Packed with vegetables, flavor, and crunch, chicken tortilla soup is the backbone of Mexican Cuisine. It has everything you can ask of a soup and more: the tomato base many Mexican dishes have, plus onion, chiles, peppers, cilantro, beans, and garlic to harmonize with the star of the dish: the slow-roasted chicken!
Even though nutritious by itself, you can pair chicken tortilla soup with various side dishes to kick up its satiety and flavor factor. Check out these 14 side dishes to nourish yourself and your loved ones!
- Corn and Onion Salad
- Chile Relleno
- Jicama Salad
- Yuca Frita
Preparation Time: 15 min
Tip: You can prepare different fillings for a versatile side dish.
Quesadillas can accompany any Mexican food, nay, ANY food! Quesadillas add a new level of flavor with their oozing cheese, and they’re very versatile. You can make quesadillas with any kind of meat and/or vegetables you might have in your pantry.
You can also use protein-rich stuffings like mushrooms, beans, or even chickpeas for a vegan or vegetarian dish.
Chop up your ingredients in small chunks and saute them until they’re cooked. Add some spices for taste. Once you’re ready to go, heat a tortilla in a pan over low heat and add your ingredients along with some cheese.
Cover the pan with a lid until the cheese is gooey. Fold your tortilla in half and flip it until both sides are cooked.
You can also make gluten-free quesadillas. You just need tortillas made from gluten-free flour substitutes, such as coconut flour or cornflour.
Preparation Time: 15 min
Tip: Skip the mayo for a low-calory side dish.
Delicious enough to be the show’s main star, this salad can do a legendary duet with chicken tortilla soup! If you want a healthy and fresh side dish with your soup while still keeping the Mexican theme, it’s a great option.
Simply combine corn, mayo, and chopped onions in a bowl, and it’s ready. For a more colorful and tasty treat, you can use red or purple onions and add bell peppers, jalapeno, and cilantro.
You can adjust the creamy taste by adding mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt.
Squeeze a little bit of lime for tanginess, and add some ground chili flakes for a bit of spice.
You can opt for vegan mayonnaise or vegan yogurt or simply go for a vinegar and olive oil dressing if you’re vegan.
Frozen kernels are good all year round, but if you want fresh corn from the cob, a corn peeler will help you do it quickly without a mess.
Preparation Time: 12 to 35 minutes
Tip: You can buy them frozen for a quick side dish.
Taquitos are a crowd favorite, and they are also very easy to make. You can buy a few boxes of frozen taquitos and prepare them in less than 15 minutes. Pop the frozen taquitos in your air fryer or oven for 10 to 12 minutes, and they’re ready to serve.
If you’re making taquitos from scratch, you can customize the fillings or just add the leftover vegetables and chicken from the soup. Simply combine the shredded chicken or vegetables with spices of your choosing.
We suggest cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder. Fill your tortillas with the filling and wrap them up. Make sure your oil is at the right temperature before frying, and the rest is quite easy.
If you’re vegan, you can alternate the fillings according to your taste. You can add some diced shiitake mushrooms or tofu instead of chicken for protein.
If you make some extra, just put them in the freezer before you fry them; they will be good for another 3 months.
Preparation Time: 30 min
Tip: Serve with dipping sauces for an appetizing side dish.
Nachos. That’s it. They speak for themselves. These crispy chips are a great addition to any food, but they pair particularly well with chicken tortilla soup.
You can serve them with melted cheese and your toppings of choice — olives, bacon bits, and jalapenos are all great choices.
If you want to make it a vegetarian dish, serve them with cheese or ground beef made from soy.
You can prepare some dipping sauces like salsa and/or guacamole to up the satiety and flavor factor.
Are you worried you will have leftover salsa? No need; whether it’s homemade or store-bought, you can freeze it, and it lasts 2 months.
Preparation Time: 1 to 3 hours, depending on your ingredients
Tips: You can bake them instead of frying them for a healthier side dish.
Fries appeal to people of all ages, and there are countless versions you can create: French fries, sweet potato fries, or even polenta fries!
If you’re making french fries, soak your potatoes in cold water for a couple of hours before frying. Your fries will be perfectly crispy and fluffy after you’ve fried them in hot oil.
If you’re looking for a fiber-rich alternative, you can make sweet potato fries in the oven. You can also make gluten-free fries with a polenta mixture. Polenta is basically cornmeal and doesn’t have any gluten. You can find it in the international food aisle in your supermarket.
Don’t forget to season your fries and add some toppings for even more flavor. Parmesan cheese and coriander are great on fries and add a new depth of flavor.
Preparation Time: 20 min
Tip: Perfect for outdoor events and backyard barbecues.
