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

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.78 stars
74
Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.

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.

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.

Orange & Avocado Salad

Rating: 4.75 stars
7
This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.

Chipotle-Cheddar Broiled Avocado Halves

Rating: 4.5 stars
5
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.

Mexican Pickled Carrots

Rating: 4.4 stars
6
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.

Nina's Mexican Rice

Rating: 4 stars
7
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
4
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.

Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles

Rating: 3.61 stars
7
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.

Mexican Pickled Tomatillos

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Chopped pickled tomatillos make a delicious garnish for tacos and quesadillas.

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Rating: 5 stars
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).
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Inspiration and Ideas

Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole
Rating: Unrated
10
Chiles and cheese turn mild summer squash into a zesty, satisfying casserole. The jalapenos make this dish quite hot; if you prefer a milder version, use a second can of diced green chiles instead.
Mexican Coleslaw
Rating: Unrated
9
Enjoy this crunchy, refreshing alternative to mayonnaise-based coleslaw on a taco or on the side.

Mexican Cornbread

This recipe takes cornbread to the next level with added spice from green chiles and cheesy Cheddar on top.