10 Classic Side Dishes For Enchiladas

Everybody loves enchiladas, right? And the ideal enchilada should have a chewy, soft corn tortilla, a hearty, tasty filling, and a rich, divine sauce.

10 Classic Side Dishes For Enchiladas

When all of these elements come together you have one stunning dish! But still, that doesn’t mean enchiladas can’t be elevated by some delicious sides. 

Enchiladas can be filling by themselves, but also pretty bold, and you may want a side to balance out these rich flavors and provide a bit of contrast.

But what do you serve with enchiladas? Well, it’s best to stick to Mexican sides as the flavors will marry so well.

Below, you’ll find 10 traditional side dishes that would be great served alongside your enchiladas. 

Guacamole

It wouldn’t be right to serve enchiladas without guacamole! Guacamole is such a crowd pleaser and the cheesiness of the enchilada will marry so well with the creamy, rich guacamole.

You can serve them with tortilla chips for a bit of extra crunch, and create a side that those around the dinner table won’t be able to resist! 

Salsa And Chips

Another classic side dish is salsa and chips, and since you would have prepared some salsa for your enchiladas, it’s a super easy side to throw together.

All you need is your favorite chips for dipping, and you’re all done! But you could also whip up a bowl of melted cheese too, to make things more exciting.

This recipe makes things even easier, as it’s ready in just 5 minutes, and is packed with delicious, fresh flavors. Just toss everything in the food processor, and you’ll soon have perfect salsa!

Plus, as this recipe uses canned tomatoes, you don’t have to worry too much about your tomatoes not being ripe enough.

White Rice

No Mexican dish would be complete without rice, and enchiladas are no exception. While a simple bowl of white rice will do, why not add a bit of spice to make things more exciting?

Cilantro, cumin, and green bell peppers are sure to perk up your rice, while black beans are a traditional Mexican ingredient that will make your rice more filling.

For a healthier side dish, you can swap rice out for quinoa. You can flavor the quinoa with fajita seasoning, and then toss in some black beans, corn, and zucchini. 

Refried Beans

Refried beans make a great dip as well as a great side and are excellent when served alongside enchiladas.

You can make them a bit cheesier, but adding cheese isn’t necessary as the dip is creamy and tasty enough as it is.

Plus, refried beans are pretty filling, so you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry later!

Some people are worried about refried beans being on the fattening side, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Refried beans are not necessarily beans that have been fried twice.

Rather, refried beans is a loose translation of the Spanish term frijoles refritos. ‘Frijoles’ means beans, and ‘refritos’ means fried well, not fried twice. Refried beans are then boiled until soft and are then baked or fried until perfect.

Pinto beans are the best refried beans, as they’re incredibly buttery. Fresh cilantro also makes these refried beans more exciting, while a squeeze of lime juice enriches their flavor even further.

These refried beans are also a healthy source of fiber and plant-based protein.

Grilled Mexican Sweet Corn (Elote)

Juicy, sweet corn makes enchiladas even better, and we can’t think of a better corn-based side for enchiladas than Mexican sweet corn, or elote.

Elote is a delicious medley of exciting textures and flavors. It is basically corn that has been grilled to perfection and slathered with mayonnaise and sour cream before being topped with chili pepper, and cotija or feta cheese.

It is then finished with some freshly squeezed lime juice. Elote is a beloved street food in Mexico and is particularly enjoyed in the summer. But it’s also so simple to make at home.

You just char grill corn on the cob and slather creamy, tangy sauce over the top, before crumbling some cheese over it.

It’s an excellent side dish to serve with enchiladas but is also a great barbecue snack too!

Mini Bell Pepper Salad

Sides shouldn’t just taste delicious but look stunning too, and this mini bell pepper salad is both of those things! It uses green, red, and yellow peppers to create a tantalizing and vibrant side dish for your enchiladas.

