What To Serve With Carnitas (8 Incredible Side Dishes)

When you’re planning a Mexican feast, what’s the first dish that comes to mind? For many people, it’s carnitas!

This delicious pork dish is perfect for any party or celebration. But what should you serve as a side dish?

There are endless possibilities, but we’ve narrowed it down to our favorites.

In this article, we’ll explain what to serve with carnitas and give you some recipes to get started!

What To Serve With Carnitas

  1. Chopped Mexican Salad
  2. Pico De Gallo
  3. Mexican Cornbread
  4. Mexican Guacamole
  5. Mexican Quinoa Salad
  6. Mexican Rice
  7. Mexican Street Corn
  8. Refried Beans

Chopped Mexican Salad

Chopped Mexican salad is a deliciously fresh and healthy way to round out any meal, but it pairs particularly well with carnitas.

The bright flavors of the cilantro, lime, and jalapeno balance out the richness of the pork, and the crunch of the veggies provides a pleasant contrast in texture.

Moreover, this salad is incredibly easy to make and can be on the table in just minutes. Simply chop up your favorite vegetables, mix them with a little lime juice and olive oil, and season to taste.

For an extra touch of flavor, you can add in some crumbled feta or queso fresco.

Pico De Gallo

Pico de gallo is a fresh and flavorful side dish that can add a touch of zest to any meal. While it is often used as a condiment for tacos or burritos, it can also be enjoyed as a standalone dish.

Pico de gallo is made with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeƱos, and is typically seasoned with salt, lime juice, and chili powder.

The brightness of the tomato base is complimented by the sharpness of the onions, while the cilantro adds a touch of herbaceousness.

The jalapeƱos provide just enough heat to give the pico de gallo some kick, but they can be omitted if you prefer a milder flavor profile.

Pico de gallo pairs well with carnitas, as the acidity of the tomatoes helps to cut through the richness of the pork.

The dish can also be served alongside grilled chicken or fish. For a heartier option, pico de gallo can be mixed with black beans or corn.

While it is traditionally served cold or at room temperature, pico de gallo can also be enjoyed warm.

Mexican Cornbread

Mexican cornbread is a versatile side dish that can be used with a variety of different recipes. Carnitas, in particular, are a perfect match for this savory treat.

The benefits of using Mexican cornbread as a side dish for carnitas include the fact that it is relatively easy to make, and it can be made ahead of time.

Additionally, the cornbread helps to soak up the juices from the carnitas, making them even more flavorful.

Mexican cornbread also has a nice crunchy texture that contrasts well with the tenderness of the carnitas.

When choosing a recipe for Mexican cornbread, be sure to select one that includes both cornmeal and flour, as this will give the cornbread the best texture.

Mexican Guacamole

Guacamole is a delicious side dish that can be used with many different recipes. It is especially good with carnitas, as it helps to balance out the richness of the meat.

Guacamole is made from avocado, tomato, onion, and lime juice, and it is relatively low in calories. It is also a good source of fiber and healthy fats.

One advantage of using guacamole as a side dish is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. This means that you can save time on last-minute meal preparation.

Additionally, guacamole is very versatile and can be used as a dip, spread, or topping. For example, you could use it as a dip for tortilla chips, or you could spread it on a burrito.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican quinoa salad is a flavorful and nutritious side dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of main dishes. High in protein and fiber and also gluten-free, quinoa is a healthy grain that can help to boost energy levels and promote digestion.

This salad also contains a variety of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

The bold flavors of the quinoa are balanced by the brightness of the lime juice, making it a delicious and versatile side dish.

Mexican quinoa salad can be enjoyed with carnitas, tacos, or enchiladas. It can also be served as a standalone dish or paired with a soup or salad. For a heartier meal, add black beans or shredded chicken to the salad.

Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is a delicious and versatile side dish that can be used with a variety of different meals. Carnitas are a traditional Mexican dish made with slow-cooked pork, and they pair perfectly with a hearty serving of rice.

The rice helps to soak up the rich flavors of the carnitas, and it also adds a nice dose of vegetables and fiber to the meal.

Mexican rice is also a great choice for other dishes like tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. It can be made ahead of time and reheated, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights.

Plus, it’s a budget-friendly option that will save you money on your grocery bill.

Mexican Street Corn

Mexican street corn is a delicious and nutritious side dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of different main dishes. Carnitas, in particular, pairs extremely well with this flavorful side.

Mexican street corn is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any meal. Additionally, the sweetness of the corn helps to offset the rich flavor of the carnitas, creating a perfect balance of flavors.

This dish is also relatively simple to prepare, which makes it an ideal choice for busy weeknight dinners.

When served with warm tortillas and a simple green salad, Mexican street corn makes an excellent and hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy.

Refried Beans

There are many cases in which refried beans can be used as a side dish for carnitas.

First, refried beans offer a delicious and hearty option for those who are looking for a filling meal.

Additionally, refried beans are relatively inexpensive, making them a great choice for budget-minded home cooks. Refried beans also compare favorably to other side dishes because they are flavorful, affordable, and easy to prepare.

Finally, refried beans can be easily prepared in advance, making them a convenient option for busy weeknight dinners.

There are many benefits to using refried beans as a side dish for carnitas. Refried beans pair well with the rich flavor of carnitas, and they can help to stretch the meat farther.

Moreover, refried beans add a boost of protein and fiber to the meal, making it a more complete and balanced dish.

There are many recipes or things that refried beans are suitable to be used with. For example, refried beans can be used as a filling for tacos or burritos.

They can also be served alongside rice and vegetables. Or, they can be simply spooned on top of carnitas before serving.

Commonly Asked Questions When Choosing What To Serve With Carnitas

What are some good side dishes for carnitas?

There are many delicious and nutritious side dishes that pair well with carnitas. Some of our favorites include Mexican rice, refried beans, Mexican street corn, and quinoa salad.

What is the best way to serve carnitas?

Carnitas can be served in a variety of ways. They can be enjoyed on their own, or they can be served with warm tortillas, rice, beans, and a simple green salad.

How do I make carnitas?

Carnitas are traditionally made by slow-cooking pork in a mixture of water, spices, and orange juice. However, there are many different recipes available online.

What is the difference between carnitas and pulled pork?

Carnitas are made with pork that has been slow-cooked in a mixture of water, spices, and orange juice.

Pulled pork is made with pork that has been slow-cooked in a BBQ sauce. Both dishes are delicious, but they have different flavors.


Carnitas are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

When thinking about your next meal, be sure to consider what side dishes will pair well with carnitas.

With a little bit of planning, you can create a delicious and balanced meal that the whole family will enjoy.

What To Serve With Carnitas (8 Incredible Side Dishes)

Here are 8 fantastic side dish ideas to round out your menu.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • Chopped Mexican Salad
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Mexican Cornbread
  • Mexican Guacamole
  • Mexican Quinoa Salad
  • Mexican Rice
  • Mexican Street Corn
  • Refried Beans


  • Choose your preferred recipe
  • Prepare the ingredients needed to complete the recipe
  • Prepare your side dish
Keyword Carnitas