39 Delectable Side Dishes to Serve with Tamales

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re wondering what to serve with your tamales.

In this essay, I present 39 of the most popular tamale side dishes.

In a rush? Heres the short answer.

Spanish rice and beans, pineapple pico de gallo, jicama pineapple salad, and pickled vegetables go well with tamales. Refried beans, roasted poblano peppers, Mexican street corn salad, and salsa poached eggs are additional options. Avocado salsa verde is a great dipping sauce.

Ready? Lets jump right in.

Spanish rice and beans

This rice dish is an excellent alternative to plain rice.

It’s packed with flavorful Spanish flavors from smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

Then, for a fresh taste, some chopped cilantro is stirred in.

Toast your rice for an extra light and fluffy texture.

Why we like this recipe: it’s a delicious one-pot meal.

Recipe FeaturedRice and beans from SpainKeep things simple.Rice with cilantro and limeConsider another classic.Camarillo Rice

Mexican pickled vegetables

This dish, also known as escabeche, is similar to fast pickles in that you soak your vegetables in a boiling hot pickling liquid for at least an hour before refrigerating them.

This produces crisp vegetables with a lip-smacking acidic bite, perfect for cutting through the richness of your tamales.

Remember to de-seed your jalapeos otherwise your vegetables will be flavored with jalapeos.

Why we like this recipe: once produced, the pickles may be stored for up to three weeks.

Recipe FeaturedPickled veggies from MexicoMake it hot.Jalapeos candiedMake it unique.Escabeche fermentée

Roasted poblanos in cream sauce

This meal, also known as rajas con crema, consists of roasted poblano pepper slices covered in a thick, cheesy sauce.

You may roast the peppers in the oven, but if you have a gas burner, you can obtain a nice char.

If you like, you may substitute poblano peppers with small bell peppers or jalapenos, or use a combination of the two.

Why we love this recipe: its not spicy!

Recipe FeaturedCream sauce with roasted poblanosLeave out the cream sauce.Vegetable fajitas on a sheet panPrepare a saladSalad with roasted bell peppers

Mango kale chopped salad

This kale-chopped salad isn’t the most typical tamale complement, but give it a go!

It’s a mash-up of many tastes and textures.

The kale adds a bitter tone, the cucumbers provide freshness, the bell peppers and mango add sweetness, the grilled corn adds smokiness, and the avocado adds a creamy touch.

The dish is then finished with a tangy dressing.

Why we love it: It’s ideal for summer, when mangoes are at their tastiest.

Recipe FeaturedSalad with diced mango and kaleMake it in the manner of the Southwest.Salad with southwest chipotle dressingMake it filling.Quinoa salad with Tex Mex flavors

Refried beans

Want to offer something substantial and satisfying with your tamales?

You cant go wrong with homemade refried beans.

The key to making this easy recipe is to use dried pinto beans rather than canned.

It takes an additional step to soak the beans, but canned beans don’t have the correct texture.

Why we like this recipe: it simply requires five inexpensive ingredients.

Recipe FeaturedRefried beans cooked from scratchMake it gooey.Casserole with cheesy refried beansCreate another classic.Frijoles charros (cowboy beans)

Pineapple pico de gallo

Serve this tropical pico de gallo on top of your tamales.

Adding pineapples to the traditional tomato, jalapeo, and lime combination adds a wonderful fruity sweetness that balances off the fiery and sour tastes.

It’s nicely balanced, with enough acidity to keep your tamale feast from being too heavy.

Why we love this recipe: there is no cooking required, just a lot of chopping!

Recipe FeaturedPico de gallo with pineappleLeave out the pineapples for an authentic peach pico de gallo.Alter the tasteSalsa de Cucumber y Kiwi

Mexican street corn salad

This is a Mexican classic that would be incomplete without it.

I like the salad version to the corn-on-the-cob one since it is much less messy to consume.

Wait for the corn kernels to cool before mixing in the mayo-crema mixture for an ultra-creamy texture.

Why we like this recipe: it takes just 15 minutes to prepare.

Recipe FeaturedSalad with Mexican street cornMake it satisfying.Salad with black beans and cornVeganize itVegan esquites

Salsa poached eggs

Planning to have tamales for brunch?

Complete your meal with these salsa-poached eggs.

This meal, inspired by the Maghrebi traditional shakshuka, involves poached eggs in a tomato sauce filled with chopped tomatoes and green chiles.

Imagine coating your tamale with salsa combined with the luscious egg yolk delicious!

This dish is great for breakfast, lunch, or supper.

Recipe FeaturedPoached eggs with salsaAlter the tastePoached eggs with avocado salsa verdeLeave out the eggs.Fire-roasted salsa prepared from scratch

Jicama jalapeño slaw

Replace the carrots in your regular coleslaw mix with jicama.

Never tried jicama?

It tastes like an apple but isn’t as sweet. As a result, it adds a freshness and crispness to the slaw that carrots do not provide.

You may also use daikon radish, celery root, green apples, or Asian pears for the jicama.

Why we like this recipe: it doesn’t wilt quickly, therefore any leftovers will be OK the following day.

Recipe FeaturedJicama slaw with cilantro and jalapeoMake it Mexican-themed.Coleslaw from MexicoBack to the fundamentalsVinegar coleslaw


This isn’t strictly a side dish, but I couldn’t leave it out.

