15 Side Dishes That Complement Tamales –Pairing Perfection

Tamales, Mexican Cuisine

Tamales are a beloved Mexican cuisine that no man can deny. Owing to its rich texture, flavors, and taste, it is a dish that can grace different occasions and serve as a staple for regular lunches and dinners. But Tamales taste their best when accompanied with side dishes.

Want to know how you can take your Tamale experience to the next level? Here we pen down the top 15 flavorful picks that can be enjoyed with tamales:

Spanish Rice

Rice complements almost any dish and tastes particularly delicious and delightful, especially with this restaurant-style Spanish rice recipe. This recipe may take about 40 minutes to cook completely, and you can get other sides ready during that period. If you want a classic Mexican feast, serve this dish alongside tamales!

Roasted potatoes

Potatoes are loved by everyone. From some major dishes to sides such as french fries, potatoes are used differently. Season the roasted potatoes before using it as a side dish with Tamales.

Grilled corn

Grilled corn hits differently when served with Tamales and is a perfect summer staple that is easy to prepare at home. You can also consider buying it from a cart to enjoy classic street-cooked corn. And, if you are someone who loves to experiment, you can try grilling Mexican corn at home in your own version to enjoy with Tamales.

Cilantro Lime Rice

If you like to savor tangy rice, then cilantro lime rice is one of the best things you can try as a side with Tamales. Also known as the copycat of Chipotle, this zesty recipe will elevate the taste and flavor of an ordinary bowl of rice.

Cilantro lime paired with tamales serves as a great side dish for Tamales. Especially if you have cooked chicken tamales, cilantro lime rice will taste super awesome alongside amping the flavors.


Guacamole, also known as avocados, is a great fruit consumed widely in the US. Besides being a party dip, you can also use it as a topping or side for your Tamales. Ripe avocados and a handful of flavored mix-ins can be used in different variations with pineapples, strawberries, watermelons, peaches, and mangoes to get creative with guacamoles.

Fried Avocado

If you want to try something beyond guacamoles, try making this fried avocado recipe and serve it with a spicy cilantro lime to give a tangy treat to your taste buds. These crispy avocados fried to perfection are a great alternative to be served with Tamales and are a delicious snack that you can feast on anytime.

It can serve as a perfect snack for special occasions and can also be used as a side dish for lunch, breakfast, and dinner and tastes superb with Tamales.

Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo is an all-time popular Mexican dip that can instantly add flavor to Tamales. Try this easy and delicious Pico De Gallo recipe that is loaded with cilantro, onion, tomatoes, lime juice, and jalapenos to savor authentic Mexican salsa.

It is a traditional dish that turns out to be a great side dish for Tamales. It is irresistible, and we bet that it will disappear quickly from your platter once you start eating it with Tamales.

Brown rice

If you are looking for a healthy alternative to rice to serve with Tamales, this brown rice recipe is healthy, quick-cooking, and easy to prepare. This easy stovetop-cooked brown rice is light, fluffy, and great to be served with Tamales.

The nutty and earthly flavors of brown rice coupled with Tamales serve as a great lunch and dinner option. Not only is this dish tasty but healthy, too, as it is power-packed with nutrients and fibers.

Mexican street corn

If you are looking forward to preparing a flavorful side dish to serve alongside Tamales, there can be nothing better than Mexican street corn. The best part is that Mexican street corn can be prepared within a few quick minutes and can be made using canned, frozen, cob, and even sweet corn.


On a cold, chilly day, there can be nothing greater than eating Tamales with Menudo. This hot and spicy side dish is a great weekend dish to be enjoyed with Tamales.

Refried beans

The refried beans recipe is an amazing side dish that can be served with Tamales and requires some basic ingredients such as cilantro, garlic, canned beans, onions, and other seasonings. Beans usually take a long time to cook, but this recipe will not take you more than 30 minutes. These beans can be served in full glory with Tamales to have a vegan protein-rich meal.

Charro Beans

If you want to try something other than refried beans, you can make friends with Charro beans, which is a delicious side dish for Tamales.

Also known as Mexico cowboy beans, you can prepare a flavorful dish out of Charro beans by introducing garlic, onions, ham, tomatoes, pepper, and other spices in the broth. It is a hearty side dish that makes the most amazing bowl of Mexican food.

Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno poppers

Bacon wrapped Jalapeno poppers are a classic side dish that is spicy, creamy, and loaded with cheese. Sticky fingers and crispy perfection are what you can call these cheesy party platters. These jalapeno poppers will make you crave more.

Thus, make sure that you prepare enough batches of these poppers because they are sure to disappear from the table quickly.  Besides serving as a perfect party appetizer, it tastes great when served with Tamales.

Black bean soup

If you like black beans, then one of the popular side dishes is the black bean soup, which is easy to prepare and tastes incredibly delicious when taken with Tamales. It is a filling dish with natural powerhouses as the main ingredient.

It can be prepared quickly when you plan on cooking but cannot decide what to cook. Basically, it is a dish that involves no thinking and deserves all the credit.

Flour Tortillas

A great Mexican dinner is incomplete without Tortillas and tastes exceptionally delicious with Tamales. Try making fresh homemade tortillas with authentic ingredients to enjoy soft, fluffy, and tasty tortillas with Tamales. If you are looking for quality and fresh tortillas, you can also consider buying them from stores that sell fresh tortillas.