40 Mexican-Inspired Side Dishes That Are Quick, Easy and Oh So Cheesy

40 Mexican-Inspired Side Dishes That Are Quick, Easy and Oh So Cheesy

Tacos. Burritos. Enchiladas. They are all fabulous selections for dinner, but let’s encounter it—it’s really all about the tasty side dishes. (We’re searching at you, avocado rice and queso fundido.) From tremendous cheesy to keto-helpful, we have rounded up 40 Mexican facet dishes to try at your up coming fiesta, whether you are chowing down for Taco Tuesday, throwing a Cinco de Mayo bash or wanting to mix up your weekly rotation.

Similar: 52 Taco Recipe Ideas to Get You By way of Each individual Tuesday of the Year

It’s got all the elote toppings you love, like cheese, chili powder, mayo and cilantro. Need we say more?

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, dairy free, high fiber

We can’t get enough of this recipe from Coterie member Gena Hamshaw’s cookbook Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals. Why? It’s pretty much a big bowl of guac masquerading as a salad.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

There’s no better side for Taco Tuesday than a heaping bowl of guacamole. This version from Coterie member Maria Lichty adds heat with green chiles and sweetness with roasted tomatoes.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, one pot

Trade your old chili recipe for this hearty Mexican soup. It consists of hominy (big corn kernels, which you can find in the canned goods section of the grocery store), along with other yummy ingredients like chicken and green chiles.

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

These cuties are the perfect backyard barbecue side dish, and you’ll be pleased to find out that you can prepare them in less than an hour.

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  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan

Take your guacamole up a notch with a creative Italian spin. The recipe calls for lemon juice instead of lime, plus sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.

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  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, high protein, crowd-pleaser

Chips are a staple, but sometimes it pays to switch things up. And who doesn’t love tater tots? Add salsa, sour cream, green onions and cilantro to transform them into an epic side dish.

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, crowd-pleaser

This sweet-yet-spicy recipe calls for onions, tomatoes, jalapeños and mangoes. You can eat the salsa with chips or add a scoop atop summery grilled fish.

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Any side dish involving crispy tortilla chips, tender tilapia and crunchy slaw is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.

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  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, high protein, one pot

This Crockpot dish will pair perfectly with any other Mexican-inspired foods you’re serving. Scoop it up with chips or use it as taco filling.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Nachos can go one of two ways: You either grab a chip with the perfect ratio of toppings…or you get one that’s totally bare (or worse, soggy). Our recipe for mini nachos solves that problem.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Coterie member Gaby Dalkin‘s incredible Instant Pot beans are spiced up with chipotles in adobo, fresh jalapeños and canned green chiles.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, one pan

Add this savory dish to the brunch spread and your guests will be begging for the recipe. Just line a cast iron skillet with salsa-soaked chips, then once they’re crispy, top them off with a runny fried egg.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Quick, your friends are coming over in half an hour. You have just enough time to transform tortilla chips and a few ears of corn into this mind-blowing flavor explosion. (All that’s missing is a chilled cerveza.)

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: vegan, <30 minutes

OK, you don’t technically have to share…but it’s more fun if you do. This take from Coterie member Monique Volz puts a twist on a classic by combining traditional ingredients, like zucchini and jalapeño, with vegan cheese and whole-wheat tortillas.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Family dinner? Friends in town? Hanging at home solo on a random Saturday night? These are all fantastic reasons to whip up a batch of chorizo-laden queso fundido, which will disappear in approximately 27 seconds.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, one pot

The secret to rice that’s bursting with flavor? Cook it with flavorful ingredients like diced tomatoes, garlic, onion and tomato paste.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, <30 minutes, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

Since the Caesar salad was created in Tijuana, it’s technically Mexican. This version made with cilantro, queso fresco, avocado, pepitas and fried tortilla strips is now one of our go-to sides (and it pairs nicely with a margarita).

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, one pot

The best thing about tortilla soup? You can top it however you like. We love avocado, pico de gallo, Monterey Jack cheese, crispy tortilla strips and a spritz of lime.

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  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, crowd-pleaser

Bye, canned beans. Lean on dried pintos, veggie broth, jalapeño, spices and your trusty pressure cooker instead.

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian

Meet the tlayuda, a Oaxacan street food. It looks a lot like a pizza, which is where Coterie member Aida Mollenkamp found her inspiration for this appetizer. Top it with chiles, black beans, avocado and cotija cheese.

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  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan, crowd-pleaser

At our house, salsa is a side dish, not a condiment. If you’re like us, you’ll want to give this smoky number by Gaby Dalkin a whirl.

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  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, no cook, vegan

Mango might seem like a strange addition at first, but its tangy, tropical sweetness is just the match for buttery avocados and acidic lime juice.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pan, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Never be disappointed by a naked or soggy tortilla chip again. Thanks to your cast iron skillet, your chips will stay crunchy and the dip will stay hot.

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Psst: These savory turnovers freeze like a charm and will last you up to three months, in case you want to make a double batch…just sayin’.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, one pan, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

Why cook one quesadilla at a time on the stove when you could whip up eight at once in the oven? (You can find rectangular tortillas in your supermarket’s deli section, BTW.)

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, high protein

Save yourself a *ton* of time by shredding a rotisserie chicken for the filling. All its flavor will come from canned chipotle peppers in adobo.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love it: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Want to get that charred barbecue taste in the off season? Cook the corn in a grill pan on the stove or broil it in the oven until it’s golden brown.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, vegetarian, <30 minutes

If you insist on inviting vegetables to the fiesta, make sure they come in the form of this salad. It stars an avocado-lime dressing spiced with cumin.

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  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, no cook, crowd-pleaser

Two iconic dips, one lucky bowl. Think of this ten-minute appetizer as a cross between hummus and guacamole. Might we suggest serving it with pita chips and tortilla chips?

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, vegan, no cook

Cool down with this cold soup that boasts sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, white beans and all the garlic. Finish it off with corn kernels, radish sprouts, cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of cotija.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan, crowd-pleaser

Aka how to one-up Chipotle in 20 minutes flat. Once you taste it, you’ll add it to every burrito you ever make.

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  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan, one pot

Canned beans are always a welcome shortcut. All this rendition takes is cooking them down with tomato sauce, cilantro and seasonings.

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  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, vegan

In the winter, you can totally swap fresh corn cobs for frozen corn kernels. Whatever you do, don’t skip roasting the vegetables—it’s what gives the guac its zesty, charred flavor.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, one pan, crowd-pleaser

Speaking of guac, you’re going to need something to scoop it up with…

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, vegan

Show off your summer tomato haul with this zingy, elegant recipe that stars a sweet-and-sour vinegar dressing.

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  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Store-bought essentials like refried beans, canned green chiles and prepared salsa make this party staple a cinch to put together.

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  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegan, one pan

Oniony tofu crumble takes over for traditional cotija cheese, but the serrano-tomato sauce is just what you’d expect.

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  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly

Proof that bacon really does make everything better. We’d use this savory masterpiece to crown your next batch of cheeseburgers, if we were you.

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  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, low carb, keto-friendly

Dunk them in queso fundido, fill them to make soft tacos, grill them for tiny quesadillas or use them to assemble low-carb enchiladas.

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RELATED: 40 Cinco de Mayo Recipes for a Fiesta at Home

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.