What to Serve with Enchiladas: Perfect Pairings for Enchiladas Night

Picture this: It’s Cinco de Mayo and you’re ready to celebrate with a feast of flavor-packed enchiladas. But what about the sidekicks to your star-studded Mexican meal? This isn’t just any dinner; it’s a palate-popping party, and every hero needs a trusty squad.

Let’s talk about taking your enchilada recipes to the next level with a side dish collection that’s as vibrant and lively as the celebration itself. Gather round, amigos, as we delve into the art of complementing that saucy main with sides that will have you cheering, “Olé!”

Key Takeaways

  • Transform your enchilada dinner into a true Cinco de Mayo celebration with an array of complementary sides.
  • Strike the right balance of flavors and textures by pairing your enchiladas with both classic and inventive side dishes.
  • Get ready to jumpstart your feast with pre-dinner must-haves like chips, guacamole, and zesty salsa.
  • Discover recommendations for the best side dishes that promise to elevate your homemade enchilada recipes.
  • Selecting the right wine from Mexican vineyards can add an unexpected and delightful twist to your meal.
  • Mix and match a variety of sides to cater to all tastes, ensuring a menu that’s as colorful as it is delicious.

The Essentials: Picking the Right Sides for Your Enchiladas

Ah, Mexican food, you saucy minx, with flavors that can dance the salsa better than any of us at a Cinco de Mayo bash. But let’s taco ’bout something important – the side dishes. Yes, the unsung heroes of meal planning.

Choosing the right tasty sides to accompany your enchiladas is like picking the perfect sombrero – it can make or break the fiesta on your plate. Let’s get this Mexican wave of flavors rolling with some stellar sidekicks that will bring out the best in your enchiladas.

Delicious sides dishes for an enchilada feast

Now, don’t just throw any old sides onto your plate and call it a meal. Your enchiladas deserve better, and so do you. We’re talking a medley of textures, from creamy to crunchy, and a fiesta of tastes from smoky to zesty. So, grab your apron and let’s dive into some mouth-watering options that will not only complement the main star but might just steal the show.

Side Dish CategoryDescriptionBenefits
Refried BeansA creamy and savory classic that feels like a warm hug for your tastebuds.Filling and rich in protein, perfect for balancing the meal.
Crisp Garden SaladLight and refreshing, it’s your palate’s cool best friend in between spicy bites.Provides a healthful crunch and brightens up the plate.
Corn on the CobGrilled or boiled, it’s a sweet nod to traditional Mexican street fare.Brings a pop of sweetness and a juicy crunch to the table.
Pico de GalloA vibrant chop of tomato, onion, and cilantro – freshness in every spoonful.Refreshing and tangy, it adds a kick without overpowering.
Spanish RiceRichly seasoned rice with a gorgeous hue that says ‘I’m not just here to fill space.’Complements the enchiladas by adding a satisfying heft.

But wait, there’s more. For those nights when you really want to spice up your life (and no, we’re not just talking Spice Girls marathons), consider throwing a curveball or two with an unexpected side. Ever tried roasted sweet potatoes with smoky chipotle seasoning? If not, you’re missing out, my friend.

So let’s get that meal planning in gear. After all, your enchilada night is only as good as the company it keeps on the plate. Buen provecho!

Beans & Rice: A Traditional Favorite

Let’s talk comfort food, the kind that warms your heart and fills your belly. In the realm of Mexican cuisine, few pairings hold a candle to the classic duo of refried beans and Mexican rice. These traditional side dishes have stood the test of time, gracing dinner tables alongside spicy enchiladas and bringing a familiar blend of flavors and textures to Mexican meal spreads.

Delicious Mexican rice and beans garnished with Tomato, Lemon and Coriander on a plate

Classic Refried Beans

Imagine a dish where pinto beans are lovingly cooked and then mashed to perfection. You’ve got yourself refried beans, a creamy, comforting side that pairs beautifully with the zing of an enchilada. They aren’t just tasty; they’re a fiber-filled friend that makes your enchilada feel less lonely on your plate.

