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: Unrated
55
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: Unrated
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.

Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles

Rating: Unrated
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.

Chipotle-Cheddar Broiled Avocado Halves

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

Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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

Slow-Cooker Quinoa-Summer Squash Casserole

Rating: Unrated
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.

EatingWell Crispy Taco Shells

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

Roasted Poblano Chiles with Onion Rajas

Rating: Unrated
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.

Inspiration and Ideas

Mexican Black Beans (Frijoles Negros con Hoja de Aguacate)

Rating: Unrated
2
This authentic Mexican black bean recipe uses avocado leaves to add a flavor reminiscent of anise. If you don't have a Latin market in your area you'll likely have to go online, though it's worth it. But even if you leave them out, you'll still have an awesome pot of healthy black beans.

Mexican Potato Omelet

Rating: Unrated
2
Whip up this simple, tasty omelet on those nights when it seems the refrigerator is bare. Frozen hash browns are perfect for such occasions--just look for a brand with little or no fat. And while the cheese adds some fat, it also provides almost a third of your daily calcium needs.

Spinach Salad with Avocado-Ranch Dressing

Rating: Unrated
2

This healthy spinach salad recipe uses one avocado two ways: half goes into a healthy creamy ranch dressing and the other half of the avocado gets chopped to top the spinach salad.