What to Serve with Quesadillas for a Yummy Dinner
There’s no denying the power of quesadillas. These crispy, cheesy delights make for a great main dish for lunch or dinner.
Plus, they’re undeniably easy to make. Even quesadilla appetizers are an ideal way to add a bit of fiesta into your day.
But what if you’re planning on crowd-pleasing quesadillas for the family for tonight’s dinner and you haven’t any idea what to serve with quesadillas?
True that they’re delicious, we all agree with that when you put on our favorite ingredients.
But shouldn’t just stand by themselves; they need something to round out the meal.
Luckily, plenty of great side dishes can (and should!) be served with your quesadillas.
Whether you want a good side dish for chicken quesadillas, cheese quesadillas, steak, pulled pork, or even veggie quesadillas, these couplings will be a sure hit!
What Goes with Quesadillas: Here Are the Tastiest Sides
So let’s get to the world of side dishes. We have classic Mexican combinations that go together like brothers and sisters We have contrasting additions that bring just the right balance so you can enjoy the scrumptious flavors of your quesadillas.
Whatever way you go, these quesadilla sides will bring out the best in this wonderful Mexican style dish.
1. Spicy Smoked Sweet Potato Salad
We love to see something different. And while we love potato salad as a traditional picnic and barbecue side, sweet potatoes can make for an amazingly unique and healthy side to go with your quesadillas.
With this recipe by Peas and Crayons, it’s a divinely smoky flavorful with chipotle that makes it a southwestern treat.
Plus, it’s vegetarian and gluten-free, and incredibly easy to make! See it at: peasandcrayons.com
2. Mexican Coleslaw
Beautiful enough to serve a crowd, Mexican Coleslaw is the perfect companion to your quesadillas.
It has that fun, summertime feel to it, ideal for when you’ve got a crowd coming over for quesadillas appetizers.
It starts with a base of that coleslaw mix you can find pre-shredded in the supermarket, but from there, the rest of the bold and bright ingredients take this to the next level of flavor!
Christin from Spicy Southern Kitchen does this up oh so nicely. See her work at: spicysouthernkitchen.com
3. Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice
Savory and delightful, black beans and yellow rice are a match made in Mexican-food heaven!
Follow the video below, and you’ll have the black beans down in no time.
Add yellow rice either from the stovetop or in your rice cooker and you’ll have this filling side ready to serve your squad in no time.
4. Chilled Avocado Soup
On a hot day, nothing could be better than a nice chilled soup. Made from avocado, a staple in Mexican cuisine, it’s got all the healthy fats you need and is full of flavor.
Make it one of your refreshing sides to go with your quesadillas tonight.
Plus, it only has 5 ingredients total. You probably have them right now in your kitchen. Go make it and it will be chilled and ready to go for dinner!
This recipe from Catherine at Weelicious makes it super simple, and super delicious: weelicious.com
5. Mexican Street Corn Salad
If you’ve ever had Mexican street corn, then you know that there is heaven on earth. And if you haven’t, well, you’ve been missing out (and now’s the time to get in on the fun!).
As a salad, it takes a bit of the mess out of making it by the ear though, plus you can use up that package of frozen corn nibbles and no one will ever guess you used frozen.
It’s creamy, cheesy, and spicy all in one, though you can adjust the spiciness if you’d prefer.
This one is ideal for letting guests at a quesadilla party serve themselves or as a side to your quesadilla dinner with just the family on any night.
Jo Cooks has a phenomenal recipe for this stuff on her site. It’s a must-see: jocooks.com
6. Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad
Want to create more balance in your life with a vegetarian side dish? Having a healthy side like this superfood-fueled salad with black beans and quinoa is a smart choice!
It’s colorful with pops of green onions and red bell peppers too and is what to serve with quesadillas for it’s color contributions alone.
It’s a substantial salad that will leave you feeling great after eating it, one that fills you up without filling you out.
Take a look at Elizabeth Rider’s recipe. Boy, is it fantastic! elizabethrider.com
7. Cilantro Lime Rice
A great way to add heft to your quesadilla dinner or party spread is to serve rice alongside it.
If you don’t want to just boil it in a bag and dump into a serving dish (we don’t blame you there), why not jazz it up a bit?
Cook up a version of cilantro lime rice, and you won’t have a grain of it left come cleanup time.
And if you do, you can serve it next to just about anything else you make the next night for dinner, or pack it away with leftover quesadillas for a lunch that will make all your coworkers jealous.
First things first though -- Check out Beth’s recipe from Budget Bytes to whip up this perky little rice dish: budgetbytes.com
8. Jicama Slaw
Never heard of a jicama? It’s basically a Mexican turnip.
Using it to make a fantastic Mexican-style slaw will net you one incredibly tasty (not to mention healthy) side dish for quesadillas.
Vegan-friendly, this is perfect if you’re making a vegan version of quesadillas, or if you just want to lighten up the meal with a healthful and incredibly flavorful companion food.
This recipe by Krissy over at Self Proclaimed Foodie is exactly what you need to pull this together in a snap. See her wonderful recipe at: selfproclaimedfoodie.com
9. Avocado Salad
As if avocados couldn’t be more perfect on their own, making an avocado salad is a surefire way to get your kids to gobble up their veggies.
Make sure you feature plenty of avocados with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and cilantro for a flavor-packed side that’s great for quesadilla night with the family or for a big party spread when you have quesadillas appetizers and other bites to round out the food table.
This recipe by Isabel from Isabel Eats is exactly how you’ll want to do it, so be sure to check it out: isabeleats.com
10. Refried Beans
Please, please, PLEASE don’t make those refried beans out of a can. We beg. Seriously, why punish the people you love?
