Side Dish Ideas to Go With Tacos

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Tacos are basically Mexican sandwiches consisting of a tortilla stuffed with meat, vegetables, cheese and sauce. Most tacos use fried corn tortillas, but soft tortillas and flour tortillas are also tasty choices. While tacos can be a full meal in themselves, serving a light side dish helps keep the family feast healthy and interesting.

Tacos with slice of lime
Tacos with slice of lime (Image: JB325/iStock/Getty Images)

Beans and Rice

Beans and rice make up two side dishes that provide well-rounded nutrition and turn a couple of small tacos into an entire meal. Warm refried beans, with or without a sprinkle of cheese, are easy to create. Simply open a can of beans, place them in a bowl and heat them in the microwave. Heat and mash black beans with a little sour cream to create a bean side dish with a new twist.

Mexican rice takes a little time, as you must cook the rice. The easiest method is to cook any type of white rice and stir in a little salsa. Cook the rice until soft and then simmer with a mixture of tomato, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno for a homestyle taste. To go truly traditional, you must lightly brown the uncooked rice in oil, throw the ingredients together, cover and bake until the rice is soft.

Spicy Mexican rice
Spicy Mexican rice (Image: MSPhotographic/iStock/Getty Images)

Fruit Salad

A refreshing fruit salad helps cool off your tongue after you eat a spicy taco. Stick with light flavors if you want to let the taco taste dominate your meal. Toss cut cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew together to create a delicately flavored salad. Combine green apples, red apples and green grapes for a light, tangy fruit salad. Mix cut mango, pineapple, strawberry and banana to offer a sweet side dish that helps offset spicy tacos.

Fruit salad
Fruit salad (Image: pilipphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Green Salad

While you may get a little lettuce, tomato and onion in your tacos, a vegetable-filled salad is a healthy way to balance out the fats and carbohydrates in the stuffed tortilla. Keep it simple with a shredded lettuce, sliced carrot and sliced tomato garden salad with vinaigrette dressing. Go for a southwest flare with shredded lettuce, diced avocado, diced tomato, sliced green onion, sliced black olives and sliced celery salad with a chipotle ranch dressing.

Avocado cut in half
Avocado cut in half (Image: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images)

Cut Vegetables

They may not look fancy, but a cut vegetable side dish adds a cool crunch to a taco dinner. Arrange carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber spears, pickle spears, cherry tomatoes and sliced bell peppers on a plate. Add a little dip if desired, such as salsa, sour cream or ranch salad dressing. Add radish roses, pickled banana peppers and pitted black olives to the vegetable plate to give it a gourmet twist.

Sliced carrot, celery, cucumber and red pepper
Sliced carrot, celery, cucumber and red pepper (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

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