~ Wondering what to serve with Taco Soup, to turn it into an even more complete weeknight meal? Or maybe you want to set out some toppings and sides for a Mexican-themed party or tailgate? Either way, we have LOTS of delicious ideas for you! ~
You’ve got a steaming, comforting pot of Taco Soup burbling away. (Maybe you even made our beloved recipe for “Easy Taco Soup with Ranch” – ooohhhhhh you’re gonna LOVE it!)
And no doubt, it’s a hearty, one-pot meal that doesn’t absolutely require you to make anything extra. That’s one of the reasons Taco Soup is so darn popular – it offers bold, satisfying flavors in a hurry, all in one big pot.
But sometimes you crave something more than just a bowl of soup. An outstanding side dish or two, to really turn it into a meal!
Sides for Taco Soup
We’ve got so many scrumptious side dish ideas for you: from Mexican rice and cornbread to homemade tortilla chips … and from crisp, refreshing salads to cool, sweet fruit pairings. Plus guac and great salsas, of course. Even dessert!
And if you’re planning a full, gi-normous Mexican buffet, we’ve picked out a couple additional, terrific main courses that would be perfect to offer alongside your steaming pot of soup. (3-ingredient Tacos? Yes, please!)
Need TOPPINGS for Your Soup, Too?
Besides fantastic sides for Taco Soup, you might also need ideas for topping your cozy bowlful. Pop down toward the end of this article for a handy list of toppings ideas that’ll let everyone at the table customize their own bowl exactly the way they like!
Now, while your scrumptious soup finishes cooking to perfection, let’s pick out the best side dishes to serve with it!
What to Serve with Taco Soup
Mexican Street Corn Salad
This twist on traditional Mexican elote has so many layers of fantastic flavor! Great with grilled corn, but in a pinch, you can cook your corn any way you like. (Psssst ... for tips on choosing, storing, and cooking fresh corn and for more recipe ideas, check out our article featuring all our Favorite Corn Salad Recipes!)
5-Minute Easy Rice and Beans
Lightning fast, thanks to basic pantry staples ... yet surprisingly yummy! Includes bonus ideas for pumping up the Mexican vibes by stirring in bell peppers and jalapeños before cooking, then adding some chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of cilantro. Or make it a little cheesy by mixing in some reduced-fat cheeses, or sprinkling cheese over top. Terrific whatever you choose!
Easy 7-Layer Chicken Taco Salad
Wanna serve a salad alongside your Taco Soup, but wish it could have some impressive "wow" factor, too? Then this is your recipe! All the flavors you love in a Mexican 7-layer dip, piled high to show off the enticing, festive layers. Easy enough for weeknight dinners but impressive enough to share at Cinco de Mayo parties and game day potlucks, too!
5-Minute Avocado Ranch Dip
Lots of Taco Soup recipes (including our own Easy Taco Soup with Ranch) call for ranch dressing powder. This dip is a perfect way to extend the Tex-Mex, ranch-y flavor profile, since it's kind of like ranch dip meets guacamole. Great for dipping tortilla chips, or the fresh vegetables in our colorful Veggie Kabobs!
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Make your own, nicely spiced tortilla chips in just minutes. Bonus: since they're made in your air fryer, they need a fraction of the oil of "regular" deep frying!
Easy Corn Salsa (or Salad)
This quick recipe is so flexible! Dip your tortilla chips ... or your fork: it's fantastic as both a salsa and a side salad. So lovely paired with piping hot bowls of Taco Soup!
3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
If you're making a big batch of Taco Soup for a game day tailgate or a Cinco de Mayo party, then you might want another easy main dish to offer alongside. This ultra-simple recipe is an ideal choice, with lots of ways to customize and top your tasty tacos. You can even set up a DIY toppings bar so everyone can choose how to top both their steamy bowls of Taco Soup and their Chicken Tacos. Easy and such fun! (Or, if you'd rather use your pressure cooker, try our Instant Pot Chicken Tacos.)
Mexican Fruit Salad
A little sweet, a little spice ... so simple but absolutely addicting! This pretty recipe is loaded with refreshing fruit, spiced with an intriguing pop of lime and chili powder dressing.
"7-Layer Dip" Mexican Avocado Toast
Craving the "soup and sandwich" vibe? This open-faced sammy is a great partner to all the Mexican-inspired flavors in your Taco Soup!
Mexican Quinoa Salad
Fluffy quinoa and crunchy vegetables are deliciously drizzled with an easy-to-make dressing that's sweet, tangy and a little spicy!
Easy Blender Salsa (With Fresh Tomatoes)
Want some classic salsa flavor alongside your soup, but maybe something fresh and homemade, instead of opening a jar? Then give this speedy recipe a try! You can make it milder or spicier, smoother or chunkier ... exactly how you and your family like it.
Mexican Chopped Salad with Chipotle Dressing
Loaded with colorful veggies and topped with a creamy (but dairy-free) dressing, this is a feel-good salad, for sure! Make the dressing up to two weeks ahead, so your salad comes together is a flash while you cook up your cozy, hearty soup!