Cheese, red onions, and a red wine or champagne vinaigrette make it even more decadent and delicious! You’ll also be pleased to know you only need a handful of fresh ingredients to make this salad.

Plus, it’s easy, can be whipped up quickly, and tastes fantastic. It will also keep in the fridge and tastes just as delicious the next day. 

Mexican Coleslaw

American coleslaw is usually dressed with mayo mixture, but in Mexican cuisine it is usually mixed with a tangier sauce. Namely, apple cider vinegar and cilantro.

This change in dressing just makes for a more refreshing and acidic coleslaw, which is just what a heavy and rich enchilada needs.

Mexican coleslaw also includes more flavorful ingredients. It’s not just about shredded cabbage and carrots, but avocado, black beans, corn, cumin, jalapeño and red onions.

As for whether bagged or fresh cabbage is better, it’s tough to say. While fresh cabbage is great because fresh veggies are generally better, bagged cabbage that is pre-shredded is preferable if you’re short on time.

Mexican Corn Pudding

Enchiladas have savory flavors, so why not have a side that contrasts those savory flavors and is more on the sweet side?

Enter Mexican corn pudding! Mexican corn pudding is made with cheddar cheese, green chiles, and – of course – roasted corn.

This side dish is brimming with flavor and is a delightful companion to your enchiladas.

Mango Jicama Slaw

You may have never heard of jicama before, and if that is the case, let us fill you in. Jicama is the Mexican equivalent to yam and has a similar flavor to pears, but also potatoes.

Crunchy jicama paired with mangoes and flavored with honey and lime juice makes for one stunning slaw! For an extra kick you can sprinkle some chili powder over the top, or throw in some diced jalapeños.

This mango jicama slaw is actually an imitation recipe of Trader Joe’s slaw, and is refreshing and light.

It’s the perfect side to serve in the summer, and also makes an excellent topping for burgers and tacos. 

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Not only does this side include tasty sweet potatoes, but it is also filled with corn, and is topped with a rich black bean salsa, and a rich cilantro dressing.

This makes for one powerhouse side that is excellent for serving alongside enchiladas. If you’re looking to mix up your regular potato salad, why not give this sweet potato salad a try?

It contains chopped spinach, creamy chunks of avocado, dried cranberries, and red onion.

This light, refreshing side is also a great addition to a spring picnic, and would be great to bring along to a barbecue.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Enchiladas Good For You?

Enchiladas – while delicious – are not the healthiest meal. It is quite a heavy meal that contains a lot of refined carbs and saturated fat.

Still, enchiladas can be made healthier, and they are a delicious meal to be enjoyed occasionally. 

What Is The Difference Between A Burrito And An Enchilada?

One of the biggest differences between burritos and enchiladas is that an enchilada is traditionally made with corn tortillas, while burritos are made with flour tortillas.

Secondly, enchiladas are often eaten with a knife and fork, as they are smothered in a sauce that makes them difficult to eat with your hands.

Meanwhile, burritos can be eaten with your hands.

How Do You Stop Enchiladas From Becoming Soggy?

The best way to avoid your enchilada from becoming soggy is to briefly fry your tortillas in hot oil before you fill them and roll them up.

This effectively creates a barrier that prevents the tortillas from absorbing too much sauce and falling apart.

Do Enchiladas Need To Be Covered While Baking?

Enchiladas are typically covered with foil while they are baking until they have heated all the way through.

Baking times and oven temperature will vary by recipe, but usually they cook in a 350 °F oven for about 25 minutes.

Once the enchiladas are heated all the way through you can sprinkle cheese on top.

Final Thoughts

Enchiladas are a filling, satisfying dish all on their own, but a couple of traditional Mexican sides can really elevate your enchiladas and make them one hearty meal. 

10 Classic Side Dishes For Enchiladas

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Read on to discover 10 delicious, traditional Mexican side dishes to serve with your enchiladas and how you can make them.

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Jess Smith
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