Empanadas are a popular Mexican dish — and for a good reason! The flaky pasty stuffed typically with a meat-based filling with ingredients like cheese, onions, and spices mixed in and then baked or fried to golden brown perfection is a treat one can hardly resist! They’re wonderful as a snack, but you can also pair them with a side.
Don’t know what to serve with empanadas? We got you!
Here’s a compilation of 15 side dishes for empanadas — the amazing dish that makes everyone eat more than their fill. Give them a try; we promise they won’t disappoint!
Arroz con pollo is a one-pot meal with rice, chicken, aromatics, herbs, veggies, and lots of spices. It’s a meal by itself, but you can also pair it with empanadas to enjoy a filling and satisfying flavor explosion. The best thing is that the recipe contains information on variations so that you can adapt it to your taste and dietary preferences.
This peppery, nutty, tangy salad features a simple three-ingredient dressing, which gives it an insane taste appeal. The salad is light yet filling and is best served topped with shaved parmesan. Pair it with savory empanadas to enjoy a well-balanced meal. Remember to toss arugula in a salad spinner to shake off excess moisture; otherwise, it will make your dish soggy.
Avocado aioli is a type of sauce that pairs exceptionally well with empanadas. You can make it by blending buttery avocado with garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and seasonings in an immersion blender until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. If you’re looking for extra flavor, garnish it with red pepper flakes to pack heat.
Black beans and rice is a hearty, filling Latin-style dish that’s perfect for serving with empanadas. It uses onion, green pepper, garlic, earthy cumin, and tangy lime to impart deep flavors to the dish. The recipe also features a winning combination of butter and olive oil to give it a richer nuance and texture.
5. Charro Beans
Make these nutritious charro beans by simmering pinto beans in a bold-flavored broth to impart a wonderful flavor to the meal. The recipe is adaptable, so you can tweak the ingredient list based on the filling you’ve used in your empanadas for the best results. You can also swap out the meat with vegan chorizo, beans, or veggies.
These fries are baked until they’re crispy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy on the inside. To achieve the right balance, toss the slices in cornstarch before oil. They are seasoned with sea salt and pair perfectly with empanadas. You can also garnish them with other spices like cayenne pepper, ground pepper, and garlic powder before serving.
Golden-brown on the outside with a tender center, these fried plantains are the epitome of perfection — and they’re especially divine alongside meat empanadas. Plantains are naturally sweet, so they add a lovely complement to savory empanadas. But if that’s not your preferred flavor, feel free to season them with salt to balance it out.
Coleslaw is a salad that doubles as a filling, so it will be a unique side to empanadas. You can make it by tossing coleslaw mix with red pepper, finely diced jalapeño, black beans, corn, and cilantro with a mayo-based dressing. It produces the perfect summer side, so don’t be surprised if it practically flies off your dinner table!
9. Mexican Rice
Well-seasoned Mexican rice is perfect for serving with empanadas. The recipe calls for infusing the rice with garlic, onion, tomato paste, and spices to produce a hearty dish full of satisfying flavors. It also packs mild heat from jalapenos and a zesty flavor from lime juice, delivering a filling dish that both adults and children will enjoy.
Queso is a great dip for fried foods like empanadas. You can make this tasty, luxuriously smooth treat with cheddar cheese and butter. Make sure to use evaporated milk to ensure it doesn’t become grainy when cooled. It also features a bunch of flavorings and aromatics like onion, jalapeños, garlic, spices, and cilantro to produce a flavor-packed dip.
This Mexican dish is a breeze to prepare! All you have to do is cook dried beans with aromatics until soft and creamy, then flavor it with lime juice, cilantro, jalapeños, and queso fresco. This dish can take upwards of 90 minutes to cook, but you can speed things up by using cooked beans instead.
12. Salsa Verde
If your empanadas are meat-based, pair them with salsa verde to enjoy bright and refreshing flavors in every bite. You can make salsa verde by pulsing lightly roasted green tomatoes and jalapenos with onion, cilantro, and flavorings in a food processor. It will create a delicious depth of flavor and sport a consistency that pairs well with any fried food.
Corn on the cob (elotes) and empanadas are an elite combination. Corn coated with a parmesan and butter-based mixture and grilled until you get that prized smokey flavor is a heavenly creation. You can finish it off with crumbled Parmesan cheese and sliced green onion; it’ll hit all the right spots on your tastebuds!
14. Strawberry Salsa
A fruity and sweeter spin on salsa verde, this refreshing strawberry salsa is made with fresh strawberries, jalapeño pepper, and red onion. It has a delightfully sweet, tart, and tangy flavor thanks to ingredients like lime juice and zest, honey, ground black pepper, and salt — all of these wonderfully complement the contrasting savory flavors of the empanada!
Mashed potatoes dominate the side dish world — and rightfully so! The buttery, creamy, indulgent dish goes well with just about everything. It is seasoned with butter, cream cheese, garlic, and salt, although you can also mix in half and half or heavy cream for a richer and creamier consistency. Serve it with empanadas to enjoy a satisfying meal.