Best Side Dishes to Serve with Tamales

Tamales are a festive and fun meal.  They are wonderful for events and dinner parties.  If you are serving tamales you may be wondering what dishes, if any, compliment them.  According to average American reviews, there is a wide variety of side dishes people enjoy with tamales.


While this is a common Mexican dish, it is popular and commonly served with tamales.  White rice can be served, but Mexican rice has more flavors and is more popular.  Yellow rice also makes a good dish.  A side recipe called cilantro rice is highly recommended if you’re a cilantro fan.  Some health conscious people don’t recommend rice as a side because they say it is too much starch when paired with tamales.


Corn or Beans

Corn is the base of many Mexican foods and naturally tastes good with tamales.  It’s easy to fix and most people like it.  Refried beans are another option and go well with or without rice.  A simple original black bean style dish, with onions, garlic and seasonings is recommend as a simple, but less common side.  Another tasty bean side, frijoles, is a traditional Mexican dish made from pinto, beans, garlic, onion, and bacon, sometimes with additional ingredients.


Salads are claimed to be excellent with tamales. One complimentary salad can be made simply from sliced tomato and avocado, topped with cilantro, kosher salt, and olive oil or lime juice.  Other people recommend a simple green salad with cucumbers, carrots, spicy pepper, avocado, and cilantro.  Jarred cactus can be mixed with jalapenos, tomatoes, salty cheese and onions for a quick salad with a twist.  There are plenty more of unique salad choices on sites like Food Network or in a simple Google search.


A traditional black bean soup is a good match that isn’t overly filling.  Green chili and pork soup are recommended as well.  Soup is a great side for larger groups because it can be prepared earlier in the day and can serve more people.

Tamale Toppings

A tamale may be complimented by similar condiments as tacos and other Mexican foods.  Sour cream and guacamole are popular toppings, but cheese doesn’t seem to be as commonly used.  Other sides include posole with fresh lemon wedges, over easy eggs, Mexican Oregano, or red chili with pork.

Fresh Fruit

Some claim fresh fruit makes the perfect, and only needed side dish.  To add some flare to the fruit, top it with lemon juice, salt, and Cheyenne or chili pepper.

Veggie Mixtures

Calabacitas is an easy mixture to make, made of onion, corn, chilies, and sautéed squash.  Sautéed peppers are also tasty made the same way, either added or substituting the squash.  Regular Cole slaw with salt and chili added is a simple and fun side.  Corn casserole and Jicama slaw are other mixtures.  There are tons of other appealing veggie sides online and in cookbooks.

Most traditional Mexican side dishes seem to go well with tamales, so just follow your tastes when deciding what you should serve.

When he is not supporting establishments like Mother Shuckers Tamales through guest posting, D. Holdeman is enjoying sunny, Southern California with his wife and 3 kiddos.  Readers are invited to check out his Google Plus profile to learn more about what he does as the assistant manager for a marketing firm.

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