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What Side Dish Goes with Enchiladas?

Photo: Andrew Purcell

These fast, fresh sides keep the Mexican theme in mind while offering contrasting flavors and textures to round out the plate.

Think of enchiladas like tacos in lasagna form: stuffed, sauced, and baked until bubbly. Like lasagna, enchiladas are a substantial main, but aren’t quite enough to be a complete meal. These side dishes provide contrasting flavors, textures, and spices so you can pair your preferred enchilada recipe with a different side dish until you find your new favorites.

Photo: Johnny Autry

Grilled Corn, Poblano, and Black Bean Salad: Every element in this salad except the black beans spends some time on the grill, adding great charred flavor to the meal. Poblanos can occasionally pack a fair amount of heat—seed after grilling and peeling if you like.

Photo: Jason Wallis

Tangerine and Avocado Salad with Pumpkin Seeds: Simple and refreshing with bright, juicy tangerine slices and cool, creamy avocado slices. Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, add just the right amount of crunch.

Photo: Squire Fox; Styling: Carla Gonzales-Hart

Cabbage and Mango Slaw: This fresh, crisp slaw gets a little bite from red onion and sweetness from ripe mango. Sprinkle a little cotija or crumbled feta over top if you like.

Photo: Jeff Kauk

Drink Bonus: Watermelon-Lime Soda: This is the definition of a summer thirst quencher, especially when served with spicy enchiladas. Make the ginger syrup in advance and keep in your refrigerator: it’s delicious stirred into lemonade, iced tea, or cocktails.