7+ Ideal Side Dishes for Tamales

Tamales are a favorite food, packed with delicious fillings and cooked in a way that compounds the flavors into an overall mouthwatering feast. This article will explore the best sides to serve with tamales.

With tamales, the masa dough is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf, which can be time-consuming to prepare, so make sure that you make it a meal to remember by picking out the best sides.

Wondering what to serve with your tamales? Check out these awesome side dishes.

What to Serve With Tamales

1. Guacamole

Guacamole is one of the most popular dips or sauces that you can include with tamales. The thick creaminess and subtle but unique flavor add a new dimension to your tamale.

Guacamole is made from avocados, onion, salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Originating in Mexican cuisine, it’s a perfect accompaniment to tamales.

2. Tortilla chips

bowl of tortilla chips

If you want some extra crunch, you can pick tortilla chips; these especially go well with other sides on this list but can be served as a standalone. These make good finger food that can help tie the meal together.

3. Pickled jalapenos

Jalapenos, when pickled, have a special crunch, juiciness, and heat. These are great between bites of tamales and are a side that you shouldn’t hesitate to serve up.

Jalapenos aren’t the spiciest chili peppers you’ll find, but they add a kick that can spice up your dish to give it an extra kick and juicy bite that won’t disappoint.

You can also use regular jalapenos to serve alongside your tamales, perhaps with a dip like guac or sour cream.

4. Sour cream

Sour cream is a delicious side dish because it can be spooned onto your tamales, or you can dip your tamale into it. This cooling dip adds a unique and distinct flavor that perfectly compliments the traditional tamale ingredients.

5. Salsa

pot of hot salsa

There are many kinds of salsa, and most of them go well with tamales. I would choose this side dish if you’re a fan of tomato flavors with your tamales. If not, you could try our next suggestion to serve with your tamales instead.

6. Cilantro & lime rice

Cilantros and limes are often used in Mexican cooking, so you’ll make an excellent choice to pair some light & refreshing rice to enjoy alongside your tamales.

7. Elote

Elote is one of the most delicious Mexican street foods out there. You may be used to covering your corn in butter, but Elote takes it to a new level. Grilled corn, drenched in mouth-watering garlic and lime crema, queso fresco, some cotija cheese, and tajin seasoning.


Serving any of the above options with your tamales will make the meal more filling, enjoyable, and memorable. Give one of the side dish ideas a go, and you’ll never wonder what to serve with your tamales again.