Healthy Sides for Tacos - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

Healthy Sides for Tacos

March 12, 2024
Healthy Sides for Tacos

Whether you’re celebrating Taco Tuesday or just need to throw a quick dinner together for the family, tacos are a favorite weeknight meal because they’re easy to make and even easier to serve. Just set up a taco bar and a lot of healthy sides for tacos so everyone can choose how they want to flavor their food for a simple meal with easy cleanup.

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For those family members who just want to stuff their taco with meat and cheese, it’s a great idea to include some healthy taco bar sides that everyone can enjoy.

Health Benefits of Tacos

There are many healthy ingredients you can serve at your taco bar to make your tacos more nutritious. Whole grain tortillas, beans and avocado all add healthy fiber to your meal, while lean chicken and fish help boost protein. Fresh vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and spinach add important nutrients to your food.

But certain taco ingredients like cheese and sour cream can offset many of the healthy fillings. From salsas to salads, there are many healthy options to choose from for side dishes for a taco bar.

Get inspired with these delicious, healthy taco sides that can easily be put together for a quick and healthy dinner.

Savory Salsas

What are the best sides for tacos? Some would argue it’s all in the salsa! But instead of serving the standard tomato and onion salsa you often find at Mexican restaurants, try one of these uniquely flavored salsa recipes that add more flavor and nutrition to your meal.

Mango Habanero Salsa

Kick the Mexican flavor up a notch with this sweet and spicy salsa recipe. This heart healthy fruit salsa combines the sweet taste of fresh mango with serrano chili and habanero peppers. This make ahead recipe can be enjoyed as a dip or spread right on your taco.

Here are more of the best salsa recipes to satisfy your craving for a savory taco side dish that’s packed with flavor and nutrition:

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

You may be surprised to learn there are many types of Mexican salsa, even a recipe that includes strawberries! This nutrient dense salsa is not only packed with the taste of sweet fruit, it also has creamy avocado, lime juice and jalapeno pepper. You can even use this strawberry salsa as a garnish on grilled fish.

Here are more sweet salsa recipes that are the perfect accompaniments to tacos:

Watermelon Salsa


Looking to add more greens to taco night? Why not make a healthy Mexican salad to serve alongside your tacos.

Black Bean Quiona Salad

This low calorie and low sodium quinoa salad recipe is perfect for serving as a side dish with tacos. Adding quinoa to your salad helps boost protein and provide essential minerals like magnesium, iron and zinc. This salad is also packed with the flavors of cumin, lime, cilantro and chili powder.

Here are more salad recipes to enjoy on Mexican night:

Bell Pepper and Farro Salad

Drinks to Serve with Tacos

Has all the spice from your Mexican tacos left you feeling parched? Make up one of these healthy and flavorful drinks to enjoy alongside your tacos.

Frozen Mockarita

This low calorie frozen mockarita is perfect to serve on Taco Tuesday. Made with 4 simple ingredients, it’s packed with the flavors of tart lime and sweet orange juice to make a cool and refreshing drink to enjoy any time of year.

Here are more refreshing drink recipes to try:

Strawberry Agua Fresca

More Taco Sides to Enjoy

Still craving more recipes to enjoy alongside your tacos? Here are other ideas for recipes to enjoy with your Mexican meal:

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Corn has become synonymous with Mexican food, so why not serve some grilled corn on the cob alongside your tacos? This recipe swaps out the salt for other complimentary flavors, including garlic, nutmeg, onion and parsley.

Healthy Guacamole

FAQs For Taco Side Dishes


You can reduce the spice in your taco side dish by cutting back on the peppers or chili powder in the recipe. You can also balance the heat by adding sweet fruit like pineapple or mango to help balance the flavor. Adding a touch of honey can also help reduce the acidity.


Rice, beans and fresh vegetables can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge in airtight containers for 2 to 3 days before you’re ready to use them. Ingredients like fresh fruit or avocado taste best when prepared just before they’re eaten.


Many leftover taco side dishes can be stored in the fridge in airtight containers for a few days. If your dish contains avocado, store it in the fridge with a slice of onion or lemon and cover it completely with plastic wrap to help prevent it from turning brown.


Beginners can make an easy guacamole recipe by mashing fresh avocado with lime juice and seasonings. You can also make a pico de gallo recipe by chopping up various fresh vegetables and mixing them together in a bowl with spices. Both recipes can be used as a dip or served right on top of your tacos.


For gluten free taco sides, look for recipes that use fresh vegetables. Salsa, guacamole or grilled vegetables are all great options to enjoy alongside your tacos that provide plenty of flavor and nutrition for your Mexican meal.


The most common salsas are salsa roja, which is a cooked, tomato based salsa, and pico de gallo, which is made with raw tomatoes, onions and peppers. One of the less common salsas is salsa verde, a green salsa made from tomatillos and green chili peppers. There is also fruit salsa, which is a sweet salsa that can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert.


One of the most common desserts to pair with tacos are churros, which have a crispy texture and sweet cinnamon flavor. Other favorite dessert options are fruit based sweets, including fruit salsa with cinnamon chips, or a refreshing mango smoothie.

Serve Your Taco Sides with These Healthy Taco Recipes

Now that you’re inspired to make some healthy taco side dishes, why not go the extra mile and make those tacos a little healthier as well?

Instead of high fat hamburger meat, use a lean protein in tacos like this recipe for grilled chicken tacos with mango salsa, or this seafood recipe for Baja fish tacos.

You can also make your tacos vegetarian, with this flavorful recipe for buffalo roasted cauliflower tacos, or this nutrient rich recipe for sweet potato tacos.

Whatever way you decide to flavor your tacos, always remember to throw in a few vegetables. They not only add nutrition to your meal, they also enhance the flavor and help you feel full.

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