It’s a sweet corn-based drink served hot at breakfast and during the holidays, usually with savory tamales for a hearty feast.

The traditional form is baked with masa harina and scented with vanilla and cinnamon, but there are also variations made with oatmeal, rice, or wheat flour as well.

Why we love it: it’s pure comfort in a cup.

Recipe FeaturedAtole with harina masaIncrease the sweetnessChampurrado (chocolate atole)Change the masa.Avena molasses

Macaroni salad

This meal, also known as ensalada de coditos, is ideal for feeding a large group.

In addition to the macaroni, it contains ham, pickled jalapeos, carrots, corn, and pineapple.

This recipe calls for a mayonnaise-based sauce, but you can make it lighter by using Greek yogurt.

Make it a day ahead of time to let all of the flavors to blend and develop.

Why we like this recipe: it will ensure that none of your visitors go hungry.

Recipe FeaturedMacaroni salad with Mexican flavorsMake it without dairy.Mexican macaroni salad that is veganMake it Tex Mex style.Creamy Salad with Tex-Mex pasta

Avocado salsa verde

Tamales do not necessarily need a big side dish; sometimes all that is required is a nice dipping sauce.

And I recommend this avocado salsa verde.

It has a sharp taste, and the avocado thickens it somewhat, so it covers the tamales wonderfully and doesn’t simply drop off.

Fresh cilantro is essential for this salsa. The dry version will not taste as wonderful.

Why we like this recipe: it’s high in beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Recipe FeaturedVerde avocado salsaMake it hot.Verde serrano salsa spicyReturn to the fundamentalsGenuine guacamole

Mexican roasted zucchini

This roasted Mexican zucchini is the ideal low-carb side dish to accompany your tamales.

The zucchini is seasoned with traditional elote spices and finished with a spritz of lime juice, making it similar to elotes but without the corn!

Why we like this recipe: it’s incredibly nutritious yet not bland.

Recipe FeaturedZucchini grilled in a Mexican styleCalabacitas make it cheesyStart the grill.Grilled zucchini in the manner of Mexican street corn

What To Serve With Tamales

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your tamales.

Print Pin Rate

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: tamales side dishes, what to serve with tamales
Prep Time: 5minutes
Cook Time: 10minutes
Total Time: 15minutes
Servings: 1person
Calories: 153kcal


  • 1portiontamales


  • Make your tamales according to your preferred recipe.
  • Meanwhile, select one of the following sides to go with it.
  • Mexican pickled vegetables, roasted poblanos in cream sauce, mango kale chopped salad, refried beans, pineapple pico de gallo, Mexican street corn salad, salsa poached eggs, jicama jalapeo slaw, atole, macaroni salad, avocado salsa verde, and Mexican roasted zucchini are among the side dishes.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 153kcal


What to serve with tamales on Christmas Eve?

Appetizers to offer with tamales on Christmas Eve. These are rather filling, particularly with all of the fixings and sides! … Chips. A large bowl of yellow corn, blue corn, or white corn tortilla chips can never go wrong! …
Jalapeos pickled.
Jalapenos candied.

What are tamales served with in Mexico?

Tamales are a popular Mexican delicacy created with a corn-based dough combination and filled with a variety of meats, beans, and cheese. Tamales are wrapped and baked in maize husks or banana leaves, but they are eaten without the husks. Serve with pico de gallo on top with guacamole and rice on the side.

How are tamales traditionally served?

Tamales are often wrapped in corn husks before being steamed and served hot with spicy salsas sprinkled on top, and are typically produced from a starchy, maize-based masa (dough). Across the nation, street sellers offer them at all hours of the day and night, but they are most popular for breakfast.

What foods do Mexicans eat on Christmas Eve?

Share your thoughts on Mexican Christmas Foods.
Tamales de Pork Mexicano.
Rojo Pozole.
Tamales with chicken.
Pozole Verde with Pollo de Pollo.
Tamales with dulce.

What is the most popular Christmas Eve food?

Of course, turkey and ham are traditional choices, but you might also offer roast chicken, roast beef, or pork tenderloin. Complete your entrée with some Christmas-themed side dishes, and you’ll have the ideal holiday supper.

What do you serve on tamales?

Yogurt from Greece.
Salsa (a variety of tastes)Popular Toppings for Tamale
Onions that have been marinated.
Pico de gallo is a kind of salsa.
Jalapeos pickled.
Cotija is a kind of cheese.
The sour cream

Why do Mexicans eat tamales during Christmas?

It’s an Age-Old Tradition

Tamales were also considered holy food for the gods and were only consumed on certain occasions. Tamales have accompanied people as they travelled and traveled throughout the globe for ages. They also ate them on rare events and holidays, like Christmas.

How many tamales per person?

Estimate how many people will attend your celebration, and for the main course, figure 2 to 3 tamales per person if you’re serving them alone, excluding a frothy hot chocolate, champurrado, or agua fresca. Consider one or two desserts per person.

What drink do you eat tamales with?

The richness of the corn masa, along with the raisins, necessitates sugary options, which is not surprising given that one traditional companion for tamales is the sweet masa-based drink known as atole.

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