When it comes to Mexican cuisine, few dishes can rival the sizzle and flavor explosion of fajitas.
Whether you’re grilling up succulent strips of steak, chicken, or even veggies, fajitas have a way of satisfying taste buds as well as bringing family and friends together.
But what’s a fajita feast without some fantastic side dishes to complement the main attraction? Nothing finishes off a fajita fiesta like a table full of salsas, jalapeno poppers, and rice.
In this article, we’ve curated a list of 15 great fajita side dishes that will take your Mexican meal to the next level.
Rice And Beans
1. Mexican Rice
Mexican rice, also known as “arroz rojo,” is a fragrant and flavorful side dish made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, and spices. It’s the perfect companion to fajitas, adding a comforting base to soak up all the delicious juices.
Cooking Tip: Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water for an extra layer of flavor
Fun Fact: Mexican rice is often referred to as “Spanish rice,” even though it originated in South America.
Paula Deen’s refried beans recipe combines pinto beans, onions, and spices into a creamy, hearty side dish that will melt in your mouth. These beans add a touch of Southern comfort to your fajita feast.
Cooking Tip: Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and let it melt for an indulgent twist.
Fun Fact: Contrary to the name, refried beans are typically only cooked once, but “refried” is a mistranslation of the Spanish word “refritos,” meaning “well-fried”.
Rich and velvety, Mexican black beans are simmered with onion, garlic, and a medley of spices. Their deep, earthy flavor complements the spiciness of fajitas beautifully.
Cooking Tip: Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a hint of heat if you’re feeling adventurous.
Fun Fact: Black beans are packed with protein and fiber, making them a nutritious choice for any meal.
Dips, Salsas, And Slaws
4. Spicy Guac
Guacamole is a beloved classic, but when you add a kick of spice, it becomes a showstopper. Creamy avocado mixed with jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice creates a zesty explosion of flavor.
Cooking Tip: Cover your guac with plastic wrap touching the surface to help keep it fresh and green.
Fun Fact: The Aztecs are believed to be the first to make guacamole, long before it became a popular dip worldwide.
5. Tomato Salsa
Tomato salsa is a refreshing and tangy blend of diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a hint of lime juice. It’s the perfect accompaniment for those who prefer a milder side dish.
Cooking Tip: For extra freshness, use vine-ripe tomatoes in your salsa.
Fun Fact: Salsa means “sauce” in Spanish, and there are thousands of different salsa varieties worldwide.
Ina Garten’s green herb dip is a delightful fusion of fresh herbs, garlic, and sour cream. It’s a cool and herby counterpart to the spiciness of fajitas.
Cooking Tip: Make it in advance to let the flavors meld together for a richer taste.
Fun Fact: Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, is known for her simple yet elegant approach to cooking.
Pico de Gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is a chunky, fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos. Paula Deen’s recipe adds a Southern twist to this classic.
Cooking Tip: Adjust the heat by keeping or removing the jalapeno seeds.
Fun Fact: Pico de Gallo means “rooster beak” in Spanish, possibly because people used to eat it by pinching between their thumb and forefinger, like a beak.
This next recipe is cilantro lime slaw. It’s a zesty and refreshing coleslaw variation featuring shredded cabbage, cilantro, and a tangy lime dressing. It provides a crunchy contrast to the soft fajita filling.
Cooking Tip: Massage the cabbage with salt to soften it and make it more tender.
Fun Fact: Cilantro is known as “coriander” in many parts of the world, and both the leaves and seeds are used in cooking.
White queso dip is a creamy and cheesy masterpiece that’s perfect for dipping tortilla chips or drizzling over your fajitas for an indulgent touch.
Cooking Tip: Use a blend of white cheeses like Monterey Jack and white cheddar for the best flavor.
Fun Fact: Queso Blanco is Spanish for “white cheese,” and variations of this dip can be found across Latin American cuisine.
Roasting corn on the cob in the oven or on the grill enhances its natural sweetness and adds a smoky dimension to your fajita meal.
Cooking Tip: Soak the corn in water before roasting or grilling to keep it moist.
Fun Fact: Corn is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world, dating back thousands of years.
A colorful array of grilled vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, and zucchini, makes for a visually appealing and tasty side dish that compliments fajitas perfectly.
Cooking: Use a grill basket or skewers to prevent small veggies from falling through the grill grates.
Fun Fact: Bell peppers come in various colors, with each offering slightly different flavor profiles and nutritional benefits.
12. Authentic Elote
Elote, or Mexican street corn, is a popular Mexican street food. It’s grilled corn on the cob slathered with a mixture of mayo, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime juice.
Cooking Tip: Grill the corn until it gets some char marks for the authentic flavor.
Fun Fact: Elote is commonly served on a stick, making it a convenient and portable street food.
This Spanish-inspired potato salad features tender potatoes tossed in a tangy vinaigrette with olives, paprika, and other Mediterranean flavors.
Cooking Tip: Allow the potatoes to cool slightly before mixing to avoid mashing them.
Fun Fact: Potatoes are native to the Andes region in South America and have a long history of cultivation.
Tostones, also known as patacones, are twice-fried green plantains that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They’re a delightful alternative to traditional fries.
Cooking Tip: Flatten the plantain slices with a heavy object or a tostone press before the second frying for the best texture.
Fun Fact: Plantains are a staple in many tropical cuisines and can be used at various stages of ripeness for different dishes.
15. Jalapeno Poppers
Jalapeno poppers are spicy green peppers stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and baked or fried until crispy. They bring a bold and fiery kick to your fajita meal.
Cooking Tip: Wear gloves when handling jalapenos to avoid accidentally touching your face and feeling the burn.
Fun Fact: The heat of jalapeno pepper is concentrated in the seeds and membranes, so removing them can reduce the spiciness.
Incorporating these 15 fajita side dishes into your Mexican feast will not only elevate your dining experience but also satisfy a variety of tastes and preferences.
From the creamy comfort of refried beans to the fiery excitement of jalapeno poppers, these sides offer a diverse range of flavors, textures, and traditions.
By incorporating these side dishes into your fajita meal, you’ll create a well-rounded and memorable dining experience for all.
So! Fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and get ready to create a fajita feast that everyone will remember.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mexican rice, also known as arroz rojo, has its origins in Mexican cuisine. It features long-grain rice cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices.
It was brought to South America by Spanish conquerors during the late 15th and 16th centuries. The warm climate and fertile lands meant that South America was the perfect place for growing and cultivating rice.
Salsa is simply a broad term for sauce in Spanish, whilst pico de gallo is a specific type of salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos.
Fried plantains are made by twice-frying green plantain slices. To make them crispy, flatten the slices with a heavy object or a tostone press before the second frying.
Paula Deen’s refried beans are made by simmering pinto beans with onions and spices until they are creamy and delicious.
Low and Slow is the name of the game when making these beans and creamy as the great Paula Deen. You can add a sprinkle of shredded cheese for an extra indulgent touch.
15 Great Fajita Side DishesCourse: Other Recipes
- Choose a tasty recipe from above
- Gather your ingredients
- Prepare your side
- Enjoy with fajitas.