Quesadillas are a classic comfort food. There’s just something about melted cheese tucked between two buttery bread-y components, much like with a grilled cheese sandwich. However, I think that the quesadilla is a bit more versatile than the grilled cheese since you can add pretty stuff anything inside a quesadilla and it will likely turn out fantastic!
However, the original quesadilla was likely a bit simpler. It’s thought to have originated in colonial Mexico in the central and southern regions. It’s an interesting dish because it reflects a bit of the history of Mexico.
The tortilla, which is traditionally cooked corn masa, is derived from the Native American peoples. But, it comes together with the imported food items. the traditional Oaxaca cheese was brought to Mexico by Dominican monks and the addition of meat became more widespread after the Spanish imported and incorporated much more meat into the diets. Then, of course, it was only natural for people to combine all of the ingredients and melt the cheese between the two tortillas.
So, if you decided to pay homage to Mexico’s rich cultural heritage while filling up your stomach, you may be wondering what to serve with quesadillas? Well, I have 21 awesome sides for you to choose from!
What to Serve with Quesadillas?
While quesadillas are quite versatile and you can add nearly anything you want to them, what you serve alongside them can be a bit trickier.
You don’t want to choose something that might clash with the taste and texture of the rich, cheesy, and slightly crunchy quesadilla.
For me, the best sides to serve with quesadillas also fall under the Tex-Mex food category. This includes foods that have a spicy, smoky, and tangy taste.
The texture isn’t as much of a concern as long as the flavor profiles match up nicely. For example, something like yakisoba or pasta would be flavor profiles that don’t match up for me. Whereas things like tortilla soup or Spanish rice align perfectly.
Best Sides to Serve with Quesadillas
Now you know a bit about why I think some dishes go better with quesadillas than others, let’s get into the tasty part, shall we?
Cilantro Lime Rice
Cilantro haters, turn away now; this one isn’t for you.
But for all the rest, isn’t cilantro lime rice ideal for pretty much any Mexican dish? It also goes nicely with Asian cuisine too! But cilantro lime rice is a perfect Mexican side dish that’s also super simple to make at home, and it of course is a great addition to quesadillas.
This Mexican staple is a classic addition to quesadillas and many other foods too. When you eat with your quesadilla, you can either dip it into the salsa or conversely, you can pour it directly on top of the quesadilla too! This recipe is one of my favorites.
Without excellent guacamole, no Mexican meal is complete. For many people, guacamole is not only a traditional Mexican dish, but it also goes great with quesadillas.
Guacamole can be spread on top of quesadillas, sandwiched inside, or served as a delicious side dish with crispy tortilla chips. You can check out a classic recipe here.
Corn salsa is loaded with light, fresh, and tangy flavors that are the perfect accompaniment to quesadillas. This side dish is especially delicious in the summer when local, fresh corn is available anywhere!
If you’ve ever had Chipotle’s corn salsa and you dig it, then this recipe is for you! It’s a pretty darn tasty copycat version.
Black Bean Salad
Another delightful, fresh item that goes well with practically any type of tortilla and grated cheese combo is black bean salad. The combination of flavors is exquisite.
Additionally, when you put it all together, the amount of colors in the dish makes it not only a treat for the tummy, but for the eyes too! This recipe that includes a lime dressing is a great one!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Since you already will have the tortillas from the quesadilla, you should go ahead and make some chicken tortilla soup too! It’s a super tasty dish that goes great with a quesadilla.
Don’t worry about there being too much “tortilla-ness” the crispy tortilla strips on top of the soup are different enough in taste and texture to not give you a tortilla overload.
Since it’s so easy, this recipe is my go-to when it comes to this soup.
Chili Cheese Dip
Okay, so this one may make you feel a bit slow afterward due to some pretty heavy eating, but I can assure you that your tastebuds will thank you. And you can make it pretty quickly.
It’s also pretty hands-off if you happen to have a slow cooker, however, cooking it this way is kind of… slow. If you check out this recipe, they have both stovetop and Crockpot methods of cooking.
This soup isn’t the most well-known dish on this list, but it may turn out to be one of your favorites! It’s packed with meatballs, vegetables floating in a rich broth.
What’s not to love, right? Okay, well vegetarians may not love it, but you can substitute the meatballs if you like.
