side dishes for carne asada

15 Side Dishes for Carne Asada That Elevate Your Dinner Nights

Carne Asada, which translates to “grilled meat” in English, is a Mexican staple. It is made by grilling or searing thick chuck steak, skirt steak, or flank steak after marinating it in various sauces and spices. The slightly charred and robustly flavored meat is then sliced and served in various dishes.

Carne Asada pairs well with several side dishes. If you’re wondering what to serve with this popular Mexican delicacy, here are 15 of the most delicious side dishes for Carne Asada you can use for inspiration.

1. Authentic Mexican Cactus Leaves Salad (Ensalada De Nopales)

Cactus leaves salad may sound unconventional, but it’s a Mexican staple loved by many! It pairs crisp, citrus-flavored nopales (cactus leaves) with cilantro, green onions, and tomatoes. The seasoning is simple, including just salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil, but delivers a deeply refreshing flavor. Add crumbled queso Anejo on top, and serve alongside Carne Asada.

2. Avocado Corn Salad

This salad is a light and fresh side to serve with hearty Carne Asada. The summertime salad comes together in just 20 minutes and features corn and avocado as its key ingredients. It also contains a generous amount of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice, giving it a fresh and acidic flavor that makes it irresistible.

3. Best Guacamole

This easy-to-make guacamole is perfect for serving alongside dishes with Carne asada, especially tortillas and tacos. It has the classic guacamole ingredients like avocados, cilantro, and red onion and gets its savory flavor from heat-packed jalapeños, lime juice, and seasonings. Enjoy it the day it’s made, but if you’ve made extra, you can also refrigerate it for a couple of days.

4. Cilantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice is light and refreshing but filling enough to create a satisfying meal with Carne Asada. It has herb and garlicky flavors, a touch of heat, and a zing of acidity, so it’s sure to delight your taste buds. This recipe also uses jasmine rice that will fill your home with wonderful aromas as it cooks.

5. Easy Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot refried beans are packed with flavor and health benefits, a fantastic side to serve with Carne Asada. You can season them to your heart’s desire, but because they take a lot of time (almost 8-10 hours) to come together, it would be wise to reserve this recipe for the weekend!

6. Easy Mexican Rice (Restaurant-Style)

This simple side dish makes the perfect base to layer tender and juicy Carne Asada on. To make this light and fluffy Mexican side, you’ll need nutty long-grain rice, seasonings like garlic salt and ground cumin, chopped onions, tomato sauce, and low-sodium chicken broth. Make sure you toast the rice well before adding it to the broth to get a deeper flavor.

7. Easy Mexican Street Corn

This street corn will give you delectable Mexican flavors in every bite — perfect for balancing the heaviness of Carne Asada. The highlight of this recipe is the creamy and savory sauce, which is made with cilantro, cotija cheese, garlic, lime juice and zest, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Serve it garnished with paprika to give your tastebuds a zing!

8. Fresh Homemade Salsa

Perfect for serving alongside a Carne Asada-filled taco, this homemade salsa features fresh tomatoes as its key ingredient. It is spruced up with the brightness of lime, the freshness of cilantro, and a hit of spice from cumin and chili powder. It produces a mouth-wateringly delicious treat that’s not too oniony, garlicky, or spicy — perfect for kids!

9. How to Cook White Rice

White rice goes with everything, including Carne Asada. This recipe shows you how to cook it perfectly in about 15-25 minutes, depending on the grain you use. Once the rice is cooked, make sure you let it rest for about 10 minutes to allow the moisture to redistribute. Serve hot!

10. Mexican Black Beans

Hearty and healthy, these Mexican black beans will nicely complement your Carne Asada. The recipe calls for cooking undrained black beans with sautéed onion and garlic, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to taste and serve it sprinkled with cotija cheese to give the dish a salty and milky flavor.

11. Mexican Cornbread

Fluffy and buttery Mexican cornbread is ideal for pairing with grilled meats. It’s a creative twist on the classic cornbread recipe and features spices, cheese, and honey that create a wonderful combination of flavors. It also gets a hit of spice from jalapeños, which elevates the simple cornbread even more.

12. Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad

Once you make a meal out of Mexican street corn potato salad and Carne Asada, no other pairing will appeal to you. This fresh summertime dish is light yet hearty and is flavored with a creamy, spicy sauce that creates a lovely contrast of flavors. If you’re serving this dish for a family dinner, adjust the heat in this sauce as needed.

13. Queso Fundido

This Spanish-inspired dip is super indulgent and features a combination of Oaxaca and Montgomery cheese, making it irresistibly creamy. It also uses Mexican chorizo and poblano peppers, which give the dip a boost of tongue-tingling spice. Serve it topped with tomatoes to give it a zesty, fresh flavor.

14. Seriously Good Homemade Coleslaw

Coleslaw is light, crunchy, and easy to make — a great option for serving with Carne Asada. The 25-minute recipe calls for combining red and green cabbage, carrots, and fresh parsley with a delectable mayonnaise-based dressing. It produces a dish that will complement the deep flavors of Carne Asada.

15. 7-Layer Dip

This seven-layer dip will take your grilled meats to the next level! You can make it with seasoned refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, and sliced green onions. It’s fantastic as-is, but you can also serve it topped with pickled jalapeños for extra spice.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.