Rainbow Pepper Salsa
This bright, crisp, four-pepper salsa features black beans and fresh cilantro with a splash of limey dressing to pull it all together. Quick, easy, and perfect either made ahead or served immediately.
Whip up your own version of the famous Chipotle restaurant guacamole everybody adores! With just a few simple ingredients, it's a snap to make in less than 15 minutes. Try it dolloped on top of your Taco Soup, or served as a side dish to dip extra chips. Psssst ... feelin' kinda crazy? Give this unique Peach Guacamole a try, too!
Taco Burger Sliders on Polenta
Lean ground beef is spiced with a homemade taco seasoning and perched atop warm polenta, all draped in a creamy salsa dressing ... yum! These adorable mini sliders are just the right small bite to serve as a pre-dinner appetizer, or as a light sandwich to accompany your soup! Fabulous on the grill, but includes alternate, indoor instructions, too.
Oven Roasted Vegetables Medley
Can't decide which veggies to serve? Or maybe you've got a family full of people who all like different vegetables? This pretty side dish is the answer (and a clever way to please your whole family)!
Refried Black Beans
I personally like refried black beans better than "regular" refried beans, but I can't always find them at the grocery store. Well, just a few simple ingredients and 5 minutes of prep is all it takes to make your own! The recipe is written for the Instant Pot, but the post contains directions for stovetop and slow cooker, too.
Mango Pineapple Salsa
Sweet, tangy and fresh-tasting! With options to make it spicier, blended ... even grilled ... this unique salsa is a tasty way to add some tropical flair to your Taco Soup dinner!
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Roasty-toasty sweet corn is such a terrific complement to Taco Soup, and this informative recipe walks you through the pros and cons of different grilling methods, so you can choose just how you like it!
Grape Salad with Cream Cheese-Vanilla Dressing
This super-easy salad is my go-to whenever I want a sweet, light, refreshing side dish for a hearty, savory meal. It's a delicious way to give your palate a quick break from the rich, taco-y flavor of the soup!
Easy Cilantro Lime Rice
This Mexican side dish classic is fluffy, bright and bursting with fresh lime flavor! To add a boost of nutrition, note that you can use brown rice instead of white (adjusting the cooking time accordingly). Wanna make it in your Instant Pot instead of on the stovetop? Then try this Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice recipe. Or hey hey ... if you're feeling carb-conscious, you can even use cauliflower instead of rice by following this Cauliflower Copycat Chipotle Rice recipe!
Tomato and Onion Salad with Peppers
This quick, 5-minute salad gets an extra burst of flavor from vibrant, crunchy peppers. Choose hotter peppers if you'd like some kick to go along with your soup, or keep it milder for a crisp, clean-tasting side dish. You can even make it ahead – keeps great in an airtight container for several days (and gets juicier as it sits)!
Easy Mexican Potatoes
These crispy, oven-roasted potatoes are highlighted by flavorful cheese and tons of spices! Love your air fryer? Then these super-fast Air Fryer Mexican Potatoes are a great option, too.
No-Cook Fresh Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
Now that you can find fresh sweet corn in supermarkets nearly year-round, this scrumptious salad is an option even in cooler months. It's super simple and incredibly fast … with absolutely no cooking needed!
LOADED Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
A large pot of Taco Soup handily serves a crowd at tailgates and game day parties. But if it's game day, then that means you'll need some buffalo wing action to go along with it! This fantastic Buffalo Cauliflower is a perfect side dish option, since you've already got meat in your soup. But not to worry ... if you really want chicken wings, though, we have lots of ideas on that, too!
Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus
This hummus-like Mexican bean dip is ready in less than 10 minutes! Simply toss everything in your food processor, and in moments you've got a dip to snack on while your soup's cooking, or a festive little side dish for dipping.
A unique, healthier ingredient list creates a delightfully moist cornbread with an extra-tender crumb. Includes tips for baking cornbread muffins, and enticing flavor variations (like one with sharp cheddar cheese and finely diced jalapeño pepper) that'd be fantastic served alongside Taco Soup instead of the typical tortilla chips!
Shaved Jicama and Blood Orange Salad
If you're making your cozy, steaming-hot Taco Soup on a wintery, cold day, then this gorgeous salad is a delightful way to showcase some of the very best winter produce you'll find at the market! Crisp jicama is marinated in a zesty cilantro lime dressing, then topped with juicy blood oranges, pomegranate arils, creamy avocado slices, and a sprinkling of chili lime sea salt.
Easy Veggie Enchiladas
With all the beef (or ground turkey or ground chicken) in a bowl of Taco Soup, you might not need even more meat on the dinner table, which makes these veggie-filled enchiladas an ideal pairing! Whole wheat tortillas are filled with black beans, zucchini, bell peppers, and a creamy yogurt enchilada sauce, all topped off with melted cheesy goodness. Mmmmm ... no wonder this easy recipe has near-perfect ratings on more than 75 reviews!
