What to Serve with Nachos [11 Best Side Dishes]

Easy nacho serving ideas, from pico de gallo to chili con carne, and chicken taco soup to jalapeño cornbread. Discover what to serve with nachos today.

nachos assembled on skillet for reheating

Tortilla chips provide the perfect canvas for a variety of flavors, but nachos might not always be a full meal all on their own. No matter what toppings might go on top of a pile of chips, there are several side dishes that can accent those flavors reliably and help create a comprehensive and delicious dish.

From pico de gallo to tortilla soup, these delicious nacho sides will be the ultimate crowd-pleaser for your next party menu.

Pico de Gallo

Bowl of pico de gallo

We’ll start with a more robust twist on standard salsa, which can complement the taste of nachos while adding a fresh bite to the meal.

Start with chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers to create the perfect mix of flavors for a delicious side dish. Top it all off with some fresh lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of salt to bring all the components together.

Chili con Carne

Bowl of chili con carne

Whether served on the side or added to the top, this dish is an excellent addition to any plate of nachos. 

Ground beef is the primary ingredient, but a number of other additions give it a full, rich flavor and unmistakable aroma. After cooking the meat, add oil to the same pot along with onions, garlic, chili powder, and a blend of spices to simmer for a while before adding the beans and topping it off with a bit of sour cream or chopped peppers as desired.

Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soup

Despite its complex layers of flavors and unique crunch, this is one bowl of soup that won’t take a long time to cook or a wide range of hard to find ingredients.

Add some broth to cooked chicken and combine beans, tomatoes, and corn for those authentic Mexican flavors. Top it off with some tortilla strips and it is ready to serve as the perfect companion to a pile of delicious nachos.

Black Bean Soup

black bean soup

Black beans can make an interesting side dish on their own, but when turned into the main ingredient for this soup the entire flavor profile takes on a new and unbeatable dimension that works quite well with any type of nacho dish. 

Choose some fresh vegetables to cook down before adding in some garlic and broth. When it starts to come together and smell fantastic, dump in the black beans to let it simmer before adding a dollop of sour cream to finish it off as one of the tastiest and simplest side dishes to complement nachos of all types.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken in a pan

Even if the entree consists of nachos, there’s still some room for a protein-rich side dish to shine through with its own unique flavors. 

Chicken thighs work well as the primary ingredient and should be marinated for a while before cooking. After it takes on the aroma of garlic, lime, cilantro, and other spices, it is ready to be cooked in a skillet over medium heat before moving to the oven for about 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.


pimento cheese chicken quesadillas

While it is true that nachos already feature tortillas, these crispy chips are different in taste and texture than the tortillas used to make quesadillas. Therefore, it could be an interesting combination to serve the two dishes together for a unique and enjoyable Mexican feast.

The only requirements for creating a great quesadilla are filling a corn or flour tortilla with cheese and any other desired foods before grilling it all to perfection on a griddle. Adding a scoop of sour cream and serving some salsa on the side will make this side dish one that no dinner guest will soon forget.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes Sandwich

Although this might not be the first thought that comes to mind when deciding what to serve with nachos, it is a great option that adds a delicious new dimension to any such meal.

Start by browning some ground beef and mixing in peppers and onions for that classic taste. Simmer it in a slightly sweet tomato sauce or ketchup to bring all the flavors together and add it to a plate alongside the nachos for a new spin on a childhood favorite.

Spanish Rice

spanish rice in white bowl

There seem to be countless ways to prepare rice, which makes this versatile grain an excellent side dish for various meals.

When it comes to preparing Spanish rice to be served with nachos, start out with a white rice and add tomato, garlic, onion, and a mix of spices as desired. Blend everything together with water or stock before simmering the pot and allowing the tastes to mingle and create a cohesive side dish that will allow any plate of nachos to shine as the star of the meal.

Mexican Street Corn

elote mexican street corn

It is simple to create a fresh corn dish with a host of complex flavors that will perfectly complement nachos of all types.

After grilling the ears of corn, a combination of mayo and sour cream creates the base for a delicious sauce to be added as a final step. Mix in cilantro, lime, herbs, and spices and combine it all for a uniquely authentic take on an ordinary side of corn on the cob.

Jalapeño Cornbread

jalapeno cornbread

Cornbread is a timeless choice to serve with a variety of meals, and including it with nachos can create a delectable dining experience

Start with cornmeal and flour to create the dough then mix in baking powder, eggs, and baking soda. Add some oil, cheese, jalapenos, and a touch of maple syrup to sweeten it up before baking the bread in a greased pan until it reaches a golden brown color that signals it is ready to enjoy.

Guacamole Quinoa Salad

Guacamole Quinoa Salad

Quinoa and guacamole are two popular sides that can make a variety of meals even tastier than they would be on their own. 

Combining these flavors into a fresh salad is an easy process that can reinvent a typical plate of nachos. Simply cook the quinoa and prepare the avocado before mixing in tomatoes, black beans, and cilantro to be drizzled with some oil and tasty herbs for a complete side dish that can’t be beat.

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