Flavorful Mexican Rice Variations

But what’s a plate of refried beans without the equally beloved Mexican rice? Mexican rice isn’t just a side; it’s the saucy soiree to your beans’ mellow merrymaking. Dive into variations like the aromatic Rice Cooker Mexican Rice or the zestful Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice. Each forkful brings you a step closer to culinary bliss.

Creative Twists on Traditional Recipes

And just when you thought refried beans and Mexican rice couldn’t get any better, think again! Creative cooks have taken these classics and spun them with a modern twist. The Instant Pot becomes your ally in food prep, turning out delicious refried beans and a Southwestern Lentils & Rice combo that will make your taste buds dance a salsa of their own.

Traditional DishCreative New Take
Classic Refried BeansInstant Pot Refried Beans
Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime RiceRice Cooker Mexican Rice
Simple Mexican RiceSouthwestern Instant Pot Lentils & Rice

What to Serve with Enchiladas

Yearning for the best sides for enchiladas? You’ve hit the culinary jackpot! Imagine the scene: a steaming plate of enchiladas just landed on your table. But wait, the feast isn’t complete without its perfect partners in crime. Let’s talk Mexican sides and enchilada accompaniments that will transform your meal from flat to fab in a heartbeat.

Enchiladas with vegetables, lentils and beans on the table

Refried Beans: Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve mastered the art of the bean. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy, and it’s refried to perfection.

Chips and Salsa: Crunchy, crispy tortilla chips with a side of zesty salsa? Yes, please! It’s a fiesta of flavors in every bite.

Roasted Vegetables: Who says indulgence can’t be nutritious? Roasted vegetables bring that charred goodness that pairs splendidly with savory enchiladas.

And to wash it all down? A margarita so refreshing, it’ll make your taste buds sing mariachi. Now, feast your eyes on this table laden with delectable Mexican sides that deserve a standing ovation:

Side DishFlavor ProfileWhy It’s a Winner
Classic Mexican RiceSavory, aromatic, and slightly tomatoeyIt’s the Robin to your enchilada’s Batman – simply inseparable.
Cilantro Lime ColeslawCrisp, tangy, with a fresh citrus zingIt’s like a refreshing breeze on a hot day – particularly handy if your enchiladas are spitting fire.
Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)Smoky, creamy, with a sprinkle of cheeseAdds street cred to your dinner spread – authentically Mexican.
Avocado SaladRich, buttery avocados with a light, zesty dressingIt’s the green, mean, fighting machine your plate needs for balance.

There you have it – serving up these sides will ensure your enchilada experience is nothing short of spectacular. So go on, elevate your meal and savor every moment. ¡Buen provecho!

Fresh Salads and Slaws for Balance

Enchiladas bring the zing, but it’s the fresh salads and vibrant slaws that mellow the party in your mouth. These healthy sides become the unsung heroes, offering a crisp contrast to your deviously delicious Mexican feast. Let’s toss together a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate, shall we?

Colorful Southwestern Salads

Capture the essence of the Southwest with a fiesta of colors and tastes. Imagine a bowl bursting with the goodness of black beans, bright yellow corn, and a sprinkle of smoky chili powder embracing the bold flavors of your favorite Mexican salads.

Crispy Red Cabbage Slaw with a Kick

Wake up your taste buds with a slaw that packs a punch. The tangy zip of lime, the whisper of cilantro, and a mischievous dash of cayenne pepper bring life to this vibrant red cabbage concoction.

Refreshing Jicama and Carrot Salad

Now, for a departure into the cool and unexpected, dive fork-first into the refreshing crunch of jicama married with the sweet earthiness of carrots. It’s like a fresh breeze on a warm Mexican day.

SaladMain IngredientsDressing
Southwestern BeanBlack beans, corn, bell peppersCilantro-lime vinaigrette
Red Cabbage SlawRed cabbage, red onion, carrotsApple cider vinegar & spice
Jicama and CarrotJicama, carrots, green appleHoney-lime vinaigrette

Remember, my culinary compadre, variety is the spice of life, and these healthy sides are your ticket to a dinner table that sings with balance and flavor. Adiós, monotony! Hola, vibrant slaws and fresh salads!

