Healthy Mexican Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Mexican side dish recipes including Mexican beans, rice and vegetables. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Slow-Cooker Quinoa-Summer Squash Casserole

Rating: 4.18 stars
3
As this layered slow-cooker squash casserole recipe cooks, the liquid from the tangy tomatillo salsa and summer squash is absorbed by the quinoa, adding tons of flavor to the final dish.

Taco Bowls

Rating: 4.33 stars
2
In this homemade taco bowl recipe, we show you how to make a taco bowl with a corn tortilla using the underside of a muffin tin as a mold and then baking it to create cute little taco serving bowls.

Chipotle-Cheddar Broiled Avocado Halves

Rating: 4.5 stars
4
In this avocado side-dish recipe, zesty avocado halves are topped with melted Cheddar cheese and broiled until golden brown. You can serve these healthy avocado halves as a side dish with grilled chicken or steak.

Orange & Avocado Salad

Rating: 4.75 stars
5
This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.

Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Rating: 5 stars
1
Protein-rich quinoa makes a satisfying layer in this easy Mexican casserole recipe. If you want to make this dish vegetarian, beans are a nice swap for the chicken. Serve with a green salad tossed with an oregano vinaigrette.

Nina's Mexican Rice

Rating: 4 stars
6
The key to nutty and flavorful Mexican rice is cooking the rice first in oil until it is nicely golden.

8-Layer Taco Salad

Rating: 4 stars
3
This gorgeous and colorful 8-layer taco salad recipe is made healthier by using ground turkey in place of beef, adding Greek yogurt and bumping up the amount of vegetables. Serve this salad in a clear glass bowl and you'll have an eye-catching party-worthy dinner or potluck side in just 30 minutes.

Mexican Coleslaw

Rating: 3.84 stars
8
Enjoy this crunchy, refreshing alternative to mayonnaise-based coleslaw on a taco or on the side.

Mexican Pickled Carrots

Rating: 4.4 stars
5
This Mexican-style pickled carrot recipe is great for topping tacos, tostadas and/or quesadillas or as a side to any South-of-the-border entrée. These spicy carrots are also delicious added to a bowl of soup or tossed with spring greens, feta cheese and just a drizzle of olive oil.

Roasted Corn, Black Bean & Mango Salad

Rating: 4.71 stars
10
This simple, fresh-tasting salad adds delicious variety to grilled foods, such as salmon, halibut, chicken or pork. Browning the corn in a skillet gives it a nutty, caramelized flavor that contrasts with the sweetness of the mango.

Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles

Rating: 3.61 stars
5
Everyone gets an individual portion with this vegetarian, Tex-Mex mini casserole. A normal-size casserole like this would take close to an hour to bake--these are ready in half the time. Heatproof ramekins are a cook's best friend--we use them all the time to hold ingredients while cooking. You can buy them at most grocery stores.

Roasted Poblano Chiles with Onion Rajas

Rating: 5 stars
1
This chunky Mexican side dish recipe for rajas, which literally means “strips” in Spanish, is a perfect side to grilled steak or chicken. It's also fantastic as a taco topper or stirred into scrambled eggs.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Rating: Unrated
1
Nothing beats the taste of freshly griddled corn tortillas! They are easy to make, but you do need masa harina, which is available in Latin American markets and large supermarkets. Masa harina is made from corn kernels that are dried, treated with lime and then ground into a fresh dough. The dough is dried and ground into a powder to make masa harina (which means dough flour).

EatingWell Crispy Taco Shells

Rating: Unrated
2
Surprisingly easy and far better-tasting than store-bought taco shells.

Spiced Pinto Beans

Rating: 4 stars
3

Any leftover beans would work in this quick side dish.