What to Serve with Tamales: 10 Finest Sides


Quick Answer: What to Serve with Tamales?

The finest side dishes that you can serve with Tamales are- Cilantro Rice, Black Bean Soup, Corn Chowder, Jicama Slaw, Avocado Salad, Mexican Street Corn, Fried Eggs And Spicy Salsa, Mexican Crema, Fried Plantains and Guacamole.

In this post, we are going to throw light on the finest Mexican side dishes that you can pair with an ultimate Mexican delight, Tamales.

I have personally tried my hand at these recipes and these delish and complementing sides are sure to make your tamales truly shine.

Let’s get started!

1. Cilantro Rice

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 267
Total preparation time– 35 min

Rice is a Mexican staple and it pairs perfectly with Tamales, especially when stuffed with meat.

This luscious and flavorful home-made Cilantro Lime Rice recipe tastes way better than your favourite restaurants.

While water works fine for the recipe, if available, we recommend cooking your rice in stock or broth to take them up a few notches in the flavor department.

When the rice is cooked, scatter the zesty lime juice, jalapenos and some fresh cilantro on top.

Check out how to make the perfect cilantro rice here:

2. Black Bean Soup

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 47
Total preparation time– 45 min

Nothing could be better than a side of simple and healthy soup which packs a punch of subtle flavors and seasonings.

This soup is made with canned black beans and a couple of other everyday ingredients.

A majority of Mexican food toppings would taste good on black bean soup be it home-made tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream or chives!

Here’s a quick and easy soup recipe by Tasty:

3. Corn Chowder

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 99
Total preparation time– 40 min

The freshness and creamy richness of Corn Chowder makes it a great fit with Tamales.

Prepared with simple pantry staples including corn, potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, bacon, chicken broth, milk and cayenne pepper; this rich soup is memorable in every single bite.

Once the corn stalk is made, sauté the bacon along with other veggies in the grease until tender.

Add fresh corn kernels and potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Here’s how The Stay at Home Chef makes this luscious soup:

4. Jicama Slaw

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 46
Total preparation time– 35 min

Jicama Slaw is a healthy, crunchy and light salad packed with shredded veggies and tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.

The sweet and starchy flavor of jicama will seamlessly complement the savory tamales.

Moreover, the crunchy texture serves as a good contrast to those spongy Mexican delights.

Place all the veggies for the slaw in a large bowl and whisk together with the dressing ingredients.

Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and chili powder. You can even chop some cilantro leaves and use them for garnishing.

Here’s how Food Wishes makes the Jicama slaw:

5. Avocado Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 106
Total preparation time– 15 min

A side of rich, creamy and nutritious avocado salad is the best fit for your tamales.

It is infused with the goodness of tomatoes and onions and covered in a tangy lemon dressing.

If you want some smokiness in the salad, just add smoked paprika and you are good to go. You can also substitute it with red chili powder.

Pro tip- Always use ripe avocados for salad to get the finest taste and texture.

Check out this quick and refreshing salad recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen:

6. Mexican Street Corn

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 118
Total preparation time– 20 min

Mexican Street Corn or Elote is nothing but grilled corn on the cob but brimming with extra flavors and goodness.

Sweet, tangy, spicy and savory- you can expect all these flavors at once.

This famous Mexican street snack is made with fresh corn kernels and is slathered with mayonnaise.

It is then seasoned with chili powder and coated with fresh lime juice.

You can also sprinkle Cotija cheese and some fresh cilantro for garnishing.

Check out this easy appetizing elote recipe:

7. Fried Eggs And Spicy Salsa

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 120
Total preparation time– 20 min

A simple mix of fried eggs and salsa can give a notch to your tamales.

Place fried eggs on top of each tamale and pair it with some spicy salsa.

You can either buy the salsa from a store or prepare it at home using tomatoes, jalapeno, onions, cumin, garlic and other spices including chili flakes, oregano or cayenne powder.

8. Mexican Crema

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 200
Total preparation time-24 h

This thick and tangy Mexican crema will add just the right touch of creamy richness to those tamales.

Plus, it also helps in toning down the smoky chili flavors used in Mexican cuisine.

To prepare this at home, you just need 4 ingredients- heavy cream, lime juice, buttermilk and salt.

Super easy!

The longer it sets in the fridge, the thicker it gets and the better it tastes! However, if it gets too thick for your liking, mix in a splash of lime juice before you serve the crema and that’s it!

Check out this simple crema recipe:

9. Fried Plantains

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 122
Total preparation time– 15 min

Fried plantains have a crisp texture and taste irresistibly sweet. Hence, it is only fitting to serve them next to savory tamales.

They complement their flavors so well that your guests will be left tantalized at every bite.

They key to ace this recipe is choosing ripe fruit and using the right pan, heat and oil. A ripe plantain’s skin is usually black or a dull yellow in color with black patches. Not only do they peel easily but also cook in no time.

Here’s how you can make extra-crispy fried plantains at home:

10. Guacamole

Total calories (per 100 gm)– 157
Total preparation time– 10 min

This light and downright delicious Mexican delicacy is a unique but perfectly fitting side to Tamales.

It provides a contrast to the smoky flavor and adds an extra richness to your tamales meal.

It comes together in no time and makes use of easily handy pantry ingredients- ripe avocados, onions, garlic, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, chili, lemon and herbs.

We recommend using black salt for seasoning as it gives an almost eggy taste with hint of sulfur. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before you serve this creamy guacamole dip!

Check out this quick recipe by Inspired Taste:

Bottom Line

We expect that this complete serving guide on what to side with savory tamales has been of help. These incredibly delectable sides come with their own flavors and textures so do try them all!

Additionally, if you have any tips or suggestions for us, do let us know below.

Don’t forget to share these finest side dish recipes with your friends and family!

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.