Jicama, Cabbage and Carrot Salad with Coriander on the table

Hearty and Healthy Vegetable Sides

Craving something to complement your cheesy, spicy enchiladas? We’ve got you covered! Let’s add some color and crunch to your plate with an array of roasted vegetables and vegetable sides that marry health with flavor. These are not just sides; they’re conversation starters, loaded with the goodness to balance out those rich, savory enchiladas.

If you’re gunning for something that’ll make your taste buds sing without the guilt, consider our oven-roasted Mexican carrots. Picture this: carrots, glazed with a blend of honey and spicy chili powder, roasted to a perfect crunch. Or maybe, the street-corner flavor of elote-style roasted corn makes you swoon. Let’s bring it to your kitchen with a healthier twist, shall we?

For a soup that serves zest and zing in equal measure, the Mexican Corn Soup will do the trick. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, how about some grilled shrimp skewers with green tahini sauce to fancy-up your meal? Not a shrimp fan? No problem. Blistered Shishito peppers have entered the chat, perfect for a bit of finger food fun.

  • Oven-roasted Mexican Carrots with a Honey-Chili Glaze
  • Elote-style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese
  • Mexican Corn Soup – An Homage to Street Corn
  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers with a Hint of Green Tahini
  • Blistered Shishito Peppers for a Smoky Treat

So, when you set the table, remember that the vegetable sides are not just an afterthought. They’re your ticket to a well-rounded, harmonious meal that ticks all the boxes—flavor, health, and that much-desired crunch.

Vegetable SideFlavor ProfileHealth Benefit
Oven-roasted Mexican CarrotsSweet, spicy, with a delightful glazeHigh in beta-carotene and fiber
Elote-style Roasted CornCreamy, cheesy, with a hint of limeRich in vitamins and minerals
Mexican Corn SoupSweet corn flavor with robust spicesPacked with antioxidants
Grilled Shrimp SkewersSeafood freshness with a nutty sauceLean protein and heart-healthy fats
Blistered Shishito PeppersSmoky with a mild heatLow in calories, high in vitamins A and C

Chips, Dips, and Salsas: The Ultimate Fiesta Starters

Get ready to dive into a zesty world where crisps meet zest and every dip is a trip to flavor town. Yes, you guessed it—it’s time to talk about the mouth-watering trifecta that no party can do without: chips and salsa, guacamole recipes, and those unapologetically delicious dips for parties.

Whether you’re a culinary novice or a seasoned chef, these Mexican appetizers are the opening act for any memorable enchilada night.

Homemade Guacamole and Salsa

Do you fancy yourself a guacamole connoisseur? Or perhaps a salsa savant? Crafting these staples at home ensures not just peak freshness, but also the pride of dishing out authentic Mexican appetizers born from your own cocina.

With a plethora of guacamole recipes at your fingertips, you can choose to stick to the classic ingredients or get creative with mangoes and pomegranates. Salsa doesn’t have to play second fiddle, either; give it some well-deserved attention with roasted tomatoes and a fiery blend of peppers.

Spicy Cheese Dip with a Smooth Finish

Now, what’s a party without a cheese dip? As you lure your guests with the aroma of melted cheese and the subtle punch of roasted chilies, witness their eyes light up and their chips dive in.

The trick to the perfect queso? A balance of spice that brings the heat without overpowering that creamy, velvety goodness. Embrace the ooey-gooey and watch it disappear before your very enchiladas make it to the table.

Authentic Tortilla Chips: Baked and Seasoned

Let’s not forget about the unsung heroes of every fiesta plate—the tortilla chips. Nobody can resist the call of those perfectly seasoned, golden-brown bits of joy. Whether you’re opting for the baked route or giving them a quick dance in the air fryer, your homemade chips will outshine any store-bought variety.

Guacamole and Salsa with Tortilla Chips with Lemon, Onion, Avocado and Catchup on the table

Think crispy, but with a heartfelt touch of your personal seasoning blend. Your guests will not only taste the difference—they’ll beg for your secret.

