Mexican food is some of the best in the world, and quesadillas are a shining example of this. Quesadillas consist of a tortilla filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, and spices.
They are delicious with meat, though this can be removed or replaced with a substitute for a delicious vegetarian alternative.
But as delicious as quesadillas are on their own, sometimes you need a little more. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with this list of 15 incredible sides!
You can pick and choose from any (or all!) of these quick and easy recipes, all of which are the perfect accompaniment to your quesadillas.
Not only that, but we’ve included an FAQ section to answer any questions you may have.
Ready? Then let’s get started!
The 15 Best Sides To Serve With Quesadillas
A favorite of Mexican cuisine in its own right, nachos are also a great accompaniment to your quesadillas. They are easy enough to make, especially if you have extra quesadilla filling.
Bake them for a few minutes and you’ll be left with a crisp top to the gooey cheese.
Nachos also work well when combined with other sides on this list, especially with dips like salsa, queso, and guacamole.
This grilled corn dish is a staple of Mexican street food, and is the perfect side for any meal.
Grill cobs of corn with some butter or mayonnaise, and sprinkle various spices on top. Add some hot sauce and some mayo for the full experience.
These are perfect with quesadillas, with the elote’s sweetness balancing with the savory quesadilla.
No good quesadilla is complete without a good salsa, and luckily they’re a quick and easy side to make. Simply mix some tomato, chilli, onion, lime, and cilantro, and you’re good to go.
Salsa is also a great addition to nachos or salads if you want to spice things up.
There are many variations on salsa, so feel free to pick and choose which you like best.
Whether you prefer a simple pico de gallo, or want to turn up the heat with a salsa taqueria, there are plenty of salsas to pair with your quesadillas.
Bean and Chilli Soup
This warming soup combines a mix of beans with hot spices. Great for a cold evening, this soup will give you a break from a quesadilla’s density for something lighter.
You can make this soup by cooking off some onions, garlic, tomato puree, and some chopped tomatoes. Add some stock, beans, and red pepper, then simmer on a medium heat.
While it might seem like a strange choice at first, the addition of some rice in this soup really elevates it. Toss some in before you finish cooking, and the rice will cook itself in the soup.
These are a great addition to any pantry, and can be made at home easily. Slice up some of these chilis, and put the slices in a glass jar.
Fill the jar with white vinegar, along with a mix of spices such as cloves, mustard seed, a bay leaf, and even a cinnamon stick.
Leave them to pickle anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks, and they’re ready to use with your quesadillas as well as any other sides you might be using.
Like salsa, it’s not hard to make a delicious and simple guacamole. Mash up some avocados with garlic, lime, diced onion, and some chopped chilis.
Add some cilantro and a bit of salt to finish, and you have a tasty guac ready to go. Because of how few ingredients guac contains and how you mash it together, you can easily make a tasty chunky guacamole in a mortar and pestle.
Corn salad takes the best parts of elotes and turns them into a fresher salad. The sweetness of the corn combines perfectly with the heat of chilis and the tartness of some lime juice.
Add in a bit of cheese and some avocado for a light palate cleanser. Alternatively, use a creamier dressing that includes cheese and mayonnaise for a richer salad.
Lime and Cilantro Rice
The name really sums it up. This rice is light and fluffy, with a bright citrus aroma that is a refreshing contrast to the quesadilla.
Fry the rice lightly in a bit of oil and lime juice before adding the water for a more infused flavor.
Chop up some cilantro and add it to the cooked rice, and squeeze some more lime juice over the top to finish off this fragrant side.
There’s no such thing as too much cheese. Therefore, queso is the ideal addition to your cheesy quesadillas.
Make up a rue, then mix in some cheddar, pepper jack, and some gouda. Add some chopped tomatoes and chopped chilli to finish it off.
You can switch up which cheeses you use depending on your personal preferences and how authentic you want your queso to be (traditional Mexican queso uses a mix of cow and goat cheeses).
This fresh slaw is refreshing, and the perfect balance to your quesadilla. Mexican slaw is similar to coleslaw, but with a lighter twist.
It contains shredded red cabbage, sliced onion, pepper, and a tangy dressing made of olive oil, lime juice, and rice vinegar.
You could also add some honey for a bit of sweetness, and some chilli flakes for a spicy hit.
Refried beans are a staple of Mexican cuisine. It’s typically made with pinto beans that have been cooked, mashed, and cooked again.
It can also include spices and chilis for more of a kick, although refried beans alone are great for taking the edge off if your quesadillas are a bit too hot.
Refried beans are creamy and buttery, and make a great accompaniment to quesadillas along with other sides like nachos.
Not only are refried beans tasty, but they are also high in nutrients like protein and fiber.
Sweet Potato Salad
Sweet potatoes are a great ingredient, and this baked salad puts them to good use. This side is hearty and warming, with chunks of baked sweet potato hiding a fluffy interior beyond their crispy skins.
Coat the chunks in your favorite spices (paprika, cayenne, and cumin are the perfect smoky accompaniment) for a delicious and nutritious side dish.
The sweet potato’s denser cousins are here with this cheesy twist on mashed potatoes. Simply make up a creamy mash, add cheese, and mix.
You could even put your cheesy mash in the oven and bake it for 10-15 minutes, crisping up the top and melting the cheese into the potatoes even more.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Got some leftover tortillas? Then this is a great way to use them!
Chicken tortilla soup is as simple to make as it is mouth-watering, only requiring a few ingredients (most of which you’d be using for your quesadillas anyway).
Start off by frying up some onion, garlic, pepper and chilis. Add a mix of spices, some tomato puree, and cook until fragrant.
Add some chicken broth and some pieces of chicken, then leave to simmer.
Top off with some fried tortillas or some tortilla chips and serve.
Mexican rice is almost good enough to be a dish on its own, but it also makes for a great side for your quesadillas.
Long grain or basmati rice will work best for this recipe, but brown rice is also a great choice.
To begin, lightly fry some chopped onion and garlic with some tomato paste. From there, add uncooked rice and fry it until it is golden brown. Make sure to stir so it doesn’t burn.
Add some chopped tomatoes, stock, and spices, then simmer until the rice is cooked and fluffy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Any Of These Recipes Vegetarian/Vegan?
There are plenty of options that can have meat and animal products removed, or have none to begin with. While nachos may not be the best option without vegan substitute ingredients, most other sides are easy fixes.
Apart from nachos, queso, cheesy potatoes, chicken tortilla soup, and elotes (if you’re using butter and mayo) all of the sides on this list are completely vegan.
What Are The Mildest Options?
If your spice tolerance isn’t the best, there are some sides you need to steer clear of. However, there are some things that are safe for you.
Cheesy potatoes, lime and cilantro rice, and refried beans are all spice-free, while other sides such as queso and elotes can have their spicy aspects removed easily.
Unfortunately, a lot of Mexican food uses plenty of spice. But if you want to get the most out of your quesadillas and the perfect sides, there are still some great options for you.
What Are The Quickest Sides To Make?
This depends on how you prepare them. Nachos, for example, can be prepped and cooked at the same time as your quesadillas without much extra effort, while guacamole is quick and easy to make on its own.
In terms of prep time, elotes and salsa are some of the shortest.
Meanwhile, pickled jalapenos need to be prepped in advance but are incredibly easy to make and can be used straight from the jar.
Your best bet for something quick and minimum-fuss, simple sides like elotes and dips like salsa and guac are your best bets.
But if you’re able to put in a bit of time beforehand, even longer recipes like chicken and tortilla soup or Mexican rice can be made without too much extra hassle.
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