Delicious Side Dishes to Pair with Your Empanadas

If you’ve ever savored the crispy, flaky goodness of empanadas, you know that they are a delicious delight. These delectable turnovers, filled with a variety of savory and sometimes sweet ingredients, are a favorite snack or meal option across many cultures. However, to truly enhance the experience of enjoying empanadas, one must consider the perfect pairing of side dishes. Whether you’re enjoying traditional beef empanadas, or experimenting with vegetarian or dessert fillings, the right side dish can elevate the overall meal to a culinary masterpiece. In this article, we’ll explore a range of tantalizing and complementary side dishes that will leave your taste buds singing when paired with your favorite empanadas. Get ready to take your empanada experience to new heights with these delightful accompaniments.

Key Takeaways
Empanadas are delicious on their own, but they can be complemented with a variety of side dishes such as a simple green salad, Spanish rice, black beans, or grilled vegetables. These sides provide a fresh and flavorful contrast to the savory and rich flavors of the empanadas. Additionally, some people enjoy dipping their empanadas in chimichurri sauce or salsa for an extra burst of flavor.

Classic Latin American Side Dishes

Classic Latin American side dishes are the perfect accompaniment to empanadas, offering a well-balanced and flavorful meal. In Latin American cuisine, rice and beans are classic staples that complement the flavors of empanadas. Arroz con frijoles, or rice and beans, provide a hearty and comforting side dish that adds depth and substance to the meal. The combination of fluffy rice and savory beans perfectly complements the flaky, flavorful empanadas.

Another traditional side dish that pairs well with empanadas is plantains. Whether they’re sliced and fried to make tostones or sweet and ripe for maduros, plantains offer a sweet and savory contrast to the savory empanadas. The caramelized flavor and rich texture of the plantains create a delightful contrast to the crispy exterior and savory fillings of the empanadas.

Additionally, classic Latin American side dishes also include yuca fries, a delicious alternative to traditional French fries, and ensalada de aguacate, a simple avocado salad that adds a refreshing and creamy element to the meal. These side dishes not only enhance the overall dining experience but also celebrate the vibrant flavors of Latin American cuisine.

Fresh And Zesty Salad Options

Fresh and zesty salads are the perfect pairing for empanadas, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory flavors of the pastry. A classic option is a citrus avocado salad featuring a mix of fresh greens, creamy avocado slices, and tangy citrus segments, all dressed with a light vinaigrette. The combination of flavors and textures offers a bright and invigorating accompaniment to the empanadas.

For those craving a bit more zest, a spicy mango and cucumber salad can provide a delightful kick. This vibrant salad combines the sweetness of ripe mango with the crispness of cucumber, all tossed in a spicy dressing for a tantalizing flavor profile. The heat from the spices helps to elevate the empanadas, making for a well-balanced and dynamic meal.

Another excellent choice is a grilled corn and black bean salad, which adds a hearty and slightly smoky element to the meal. This salad features charred corn kernels, black beans, diced tomatoes, and cilantro, all tossed in a zesty lime dressing. The blend of flavors and the hint of smokiness make it a fantastic partner for empanadas, offering a satisfying and wholesome pairing option.

Tasty And Tangy Salsas And Dips

Salsas and dips are a perfect accompaniment to elevate the flavors of empanadas. Whether you prefer a classic tomato salsa, a spicy jalapeno salsa, or a zesty mango salsa, the tangy and refreshing taste of these salsas adds a burst of flavor to your empanadas. Additionally, creamy avocado salsa or guacamole can offer a smooth and rich contrast to the crispy texture of the empanadas, providing a delightful indulgence for your taste buds.

For those who enjoy a little heat, consider serving empanadas with a side of chipotle aioli or a spicy chili dip. These fiery dips add a kick to the meal and complement the savory filling of the empanadas. Furthermore, a simple sour cream and cilantro dip can provide a cooling balance to the warmth of the empanadas, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer milder flavors. No matter your preference, salsas and dips offer a versatile range of flavors to enhance the dining experience when paired with empanadas.

Savory Rice And Beans Combinations

When it comes to pairing savory rice and beans with empanadas, the options are endless. For a classic Latin American twist, consider serving your empanadas with arroz con frijoles, a flavorful dish made of perfectly cooked rice mixed with seasoned beans. The combination of fluffy rice and creamy, well-seasoned beans provides a satisfying and filling side to complement the rich flavors of the empanadas.

If you’re looking to spice things up, consider a Mexican-inspired rice and beans combination. Arroz a la Mexicana, a zesty tomato-infused rice, paired with hearty frijoles refritos (refried beans) creates a deliciously robust accompaniment for your empanadas. The tangy and bold flavors of this rice and beans ensemble add an extra layer of depth to your meal, making it an ideal choice for those who love a bit of heat and complexity in their dishes.