AppetizerKey IngredientsPreparation StyleServing Suggestion
GuacamoleAvocados, Onion, Tomato, Cilantro, LimeMashed and MixedDollop on Chips or Side Dish
SalsaTomatoes, Chili Peppers, Onion, CilantroBlended or ChoppedIn a Bowl with a Spoon for Serving
Spicy Cheese DipCheese, Roasted Chilies, SpicesMelted and CombinedIn a Fondue Pot or Warm Bowl
Tortilla ChipsCorn Tortillas, Salt, SeasoningBaked or Air-friedHeaped on a Platter for Easy Access

The Best Tortillas: Corn or Wheat?

When it comes to enchiladas, the debate between using corn tortillas and wheat tortillas is as timeless as the dish itself. As a savvy chef, you know that the choice can make or break your enchilada wraps. Let’s delve into the virtues of each option and find out which type of tortilla can claim the title of ‘The Best’ for your next culinary adventure.

Corn tortillas, the original star of Mexican cuisine, boast a rich history and a texture that stands up to the heartiest of fillings. Their robust flavor complements the zestiness of enchilada sauce, wrapping your taste buds in tradition with every bite. Plus, for your friends who tend to avoid gluten, these are a godsend.

On the flip side, wheat tortillas swing in with their flexibility, making them the acrobats of the tortilla world. They’re the go-to for those who prefer a softer, more pliable base for their enchilada wraps. Wheat tortillas may not have the same bold flavor as corn, but they’re a gentle backdrop that allows your filling to sing.

FeatureCorn TortillasWheat Tortillas
TextureFirm and sturdySoft and pliable
FlavorDistinct and traditionalMild and neutral
Gluten ContentGluten-freeContains gluten
DurabilityStands up to saucier fillingsBest for lighter, less messy wraps
Pairing with Enchilada SauceComplements bold flavorsDoesn’t overpower fillings

So, whether you’re a die-hard fan of the corn tortilla or you’re partial to the tender embrace of a wheat tortilla, always consider the nature of your enchilada wrap. Think about the filling, the sauce, and the preferences of your guests. Are you going for authenticity or versatility? Boldness or subtlety?

The choice between corn and wheat is a personal journey, much like choosing the perfect hat for a fancy soiree. Whichever you pick, make sure it’s the perfect fit for your enchilada fiesta. After all, the right tortilla is like the perfect sidekick—it makes the hero look even better.

Rich and Creamy Sauces to Complement Enchiladas

When you’re luxuriating in the comforts of a warm, savory enchilada, it’s the sauce that truly makes your tastebuds dance with joy. And, my friend, you’re in for a serenade of flavors. Help yourself to a smorgasbord of Mexican sauces that will transform your enchilada from a mere entree to a culinary extravaganza.

You’ve got choices that range from the smoky whispers of Chipotle Crema to the zesty embrace of Cilantro Lime Sauce.

Variety of Sauces in a Plate

Let’s face it, a plate of enchiladas without the proper enchilada toppings is like a star without a sky. Consider this your constellation map to the silken galaxies of creamy sauce recipes. Dollops of fresh tomatillo salsa will add a tangy freshness to each bite, while a drizzle of chipotle-infused crema will lay down a smoky path of delicious decadence.

But why stop at one? Engage in a bit of flirtation with variety and offer your guests an opportunity to personalize their plate. Who knows—you might just find your new sauce soulmate. Prepare your palate because the symphony of sauces is about to begin:

  • Classic Cilantro Lime Sauce – A citrusy delight for a zestful kick
  • Delectable Chipotle Crema – Rich, smoky, and unapologetically indulgent
  • Verde Magic – A tangy tomatillo twist that packs a vibrant punch
  • Creamy Avocado Salsa – A smooth blend for those who favor the milder side of life

Now, you’re equipped with the saucy knowledge to create an enchanting evening of delectable enchiladas. Your guests will revel in the luxurious array of sauces that elevate your dish to gastronomic greatness. So go ahead, smother generously and savor every bite—it’s time to create your own sauce saga.

