Whether you're planning an epic Cinco de Mayo party, or just looking for a couple recipes to spice up Taco Tuesday, we've got all the incredible sides you need!
Taco Tuesday is the best night of the week, hands down. But you don't have to wait for Tuesday to roll around to host an epic taco bar for your family or friends. Stumped as to what to serve with your tacos?
First, whip up a batch of Mild Taco Seasoning Mix. It is SO much better than the grocery store stuff, and cheaper, too!
Now, we've got you covered with a compilation of amazing taco bar side dishes that will take your meal to the next level. Start with simple sides like homemade guacamole and work your way up to Instant Pot refried beans or homemade cilantro lime rice that takes just like Chipotle's.
Spice up your night with a few of the tried and true Mexican recipes below. Tacos forever!
And, you might want to check out our Best Cinco de Mayo Cocktails after, too!
Taco Bar Basics
Every taco bar starts with a few basic, must-have ingredients. In addition to your taco meat, like this awesome Ground Beef Taco Meat, and shredded cheese, here are a few other staples you don't want to miss.
Easy Pico de Gallo by Juggling Act Mama: This classic salsa is simple to make and can be tailored to your liking. Add more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste. Pico de Gallo is great on tacos, burritos, or even just straight up with a bag of chips!
Homemade Corn Tortillas by Muy Bueno Cookbook: Tortillas are essential to any taco bar. You can buy them at the store or make them yourself. Corn tortillas are easier to make than you think and require only three ingredients—corn flour, salt, and warm water. Or, for a softer texture, try flour tortillas. Once the warm tortillas are in place, load them up with your favorite fillings and toppings.
Homemade Tortilla Chips by The Suburban Soapbox: Of course, you'll need some tortilla chips to dip and scoop up all the salsas and dips in your taco bar spread. Sure, you can buy a bag (or three) of tortilla chips, but making your own is so satisfying... and tasty. Crispy, crunchy, salty chips—is there anything better?
Mexican Black Beans by The Forked Spoon: These black beans are a delicious and healthy addition to any taco bar. Besides being packed with protein and fiber, they're also super easy to make. Just simmer them on the stove with some onions, garlic, bell peppers, and spices until they're nice and soft.
Salsas, Dips, and Sauces
Don't forget the dips and sauces! Slather these on your tacos or enjoy them with some tortilla chips for a fresh kick of flavor in every bite.
Beef Queso Dip by Juggling Act Mama: creamy, cheesy, spicy and delicious! This is yummy with chips, as an appetizer, but would be tasty as a topping for Steak Tacos, too. Mix it into rice for a cheesy rice that everyone will rave about.
Related: Slow Cooker Queso Recipe from the Cookie Rookie
Homemade Guacamole by Juggling Act Mama: Grab a few tortilla chips and dig into this restaurant-quality guacamole. Next to sour cream or salsa, this is the best taco topping out there!
With fresh lime juice and creamy avocados, it's a match made in heaven. Guacamole goes well with any Mexican dish, or a yummy Berry Margarita.
Black Bean Corn Salsa by Finding Zest: Open a couple of cans, chop up some fresh ingredients, and whip up a light dressing to make this scrumptious black bean salsa. The fresh ingredients elevate the dish, and the dressing brings all the flavors together. It's perfect for scooping up with chips or serving on tacos.
Pineapple Mango Salsa by Juggling Act Mama: This salsa is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. The diced pineapple and mango add a delicious sweetness that contrasts perfectly with the salty chips, tangy lime juice and spicy peppers.
It's also a great way to use up any leftover fruit you might have lying around. The best part is that leftovers tasty just as awesome, if not better, the next day!
Mexican Cheese Dip by Jen Around the World: Is there anything better than a warm bowl of cheese dip and a huge pile of chips from your favorite Mexican restaurant? Well, now you can make it at home with a handful of simple ingredients—white American cheese, diced green chilis, garlic powder, milk, and salt and pepper. You'll be dipping and devouring your chips or tacos in no time.
Homemade Mango Salsa by Juggling Act Mama: Sweet, tangy, and a little spicy, mango salsa is a great addition to any meal. Enjoy it with anything Mexican! You can make this simple recipe in only a few minutes. It is as simple as chopping up some mango, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro, and mixing them with lime juice.
