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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

What Can You Serve with Enchiladas?



close up of enchilada with cilantro and sour cream
What can you serve with enchiladas? Whether they’re beef, chicken, or veggie, we have the perfect side dishes for enchiladas.

You and your family love enchiladas, but do you find it kind of hard to figure out what to serve with them?

You are not alone.

Enchiladas are surely one of everybody’s favorite recipes to prepare for a special gathering or just a simple everyday meal.

The most typical challenge with enchiladas is finding the perfect side dish to complement this main dish’s overall vibe.

Worry no more! We have put together several recipes made from different ingredients to serve with enchiladas. Keep reading and find the perfect side dish for enchiladas.

Choose the type of side dish you want to create below, or take a look at all our side dish recipes to get inspired.

Enchilada Side Dishes: Grains

Enchilada Side Dishes: Salads

Enchilada Side Dishes: Sauces and Toppings

Enchilada Side Dishes: Other Delicious Options

Enchilada Side Dishes: Grains

Whole grains are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, which help prevent weight gain, even encouraging weight loss.

When enchiladas are paired with grains, you will create a meal that will stick to your family’s ribs–great for a chilly evening at home.

rice and greens in bowl

Green Rice and Green Chiles

Enchiladas with rice? Of course–Mexican restaurants always include rice with their entrees. the two blend perfectly to create a balance of flavors and health benefits.


  • ¾ cup lettuce (chopped)
  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 can green chilies (chopped)
  • ⅓ cup tomatillo (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp green onions (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain rice
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Place the following ingredients inside the blender: lettuce, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, garlic, and green chiles. Then, add the chicken broth until you have 3 cups of ingredients in the blender.
  • Heat olive oil on a pan over medium to high heat.
  • Add rice and sauté for about five minutes.
  • Add the broth mixture and salt to taste. Wait until it boils.
  • Cover the pan and reduce heat.
  • Simmer and wait for the rice to become tender, at least 18 to 20 minutes.
pile of tortillas on table

Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade tortillas make a perfect match for enchiladas because they are easy to make and you can customize them any way you like.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp lard
  • 1 ½ cups water

NOTE: Do not use vegetable oil and shortening as a substitute for lard.


  • Combine the baking powder, flour, and salt in a bowl. Add the lard and mix with your fingers until it feels like cornmeal. Add water and whisk until it becomes a dough. Then, transfer it to a floured surface and knead until it is elastic and smooth. Divide the dough into equal pieces. Then, finish by rolling each into a small ball.
  • Preheat a large pan over medium to high heat. Make the dough ball into a round tortilla, then place it into the hot pan. Cook until it becomes golden. Then, flip and ensure you cook the other side until golden as well. Once cooked, place the tortilla inside a tortilla warmer. Then, continue cooking the rest of the dough.

Enchilada Side Dishes: Salads

No matter what the main dish is, a good salad will almost always go with it, and enchiladas are no exception.

The combination of fresh vegetables fits well with the spicy enchilada sauce, making a salad truly refreshing when contrasted with the main course’s amazing baked flavors.

close up of corn salad

Easy Summer Corn Salad

Let’s be honest: just thinking about chicken enchiladas with a fresh corn salad makes our tummies rumble with hunger. Making corn salad as the side dish to enchiladas is really a no-brainer.


  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn (defrosted)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/3 cup feta (crumbled)
  • 1/4 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup basil (thinly sliced)
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • For a fancier look, slice avocados in half. Remove pits. Combine other ingredients and spoon on avocados and serve.
avocado, cucumber, and tomato salad in white bowl on a white table

Avocado, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Mixing avocado, cucumber, and tomato into one salad accentuates their flavors, making it a light but perfect enchilada side dish.


  • 1 pc English cucumber (diced)
  • 4 pcs Roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 3 pcs ripe avocados (diced)
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup lime juice


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste.
cottage cheese spinach salad in white bowl with fork on white tablecloth

Cottage Cheese Spinach Salad

If you prefer a low-carb side dish option, this easy-to-make cheese salad recipe is the best choice to serve with enchiladas. It is best served chilled to contrast well with the warm entrée.


