what to serve with taco salad

What to Serve with Taco Salad: 13 Tasty Homemade Recipes

Taco salad is a delicious and innovative Tex-Mex wonder. Its concept is so simple yet leaves you much room for customization. You can add, change, or remove elements as you like. Hence, hardly two taco salad recipes are the same.

This great space for creativity also means you can serve a taco salad in hundreds of ways. You can modify the salad dressings, eat it with a side dish, or consume it with a refreshing drink. If you’re looking for some fresh ideas about what to serve with taco salad, you can check out these 13 tasty homemade recipes, which are a great place to start, but they’re only a portion of a wider selection.

1. Mexican Cornbread

Bread and salad are fantastic together because you get carbs and nutrients. The pairing is even better with taco salad and Mexican cornbread. You get some greens, spices, carbs, and protein. Besides those, the blend of flavors is impeccable. The cheesy, sweet, spicy, and buttery tastes of Mexican cornbread meld beautifully with those of the salad, making this the ultimate reason why the two are great together.

2. Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Elote is Mexico’s version of grilled corn and is so flavorful. The corn is smeared with a sauce made from Mexican crema, mayo, chili powder, and lime juice. Then, it is topped with cotija or Mexican corn cheese, cilantro, and more chili powder, if you want. Thus, there are so many layers of flavors and textures to enjoy, and you can have it either on or off the cob.

3. Mexican Pinto Beans

Many taco salad recipes include beans. If not, they recommend serving or combining it with bean dishes like refried beans or Mexican pinto beans. Hence, if you’re considering the latter, this is an excellent recipe you can follow! The beans come out sweet, spicy, and creamy, with heavenly tender textures. There are also hints of tanginess. You can serve these beans on the side or mix them into the salad.

4. Cilantro Lime Rice

Give your taco salad a unique twist by pairing it with cilantro lime rice! This dish contains rice, water, olive oil, garlic, scallions, lime, salt, cilantro, and chili peppers. It is served with many Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes because its bright taste complements the latter’s flavor palette. You can have it as a topping or side dish or mix it into the salad for more texture and flavor.

5. Spanish Rice (Mexican Rice)

Although taco salads are medleys of colors, they could do with a touch of orange. Get that hue from Spanish rice, also known as Mexican rice. Its iconic color is from tomato sauce mixed with rice. Other ingredients include oil, salt, garlic, water, chicken bouillon, cumin, and garlic pepper. Like cilantro lime rice, this dish can be a topping, side dish, or added element to taco salad.

6. Tortilla Chips

Although tortilla shells are a classic element of tacos, taco salad recipes incorporate tortillas differently. Some shape soft shells to form bowls to serve the salad. Meanwhile, others use chips or strips. Hence, here’s a recipe for tortilla chips you can follow should you opt for the latter. You can serve them on the side, as a topping, or crumbled so you can mix the pieces into the salad.

7. Pico de Gallo

Salsa is a recommended topping for taco salads. However, there are many types of salsa, so which one should you choose? An excellent suggestion is pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca. Fresca means fresh, and this dish is as fresh as it can be, with all the ripe tomatoes, lime juice, onions, and cilantro. Besides those, it has jalapenos or serrano peppers, salt, pepper, garlic, and bell peppers.

8. Guacamole Salsa

Guacamole and salsa are two different dishes you can serve with taco salad. But why not have both with this guacamole salsa? It combines the creamy and sweet guacamole flavors with the bright, juicy, and fresh taste profile of salsa. Surprisingly, though, there are no regular tomatoes in this recipe. Instead, you’ll combine tomatillos or Mexican husk tomatoes with avocados, chilis, onions, cilantro, lime, garlic, and salt.

9. Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Another unique salsa you can use as a taco salad topping is this black bean and corn salsa. There are many layers of flavor and texture in this dish. Besides the black beans and corn kernels, there are Roma tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Hence, expect hints of juicy, fresh, tangy, and spicy flavors in your taco salad when you serve it with this salsa.

10. Cilantro Lime Dressing

Some don’t have a dressing in their taco salads because they want to avoid the excess moisture. However, if you consume it immediately, that factor won’t be a big deal. Indeed, you’ll love the added flavors these condiments bring, so consider having them! One option you have is this cilantro lime dressing, which is fresh, sweet, and bright. It also has an impressive verdant color.

11. Catalina Dressing

Compared to the many salad dressings, Catalina is the most recommended with taco salad. It has a bold red color and is made from many ingredients. The latter includes red wine vinegar, ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, paprika, onion, garlic, and oil. Thus, expect a flavor complex. You can add other ingredients for slight variation, and then when it’s ready, pour it all over your taco salad.

12. Chipotle Ranch Dressing

If you prefer a creamy dressing, make this chipotle ranch with sour cream, milk, lime, mayo, cilantro, parsley, garlic, onion, and seasonings. Of course, don’t forget the main element: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These peppers provide dishes with a smoky, spicy, and bitter heat. Thus, when you use this dressing, expect those flavors to be incorporated into your taco salad.

13. Margarita

Almost everyone agrees that a margarita is the best drink for taco salads. You can go for a classic one, like this recipe, or flavored variants, like a strawberry margarita. It’s refreshing and is the perfect balance of tangy and salty flavors. The heat it brings to your throat is incredible, too. However, if you want non-alcoholic options, serve your salad with lemonade or horchata.

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.