Innovative Healthy Alternatives to Classic Sides

Wave goodbye to the guilt often associated with savoring those robust enchilada flavors. Just because you’re craving that pillow-soft tortilla generously drenched in chili sauce, doesn’t mean your sides can’t be as health-conscious as they are delectable. Let’s swap out those heavy, nap-inducing beans and rice for lighter, though equally tantalizing, healthy sides.

Imagine this: the zesty kick of Octopus Ceviche dancing on your palate, or the earthy charm of a Couscous Corn Salad playing a symphony of flavors with each forkful. These healthy enchilada accompaniments are not just delightful; they’re a smart way to keep your meal on the lighter side without missing a beat on taste.

FiestaRolls garnished with chillies, olives and coriander

For the plant-based aficionados, rejoice! Your enchilada night can remain gloriously green with sides such as savory Instant Pot pinto beans or the punchy, protein-packed Southwest Chicken Salad—veritable proof that alternative side dishes can steal the show.

So, the next time your enchiladas beckon, answer the call with these fresh alternatives that promise to leave you feeling both satisfied and virtuous.

Classic Side DishHealthy AlternativeKey Health Benefit
Refried BeansInstant Pot Pinto BeansFiber-Rich & Lower Fat Content
Mexican RiceCouscous Corn SaladWhole Grain & Packed with Veggies
Heavy Cream SaucesCilantro Lime Greek Yogurt DressingLow in Calories & High in Protein
Rice & Cheese Stuffed PeppersQuinoa & Black Bean Stuffed PeppersComplete Protein & Gluten-Free

It’s all about the balance, my friend. You can have your enchilada and eat it too—alongside vibrant, innovative and healthy side dishes that maintain the spirit and joy of a true Mexican fiesta.

Thanks to these appetizing swaps, your wholesome feast will leave guests raving about the fabulous flavors—and they’ll never miss the heavy hitters. Who said health-conscious can’t be synonymous with mouthwatering?

Spicing Up Enchiladas Night with Unique Pairings

Ready to spice up enchiladas and transform your meal into an unforgettable fiesta? Think beyond the conventional and dive into a treasure trove of unique pairings that will create a symphony of flavors on your palate.

Imagine kicking things off with a Grilled Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita—a masterful blend of sweet and spicy that sets the stage for the bold flavors to come. Your taste buds will be dancing with anticipation for what’s next.

As you savor the layers of your lovingly crafted enchiladas, introduce them to the vibrant crunch of a Vinegar Coleslaw. This isn’t your average coleslaw; it’s a tangy sensation that cuts through the richness like a refreshing breeze.

Why stop there? Bring in a platter of blistered Shishito Peppers, each bite a gamble between sweet and a roulette wheel spin of heat. Your guests will be eager to reach for another, playing the delicious game of pepper roulette.

And for that grand finale, punctuate the meal with a vivid, tart Hibiscus Margarita. It’s the encore that will leave your guests applauding the night’s food pairings.

Here’s a snapshot of what your extraordinary enchilada night could look like:

BeverageSide DishExperience
Grilled Pineapple Jalapeno MargaritaVinegar ColeslawAn initial pop of excitement with a tangy zing.
Hibiscus MargaritaBlistered Shishito PeppersA thrilling finale with a chance of spice.
Spicy Enchiladas Pairings on the table

So go ahead, shake up your culinary tradition and revel in the joy of discovering new food pairings that will spice up your enchiladas night beyond the ordinary. Ready to raise the bar and become the stuff of legend among your friends? It’s all in the pairings!

Conclusion: Crafting Your Unforgettable Enchilada Night

As the evening winds down and the last bites of indulgent enchiladas are savored, you’ll find the success of your enchilada night lies in the symphony of sides and sauces that have danced alongside.

The hearty comfort of beans and rice, the punchy freshness of a well-concocted salsa, and the innovative twist of healthy alternatives have all chipped in to elevate a simple meal to the status of an unforgettable meal.

It’s this thoughtful harmony of flavors and textures that transforms your Mexican feast into more than just dinner—it’s a culinary event that tantalizes the senses and gathers smiles around the table.

