Side Dishes

What to Serve with Taco Salad: 14 Delicious Side Dishes

Taco Tuesday just got more exciting!

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.
Learn more about me
Updated November 13, 2022

Knowing what to serve with taco salad is challenging since it’s a well-rounded recipe.

what to serve with taco salad

This notorious Mexican dish includes ground beef, lettuce, sour cream, and other popular taco ingredients – all mixed into a bowl-shaped tortilla shell.

Taco salad is traditionally served with mexican dishes such as homemade salsa, bean dips, and rice. Still, plenty of nontraditional options go just as well, if not better. After all, the origins of taco salad are all but traditional.

Taco salad is a variation of Tacup, created by Elmer Doolin in Dallas, Texas. Elmer Doolin is the founder of Fritos and created Tacup sometime between 1949 and 1955, filling a bowl made of Fritos with ground beef, beans, sour cream, and cheese.

Tacup was later served at Casa de Fritos at Disneyland in 1955.

In the 1960s, Tacup turned into taco salad–a Tex-Mex cuisine inspired by traditional Mexican tacos and Tacup. It’s become a staple in many households because it’s a delicious, easy recipe.

Taco salad is an easy-to-make dish that pleases even the pickiest of eaters.

Impress your friends and family with these easy taco salad side dishes. They’re sure to add just the right amount of spice to your taco Tuesday.

what to serve with taco salad recipe

01. Refried Beans

Homemade refried beans are a classic Mexican dish and a go-to side in my house. It’s cheap and easy to make!

It yields six servings that can last ages, depending on how you use it.

The recipe calls for pinto beans, garlic and onions, broth, herbs and spices. You can also use black beans or navy beans.

You can freeze the portion of refried beans you don’t need and keep it for your next taco salad night.

02. Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is a refreshing topping that goes great with tortilla chips and taco salads.

This pico de gallo recipe requires only six ingredients. Chop the tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, and cilantro and combine them in a bowl with lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Taco salad served with pico de gallo is the perfect way to get that authentic Mexican feel and adds that needed zest of lime and cilantro.

03. Tortilla Chips

Store-bought tortilla chips taste good, but homemade tortilla chips straight out of the air fryer are much better.

Get tortilla shells and choose one of the five flavor options. They include chili lime, salt and vinegar, cheese, chipotle, and maple cinnamon if you want them to be sweet instead of savory.

Whisk together the olive oil and ingredients, coat and cut the tortillas, and cook in the air fryer until crispy.

04. Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice is a quick side dish, taking just eight minutes to make in the Instant Pot.

Get jasmine rice, cilantro, lemon and lime juice, broth, and three other ingredients. The recipe takes only three minutes to cook, so stand by so you don’t overcook it.

When it’s done, add your citrus juice, lime zest, and cilantro and serve immediately. Cilantro lime rice is best served hot, so don’t cook it too far in advance.

05. Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup is a hearty, filling side dish that goes great with taco salad. It does take about 35 minutes so it should be prepared ahead of time. But it will leave you with a creamy, low-fat addition to your meal.

The recipe uses an Instant Pot but can also be made on the stovetop. Make sure you’re following the correct version of the recipe, depending on which way you choose.

Be sure to read the recipe notes so you can avoid any mishaps.

06. Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is another refreshing add-on to a taco salad dish. You’ll need a blender or food processor for this recipe to turn out correctly.

Gather your tomatillos, peppers, fresh cilantro, onions, lime juice, and salt. Also, preheat your oven to 425℉. Roast the tomatillos for 15 minutes and transfer them to your blender. Mix it with your other ingredients and serve.

07. Mango Salsa

Mango salsa is the perfect way to bring sweetness to your taco salad. It’s also a versatile dish where you can swap or add ingredients to make it your own.

You need mango, avocado, onion, cilantro, bell peppers, spicy peppers, lime, and salt and pepper. Just chop up the ingredients and combine everything in a bowl.

The recipe serves four people. Double the recipe if necessary.

08. Guacamole

A taco salad served with guacamole is the ultimate combo.

It requires avocados, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, lime, and salt. Cut up your ingredients, mash your avocados, and combine in a bowl.

If you have leftovers, put them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to three days. Or freeze it to keep it fresher for longer.

09. Avocado Fries

There’s nothing quite like eating fried vegetables, and avocado fries are no different. You need vegetable oil or olive oil, eggs, flour, panko breadcrumbs, avocados, and salt.

Cut your avocados and coat them in flour, whisked egg, and panko. Add salt to taste and fry in your preheated oil. I like to use a shallow pan for frying because it’s safer than a put full of oil.

Fry each avocado slice for up to four minutes or until brown and crispy.

10. Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa is the perfect blend of sweet and tart, with the freshness of cilantro and lime to create a well-rounded side dish. It makes an excellent topping for taco salad.

The ingredients include pineapple, onion, tomato, jalapeno, peppers, and cilantro. You also need lime juice and salt.

Chop and combine the ingredients in a bowl and serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

11. Red Cabbage Slaw

Red cabbage slaw is a healthy side dish that pairs well t with taco salad. It’s vibrant in colour and super tasty!

The cabbage, herbs, and dressing are mouthwatering and are now a staple in my house.

12. Mexican Corn Salad

Mexican street corn salad is a cheesy, creamy side dish that will take taco night to the next level.

The salad portion calls for cotija cheese, red onion, corn, fresh cilantro, bell pepper, and olive oil. But what makes this dish is the dressing.

The salad dressing needs sour cream, mayo, lime juice, and spices.

13. Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is a filling side dish but super easy to make. It needs ten ingredients, but the results will leave you wishing you had tried this recipe long ago.

The recipe provides guidelines for the liquid-to-rice ratio, but follow what your specific bag of rice requires for the best results.

As an alternative you can also serve mexican rice.

14. Churros

Churros are a popular Mexican dessert and an excellentway to end your taco salad meal. It can be a tricky recipe to master so make sure you follow the recipe closely for the best results.

I usually make these the day before since it takes 45 minutes and pop them in the air fryer before serving.

What to Serve with Taco Salad: 14 Delicious Side Dishes


  1. Choose the favorite recipe you want to try.

  2. Gather the ingredients.

  3. Cook and enjoy!

what to serve with taco salad - Pinterest