Making authentic refried beans is so easy you’ll never buy another can of it again. Do it from scratch and you’ll have one of the best traditional Mexican sides to go with quesadillas.
Here’s how to do it right:
11. Cucumber Tomato Salad with a Mexican Twist
If you’ve ever made a cucumber tomato salad before, you know it’s a perfectly refreshing side, especially in summer.
It’s great for picnics and backyard parties. It’s even wonderful to break out of the typical salad mold for any dinner.
But when you add Mexican oregano, crumbled cotija cheese, and cilantro, it gives this superb salad a special Mexican twist that you’ll love to serve with quesadillas or any other Mexican dish for that matter.
Michele over at Flavor Mosaic give you an exquisite take on this salad. Find her full here: flavormosaic.com.
12. Shrimp Ceviche
Looking for a refined side to serve with chicken quesadillas? We love this shrimp ceviche with kale and pico de gallo.
It’s fresh and filled with bold flavors that really give you a true taste of Mexican cuisine.
Plus, it looks beautiful in presentation. You can serve it with tortilla chips or enjoy it all on its own for a gourmet experience.
And yes, since we’re talking this yummy sea creature let’s not forget that grilled shrimp does nicely here too.
Aleyda does a nice rendeition of this on her site The Dish on Healthy. Be sure to check it out and enjoy: thedishonhealthy.com
13. Chicken Posole
Essentially a Mexican version of the traditional American staple comfort food of chicken soup, chicken posole needs to be on your stove tonight!
This hearty and satisfying soup is good on its own, but the toppings you add on for garnish make it a winner for what to eat with quesadillas at dinnertime.
Diced avocado, lime wedges, diced onions, chopped cilantro, and crumbled cotija cheese are just a few suggestions.
Serving it with tortilla chips on the side is another brilliant idea, as Gaby does from What’s Gaby Cooking. Check it out at: whatsgabycooking.com
14. Frijoles Borrachos
Take baked beans and bacon to the next level by adding beer and you have frijoles borrachos.
Translating to ‘drunken beans,’ once you taste these, you’ll wonder why you’ve never ventured for them at your local Mexican restaurant. (Hint: it’s the acidity of the beer that brings out flavors like never before).
Now you can make up for lost time with this side dish that hits all the right flavorful notes and leaves your kitchen with an amazing, drool-worthy aroma.
This recipe by Gimme Some Oven is awesome because unlike others, it only takes about 30 minutes to make instead of simmering and slow-cooking all day.
15. Chorizo Loaded Cheesy Potatoes
This Mexican-inspired dish is basically like your best potato wedges topped with gooey, melty cheeses and chorizo and drizzled with ranch dressing for the ultimate sinful side.
Guaranteed to please even more than regular cheese fries, there is no turning back when you make this side.
Carrian and Cade from Oh Sweet Basil give you the goods on how to make this comforting side that pairs delectably with your favorite quesadillas. See their recipe at: ohsweetbasil.com
Unlike much of the Mexican food we do see in the US, quesadillas really did come from Mexico.
Many versions of it you see today have been Americanized, but this delicious dish came from north and central Mexico, traced back to the 16th century.
The Aztecs regularly used corn tortillas as a staple in their diets, often stuffing them full of squash and pumpkin, then baking them in their clay ovens.
When the Spaniards settled on the land in 1521, they brought cattle with them (lamb, sheep, and cows). Now the Aztec people had access to cheese which they began adding to their stuffed tortillas.
Thus proving that adding cheese to just about anything is a game-changer, the quesadilla has been a revered Mexican dish ever since.
And you don’t have to use a clay oven with the advent of quesadilla makers; handy little appliances that make cooking up quesadillas even easier and to perfection.
What to Serve with Quesadillas: Tips on Prep
We love quesadillas for their versatility. No matter what you choose to serve with chicken quesadillas (shredded chicken recipes are popular), or any type of quesadillas, what you put inside them is up to you.
We’ve seen some truly fascinating fillings (every tried baked spinach and cheese quesadillas?). And, you can absolutely turn your leftovers from taco night or even fajitas, into a quesadilla of epic proportions.
You can make them vegetarian or vegan, sneak veggies inside for picky children, and do all sorts of things with them.
No matter what you do though, these quick tips will have you pulling them off like a pro:
Make your filling first
Whatever you’re using inside of your quesadillas, have the filling ready beforehand.
Any meats that you use should already be cooked. This is why leftovers are ideal to turn into quesadillas.
Leftover steak last night from your side of beef store? Slice it up with onions and peppers and simply add cheese!
Quesadillas really allow you to be creative and resourceful.
Don’t use too much oil or butter
Quesadillas should be crispy. If you put in too much oil or butter, they’ll get soggy.
Plus, they’ll have more fat added to them than you intended. Whereas quesadillas made with a little oil will be a relatively healthy choice.
Too much oil ruins the texture and your calorie count. You only need about half a teaspoon!
Cheese goes down first
When it comes to making quesadillas, that cheese should be the first thing you add on top of the tortilla.
The filling goes next. Don’t overstuff it though or it will ooze all over your pan when you fold it over.
The trick is to only put the filling on half of the tortilla. The cheese should be laid atop the entire tortilla though for as it melts, it will add warmth to your fillings.
Here’s an easy-to-follow rundown of putting together basic quesadillas. Lots of good, little tips here!
Use medium to medium-high heat
High heat will scorch the outside of your quesadillas.
Be patient and warm your skillet up with the oil in it first, then add your tortilla.
Ready to make a fiesta with quesadillas tonight?
You have lots of compatible ideas for what to serve with quesadillas either as appetizers or as a dinner entrée.
This fun Mexican dinner is simple and quick to make any night of the week.
Pair your favorite quesadillas with any number of these sides to satisfy the appetites of those you love and bring boldness to their taste buds!