onions, and bell peppers, served with tortillas.

Originally, cooks used skirt steak for this dish, which is where the word “fajita” comes from. But today, people also use grilled chicken, pork, or veggies, in addition to beef.

For a backyard barbecue party, I like to throw a bunch of different items on the grill. Then, I slice and serve them with stacks of flour or corn tortillas, and various sides.

In general, I like to have a salad, a starch, and something decadent. For example, I might serve a Caesar salad, cilantro-lime rice, and grilled avocados.

And don’t forget the toppings! I always have pico de gallo, homemade salsa, sour cream, refried beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, and tomato on my table.

Whether you’re serving veggie, chicken, or beef fajitas, the side dish options are endless.

what to serve with fajitas serve

01. Mexican Street Corn Salad

This corn salad checks all the flavor boxes: creamy, tangy, spicy, and salty. Called “esquites” in Spanish, this side dish is a common street food.

You make a base of roasted corn, garlic, and mayonnaise. Then, top it off with a sprinkling of cotija cheese, a dash of chili powder, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Yum!

This recipe is also a great way to use leftover grilled corn from a barbecue. The grill gives the corn kernels a smoky flavor, which in turn gives the side dish more depth.

02. Elote

This dish is finger-licking good, but you’ll want plenty of napkins to go with it! The sumptuous seasonings make this side very appealing and very messy.

While esquites are corn off the cob, elote is corn on the cob! This recipe uses all of the same flavors as the salad above, but you get the fun of eating finger food.

The dressing in this recipe is a little tangier than the one above because it uses sour cream in addition to mayonnaise. As well, you add paprika, so the dish gets extra color without being too spicy.

03. Baked Beans

Don’t open a can when you want baked beans — follow this simple and delicious recipe instead! Just a few seasonings and sauces give this side dish the perfect balance of savory and sweet.

This recipe uses dried beans, which means you need to plan your meal in advance. There are step-by-step instructions for soaking and boiling, so your beans will have the perfect texture.

But while I love the flavor of dried navy beans, I’ll sometimes use canned ones for speed. If you go this route, you can use all of the same seasonings, but you save yourself hours of prep time.

04. Guacamole

Guacamole is a staple Mexican side dish, and with good reason — it’s creamy, salty, and a little sour. It’s the perfect dip or sandwich spread, but sometimes I just eat it by the spoonful.

I love this recipe because the jalapeño peppers and chopped onion add a freshness to the dip that I find lacking in some guacamoles. And the lime juice and sea salt balance each other perfectly.

Also, this recipe gives you helpful tips on choosing and ripening avocados, as well as ideas for variations. For instance, why not add some Greek yogurt to make the dip extra creamy?

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your tortilla chips, and dig in!

05. Cilantro-Lime Rice

While white rice can be bland, this side dish is anything but! This Mexican rice recipe amps up the flavor with lime juice, zest, and fresh cilantro.

Also, you start by sautéing the uncooked rice in olive oil, which adds a nutty flavor to the dish. But you don’t need to spend much time in the kitchen because everything comes together in just over half an hour.

As well, this side dish is more filling than plain rice because of the black beans. So, enjoy the leftovers with shredded chicken or roasted veggies for a light lunch the next day.

06. Roasted Potatoes

You don’t need to serve anything fancy with fajitas. Sometimes, good home-style cooking is the perfect option.

These oven-roasted potatoes are like home fries, but they have a lot more flavor. This comes from a seasoning mix of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, and cumin.

Frankly, you can put the spice mix on anything and it will taste amazing! But these crispy potatoes are the perfect vehicle for this blend: the spices roast in the oven and get even more pungent.

Best of all, this recipe is both gluten-free and vegan, so you can serve people with many different diets!

07. Spanish (Mexican) Rice

If you don’t know what to serve with fajitas, Spanish rice is always a good option. Along with refried beans, this is a common side dish at Tex Mex restaurants.

Depending on the type of chili powder you use, you can make this recipe spicy or mild. And if you really want to up the heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes.

While you can use regular sweet paprika, I love smoked paprika in this recipe. It adds a richness that the regular powder just doesn’t have.

Also, simply swap veggie stock for chicken broth to make a vegetarian version.

08. Pico de Gallo

This simple salsa is a staple of northern Mexican cuisine. It’s a delicious mix of fresh tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños, with a simple garlic-lime-cilantro dressing.