Pineapple Habanero Salsa
Sweet, caramelized pineapple and onion, savory roasted tomatoes, spicy habaneros, bright lime juice, a hint of fresh garlic, and earthy cilantro combine in this vibrant, highly rated salsa!
Chili-Lime Grilled Corn Salad
Just 4 ingredients in this Mexican corn recipe, but I bet you'll be surprised how fantastic they all taste together (and alongside your scrumptious Taco Soup). Quick and easy, but oh-so-good!
Easy Mexican Tostada Shells
Sure, you could break off bits for dipping in your Taco Soup (instead of tortilla chips). But you could also turn these into Mexican pizzas, or pile 'em up with taco toppings for a little side dish that lets everyone customize their own. A fun idea for a DIY bar if you're setting out Taco Soup and all the trimmings for a big party or tailgate!
Fresh, vibrant and zingy, this Southwest/Mexican dish (aka "Cowboy Caviar") is popular for dipping corn chips, but it's also terrific served as a side salad that can hold its own against your flavorful soup. And with such fantastic reviews on this one, you can't go wrong either way!
Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Wanna pump up the amount of veggies in your dinner? This cauliflower rice – based on a popular Spanish Rice recipe – is a wonderful way to work in loads of extra veggie nutrition. It's naturally gluten free and low carb, but still packed with tons of flavor from onions, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, olive oil and Mexican spices!
Banana Split Grilled Dessert Nachos
The perfect finale to a Mexican-inspired Taco Soup dinner? How about some nachos?!? This unique treat captures all the beloved flavors of a classic banana split, with crispy, sweetened “nacho chips,” caramelized fruit, and a delicious strawberry sauce. Psssst ... it's even better with a little scoop of ice cream!
So many delicious side dish options, huh?!?
But remember I promised to give you some quick suggestions for toppings, too? (And BTW … all of these would be outstanding on our Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup … if you need another soup recipe suggestion to tuck away for later.)
What to Eat with Taco Soup (9 Favorite Toppings)
One of the really awesome things about Taco Soup is that it’s so easy to customize, depending on what toppings you add.
Toppings not only offer extra layers of flavor, but can also add texture and vibrant, appealing color to the soup. Here are some of the most common, favorite toppings:
1. Tortilla Chips – Crunchy tortilla strips or chips are a must! In our favorite Taco Soup recipe, we suggest tossing some crushed corn chips into the bottom of your bowl, before ladling the soup on top. But I’m here to tell ya … there’s basically no wrong way to add those chips. Sprinkle some on top, use them for dipping … it’s all good!
Pro Tip: What Kind of Tortilla Chips to Choose
For extra nutrition and a sturdy texture, reach for a multigrain chip. Thin, delicate chips don’t stand up very well to the thick, rich, piping hot soup.
2. Shredded Cheese – Shredded cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend is another must-have for Taco Soup, adding a creamy, rich flavor. (I always recommend using a reduced-fat option to shave some unwanted fat and calories.)
3. Sour Cream – A dollop of sour cream (again … preferably reduced-fat) offers a tangy coolness that complements the savory spiciness of the soup.
4. Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds bright, herbaceous notes and an alluring pop of color.
5. Avocado or Guacamole – Chopped avocado adds a buttery, creamy texture to this Mexican soup. It’s also a good source of healthy fats. A spoonful of homemade guac is great, too (and we’ve got a recipe for you, linked in the recipe collection up above)!
6. Green Onions – Sliced green onions give you a mild onion flavor and a bright, pretty bit of green color. Or, try minced red onion if you want a little more zing.
7. Jalapeños – Looking for some extra heat? Sliced jalapeños not only look pretty on top of your Taco Soup, they also bring some kick to the party. If you prefer a milder heat, simply remove the seeds and white, inner membrane from your pepper before you slice it.
8. Hot Sauce – Here’s another way to add some pep! We use various hot sauces A LOT at our house, since some of my family likes milder or medium heat, while other people want hot, hot, hot. Setting out a bottle of your favorite hot sauce gives each person control of the heat level.
9. Chopped Tomatoes – Add some garden-fresh flavor with a few vibrantly red bits of tomato, or even try a spoonful of salsa or pico de gallo.
However You Serve It … It’s Gonna Be Great!
It’s no wonder Taco Soup is so popular – both for quick, cozy family dinners, and for serving a crowd at parties and tailgates.
All by itself, it’s already jam-crammed with big flavors! The combination of spices, beans, and tomatoes creates a rich, satisfying taste that’s hard to resist.
But it also lends itself so well to customizations, based on the toppings you offer and the sides for Taco Soup you set out along with it.
Go light and refreshing, or go hearty and full-on Mexican. Choose classics like guacamole, salsa and chips, or highlight trendier options like quinoa.
There’s no bad choice here, friends. Pick and choose your favorites, or change ’em up every time you serve it!
The most important thing to do? JUST GET COOKING!
And mmmmmmmm … ENJOY!!