Whether baked or fried, empanadas represent a common dish in Spanish cuisine.
You got the pastry and the filling – what else can you ask for?
The dish is also popular in Latin America, as well as the Philippines.
Given the size of empanadas, you can have a bunch of them in one sitting without any issues at all.
The filling is what makes the difference – most commonly, chicken.
You can also find beef or pork empanadas, not to mention vegetarian alternatives.
Knowing what to serve with empanadas will turn a common snack or aperitif into a proper meal.
Here are some great ideas.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Empanadas?
Empanadas can be eaten alone, and they can, indeed, fill you up.
However, the size makes them more suitable for a snack or perhaps a brunch.
Mixing them up with a different dish will turn them into an actual meal.
At the same time, even if you do get more types of fillings, the truth is they will feel a bit dull.
A couple of empanadas are usually more than enough.
Mix them up with a different dish, and you will get more flavors and aromas coming up together, making this experience even better.
What to Serve with Empanadas? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are a few common dishes that work wonders with empanadas.
1 – Soft Brown Rice and Beans
Rice and empanadas may not look like the best combination.
Give it a try, and you will love the outcome though.
Close your eyes and taste it – it almost feels like eating burritos, only the wrapping is different.
Opt for brown rice and make sure it is soft.
Mix it with different ingredients based on the Spanish or Mexican cuisine.
For instance, some black beans will work wonders.
A bit of tomato sauce will also give your rice some extra flavor.
2 – Salsa Verde Dip
Salsa Verde may not be the most sophisticated side dish for empanadas, but it goes well with them.
To keep it simple, this is actually a dip. The dip is based on tomatoes and sauce.
It is suitable for all kinds of things, including enchiladas and chips as well.
While similar to salsa, this tip is based on tomatillos – you can go with Mexican husk tomatoes too.
This is what makes it green. While you can buy it from a grocery store, it is much tastier if you make it yourself.
Make sure you roast the tomatoes first for a unique aroma.
3 – Mexican Street Corn Salad
The Mexican street corn salad complements empanadas because both dishes are part of the same cuisine.
They work well together, and tastes will be pleasantly mixed.
This is more than just a boring salad – it has a smoky aroma, a spicy taste, tangy flavors, and plenty of savors.
How come? Simple – you get corn sauteed in butter, as well as chilies and onions.
Then, you got some hot sauce on top of all these, as well as some mayo and chili powder.
Squeeze lime on top of everything, and you have just found the perfect side dish for your empanadas.
4 – Creamy Homemade Qdoba Queso
This is probably one of the most common dips for chips, empanadas, and everything in between out there.
It is tasty and can be purchased from stores, but you can also attempt to do it yourself – it may not be the same, but it will impress you.
You need a bunch of different cheeses – Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar, and American cheese.
Obviously, you can add a bunch of extras for even more flavors – maybe some roasted peppers or perhaps tomatoes and cream.
The best way to serve it with empanadas? Dip them in.
5 – Crunchy Leafy Strawberry Salsa
Strawberry salsa may seem a bit weird, but give it a try, and you will not regret it.
Normally, it is made with tomatoes, yet strawberries give it a refreshing aroma.
Fresh strawberries will give your salsa a unique taste.
Besides, the final outcome is good-looking as well.
Get some red strawberries, cut them into small pieces and mix them up with jalapenos and green cilantro.
You can blend everything up and come up with a salsa paste, but you can also ensure ingredients are well chopped and leave everything as a salad.
6 – Soft and Salty Corn on the Cob
The corn on the cob is a classic.
It may not be too fancy or sophisticated, but get it on the same table with empanadas, and your family or guests will love the combo.
Not only is it juicy, but it also feels a bit crunchy. It has a slightly sweet aroma too.
Make sure you put some salt on it – simply grab some salt in your hand and rub it in.
While the classic way to prepare it is boiling, you can also do it in a microwave – less mess, less hassle, and faster results.
7 – Crunchy Fried Plantains
This combo is often overlooked, but it can turn your world to 180 degrees.
Basically, you have savory empanadas matching sweet plantains. It sounds unusual, but it works.
It is not for everyone though – you must appreciate the sweet and salty combination.
The dish itself is not too complicated and can be prepared in no time.
Get some ripe sweet plantains and fry them until they go golden.
Slice them beforehand for faster cooking.
They will feel soft and caramelized – almost like they are about to melt in your mouth.
As a short final conclusion, you do not have to be an expert chef to figure out what to serve with empanadas.
There are lots of great choices out there – some of them inspired from the Spanish and Mexican cuisines, while others coming as innovative combinations.
The general idea is to stick to something you like – whether you want to turn empanadas into an actual meal or you just want a more comprehensive brunch or snack.
Furthermore, the filling will also help you make better choices regarding the side.