Quesadillas are the epitome of Mexican cuisine. Made with chicken or beef filling, fiery peppers, and gooey cheese sandwiched between 2 pieces of warm, toasted tortilla bread.
These miniature bites of goodness never fail to hit the spot. Whether it’s an intimate dinner with the family or a grand celebration with friends, quesadillas are a definite crowd-pleaser.
But while quesadillas make amazing appetizers, they’re not really a complete meal. You’ll need a few complementary side dishes to turn these finger foods into a Mexican feast.
What to serve with quesadillas? Whether you’re making chicken, pork, beef, or cheese quesadillas, we’ve got you covered. Here are 15 incredible side dishes that will turn these tasty treats into an unforgettable meal.
1. Cilantro-Lime Rice
Want to make sure your guests leave your home full and happy? Serve your quesadillas with a heaping bowl of cilantro-lime rice! The cilantro and the lime add a flavorful (and refreshing) combo that will be a sure hit with your friends.
Plus, rice goes great with almost any meal. So make some extra and save some for the next day!
2. Refried Beans
Nothing screams Mexican like refried beans. so it only makes sense to serve them with your quesadillas. Plus, it’s super easy to make! All you need are some pinto beans, pork hock, garlic, onion, and salt.
Can also be used for dipping! You can’t have a proper Mexican dinner night without chips and dip. I like to put out a full spread with refried beans, guacamole, and salsa.
3. Black Bean Salad
While we are discussing beans, black bean salad is another fantastic side dish to serve with quesadillas. It gives a nice balance to the sweet and spicy flavors of the quesadilla. Add some mango slices, cilantro, and lime juice and you’ve got yourself a quick and refreshing side dish.
4. Mexican Slaw
Here is another refreshing dish to balance out the rich and meaty quesadilla. A bowl of coleslaw is good, but it’s even better if you add some Mexican flair. So, in place of cabbage, try using jicama, cucumber, and shredded raw beets instead.
Or, if you want to give your Mexican dinner an Asian twist, just add sesame oil and soy sauce to the slaw and you’ve got a wonderful fusion of two amazing cuisines.
5. Cheesy Potatoes
Potatoes always taste so much better when they’re loaded with melted cheese. But you know what’s even better? If you top them with smoky chorizo bits and drizzle with some creamy ranch dressing. This incredibly tasty delight will be a guaranteed hit at your party.
6. Mashed Potatoes With A Twist
Mashed potatoes are a classic and will always be among the best side dishes ever invented. But, if you’re growing tired of this traditional side, you can give it a sweet and crunchy twist by adding corn kernels. A fun and delightful surprise!
7. Sweet Potato Salad
We can’t talk about potatoes without bringing up its cousin, sweet potatoes. Give your quesadilla party a nice smoky flair by serving some sweet potato salad on the side. It’s very simple to make – just coat sweet potato chunks with your preference of sweet and spicy seasonings. You could add some bacon bits to give it a savory flavor. And, keeping with our Mexican theme, you can also coat it with a nice smoky adobo sauce dressing.
8. Chicken Tortilla Soup
You’ve already got tortilla bread anyway, so why not make some tortilla soup as well? It only requires a few ingredients: chicken breast, corn, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, jalapeno, green pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, white wine, chicken broth, tomatoes, and fried tortilla chips. Okay, maybe I played it a little loose with the phrase “a few ingredients,” but hey, they’re all basic stuff you’ll find in your pantry!
To make, saute onion, garlic, jalapeno, and green pepper. Then add the rest of the ingredients and wait until it boils. Add shredded chicken, let it simmer for a few more minutes, and Voila, it’s done! Serve in a bowl and top with fried tortilla chips.
9. Pork and Poblano Soup
Poblano chiles are best roasted to bring out their delicious fruity flavor. And then, combine them with pork loin chunks, salsa verde, coriander, and cumin to make an irresistible soup that pairs wonderfully with quesadillas.
10. Mexican Street Corn
A Mexican party isn’t a party without its famous street corn! Elote is a delectable dish that gives me an excuse to fire up the grill.
To make, preheat your grill to medium-high. Grill the corn cobs for about 10 minutes (or until slightly charred all over). Turn frequently while cooking.
Brush corn with a layer of mayo. Then sprinkle with chili powder, cotija, and cilantro. Serve with plenty of napkins. It’s deliciously messy!
11. Corn Salad
Want corn but not a fan of elote? No problem, just make a nice charred corn salad instead. To make, grill some corn kernels to bring out a nice smoky flavor. Combine it with avocado slices, red onions, and Fresno chiles. Top it with a creamy dressing made of chopped tomatillos and Cojita cheese.
12. Pickled Jalapenos
If you want to add some fiery flair to your quesadillas, top them with some pickled jalapenos. Don’t worry, pickling the peppers will tone down the spiciness. If you want to mellow the flavor even further, add some honey during the pickling process.
No Mexican feast is complete without guacamole! To make, combine avocados, lime juice, cilantro, red onion and jalapenos. Mash until smooth. Flavor with salt and pepper, and it’s done!
14. Avocado Salad
While avocados already taste fantastic on their own, you can also use them to make a fantastic salad. Their rich and buttery flavors go really well with cucumbers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro.
15. Shrimp Ceviche
If you are hosting guests with sophisticated palates, you can elevate your quesadilla party with some elegant shrimp ceviche. Serve it with pico de gallo and kale and your friends will surely be impressed.
It’s the perfect side dish: it’s got fresh and strong flavors while still in keeping with our Mexican theme. And, it makes your dinner table look oh so fancy!
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