Related: Fresh Corn, Tomato + Avocado Salsa
Salsa Verde by Christian Guzman: Skip the bottled salsa verde when it's this easy to make your own in about 30 minutes. It's a taco bar staple because it's so yummy on top of your tacos or mixed into your rice or beans.
Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce by Maple and Mango: Make sure you have plenty of tortilla chips (see the homemade ones above) for this delectable nacho cheese sauce. Ditch the nacho cheese sitting on the shelf for one made from scratch with real food ingredients like whole milk, freshly shredded cheddar, and basic spices.
Homemade Taco Sauce by Delightful E Made: Forget that watery thin taco sauce you buy in the bottles. This thick, tasty sauce is made with good-for-you ingredients that taste amazing.
Find More Salsa Recipes
- Strawberry Peach Salsa from Juggling Act Mama
- Tomatillo Salsa from Simply Recipes
- Blueberry Salsa from Recipe Girl
Taco Bar Side Dishes
Here's where you'll find your staple Mexican side dishes, like cilantro lime rice, easy street corn, and refried beans. But if you're up for trying something a little different, we've got that covered, too.
Cilantro Lime Rice by Little Sunny Kitchen: You'll love this homemade version of Chipotle's cilantro lime rice that's fluffy, soft, and so easy to make. It calls for basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand, such as rice, lime and lemon juice, cilantro, and a bay leaf. From start to finish, it takes only 20 minutes.
Skillet Mexican Street Corn by Miss in the Kitchen: Get everything you love about Mexican street corn on the cob in an easier skillet dish. This buttery, creamy corn packs flavor into every bite. Not only is it fantastic for your taco bar, but you can serve this crunchy, buttery corn alongside burgers and chicken, too.
Related: Mexican Street Corn Salad from Served from Scratch
Cowboy Corn Casserole by Juggling Act Mama: Here's another yummy corn dish that your guests won't be able to get enough of. This creamy, cheesy side dish is loaded with corn, smoky bacon, and cowboy seasoning.
This is one of my favorite side dishes to serve along with grilled proteins, too.
Pickled Red Onions by Homemade in the Kitchen: Pack extra flavor into every bite of your tacos with pickled red onions. You only need five ingredients to make them, and the recipe is as simple as mixing and waiting for at least an hour before diving in.
10-Minute Mexican Rice by This Mama Cooks: Mexican rice alongside your tacos is a total win. This quick and easy version will taste like you spent loads of time on it, but it's done in 10 minutes. The secret is using instant white or brown rice for a quick cook time.
Mexican Avocado Salad by Home Body Eats: Serve this healthy tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad alongside your tasty tacos. Make it in under 15 minutes for a refreshing and light summer salad everyone will love. This is high on my list of tasty sides for my next taco party!
Fajita Veggies by Maple and Mango: You may be thinking, "Why do I need fajita veggies for a taco bar?" But trust me, they're a MUST. First, it's nice to offer plenty of options for your vegetarian or vegan friends. But second, they're absolutely delicious on your tacos. Win-win!
Refried Beans by Flavor Mosaic: Making refried beans couldn't be simpler thanks to your Instant Pot. They're easy to customize and way healthier than the canned beans you find in the stores. Make an extra batch to freeze for your next taco bar night!
Pickled Jalapenos by Homemade in the Kitchen: Kick your tacos and nachos up a notch with a little bit of heat from these quick pickled jalapenos. You probably have everything you need for them in your kitchen right now—jalapenos, vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. If you do, give this recipe a try! It's best to let them sit overnight, but if you just can't wait, an hour will do.
Related: Mexican Sweet Potatoes from A Couple Cooks
Mexican Coleslaw by Healthy Seasonal Recipes: In just five minutes, you can make a simple, healthy, and crunch side dish to go with your tacos and other Mexican side dishes. Crunchy cabbage is topped with papitas (toasted pumpkin seeds), scallions, and minced red onion. It all comes together in the dressing made with lime juice, honey, and oil. Yum!
That rounds out our list of yummy taco bar side dishes. Which ones will you try on your next taco night? Let us know in the comments!