It’s great with tortilla chips, on nachos, or simply in your fajitas. Wherever you spoon it, you’ll enjoy a burst of freshness with every mouthful.

Be careful not to touch your eyes when handling raw jalapeños. As a precaution, you can always wear rubber gloves.

Also, pico de gallo tastes best when eaten right away. While you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days, it will lose some of its crispness.

09. Chorizo con Papas

This classic Mexican taco filling is also a fantastic side dish to serve with fajitas. Actually, I love to eat this any time of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

It’s a very simple recipe with only 4 ingredients plus salt. And if you don’t want it to be spicy, then it’s just potatoes, sausage, and onion!

But don’t let the simplicity fool you — smoky chorizo sausage is jam-packed with flavor, so this dish is very rich.

Pork is the most common meat for this type of sausage, but you can also find beef chorizo if you prefer that. As well, you can try vegetarian chorizo, which works just as well in this recipe.

10. Mexican “Fried” Ice Cream

While this isn’t a traditional Mexican dish, it’s extremely delicious! Plus, it’s fantastic served with the author’s cinnamon tortilla chip recipe.

The vanilla ice cream and cornflake-wafer coating is a simple but delicious combination. And it’s a great base for any of your favorite sauces or syrups.

However, you can use whatever flavor of ice cream you like, and you can match your coating to that. For example, I love rocky-road ice cream with crushed sandwich cookies, or cookie dough ice cream with crushed chocolate-chip cookies.

The key to this recipe is freezing the ice cream balls beforehand for a couple of hours. If you skip this step, your ice cream will probably melt in the hot oil.

11. Spicy Black Bean Soup

On a cold night, this is my go-to side dish for veggie, beef, or chicken fajitas. The soup is both flavorful and filling, and you can easily make it in advance.

If my guests like spicy food, I toss in a little extra chipotle chile in adobo. This gives it more of a kick and some extra smokiness.

Also, this soup recipe is delicious as written. But if you prefer to add meat, it’s great with ground beef, turkey, or sausage.

Or, throw in some leftover fajita meat from the day before, warm up a few flour tortillas, and you have an easy lunch.

12. Grilled Avocados

When you’ve got your grill all fired up for the fajita meat, add some avocados, too! While you could turn them into guacamole, this smoky side dish is a fun alternative.

The trick to this recipe is coating the avocados with freshly-squeezed lime juice, olive oil, and salt. This really enhances the flavor of the vegetable.

If you want a carb-free meal, toss some fajita filling into the grilled avocado halves and then top them with melted cheddar cheese. Or, make them into a vegetarian side with corn-black bean salad filling and homemade salsa.

13. Mexican Quinoa

Even though quinoa comes from the Andes in South America, it makes a delicious side dish for a Mexican meal. This recipe has a similar flavor profile to the Spanish rice recipe above, but the texture has a little more bite to it.

I also love this side for a fajita dinner because you only need one pan. So, it saves you some dishes!

Sometimes, I add extra veggies for a heartier side. For example, diced zucchini, mushrooms, or bell peppers are great additions.

If you prefer, you can use taco seasoning instead of the chili powder and cumin. Just taste as you go to adjust the salt level.

14. Caesar Salad

Though we don’t think of Caesar salad as Mexican, it actually makes a perfect side for homemade fajitas. Plus, it was invented in Tijuana in the 1920s!

The fresh, crispy lettuce and crunchy croutons add a different texture to the meal. And the light dressing doesn’t overpower the spicy fajita seasoning.

I especially love this side dish with shrimp fajitas because the anchovies in the dressing complement the seafood in your main dish. But, you don’t have to use anchovies if you don’t like them — simply add more capers instead.

15. Grilled Peppers

Since fajitas typically include roasted bell peppers, why grill a few more for this delicious side dish?

For serving with fajitas or other Mexican dishes, I love the author’s suggestion of adding lime juice, chili powder, and cilantro. Plus, you can sprinkle some extra cotija cheese on top if you’re already making elotes or esquites.

If you have extra peppers (though I doubt you will), you can throw them on sandwiches, in pasta salad, or in homemade salsa. Or, you can create an elegant appetizer with pesto and shaved parmesan on crackers.

What to Serve with Fajitas: 15 Incredible Side Dishes

Directions


  1. Pick your favorite sides.

  2. Grill some fajitas.

  3. Invite your friends and family.

  4. Have a fiesta!

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