30 Healthy Mexican Side Dishes Recommended by a Registered Dietitian

As a Latina Dietitian, I сan’t recommend these healthy Mexican side dishes enough!

So many of my clients say they need more ideas of healthy side dishes they can make that go with their favorite Mexican food. 

They’re surprised to find out that plenty of the Mexican dishes they already know and love are actually healthy!

After all, Mexican food features plenty of vegetables, fruits, and complex carbs.

Which is why I’ve created this list of healthy Mexican side dishes you can make and enjoy at home!

Keep reading for my favorite Mexican sides, including carbs, vegetable sides, beans, and more. 

3 healthy mexican side dishes. text reads 30 healthy mexican side dishes


Despite what you may have heard, carbs can absolutely be a healthy dish! Especially when you choose carbs that are also a source of fiber. This includes starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, and plantains

  • Mexican Green Rice: Cooking rice with extra vegetables and olive oil adds more antioxidants and fiber to your meal.
Plate with mexican green rice and chicken breast.
  • Oven-Baked Tostadas: Tostadas are a good source of fiber and resistant starch! This oven-baked recipe is convenient and uses less oil. 
hand holding stack of tostadas against a colorful backdrop
  • Papas estilo Zamora (spicy Mexican potatoes): Despite the low-carb craze, potatoes are a good source of fiber and potassium. Pairing them with a spicy chili seasoning adds flavor and all the health benefits of capsaicin!
  • Mexican rice: Like with the green rice, cooking Mexican rice in tomato adds extra nutrients to a basic rice dish. 
  • Esquites: Fresh corn is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 
  • Papas a la diabla: This spicy potato dish is filling and gut healthy, thanks to the fiber!

Mexican Vegetable Side Dishes:

Mexican food has so many vegetables to choose from! While it’s very common in Mexican food to find vegetables included in the main dish, there are still a lot of vegetable sides you can make to accompany your favorite dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and more. 

  • Sopa de fideo: I add extra vegetables to my sopa de fideo recipe so you can count it as a vegetable side. 
sopa de fideo
mexican green beans in a skillet
  • Calabacitas a la mexicana: Zucchini (“calabacitas”) are a classic Mexican vegetable. This simple recipe is just one of the many ways you can prepare them in Mexican food. 
mexican zucchini in a cast iron pan
  • Cebollitas asadas (grilled green onions): Grilled cebollitas are a popular side to serve with carne asada. And green onions are rich in antioxidants which may help prevent cancer (1). 
  • Chiles toreados: Like the cebollitas, these blistered chiles are a classic side to serve with tacos. Chiles offer plenty of health benefits like vitamins A, C, plus the capsaicin is anti-inflammatory. 
  • Champiñones a la mexicana (Mexican mushrooms): Mushrooms are quite popular in Mexican food! Which is great because they’re a good source of antioxidants, and one of the rare food sources of vitamin D (2). 


Beans are a classic of Mexican food! Whether you serve beans with rice or on their own, beans offer plenty of fiber and plant-based protein. Whether you choose pinto, black beans, or another variety, rest assured you’re adding plenty of nutrition to your plate. 


It’s a misconception that Mexican food doesn’t feature many green vegetables. In fact, Mexican food features a variety of green salads, as well as mixed vegetable salads like cucumber, nopales, and more. 

nopalitos salad


Salsa is my favorite way to add vegetables to Mexican food! Here are some of my favorite salsa recipes. 

salsa de arbol
salsa verde in a molcajete
red salsa in a molcajete
four examples of healthy mexican side dishes to try

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are countless healthy Mexican side dishes to choose from! Whether it’s a healthy carb, beans, or a Mexican vegetable dish, it’s easy to build a balanced meal with one of these healthy side dishes!

Need more help planning healthy Latino meals? You’ll want a copy of my free 1-week Mexican meal plan! Get your copy when you sign up below. 


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