But, either way, it’s a great addition to quesadillas. This is a great family recipe for it.
Simple Shrimp Ceviche
Shrimp ceviche is a delicious no-cook side dish that goes well with many meals, quesadillas included.
There’s no need to turn on the oven because the lemon and lime juice “cook” the shrimp! This quick shrimp ceviche has a bright flavor that you’ll adore. It’s also especially tasty in the summer when you’re looking for a refreshing side dish to go with your quesadillas.
There is no shortage of ceviche recipes, but this one is a classic.
Hassle-Free Jalapeño Poppers
Jalapeño poppers may be more of a Superbowl side than a quesadilla side, but they go great together! It may be this reason that I actually love to cook them both when I prepare snacks for the big game. But, you don’t need a Superbowl as an excuse to cook up these delicious jalapeño poppers.
Mexican Roasted Sweet Potatoes
If there is “Mexican” in the name, there is a good chance that it will be a good side dish for quesadillas.
Roasted sweet potatoes add both a nice color and a slightly sweet and savory taste to your quesadillas.
You only need a few ingredients, which makes it a convenient option too. If you have an air fryer, this is a great recipe that will leave the potatoes with a caramelized exterior and soft and sweet interior.
This is a classic Mexican cantina side dish that you’ve probably had many times (alongside the red rice) at Mexican restaurants.
It’s a true classic that finds itself just as much at home next to a quesadilla as an enchilada. This is a tasty and authentic recipe I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
This is another pretty hearty dish on this list, which means you can make one serious meal with a quesadilla and stuffed peppers combo. The Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers were delicious.
You’ll get the creaminess of the cheese, the savory flavor of the turkey, the carb fix of rice, and enough vegetables and beans to make sure that all of your bases are covered. This is a very popular recipe for this dinner favorite.
Homemade Tortilla Chips
There is a reason that tortilla chips are always served in Mexican restaurants, they go well with everything! When you also team them up with one of the varieties of sauce or dip like guacamole, then you have a winning combo!
If you want to try out making them yourself, you can try these baked tortilla chips.
Sweet Potato Salad
This one may seem like a bit of an outlier but sweet potato salad goes alongside quesadillas pretty well.
Whilst potato salad is a classic picnic and barbeque side, sweet potatoes may be a deliciously unusual and healthful accompaniment to your quesadillas. This southern-style version goes particularly well.
With peppers, tomatoes, and onions, Spanish rice is a tasty twist. This is a great way to include some extra carbs and vegetables into your quesadilla.
Like rice in general, it pretty much goes with anything. But Spanish rice even goes above and beyond and pairs with quesadillas perfectly. This is a delicious recipe for Spanish rice.
Salsa de Adobo
Any meal will benefit from the addition of homemade adobo sauce, which has a robust, spicy, and smokey flavor.
Chili powder, tomato sauce, and cider vinegar are the main ingredients in the sauce. Your Mexican entree will surely come to life thanks to the spicy flavors!
I recommend using this recipe not only for your quesadillas but in many other Mexican dishes too!
Pico de Gallo
I am the type to always order extra sides of pico de gallo when I go to Mexican restaurants. I just can’t get enough of the stuff.
Whilst I most often use it to dip tortilla chips in, it’s also an amazing topping for quesadillas. It’s hard to beat the fresh, tangy taste of fresh pico de gallo.
This basic recipe for pico de gallo is great! It takes a while because you need to refrigerate it before serving, but it makes all the difference!
This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one more addition that included beans. Frijoles borrachos or “drunk beans” is a mouth-watering alternative to refried beans. While I love refried beans, adding beer to when you cook them takes the flavor to a new level.
I am no food scientist myself, but I’ve read it’s the acidity in the beer that makes such a difference! This is a great recipe if you feel like giving them a try.
Mexican Street Corn
You don’t have to go to Cabo to enjoy tasty Mexican-style corn on the cobb. Try out this classic Mexican street food dish that is a wonderful side to quesadillas.
Last but not least, is the convenient classic of pickled jalapeños. I love to keep a jar of these babies in my fridge at all times and there is no more perfect time to use them than as a topping for a quesadilla.
Not only are they tasty, but there is also no cooking needed!
Not sure what to fill your quesadilla with? There are so many options! Really, the only limit is your imagination and the ingredients you have to hand.
Here are a few great ideas to get you started: