7 Best Side Dishes for Tamales

Tamales are one of my favorite foods, packed with delicious fillings and cooked in a way that compounds the flavors into an overall mouthwatering feast. In this article, we’ll 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.

2. Tortilla chips

bowl of tortilla chips

If you want some extra crunch then you can pick tortilla chips, these especially go well with other sides on this list, but can equally 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 they are a side that you definitely shouldn’t hesitate to serve up.

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

4. Sour cream

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

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 and 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 simply covering your corn in butter, but Elote takes it to a whole 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 ensure that the meal is a memorable one.