If you want to know what to serve with empanadas, pull up this list of 21 easy recipe ideas to help you get started—and create your own new favorites!
Empanadas are tasty on their own, but everyone wants to know what to serve with them.
They’re a Mexican dish that many people around the world can’t get enough of.
And they’re usually filled with ground or chopped meat mixed with different spices.
The stuffing can be minced meat, ground meat, raisins, cheese, or just onions and bread crumbs.
While empanadas may seem small, they’re not exactly a snack.
So, if you want to pair them with something, go right ahead.
But what should go with them?
Well, you can actually pair empanadas with a lot of things!
And lucky for you, we have 21 recipes here that go perfectly with this tasty Mexican dish without any issues.
For a quick and easy-to-prepare side dish with empanadas, try Refried Beans or Black Beans & Rice.
If you want to look like you did a lot for your lunchtime, then whip up Qdoba Queso for a creamy dip.
But here’s the real twist.
Prepare #19 and amaze your guests with a dish that is sinfully delightful and goes well with empanadas.
We know you’re excited so let’s dive right into it!
1. Mexican Rice
Mexican Rice pairs well with many kinds of cuisines.
Still, we’ve specifically chosen to pair it with empanadas because of their Latin American origins.
For an authentic Mexican flavor, try adding some cumin and oregano to your rice when you prepare it.
The spicy filling in your empanada will taste even better with a side of rice that has been seasoned with these spices.
You can also make this as part of a Mexican-themed menu or even use it if you’re making tacos or burritos.
Aji de Galina is a creamy Peruvian chicken dish that you’ll want to dip empanadas into.
It also has that spicy, smoky flavor that’s unlike anything else out there.
Plus, the dish features a bright yellow color thanks to the aji Amarillo chili pepper used in making it.
Overall, it packs a lot of flavors, but it is not too spicy.
So, it’s just right for those who like to eat mildly spicy food!
Everyone knows that Black Beans & Rice is a common side dish to serve with empanadas.
It’s a snap to make and can be prepared ahead, so if you’re baking or grilling empanadas, it won’t require much attention.
And it’s hearty enough that one serving will likely please your palate.
If you’ve got guests who want to stick around for drinks after dinner, or kids who want a nightcap, this is just right.
4. Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde is a very popular sauce in Mexican cuisine.
It can be used as a dip, a topping for tacos, or a sauce for enchiladas.
If the filling for your empanadas contains meat, like ground beef or chicken breast meat, cooked until tender and seasoned with spices like paprika powder, etc.
It would surely go well with Salsa Verde, just like any Mexican dish.
Corn on the cob is usually called elotes.
It’s a staple in many Latin American streets, especially in Mexico.
People love how it’s delicious, affordable, and can be a quick snack for them.
It’s also so popular that Trader Joe’s has an elote seasoning for those who want it in a pinch.
Pair this with empanadas, and you’ve got heaven on a plate.
Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Garlic Aioli is the right accompaniment to empanadas.
It’s light, but not too light.
And it has quite a bit of substance, so it’s filling and comforting.
So, if you want something light to balance out the heaviness of a stuffed pastry, this dish will do the trick.
Mexican Street Corn Salad (also called esquites) is a tasty and easy dish that will go over well with your guests.
It’s not necessarily Mexican, but it tastes just as good, if not better, than elotes on the cob.
Esquites are made by grilling or roasting corn on the cob and then seasoning it with mayonnaise, lime juice, and chili powder.
And they pair perfectly with empanadas because they have this distinct flavor profile that complements the spicy filling of most empanadas.
If you’re serving this side dish to non-Latino friends, they may ask what sauce to use for dipping their empanadas.
We recommend ranch dressing.
Avocado Aioli is an amazing sauce that blends well with empanadas.
It’s made by combining avocado, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.
The ingredients are then blended until smooth and creamy.
It’s also great for an empanada or other baked goods because it’s versatile.
You could use it as a spread on toast or add it to cooked vegetables as a dip!
And if you’re feeling particularly spicy, throw in some diced jalapeños or chipotle peppers.
Arroz con pollo, a dish that features rice with chicken, is another great match for empanadas.
Plus, eating rice and chicken together is as natural as peanut butter and jelly or M&Ms.
It’s a classic combination, and it’s served in many different cuisines worldwide.
And it’ll taste delicious no matter what kind of topping you choose.
You can even turn it into something tasty, sweet, or savory—the possibilities are endless!
10. Charro Beans
Charro Beans are a traditional dish originating from the northern part of Mexico.
Close to the Texas border by the Rio Grande, they’re an easy-to-make, hearty dish that requires only a handful of ingredients.
So, if you’re in a hurry and don’t have access to dried beans or want to use canned ones, reach for your Instant Pot and make this dish!
11. Arugula Salad
Try this salad as a side to any empanada, especially the sweet potato and black bean empanada.
It’s peppery, nutty, light, and refreshing, with just the right amount of tang.
And not only is it delicious, but it’s also easy to make—just toss some arugula in a bowl with olive oil and lemon juice, add some of your favorite toppings, and you’ve got yourself a salad.