  • 200g spinach (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground peppercorns
  • 1 pc medium onion (diced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g black olives (chopped)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 200g cottage cheese
  • 1 pc medium cucumber
  • 5 pcs cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


  • Prepare all ingredients into one bowl except the ones for the dressing (see next step).
  • Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, lemon juice, mustard, and honey in a separate bowl for the dressing.
  • Add the dressing to the salad and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Mix the ingredients well, and refrigerate the salad for at least one to two hours before serving.

Enchilada Side Dishes: Sauces and Toppings

The truth is, once we hear the word enchilada, we immediately think of our favorite sauces and toppings to pair them with.

Guacamole, salsa, and enchilada sauces are three irreplaceable side dishes you simply have to serve with enchiladas.

guacamole in square bowl surrounded by other food on table

Simple Guacamole

Enchiladas and guacamole —this combination has already been proven and tested over the years. Fresh guacamole brings out the right balance of flavors with the main dish of enchiladas.


  • 3 pcs ripe avocados
  • 1/2 small white onion (diced)
  • 2 pcs Roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 pc jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Mix the avocado and lime juice in a bowl. Add the white onion and cilantro, then mash well to the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while fresh.
dollop of salsa on chip

Best Salsa

While other recipes can be customized, this salsa recipe needs to be followed exactly. This way, you can ensure the delicious harmony of the ingredients’ flavors.


  • 2 (15 oz) cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup white or sweet onion (chopped)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 to 2 pcs medium jalapeño (chopped)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 to 2 pcs medium lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Add all ingredients to a food processor, including the lime juice and seasonings. Chop the ingredients finely.
  • Once done, add more salt to taste, if necessary. Refrigerate before serving for best results.
enchiladas in pan with red enchilada sauce

Simple Enchilada Sauce

What is enchilada without the perfect enchilada sauce? You will achieve the authentic taste of real enchilada sauce with this simple recipe.


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp flour (self-rising)
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion salt
  • Salt


  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium to high heat. Add flour and chili powder until they become light brown. Stir continuously to avoid burning the flour.
  • Add the tomato sauce, cumin, water, garlic powder, and onion salt into the flour mixture until it is smooth. Cook over medium heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the preferred thickness is achieved.
  • Salt to taste.

Enchilada Side Dishes: Other Delicious Options

If you are looking for more creative and unique options, we have five AMAZING side dishes to serve with enchiladas. Going above and beyond helps you discover other less common recipes that fit perfectly well with enchiladas and that your family will love.

mexican street corn on white plate on table

Grilled Mexican Sweet Corn

Mexican grilled street corn is one of the best choices of what to serve with enchiladas. This dish, popular in Mexico, complements enchiladas authentically, and we know, for sure, that your whole family will enjoy this side dish.


  • 6 to 8 medium ears sweet corn (remove husks)
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (crumbled)
  • Lime wedges


  • Heat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients: mayonnaise, crema, garlic, cilantro, pepper, lime zest, and lime juice. Add salt to taste, if needed. Set aside.
  • Grill the corn for at least 3 minutes until it looks brown and charred. Turn over and repeat this step.
  • Brush the grilled corn with the crema mixture. Serve the corns immediately with lime wedges.
chicken tacos on plate

Easy Chicken Tacos

Tacos are great because they can be a snack, a meal, or, in this case, an awesome side dish for enchiladas.

Make this recipe if you are a fan of tacos (and who’s not?) and chicken. It is easy, delicious, and healthy, making it a perfect side dish to serve with enchiladas.


  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 12 mini flour tortillas (warmed)
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • 1 pc avocado (diced)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • Lime wedges


  • Mix chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Use this mixture to season chicken.
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium to high heat. Cook chicken first until it becomes golden brown and cooked fully. Cool it down first before slicing or shredding it into bite-size pieces.
  • Place chicken in a soft tortilla or hard taco shell with avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, and lime wedges.
bowl of black beans in square white bowl on white plate with other food on side

Mexican Black Beans

If you can’t seem to get enough Mexican food, you can try this Mexican black beans recipe to serve with enchiladas. This recipe brings out many different, tasty flavors when paired with enchiladas.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onions (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 (16 oz) can black beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a small pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions soften.
  • Add the black beans, cumin, salt, and cilantro. Stir and ensure to reduce heat to medium low. Let it cook for 15 to 12 minutes. Ensure to stir continuously.
  • Serve this recipe with cilantro and cheese if you like.
white bowl of slaw

Red Onion, Tomato, and Jalapeno Slaw

The combination of creamy dressing, cabbage, and spicy jalapeno makes this a perfect side dish to serve with enchiladas. We suggest making extra: this is always an unexpected hit.


