Growing up, tamales were a staple at every family gathering. My grandma would make them for all of the special occasions: Christmas, Easter, and Cinco de Mayo.
She had her own special recipe that she passed down to my mom, and now my mom makes them for us every year.
What’s not to love about these little packets of deliciousness? They’re portable, versatile, and perfect for any occasion.
I love that tamales can be made with different fillings and toppings, so there’s always something for everyone.
If you’re looking for some ideas on what to serve with your next batch of tamales, look no further! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite side dishes and some tips and tricks for making them.
So whether you’re looking for something healthy or decadent, we’ve covered you!
Sides for Tamales
- Avocado Salad
- Pico de gallo
- Salsa Verde
- Frijoles Negros
- Fried Plantains (Plátanos Fritos)
- Arroz Borracho (Beer Steamed Yellow Rice)
- Rice and Beans
- Easy Mexican Rice
- Cabbage Salad
There’s nothing that goes better with tamales than guacamole. It’s creamy, flavorful, and has the perfect amount of spice.
I like to make mine with fresh avocado, diced tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño peppers.
It’s so simple to make, and it’s always a hit! This is the perfect dish to serve if you’re looking for something healthy and flavorful.
It balances the spicy taste of tamale and provides a rich flavor to your meal without adding extra calories or ruining that nice light feeling you get from eating this Mexican specialty.
To make it ahead of time, simply dice all of the ingredients and mix them together. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
It’s the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or BBQ because it’s so light and refreshing. And, of course, it goes great with tamales! This is how to make the avocado salad:
- Diced avocado
- Diced tomatoes
- Finely diced red onion
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Juice of one lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! This salad is so easy to make, and it’s always a hit.
When an avocado salad is served as a tamale side dish, the tastes of both dishes combine to provide an exciting and delectable dinner. This is due to the fact that tamales are prepared with corn dough, which complements avocados.
Pico de Gallo
I don’t know if you’ve ever had pico de Gallo, but it’s one of my favorite things in the world. It’s a fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño peppers.
It’s so simple to make, and it goes great with tamales. If you’re looking for something to give your tamales a little extra flavor, pico de gallo is the way to go.
To make it, simply dice all of the ingredients and mix them together in a medium bowl. Proceed to the season with salt and pepper.
Pico de gallo is best when served fresh, so try to make it right before you’re ready to eat. Pico de gallo is a healthier and tastier option that will liven up your next meal. It is also a much-needed diversion from the tired rice and beans often served as sides.
My mom’s favorite salsa is salsa verde or green salsa. It’s made with tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
It has a fresh and flavorful taste that goes great with tamales. If you’re looking for something to give your tamales a little extra flavor, salsa verde is the way to go.
All you need is to roast the tomatillos and jalapeño peppers on a comal or in the oven until they’re blackened.
Then, add them to a blender with the onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you blend until it’s smooth.
Salsa verde is best when served fresh, so try to make it right before you’re ready to eat.
This salsa is a great way to add some extra flavor to your tamales. It’s perfect for those who like their tamales on the spicier side. The salsa verde adds a nice smoky flavor to the dish without being too overwhelming.
Whenever I tell people that frijoles negros are my favorite food, they always look at me like I’m crazy.
I don’t care, though, because frijoles negros are amazing. They’re black beans that have been simmered with onions, garlic, and spices.
The result is a rich and flavorful dish that goes great with tamales.
If you’re looking for a hearty and filling side dish, frijoles negros are the way to go. They’re also healthy and packed with nutrients.
To make them, simply simmer the black beans in water with the onions, garlic, and spices until they’re soft. Then, mash them up slightly with a potato masher or a fork.
This dish is perfect for those who want a hearty and filling meal. It’s also healthy and packed with nutrients.
What we call ‘plátanos fritos’ is something that is often served as a side dish in Latin American cuisine. They are ripe plantains that have been fried until they’re golden brown and soft on the inside.
Plantains are starchy fruit, so they make a great side dish for tamales. They are easy to make. Just fry the ripe plantains in oil until they’re golden brown and soft on the inside.
Then, remove them from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel. This dish is perfect for those who want a sweet and savory side dish. The plantains are a great source of carbohydrates and they add a unique flavor to the tamales.
This dish is an ideal weeknight supper since it comes together in less than 20 minutes and tastes fantastic! In fact, this combination might well be the best of them all!
This dish is what you may know as beer-steamed yellow rice or ‘drunken rice.’
It’s a traditional Spanish dish that is made with short-grain rice, saffron, chicken broth, and beer.
The result is a flavorful and slightly sweet dish that goes great with tamales.
Arroz borracho is best when served fresh, so try to make it right before you’re ready to eat. It is an excellent choice for those who want a flavorful and slightly sweet side dish. It’s also healthy and low in calories.
Rice and Beans
I know, I know. Rice and beans are so boring. But they’re also a classic side dish that goes great with tamales.
If you’re looking for something simple and familiar, rice and beans are the way to go. They’re also healthy and packed with nutrients.
All you need to do is cook the rice and beans in water until they’re soft. Then, mash them up slightly with a potato masher or a fork.
If you want a simple and familiar side dish, I’m sure you’ll want to stick to this. That’s alright. It’s also packed with nutrients. So, great choice!
Easy Mexican Rice
This dish is similar to rice and beans, but it’s a little more flavorful. It’s made with white rice, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices. The result is a delicious and fragrant dish that goes great with tamales.
To make this dish, simply cook the white rice in water with the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices until it’s soft.
Then, remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the flavors. Easy Mexican rice is best when served fresh, so try to make it right before you’re ready to eat.
What’s more? It is perfect for those who want a delicious and fragrant side dish.
Last but not least, cabbage salad is a refreshing and healthy side dish that goes great with tamales.
It’s made with shredded cabbage, carrots, onions, and a dressing of your choice. I like to use a vinaigrette or a light ranch dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What sauce can I eat with tamales?
The best sauce to eat with tamales is a simple salsa made with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. You can also use a hot sauce or mole sauce.
What should I drink with tamales?
A cold beer or horchata is the perfect drink to pair with tamales. If you’re serving tamales for breakfast or brunch, try a mimosa or bloody mary.
How long do tamales last?
Tamales will last in the fridge for up to four days. You can also freeze them for up to three months.
Thanks for reading to the end. I want to wrap up this article by saying that there are many different dishes that go great with tamales. It really depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want something simple and familiar, rice and beans are the way to go. If you’re looking for something a little more flavorful, try easy Mexican rice or cabbage salad.
No matter what you choose, I’m sure you’ll find a dish that you love.