13. Strawberry Salsa
Strawberry Salsa is a thing, and it’s not just an experimental dish.
And if you’re skeptical of Strawberry Salsa, don’t be—it’s delicious.
It’s a surprisingly tasty combination that can be served up to surprise your friends and family or just add some variety to your own table.
It’s not too sweet or tart, and it tastes like tomatoes because of its balance of sweetness and acidity.
Strawberry Salsa also has a pleasant balance between the two flavors, which makes it easy to eat without feeling weird afterward.
Plus, we’re pretty sure the smell of this dish alone would make your mouth water with anticipation!
If you’re serving empanada to a party, you should also have this Classic Pico De Gallo Salsa dish.
It’s mostly made with tomato, onion, and cilantro, but if you want it to be spicy, add some fresh jalapeños!
Pico de gallo means “beak of rooster” in Spanish.
It’s traditionally eaten with the fingers, so it looks like a chicken’s beak.
But don’t worry—no birds were harmed in making this side dish for empanadas!
15. Fried Plantains
If you’re feeling adventurous, plantains are an easy option.
They’re delectable, crunchy on the outside, and soft inside.
Plus, they can be used in savory or sweet dishes.
Despite that, they’re most commonly used as a side dish to accompany main courses like empanadas.
Many food critics have also showered the fried plantains with praises for their right combination.
That is because it has a delightfully crispy outside with a soft center, salty with sweet, crunchy texture combined with tenderness.
16. Homemade Salsa
Salsa is indeed a common way to use up tomatoes in season.
And it’s an amazing way to add flavor and color to any dish without using too many ingredients or taking much time.
Many of the ingredients in salsa can also be added raw or cooked, making it easy for you to customize based on your preferences!
17. Mexican Coleslaw
You might be wondering what coleslaw would have to do with empanadas.
First off, coleslaw is a salad that usually features shredded cabbage and other vegetables, often dressed in a mayonnaise-based dressing.
It’s usually served as a filling side dish alongside barbecue or fried chicken.
But Mexican Coleslaw is an interesting pairing to prepare with the empanada because it takes the traditional American dish of hamburgers and hotdogs.
It also adds a Southwestern twist by using roasted corn instead of broccoli or cauliflower (more common ingredients for slaws).
The flavors just go perfectly together.
And the crunchy texture of the cabbage balances out the softness of the avocado slices within each bite.
Avocados are technically fruits, not vegetables!
And tomatoes are just another fruit that happens to be red and round.
These two ingredients make quite the unique fruit salad combination that no one ever expected would happen.
And yet there it is, on your plate right now (or in your face via computer screen).
But hey, who cares what they’re called?
You can be sure that avocado and tomato complement one another without a doubt when tasting awesome with empanadas.
So again, what to serve with empanadas?
Well, we’ve got a simple and easy dish here, and it’s guacamole!
Guacamole is a dish that has survived the Spanish colonization and many other changes since it was first served during the Aztec Empire in the 1500s.
The name comes from the Aztec word “ahuaca-mulli,” which means avocado sauce.
Guacamole has also been described as having a creamy texture with a tangy flavor that’s similar to lime juice or lemon juice.
It contains avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro as its main ingredients, which gives it an earthy taste that blends well with many different foods, like empanadas!
The Mexican Sweet Potato Salad is a dish that is both delicious and hearty.
It’s packed with a rich, earthy flavor that makes it perfect for pairing with other savory foods—like empanadas!
When eaten together, these two dishes complement each other perfectly.
The strong flavors of the empanada blend well with the earthy sweet potato salad, creating an exciting combination of tastes.
So, if you’re on a search for a different way to enjoy your favorite recipes, this is one we recommend trying.
21. Refried Beans
Refried Beans are anything but dull.
While it’s possible to eat them several ways, their most common use is as a filler for burritos and tacos or as a side dish.
But when served with an empanada?
They provide the ultimate compliment to the crispy dough and savory filling.
And if you want some extra kick of flame, you can top your empanadas with salsa or hot sauce.
Nothing beats refried beans!
The bottom line
Empanadas are a common and popular dish in various countries worldwide.
But depending on what you’re serving it with, it can be transformed into an entirely new dish.
So, if you thought your empanada was good, try it with one of these side dishes and find out how fantastic it can be!
- Mexican Rice
- Aji De Galina (Peruvian Creamy & Spicy Chicken)
- Black Beans & Rice
- Salsa Verde
- Smoky Parmesan Corn On A Cob
- Warm Roasted Potato Salad With Garlic Aioli
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Avocado Aioli
- Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)
- Charro Beans
- Arugula Salad
- Qdoba Queso
- Strawberry Salsa
- Classic Pico De Gallo Salsa
- Fried Plantains
- Homemade Salsa
- Mexican Coleslaw
- Avocado Tomato Salad
- Mexican Sweet Potato Salad
- Refried Beans
- Find your favorite recipe from our What To Serve With Empanadas list.
- Gather all the ingredients needed.
- Start cooking and make us proud!