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What To Serve with Barbacoa Tacos? 7 BEST Side Dishes

Barbacoa taco is one of the most popular Mexican delicacies, and it is not only delicious but also healthy.

‘Barbacoa’ is the process of cooking the meat, and it is traditionally prepared in an underground brick-lined oven.

The intense and slow steaming process makes the meat juicy and tender.

Nowadays, barbacoa tacos can be prepared in any kitchen.

It is served with tender meat slow-cooked in an achiote paste, veggies, and wrapped in a tortilla.

It’s easy, delicious, and pairs well with many side dishes.

This blog post will provide you with a list of side dishes of what to serve with barbacoa tacos.

So, hold tight and keep reading.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Barbacoa Tacos?

why consider serving side dishes with barbacoa tacos

As delicious as it is, barbacoa tacos pair well with plenty of side dishes.

Yes, it can be a complete meal on its own.

But having it with a side dish definitely, elevates the tacos making it more gourmet, if you may.

Being a staple in many households, barbacoa tacos are considered a portion of comfort food.

Packed with meat and veggies, this comfort food hits home. But when it is repeated, it can get dull.

So adding oomph to this comfort food will give it a new look and a refreshing taste.

What To Serve with Barbacoa Tacos? 7 BEST Side Dishes

From classic side dishes to experimental ones, below are the most delicious side dishes that go amazingly well with barbacoa tacos.

Please keep reading to know more about it.

1. Tomato Salsa

tomato salsa

A tomato salsa gives any entreé a refreshing upgrade. Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants like lycopene.

They are also a great source of Vitamin K, C, and potassium, and therefore, it has a great number of health benefits.

When tomato salsa is added as a side dish with the barbacoa tacos, it instantly makes the tacos less greasy, more delicious, and healthier.

The best part about this side dish is that it is easy to make, barely taking 5 minutes.

You need to chop your tomatoes, add pepper, cilantro and sprinkle the seasonings, and you’re good to go.

2. Classic Guacamole

classic guacamole

Guacamole and tacos? The best pairing.

Classic guacamole goes well with almost every Mexican dish.

It is easy to make and can be premade and stored. Avocado is the main star of guacamole.

It is known as the ‘butter fruit’ due to its healthy fats and has good amounts of vitamins and fiber.

Since a barbacoa taco has lots of protein and carbs, balancing it with guacamole gives it a divine taste.

The creaminess of the guacamole adds the right amount of richness to the meaty taco.

And this is why; classic guacamole can never go wrong.

3. Grilled Corn

grilled corn

This pairing is popularly seen on street food trucks, and we get why it is preferred by many.

It just feels right.

It makes it a complete meal. A cob of grilled corn with barbacoa tacos is a great combo.

The grilled corn adds sweetness and cuts down the spiciness of the tacos.

It is not only the tasteful pairing, but the visual of a bright yellow grilled corn with a taco makes the dish tastier.

It is easy to make, quick, and never goes wrong.

This pairing will enhance the regular barbacoa tacos’ taste, look, and overall presentation.

4. Papaya Salad with Mangetout And Beansprout

papaya salad with mangetout and beansprout

A papaya salad is away if you need an out-of-the-box side dish for a barbacoa taco.

This salad instantly screams summer.

The bright and vivid colors of the salad will make the food even more appealing.

When a papaya salad has additional ingredients like beansprout and mangetout, each giving its unique taste, a meat-reliant taco cannot go wrong.

This crunchy salad has a sweet and tangy taste making sure it only elevates your barbacoa taco.

It makes the tacos shine a little and add more health benefits and reasons to chomp down a taco.

5. Pickled Watermelon

pickled watermelon

Let’s assume that you do not want anything heavy with the tacos.

In that case, a pickled watermelon can be a perfect choice.

Pickled watermelons are tangy, addictive, and a great side dish for any main dish.

The tanginess of the pickled watermelon helps cut down any greasiness of the meat.

It is crunchy and colorful. It complements the barbacoa tacos perfectly.

You can munch on the pickled watermelon without feeling bloated as it is healthy and packed with good nutrients.

Don’t worry about it. Just dice up those watermelons and toss them in a bowl mixed with white vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Leave it for an hour, and your lightly picked watermelon is ready for consumption.

6. Green Salad

green salad

Are you looking for a healthy, quick, and non-fussy side dish? A green salad is your go-to side dish.

The green salad complements the barbacoa taco and gives it a refreshing taste.

Choose any fresh greens of your choice. Dice it up roughly, add the dressing, and you’re good to go.

You can add lime juice and sprinkle pink salt to give it a tangy taste.

7. Spanish Rice

spanish rice

Don’t be astonished. Yes, rice is a great pair for a barbacoa taco.

Regular rice tastes amazing with a taco, but Spanish rice is an elevated option to make your barbacoa taco even more delicious.

Add some lime, jalapeno, tomatoes, and seasonings to your rice. Cook it, and it just creates a balanced meal.

When mixed with the meat tacos, the rice creates the perfect meal for hungry times.


Barbacoa tacos are perfect for both quick bites and a hearty meal.

It pairs perfectly with various side dishes, and we hope that the side dishes mentioned above can help elevate your taco night.

You can opt for side dishes like guacamole, salsa, and pickled watermelon for a quick bite.

These side dishes are not overwhelming and will only help improve the taste of the tacos.

For a whole meal, go for salads, corn, and rice to fill up your stomach while complementing the tacos.

Yield: 4 Servings

What To Serve with Barbacoa Tacos? 7 BEST Side Dishes

What To Serve with Barbacoa Tacos? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Tomato Salsa
  • Classic Guacamole
  • Grilled Corn
  • Papaya Salad with Mangetout And Beansprout
  • Pickled Watermelon
  • Green Salad
  • Spanish Rice


  1. Pick your favorite recipe from the article.
  2. Organize your ingredients and utensils.
  3. Follow the detailed instructions in the recipe to make your side dish.
  4. Prepare and serve for delicious meal!
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