With each dish artfully chosen to complement your scrumptious enchiladas, you’ve ensured that every guest can find their perfect match in taste and nutrition. The vibrant colors on their plates are not just a feast for the eyes but a promise of the zesty, robust flavors to come.

Every element—from the spicy kick of a well-seasoned side to the creamy coolness of a rich sauce—works in unison, ensuring that the palate never tires and the belly is always satisfied.

So as you bask in the afterglow of this Mexican feast, remember that it’s your keen eye for balance and your brave forays into creative pairings that have set this enchilada night apart. You’ve curated not just a meal, but an experience—a blend of tradition and innovation that’s sure to resonate with your guests long after they’ve departed.

Here’s to many more nights filled with the warmth of good company and the unbridled joy of a well-crafted enchilada.


What are some essential enchilada recipes for a Cinco de Mayo celebration?

Look no further than Cooking Chat’s roundup for crowd-pleasing options like Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas or Green Chicken Enchiladas. They’re sure to spice up your fiesta!

How do I pick the right side dishes to go with my Mexican meal?

When planning your Mexican food extravaganza, aim for a mix of tasty sides that offer different textures and flavors to balance the heartiness of your enchiladas. Beans, rice, fresh salads, and a dollop of guacamole should do the trick!

Can you give me a rundown on traditional Mexican rice and refried beans recipes?

Ah, the comfort duo! Try a fragrant Rice Cooker Mexican Rice or get a little cheeky with a copycat Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice. And don’t forget the classic refried beans – they’re always a hit, especially when made in an Instant Pot (on Amazon) for extra convenience!

What are the best sides for enchiladas if I want to keep things interesting?

Keep the crowd on their toes with variations like Mexican Corn Soup or a sassy Vinegar Coleslaw. Throw in some tortilla chips and a cheeky margarita, and you’ve got yourself an enchilada accompaniments fiesta!

What types of fresh salads and vibrant slaws pair well with enchiladas?

Enchiladas love a good sidekick. Opt for colorful Southwestern Salads dotted with black beans and corn or a Crispy Red Cabbage Slaw that punches above its weight in flavor. And don’t sleep on that Refreshing Jicama and Carrot Salad; it’s the fresh twist your plate deserves!

Any tips for serving vegetable sides that are both hearty and healthy?

Absolutely! Roast up some Mexican carrots or elote-style corn to add some warmth. For a touch of whimsy, give Shishito peppers a blister for a smoky bite. Adding veggies makes your enchilada sides both nutrient-packed and downright delicious.

What makes the ultimate Mexican appetizers to start an enchilada night?

Kick things off with homemade guacamole and salsa – it’s like the opening act for your taste buds. Then heat things up with a molten symphony of a spicy cheese dip. Pair with authentic, seasoned tortilla chips and you have a warm-up worthy of the main show!

How do I choose between corn and wheat tortillas for my enchiladas?

Think of it as a grain debate. Corn tortillas bring an authentic texture and are glorious gluten-free, while wheat tortillas are soft and cuddly and play nicely with various fillings. Match your tortillas to your guests’ preferences and the nature of your enchilada wraps!

Can you suggest some creamy sauce recipes that go well with enchiladas?

You bet! Drizzle some Chipotle Crema for a smokey affair, or delight in the zesty charm of a Cilantro Lime Sauce. Experimenting with Mexican sauces can turn your enchiladas from ‘meh’ to ‘fiesta!’ faster than you can say “Ándale!”

What are some healthy enchilada accompaniments that don’t skimp on flavor?

No need to dull the sparkle of your soiree with bland sides. Amp up the healthitude with a zingy Couscous Corn Salad or a sultry Instant Pot (on Amazon) pinto beans dish. These alternative side dishes keep your meal on the lighter side with a big: Hi-five to flavor town!

How can I spice up enchilada night with unique food pairings?

Dare to be different by pairing Grilled Pineapple Jalapeno Margaritas or a zippy Hibiscus Margarita with your meal. Surprise your guests with off-the-beaten-path sides like Vinegar Coleslaw or those darling Shishito Peppers for a unique pairing that’s both bold and beautiful.