What To Serve With Spanish Rice: 10 Best Side Dishes

When you’re making Spanish rice, what do you serve as a side dish? Do you just reach for the nearest bag of potato chips?

If so, it’s time to start thinking outside the box! Many delicious side dishes can be made to go with Spanish rice.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of our favorites. We’ll give you recipes for some easy side dishes that will compliment your Spanish rice perfectly!

What To Serve With Spanish Rice

  1. Carnitas
  2. Chicken Tacos
  3. Fajitas
  4. Baked Potatoes
  5. Green Beans
  6. Chips And Salsa
  7. Coleslaw
  8. Refried Beans
  9. Chimichanga
  10. Guacamole


Carnitas, or slow-roasted pork, makes an excellent side dish for Spanish rice. The two dishes share many common flavors, including onions, garlic, and cumin.

Carnitas also adds a richness and depth of flavor that can elevate a simple dish of rice to new heights. In addition, the slow-roasting process gives the pork a tender, succulent texture that pairs perfectly with the fluffy rice.

When selecting a recipe for carnitas, be sure to choose one that includes plenty of onions and garlic. These two ingredients are key to unlocking the flavor of the dish.

For a truly authentic experience, try cooking the carnitas in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot. This will help to prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan and ensure evenly cooked carnitas every time.

Chicken Tacos

Chicken tacos are a great side dish to have with Spanish rice. Spanish rice is a very versatile dish, so it can be served with a variety of different foods.

Chicken tacos go well with Spanish rice because they provide a protein-rich option that can help to round out the meal. Chicken tacos are also packed with flavor, which can help to elevate the overall dish.

When pairing chicken tacos with Spanish rice, it is important to consider how the flavors will work together. The spice from the chicken tacos can complement the savory flavors in Spanish rice.

Additionally, the chicken taco filling can help to add texture and body to the dish.


One of my personal favorite side dishes is fajitas. The combination of grilled meat and vegetables, all wrapped up in a soft tortilla, is the perfect complement to the rich flavor of Spanish rice.

Not only does it add a boost of protein and fiber, but it also gives the dish a nice crunch. And for those who are watching their waistlines, fajitas can easily be made into a healthy option by avoiding high-fat toppings like sour cream and cheese.

Baked Potatoes

A baked potato is the perfect side dish for Spanish rice. First of all, it’s a great way to add some extra nutrients to your meal.

Baked potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which is essential for proper nerve and muscle function. They’re also a good source of fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Additionally, baked potatoes have a mild, neutral flavor that won’t overpower the other dishes on your plate.

And finally, they’re incredibly versatile – you can top them with anything from sour cream and cheese to grilled vegetables or salsa.

Green Beans

Green beans are a classic side dish that can be used in a variety of recipes. When paired with Spanish rice, they add a touch of color and flavor that can help to round out the meal.

Green beans are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal choice for those looking to increase their intake of essential nutrients.

Plus, they can be cooked in a variety of ways, so you can always find a way to prepare them that suits your taste.

Chips And Salsa

Chips and salsa is a classic side dish that can be used in a variety of recipes. Spanish rice is a perfect example of a dish that goes great with chips and salsa.

The benefits of using this side dish are numerous. For one, it adds a great deal of flavor to the dish. It also helps to absorb some of the excess moisture from the rice, preventing it from becoming soggy.

Additionally, the salsa provides a nice crunchy texture that compliments the softness of the rice.

Many different recipes are suitable for pairing with chips and salsa. Some examples include enchiladas, burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.

This side dish can also be used as a dip for tortilla chips or crackers. How it compares with other side dishes will depend on the recipe you choose to pair it with. However, in general, it is a hearty and filling side dish that is packed with flavor.


There are many cases where coleslaw makes an excellent side dish for Spanish rice. For one, coleslaw is packed with nutrients that can help to boost the health value of the meal.

Additionally, the cool, crisp texture of coleslaw provides a refreshing contrast to the warm, hearty flavors of Spanish rice. And, because coleslaw is so easy to prepare, it makes an ideal side dish for busy weeknight dinners.

There are endless possibilities for pairing coleslaw with Spanish rice – here are just a few ideas:

  • Try using coleslaw as a topping for Spanish rice enchiladas. The creamy dressing and crunchy vegetables will add tons of flavor and texture to your favorite enchilada recipe.
  • For a light and healthy lunch option, pair Spanish rice with a simple coleslaw salad. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal.
  • If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy Spanish rice leftovers, try making a coleslaw wrap. Add some chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese to your leftover rice, then roll it all up in a soft tortilla wrap.

Refried Beans

There are many cases in which refried beans can be used as a side dish for Spanish rice. For one, they provide a good source of protein and fiber.

Additionally, they help to round out the meal and add a bit of extra flavor. Additionally, refried beans can be used as a dipping sauce for chips or tortillas.

Lastly, they can also be used as a filling for burritos or tacos.


The chimichanga is a delicious side dish that can be used to complement many different recipes.

This dish is perfect for those who are looking for something a little different, as it offers a unique flavor that can enhance the overall taste of the meal.

There are many benefits to using the chimichanga as a side dish, as it is packed with nutrients and provides a great source of protein.

Additionally, the chimichanga is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. For example, it can be used as a filling for tacos or burritos, or it can be served on its own as an entree.


One great thing about guacamole is that it can be used as a side dish for Spanish rice.

This is because guacamole has a lot of flavors that can enhance the taste of Spanish rice. For example, guacamole can add a smoky flavor to Spanish rice.

Additionally, the guacamole can also add a creamy texture to the dish which can make it more enjoyable to eat. Furthermore, guacamole can also add some nutrients to the dish such as vitamins A and C.

FAQ When Choosing What To Serve With Spanish Rice

What is the difference between Mexican rice and Spanish rice?

The difference between Mexican rice and Spanish rice is that Spanish rice has a greater flavor, is more robust, and withstands longer cooking. Also, Spanish rice is firmer, has a stronger fragrance, and holds up better in dishes requiring extended cooking time. Meanwhile, Mexican rice is softer, has a milder scent, and is more delicate than Spanish rice. As per the nutritional value, it is nearly the same, but not quite.

What is a famous dish eaten in Spain with fish and rice?

A famous dish in Spain that is eaten with fish and rice is called Paella. It is a seafood dish that is made with shrimp, lobster, crab, calamari, and mussels. The rice is usually flavored with saffron. Paella is a very popular dish in Spain, and it can be found in many restaurants across the country.

Is Spanish rice healthy?

Yes, Spanish rice is a healthy option. It is low in calories and fat, and it is a good source of dietary fiber. Additionally, Spanish rice is packed with vitamins and minerals.

What is a good side dish for Spanish rice?

There are many good side dishes for Spanish rice. Some of the most popular include coleslaw, refried beans, and guacamole.

What is a healthy side dish for Spanish rice?

If you’re looking for a healthy side dish for Spanish rice, try using veggies like broccoli or carrots. You could also opt for a healthy salad or some fruit on the side.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a side dish for Spanish rice?

One of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a side dish for Spanish rice is not considering the overall flavor of the dish.

For example, if you’re serving a spicy Spanish rice dish, you’ll want to choose a side that can help cool things down. Additionally, it’s important to consider the nutrient content of the side dish and make sure it fits into your overall meal plan.


As you can see, many different side dishes can be served with Spanish rice.

Whether you’re looking for something healthy, flavorful, or both, there’s sure to be a side dish on this list that will suit your needs.

So, the next time you’re wondering what to serve with your Spanish rice, be sure to consider one of these options.

You won’t be disappointed!