For a lighter and health-conscious option, try a quinoa and black bean salad. Packed with protein and nutrients, the nutty and fluffy quinoa combined with seasoned black beans makes for a wholesome and satisfying side dish. The earthy flavors of the quinoa and the hearty texture of the black beans provide a refreshing contrast to the indulgent taste of empanadas, making for a well-balanced and delicious meal.

Delectable Vegetable Accompaniments

Pair your savory empanadas with a variety of delectable vegetable accompaniments to elevate your dining experience. Roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes, make for a colorful and flavorful addition to your empanada meal. Their caramelized edges and tender texture complement the rich and spicy flavors of the empanadas.

For a lighter and fresher option, consider serving a side of tangy coleslaw or a crisp green salad with a zesty vinaigrette. The crunchy, refreshing contrast of the vegetables in the coleslaw or salad adds a delightful contrast to the hearty empanadas. Additionally, grilled corn on the cob, sprinkled with chili powder and a squeeze of lime, brings a smoky and zesty element to the table. These vegetable accompaniments not only add a nutritional boost to your meal but also enhance the overall taste and presentation of your empanada feast.

Creamy And Cheesy Potatoes

Creamy and Cheesy Potatoes are a delightful side dish that complements empanadas perfectly. This dish features tender potato slices bathed in a luscious, creamy, and cheesy sauce, offering a comforting and indulgent flavor that is sure to satisfy everyone at the table. The creamy and cheesy texture of the potatoes elegantly contrasts the crispy exterior of the empanadas, creating a harmonious balance of textures and tastes.

To prepare this dish, simply layer thinly sliced potatoes in a baking dish and cover them with a rich mixture of heavy cream, butter, and a blend of sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Season the potatoes with a sprinkling of garlic, thyme, and a touch of nutmeg for added depth of flavor. As the dish bakes in the oven, the potatoes absorb the luxurious cream and cheese, resulting in a sumptuous side that will elevate your empanada meal to new heights.

Creamy and Cheesy Potatoes not only add a touch of elegance to your empanada spread but also provide a comforting and satisfying contrast to the savory flavors of the empanadas. Your guests will surely appreciate this indulgent side dish that brings a touch of luxury to the dining experience.

Flavorful Coleslaw And Slaw Variations

Flavorful coleslaw and slaw variations make for perfect accompaniments to your empanadas. The crunchy texture and tangy flavor of coleslaw provide a refreshing contrast to the rich, savory filling of the empanadas. Traditional coleslaw typically consists of shredded cabbage and carrots mixed with a creamy dressing, but you can add your own twist by incorporating ingredients such as apples, raisins, or nuts for added sweetness and crunch.

If you’re looking to spice things up, consider trying slaw variations with a kick, such as a spicy jalapeno coleslaw or a zesty mango slaw. These flavorful variations add a bold and vibrant element to the table, elevating the overall dining experience. Additionally, experimenting with different dressing options, such as a tangy vinaigrette or a creamy lime cilantro dressing, can help customize the coleslaw to complement the specific flavors of your empanadas, ensuring a well-rounded and satisfying meal for your guests.

Sweet And Spicy Chutneys And Relishes

Sweet and spicy chutneys and relishes are perfect accompaniments to complement the savory flavors of empanadas. Their tangy and zesty profiles add a burst of flavor that enhances the overall dining experience. Whether it’s a mango chutney, pineapple salsa, or a spicy tomato relish, these condiments provide a delightful contrast to the rich and hearty empanadas.

The sweetness of the chutneys balances the saltiness of the empanadas, while the hint of spiciness adds a kick that tantalizes the taste buds. The fruity notes in the chutneys bring a refreshing element to the table and provide a delightful balance to the savory empanadas. Additionally, the spicy relishes provide a bold and fiery flavor that adds depth and excitement to each bite. Serving a variety of sweet and spicy chutneys and relishes allows guests to tailor their empanada experience to their individual taste preferences, making it a versatile and enjoyable pairing option for any gathering.


Incorporating the right side dishes into your empanada meal can elevate the dining experience to new heights. With options ranging from light and refreshing salads to hearty and comforting soups, there are countless possibilities to complement the rich and flavorful empanadas. Whether you prefer traditional accompaniments or innovative pairings, the key is to enhance the overall taste and enjoyment of your meal.

By experimenting with different side dishes, you can create a truly immersive dining experience that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression. Embracing the diverse world of side dishes allows for endless creativity and personalization, ensuring that every empanada meal is a delightful and satisfying culinary adventure. So, don’t hesitate to explore and discover the perfect side dishes to go alongside your empanadas, and savor the delicious fusion of flavors and textures that await.

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