Healthy Recipes




25 Healthy Sides for Tacos – From Corn to Rice

Traditional mexican pork tacos called "Al pastor" with pineapple on wooden background

25 Healthy Sides for Tacos – From Corn to Rice

Are you making tacos for dinner but looking for some delicious and healthy side dishes? From corn, rice, roasted veggies, and a variety of salads, there will be a recipe for you where you can enjoy all the great flavors of Mexican cuisine. Try any of these 25 healthy sides for tacos on your next taco night.

Spanish Rice

Spanish rice in a cast iron skillet
Spanish rice is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.


Making Spanish rice with your tacos will be a classic side dish. If you ever get tacos at a Mexican restaurant, it's likely they will come with rice and beans. This recipe will help you make delicious rice just like you can get from the restaurant. Please note that this recipe is intended to be a main dish with chicken added, but you can remove the chicken to make it a side. It's made with onions, green peppers, tomato sauce, garlic, and seasonings.


Organic Yellow Steamed Corn in a Bowl
Corn is popular because of its mild and sweet taste.

©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

This recipe is just about how you can make simple ol' corn. Making corn can be a great side for tacos if you're short on time. It's super easy to make but is delicious even without being done up. You can cook corn in a few different ways. You can boil it, roast it, or even microwave it.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

If you want to make your corn a little more fancy, try this spicy Mexican street corn salad. It's the perfect side dish to pair with tacos or even fajitas. And if you don't like spicy, don't worry, it can be made mild. It's made with corn, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, mayonnaise, fresco cheese, fresh lime juice, and seasonings.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Have you ever heard of cowboy caviar? That's what this black bean corn salsa is. It's super easy and just requires that you chop up some ingredients and mix them together with dressing and seasoning. It's made with black beans, corn, red onion, red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and seasonings.

Easy Cilantro Lime Slaw

This cilantro lime slaw recipe is super easy and can be ready in just 10 minutes. It's a light and fresh recipe that can work great as a side for tacos. It's also good to use on top of your tacos as well. The recipe calls for cole slaw mix, green onions, greek yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, fresh garlic, jalapeno, and seasonings.

Tomato Avocado Salad

Made with fresh ingredients, you'll want to make a lot of this tomato avocado salad because it can be addictive. This recipe is a cross between salsa and a salad and is a great summer side dish when all the vegetables are in season. It's made with tomatoes, avocado, red onion, cilantro, olive oil, lime, fresh garlic, and seasonings.

Quick and Easy Refried Beans

This is another staple recipe when you're making Mexican for dinner. These beans are super easy to make, and they are a healthier version of refried beans since technically these are not refried. This recipe is made with pinto beans, onions, fresh garlic, and seasonings.

Mexican Roasted Cauliflower

This Mexican roasted cauliflower recipe is great if you're looking for something that is paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and whole30-friendly. Cauliflower is a very healthy veggie, and this recipe will spice it up since cauliflower is very plain. You just need to mix up the cauliflower with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. Then, once it's cooked, you'll top it with cilantro, red onion, fresh lime juice, and avocado.

Roasted Mexican Zucchini

This roasted Mexican zucchini is great if you're looking for a low-carb side dish. It also pulls together rather quickly in just 20 minutes. Slice the zucchini and then mix it together with olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. Cook it in the oven for 15 minutes and serve it with cotija cheese, cilantro, and lime juice.

Fresh Mango Salsa with Avocado

This mango avocado salsa is a delicious, colorful, spicy, tangy, and fruity dish. It's easy to make and is loaded with nutrients. This is another great recipe to make in the Summer when the ingredients are in season. Mangos are in season during the hot Summer months. This recipe calls for mango, avocado, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, fresh garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper.

Kicked Up Black Beans

If you want to make sure your black beans are full of flavor, this easy kicked-up skillet black bean recipe is for you. It's made with onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, chicken broth, and lime juice. First, cook the veggies in the skillet, then stir in the beans and the broth. Bring it all to a boil, and then reduce the heat for it to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Finish it off with lime juice and fresh cilantro.

Mexican Street Style Roasted Carrots

These Mexican street-style roasted carrots are delicious. Besides being coated with spices, these carrots are served with a cilantro lime crema. First, season the carrots with cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. While those roast in the oven, make the cilantro lime crema by mixing Greek yogurt or sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, fresh garlic, cilantro, and cotija cheese.

Black Bean Taco Salad

This black bean taco salad is loaded with veggies and topped with a cream salsa dressing. Mix together some romaine lettuce, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, green onion, cheddar cheese, and crushed tortilla chips. The dressing is made of sour cream, red salsa, cumin, lime, and salt. This recipe can be ready in under 30 minutes.

