What is the best side dish for quesadillas? If you are anything like me, you probably just like to eat them alone, but you can also make a full meal out of them.

Quesadillas are easy to make and personalize, which is why my family loves them. I can make steak quesadillas for one person and plain old cheese quesadillas for someone else. So how can I find side dishes that will work for all of those different flavors? It’s possible! I start with some of the basics from Mexican restaurants and then work my way out of there.

My family loves Mexican food because it is easy to eat (who doesn’t love using their hands?), it has a lot of cheese, and you can eat quite a bit without feeling like you are stuffed. It’s really a crowd-pleaser. When you add some good sides, everyone eats quite well.

What Goes With Quesadillas For Dinner?

No matter how you make your quesadillas, whether they are spicy or savory, there are plenty of options for side dishes. Whatever you choose, you want to bring out the Mexican flavors. I tend to choose side dishes that add some nutrients to the meal, but you don’t have to do that.

  • Potato Salad

If you have a spicy quesadilla, you may want to cool your mouth down with some potato salad. You may think of this as a traditional picnic dish, but there are just so many ways you can make potato salad. I like to use russet potatoes and squash them just a little bit so they really soak up the disk.

  • Coleslaw

A meal just isn’t complete to me if it doesn’t have a crunch to it. Quesadillas are great, but they don’t always crunch. That is why I like to add it through coleslaw. You can just cut up some cabbage and call it a day, but I have had Mexican Coleslaw that is perfection. Take that coleslaw mix that you made and add some peppers and spices to make the meal pop.

  • Rice & Beans

Okay, this is a pretty basic side dish for any Mexican meal, and with good reason. Take some black beans, some yellow rice, cook them together, and see why so many meals are based around this combination. You can make your yellow rice first and then add your beans for the last few minutes or you can cook them apart and combine them at the last minute.

I always keep a little bit of the rice apart in case someone doesn’t like black beans.

  • Sliced Avocado With Everything Seasoning

Another great food that people just don’t know what to do with it? Avocado. I take a few avocados, slice them up, and sprinkle them with everything but the bagel seasoning. It helps to cool down the meal and, personally, I don’t like warmed avocado.

Avocado is great but I don’t love it alone either. When you add some seasoning, you are sneaking some healthy fats into your meal.

  • Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican street corn has been having a moment, and with good reason. If you’ve ever had it, you know just how good it is. If you haven’t had it, now is the time. It is a bit of a mess to make, so you may want to take it outside if you can. You will have to take the corn off of the cob or use frozen corn.

Add some spices, throw in some cheese, and you can even add some garlic if you want. Not only does it help to cool down spicy quesadillas, it looks great on your tabletop.

  • Refried Beans

Another Mexican staple that you need to consider as a side dish for quesadillas? Refried beans.

ow, I know that you can get them frozen or get them out of a can, but you shouldn’t do that. This is, once again, why so many people have a bad view of refried beans. They are delicious.

Take some time to make your own from scratch and see just how great they can be. They make some of the best sides for traditional quesadillas. You can even throw some cheese on it.

How To Make Quesadillas That Don’t Need Sides

When you make quesadillas correctly, you don’t even need sides. They can be a complete meal and are eaten as such in many parts of the world. When you are cooking up your quesadillas, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you will have a great experience.

Try To Be As Complete As Possible

First, you need to make your filling first. This will help you to balance out your meal and get what you need.

Put your filling into a bowl or onto a plate and really look at it. Do you have the major food groups that you need? Is there color? Do you have any other vegetables that you could add to the meal? Slice up some extra onions and peppers to add even more color. Of course, you can’t forget about the cheese.

Keep Them Somewhat Dry

When you are cooking your quesadillas, do not add too much oil or butter. This will make your quesadillas too runny and they won’t hold up. When you use cheese, you are already getting some extra fat. You really only need about half a teaspoon of oil, if that. I use a spray to keep them from sticking.

Put The Cheese Down First

When you are making your quesadilla, you have to think of it like a construction project. You need to have a good base so everything else can go over it. Don’t put too much cheese or it will just melt all over your pan. Put the cheese on the entire tortilla because it will keep it warmer longer. The cheese will help you feel fuller longer as well.

Take Your Time

Often, people will cook their quesadillas too much and the vegetables will start to break down and they just don’t feel like part of your meal. You need to be patient and put some love into your quesadillas. Warm up your skillet with just the oil first. Then add your tortilla and warm that up just a bit. Then you can add the rest of your toppings.

Go low and slow the entire time. You don’t want to completely destroy the vegetables and meats that you put into it.

There are so many different side dishes for quesadillas because really, the flavors are universal. Whether you want to have a really healthy meal or you want something that feels more like a splurge, make the most of your meal. Pair your quesadillas with one or more of these side dishes above and you will have a great meal.

Of course, if it were me, I’d also pair some margaritas and beers!


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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