Generally cooked on barbecues, elotes are the Mexican version of corn on the cob. They have a smoky taste and are sold on the streets of Mexico. “Street style” elotes are served with mayo, red chili pepper, and cheese with a side of lime that adds that signature tangy taste of Mexican cuisine.
Combine all your toppings in a bowl as you grill your corn. Use a brush to coat your corn once it’s ready for an even coating. If you don’t have a brush, you can always use a knife to smooth the mixture over the corn. Sprinkle some cilantro and some cheese, and you’re good to go.
Even though elotes can be eaten cold, eating them while they’re still a little warm is the best way to enjoy them.
You can serve them on a wooden skewer or convert them into elote en vaso, corn in a cup.
Preparation Time: 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the recipe
Tip: Cheap, easy to make, and filling.
There are numerous ways you can prepare rice as a side dish to chicken tortilla soup. You can take the traditional route and serve orange rice, often called Mexican Rice, that is cooked in a tomato base.
You can also serve a white rice dish with beans and cilantro. Don’t forget to add a slice of lime for the true taste of Mehico.
A little tip: If you use chicken stock for the broth, the rice will have a more savory flavor.
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Tip: Gluten-free alternative for regular bread.
What do you call a soup if you can’t dip bread in it: A wasted opportunity! This delicious side dish has a mildly sweet flavor that compliments the soup’s tomato base.
You only need a couple of ingredients for baking cornbread. The cornflour or cornmeal and baking powder are your dry ingredients, and butter, milk, and eggs are your wet ingredients.
Simply combine your dry ingredients with the wet and pour the mixture into a baking dish. You can use cupcake molds if you want to make single servings.
Adding buttermilk to your cornbread recipe will enhance its sweetness. You can also add some ingredients to spice things up. We suggest bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and even chopped-up jalapenos to create the ultimate cornbread.
You can play around with the ingredients you love; cornbread will pair well with most of them.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Tip: Vegan and gluten-free.
Also referred to as Tostones, Patacones are little discs of squashed plantains that are fried and later sprinkled with salt. If you’ve never had plantains, you are missing out. Green plantains taste like a cross between ripe bananas and potatoes and make the best fried food!
When making patacones, make sure to use an oil that won’t burn in high temperatures, like avocado oil or peanut oil.
You can dip them into your chicken tortilla soup or even prepare some guacamole to bring the meal to a whole new level.
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
You can enjoy stuffed peppers with your chicken tortilla soup. The original recipe calls for Poblano peppers stuffed with cheese and fried until golden but green peppers or jalapeno peppers work too.
There are several steps to making chile relleno. You have to roast the peppers on the stovetop or in the oven before stuffing them with cheese. Then give the peppers an egg wash and deep fry in hot oil until crispy.
Some recipes even simmer the fried peppers in tomato, but you can skip this step since you’re already serving a soup.
If you think your stuffed peppers are in danger of coming apart, use toothpicks to stabilize them while frying.
Preparation Time: 25 to 3 hours, depending on the recipe
Tip: Vegan. Use canned beans to save time.
This particular dish is very easy to put together, but it takes a long time to cook frijoles or beans.
Bring together your favorite herbs and pepper, salt pork, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and pinto beans in a pressure cooker or in a pan over low heat. Cook them for at least 3 hours and keep stirring until the dish reaches a chunky puree consistency. Make sure to discard the salt pork before serving.
You can also make this a vegan dish by adding meat substitutes like mushrooms, tofu, or chickpeas.
It’s a good idea to soak your beans between 10 to 24 hours before you start cooking. If you’re in a hurry, you can use canned beans to shorten preparation and cooking time.
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Tip: Vegan and gluten-free.
Jicama is a turnip-like vegetable endemic to Mexico. It has the consistency of an apple and it’s juicy and crispy at the same time.
To prepare the salad, slice up the Jicama julienne style, and add some cilantro, greens of your choice, walnuts, and cranberries. This salad will be the perfect side dish with lime, olive oil, and sweet mustard dressing.
If you can’t find jicamas, you can substitute them with daikon radishes or water chestnuts.
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Tip: Vitamin and protein-rich substitute for potato fries.
Yuca Frita or Yuca fries are made from the cassava vegetable, a distant relative of sweet potato or yams. Cassava can be found in most supermarkets in the fresh produce section.
Cassava roots have a delicious crunch, but preparation takes a bit long. First, peel the cassava and boil them for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool before removing the fibrous spine. You should cut them to the desired length and season them with salt before frying.
Use a neutral vegetable oil like canola oil for frying. Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until slightly brown.
Yuca fries have a slightly grainy texture, but their creamy flavor will complement the soup well. Dip them in your soup; it will be delicious!