  • 1 head of small cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 pc tomato (diced)
  • 1 pc small red onion (chopped)
  • 1-2 jalapenos (seeded and sliced)
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper


  • Mix cabbage, onion, tomato, and jalapeno in a bowl.
  • Add the mayo, and use salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix well and place in a sealable container. Place it inside the fridge to chill. Best served cold.

Tips to Make Enchiladas

  • One essential tip to prevent soggy enchiladas is to slightly fry your tortillas in hot oil before placing the filling and roll. This allows a bit of a barrier to ensure that the tortillas will not soak up the sauce and break down.
  • If you are thinking of a filling, you have the following options: meat, cheese, vegetables, or a combination of the three. Try to find the perfect balance to create the best-tasting enchiladas ever.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What can you serve with enchiladas?

If you are drawing a blank about what recipe to serve with enchiladas, then you can go with the following delicious side dishes options: grains, salads, sauces, toppings, and vegetables. You can be creative and try to mix and match, yet what usually works the best includes guacamole, salsa, chicken enchiladas, and corn salad, among others.

Should enchiladas be covered when baking?

Although it is not necessarily a requirement, most enchiladas are covered with aluminum foil while baking. This is more intended to prevent burning the enchiladas. But it unintentionally helps the sauce enhance its flavors of the enchiladas while keeping the fillings moist throughout the cooking process. Keeping your enchiladas foil-covered during cooking actually does make them better.

What is a good side dish with burritos?

A black bean soup is best served with burritos. The recipe may sound complex, yet it is actually easy to make. It is made up of onions, celery, canned black beans, carrots, bacon, and Mexican spices. Most people love to prepare black bean soup as a side dish for burritos because it is a completely flavorful and healthy dish.

What goes with tacos other than rice?

You can serve guacamole with tacos instead of rice. Aside from the fact that it is healthy, it is also easy to make. It is especially easy when avocados are in season, as the other ingredients for guacamole are basically pantry staples. To be honest, guacamole fits perfectly well with most well-loved Mexican dishes.

Are enchiladas a Mexican dish?

Yes, enchiladas originated in Mexico and have been considered a popular Mexican cuisine since 1831. The first type of enchiladas prepared were corn tortillas with fish as the filling. When Spanish people arrived in Mexico, they kept a record of what the locals were eating. They wrote about how people loved enchiladas and how they were common everywhere in Mexico. As a result, enchiladas become one of the most featured recipes in Mexican cookbooks in the early 1800s.

Do you warm tortillas before making enchiladas?

Yes, you need to briefly warm tortillas to prevent them from getting soggy. This way, you can make perfectly shaped enchiladas without breaking the tortillas down, despite the sauce and toppings. How the enchiladas are presented matters a lot in making the dish look appealing, and keeping the tortillas intact is essential.

Additional Resources:

Image Credits from Flickr: “enchiladas up close and personal” (CC BY 2.0) by Stacy Spensley; “homemade tortillas” (CC BY 2.0) by Stacy Spensley; “Poha (Fried flattened rice)” (CC BY 2.0) by rovingI; “Sweet Corn Salad” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by Scientific Photography (12.6 Million+ views; “Fresh vegetable salad with tomatoes, cuc” (CC BY 2.0) by wuestenigel; “Guacamole” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Kjokkenutstyr.net; “20070630 salsa 03” (CC BY 2.0) by jspatchwork; “enchiladas all sauced up” (CC BY 2.0) by Stacy Spensley; “Mexican Corn” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by star5112; “tacos” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by stu_spivack; “Black beans @ Enchiladas @ Huitzilin @ P” (CC BY 2.0) by Guilhem Vellut; “Southwest Cole Slaw” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by cajsa.lilliehook

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rhonda Richardson, Editor

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

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