Mexican Street Corn Brussels Sprouts

These Mexican street corn brussels sprouts are creamy and crispy. You can also choose to roast or air fry your Brussels, depending on what you have available in your kitchen. Season the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook them how you choose. Next, make the street corn in a saucepan with mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Then toss the corn and Brussels sprouts together for the final product.

Taco Rice

This easy taco rice is a great side dish. It pairs perfectly with tacos, even burritos, and enchiladas. It is a little spicy, but you can customize it to your liking. You'll add all the ingredients into a saucepan and allow it to cook for 20 minutes once it's started boiling. This recipe calls for rice, chicken broth, southwest corn with poblano and red peppers, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Then once it's done, stir in the cilantro, and it's ready.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

This southwest quinoa salad is a healthy black bean and corn salad that is vegan and gluten-free. It has a cumin-lime dressing and is a great side dish. The salad ingredients include quinoa, black beans, chickpeas, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and black olives. The dressing calls for lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and salt.

Mexican Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is so fun and colorful. Never thought you would pair sweet potatoes with tacos, did you? Well, these Mexican-style sweet potatoes are easy and delicious. They are basically healthy nachos, but sweet potatoes instead of chips. First, layer the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven. Then, transfer to a cast iron skillet and layer it with corn and cheese. Once done cooking, top it with jalapeno, avocado, red onion, and cilantro.

Calabacitas (Mexican Zucchini and Corn)

Calabacitas is a beloved Mexican dish made from sauteeing zucchini, squash, onions, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and cheese. It's a healthy and easy recipe to make. First, saute the onions and peppers, then add in the corn and tomatoes. You will add in the squash and zucchini last. Then, you'll make the sauce by melting shredded cheese and milk together. Top it all with cilantro and cotija cheese, and it's ready to go.

Mexican Roasted Vegetables

This is another easy and healthy recipe filled with vegetables. Once all the veggies are cut and prepped, season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, coriander, and olive oil. They'll cook in the oven for 15 minutes and will be ready once topped with cilantro and cotija cheese.

Mexican Kale Salad

Make sure you get your leafy greens with this easy Mexican salad recipe with lime vinaigrette. The salad consists of kale, red bell pepper, black beans, corn, cilantro, cotija cheese, and jalapeno. The dressing is made of fresh lime juice, olive oil, a fresh garlic clove, honey, cilantro, and salt and pepper.

Spanish Quinoa

This recipe is like the Spanish rice recipe at the top of the list, but make it quinoa! It's super easy and only requires five ingredients and one pot. The key to making delicious rice or quinoa is to infuse it with flavor while it's cooking. This quinoa is cooked with onions, salsa, and vegetable broth.

Mexican Chickpea Salad

This recipe is quick and easy in just 15 minutes. It's also packed with protein from the garbanzo beans. Mix together chickpeas, red onions, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and avocado. Then, for the dressing, add olive oil, white wine vinegar, lime juice, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.

Mexican Cucumber Salad

This Mexican cucumber salad is a twist on Mexican street corn. It just has cucumber to add some crunch. It's made with cucumber, corn, sour cream, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, lime, chili powder, red onion, fresh garlic, and cilantro. First, make the sauce with all the ingredients and spices, excluding the cucumber and corn. Then, mix in the veggies and make sure it is all well combined.

Slow Cooker Charro Beans

So far, we've covered black beans and refried beans, but these slow-cooker charro beans are full of flavor. Cooked with bacon, tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, green chiles, cilantro, and spices, this recipe is basically effortless once you combine it. This is one of those recipes that you throw together really quickly in the morning before your day gets started. It will cook for up to 10 hours and will be ready by dinner time.

Cilantro Lime Rice

This cilantro lime rice recipe is perfect if you're looking for a simple rice recipe but something more than plain rice. You'll cook the rice in water for 25 minutes and then mix in oil, chopped cilantro, and lime juice before serving.

Recipe Card

Now that you have plenty of tasty side recipes to go with your tacos, you may need a recipe for your main dish. Try this delicious recipe. Enjoy!

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Mexican rice with tomatoes and onion served with cilantro

Tex-Mex Fried Rice

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  • Author: MomsWhoThink.com


Units Scale
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup medium salsa
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Minute Instant White Rice
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese


  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, sauté the chicken, corn, green pepper, and onion in oil until chicken juices run clear (about 7 to 9 minutes).
  2.  Stir in the broth, salsa, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt; bring to a boil.
  3. Add the rice. Cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff mixture with a fork. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
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