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: 5 stars 76
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Tortilla Bowls

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
In this homemade taco bowl recipe, we show you how to make corn tortilla bowls using the underside of a muffin tin as a mold and baking them to create individual taco serving bowls.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Orange & Avocado Salad

Rating: 5 stars 7
This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Mexican Pickled Carrots

Rating: 4.5 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.
By April McGreger

Pico de Gallo

Rating: 4 stars 2
This easy, fresh tomato salsa is delicious on tacos, tostadas or simply served with tortilla chips. Since the heat of jalapeños varies, start with one, taste, then add more if you want it hotter. For a sweet-tangy variation, add about 1 cup diced fresh fruit, such as pineapple, mango or peach.
Bruce Aidells
By Bruce Aidells

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Nina's Mexican Rice

Rating: 4.5 stars 7
The key to nutty and flavorful Mexican rice is cooking the rice first in oil until it is nicely golden.
Bruce Aidells
By Bruce Aidells

Roasted Corn, Black Bean & Mango Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 16
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.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

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.
By Roberto Santibañez

Mexican Cornbread

Rating: 5 stars 1
This recipe takes cornbread to the next level with added spice from green chiles and cheesy Cheddar on top.
By Stephanie Olson

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).
By Carolyn Casner
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Inspiration and Ideas

Spiced Pinto Beans
Rating: Unrated 7
Any leftover beans would work in this quick side dish.
Calabacitas de Tapachula (Zucchini & Corn in Poblano Sauce)
Mexicans prepare the trio of corn, zucchini and poblanos in every possible way, from soups and stews to quick sides like this one from the city of Tapachula in Chiapas. In this recipe, adapted from Treasures of the Mexican Table by Pati Jinich, a mixture of zucchini and corn is enveloped in a creamy poblano sauce. Think of it as a Mexican version of ratatouille, but with more texture and much quicker to make. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini, and keep the corn crunchy.