What To Serve With Carnitas Tacos

Ah, carnitas tacos – the ultimate flavor bomb that’s made its way from Mexico to food lovers’ hearts worldwide.

Tender, slow-cooked pork with just the right amount of spice and crispiness nestled into a warm tortilla; it’s hard not to fall in love with this dish.

So you’ve mastered making these mouthwatering morsels at home, but now comes the question: what should you serve alongside them to create a meal that’ll have everyone raving for weeks?

Fear not! We’re here to help elevate your taco night game by sharing our favorite sides and accompaniments that perfectly complement those delectable carnitas tacos.

From zesty salsas to fresh salads and everything in between, we’ve got an array of options that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters at your table.

By following our guide on what to serve with carnitas tacos, you can confidently present a well-rounded feast that showcases both traditional Mexican flavors and some inventive twists.

Get ready for an unforgettable experience bursting with color, texture, and taste – let’s get started!

Why These Side Dishes Goes Well With Carnitas Tacos– By Chef Natalie

To save you time, and to make your decision easy, I have built a nice chart on why these side dishes go well with Carnitas Tacos!

Side DishWhy it goes well with Carnitas Tacos
Zesty Salsa and GuacamoleZesty salsa and guacamole add freshness and vibrant flavors to the carnitas tacos. The spicy salsa and creamy guacamole complement the savory and tender carnitas, adding a burst of flavor and texture.
Refreshing Cilantro Lime RiceCilantro lime rice offers a refreshing and fragrant element to the meal. Its citrusy and herby flavors provide a contrast to the rich and savory carnitas, balancing out the overall taste experience.
Flavorful Black or Pinto BeansFlavorful black or pinto beans provide a hearty and protein-rich component to the carnitas tacos. The earthy and savory flavors of the beans complement the meaty carnitas, creating a satisfying combination.
Crunchy Mexican SlawCrunchy Mexican slaw adds a refreshing and textural contrast to the soft and tender carnitas. The crispness of the vegetables and the tanginess of the dressing enhance the overall dining experience.
Creamy Queso FundidoCreamy queso fundido brings a rich and cheesy element to the carnitas tacos. Its smooth and indulgent texture complements the savory meat and adds a luxurious touch to the meal.
Warm Corn and Flour TortillasWarm corn and flour tortillas are the perfect vessels for the carnitas. They provide a soft and pliable base that holds all the flavorful ingredients together, creating a complete and satisfying taco experience.
Sweet and Tangy Grilled PineappleSweet and tangy grilled pineapple offers a burst of tropical flavors to the carnitas tacos. Its caramelized and juicy nature provides a delightful contrast to the savory and rich meat, adding a touch of sweetness and brightness to the dish.

Carnitas Tacos infographic

1. Zesty Salsa And Guacamole

Is it true that a perfect pairing of zesty salsa and creamy guacamole can elevate the humble carnitas taco to new heights? Indeed, these two classic Mexican condiments are essential companions for your tacos.

They not only complement the rich, slow-cooked pork but also add layers of flavor and texture that make each bite even more satisfying.

Imagine indulging in those tender, juicy chunks of meat nestled in warm corn tortillas, topped with a dollop of tangy, freshly-made salsa bursting with ripe tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and just the right amount of heat from serrano or jalapeño peppers.

Now picture taking it up a notch with a spoonful of velvety smooth avocado blended with lime juice and hints of garlic.

The result is an irresistible medley that will leave you reaching for one delicious taco after another.

And let’s not forget about spicy margaritas on the side; their refreshing citrus notes paired with a subtle kick of spice perfectly cut through the richness while enhancing all the vibrant flavors on your plate.

But wait – there’s more! Why stop at merely enjoying these delectable toppings on your tacos when you can serve them as appetizers too?

Whip up a batch (or two!) of homemade tortilla chips to really showcase these stars.

Freshly fried triangles of crispy goodness offer an ideal vessel for scooping generous amounts of both salsa and guacamole before disappearing into eager mouths around the table.

So go ahead: surprise and delight your guests by serving carnitas tacos accompanied by zesty salsa and luscious guacamole – this winning combination guarantees rave reviews from everyone who partakes in your culinary masterpiece.

2. Refreshing Cilantro Lime Rice

Cooking this rice is a breeze – just simmer it in a pot until it’s tender and fluffy!

Additionally, the cilantro and lime give it a zesty flavor that pairs perfectly with carnitas tacos.

Lime Rice

Not only is it flavorful, but it’s also great for your health, as cilantro has been found to contain cancer-fighting antioxidants.

You can also add other nutritious ingredients to the rice, like peppers, garlic, and onions for even more nutritional benefits.

Overall, this refreshing cilantro lime rice is an easy and delicious side dish that’s good for you, too.

Cooking Method

Picture this: you’re hosting a fabulous taco night, and your delicious carnitas tacos are the star of the show.

But what’s a good side dish that complements those succulent, tender bites? The answer is simple – refreshing cilantro lime rice!

This zesty and aromatic side dish will elevate your meal to new heights, with its tangy hint of lime perfectly balancing the richness of the carnitas.

Let’s dive into how we can create this masterpiece using various cooking methods.

As a culinary specialist, I’m always on the lookout for slow cooker tips to simplify my life in the kitchen while still delivering incredible flavors.

For our cilantro lime rice, start by rinsing long-grain white rice under cold water until the liquid runs clear.

Add it to your slow cooker along with chicken broth, freshly squeezed lime juice, minced garlic, salt, and a touch of oil.

Cook on low for 2-3 hours or high for 1-1½ hours until all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is soft but not mushy.

Once cooked through, gently fold in finely chopped cilantro leaves and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Now let’s talk about oven-roasting techniques for making this refreshing side dish even more delightful.

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and follow similar preparation steps as mentioned before – rinse rice thoroughly before combining it with the same ingredients in an oven-safe baking dish instead of a slow cooker.

Stir well and cover tightly with aluminum foil or an oven-proof lid.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated and the rice is fully cooked; then fluff it up with a fork so that each grain remains separate yet tenderly infused with flavor from the surrounding elements like cilantro and lime zest.

In either method chosen above one thing stays true—your guests will be begging for seconds after they’ve tasted this scrumptious accompaniment to their carnitas tacos.

Flavourful Additions

Now that we’ve mastered the art of making cilantro lime rice with our slow cooker and oven techniques, let’s have some fun experimenting with flavorful additions to truly make it your own.

After all, a taco night isn’t complete without creative toppings and zesty sides to complement those spicy margaritas you’re serving up!

Don’t be afraid to play around with different ingredients – try adding diced jalapeño peppers or bell peppers for an extra kick, mix in some corn kernels for sweetness and texture, or toss in black beans for added protein and fiber.

You could even incorporate grilled pineapple chunks for a surprising tropical twist that’ll leave everyone wanting more.

And remember: there’s no such thing as too much flavor when it comes to tantalizing your taste buds at taco night – so go ahead and surprise your guests by taking this refreshing cilantro lime rice side dish to bold new heights!

Health Benefits of Refreshing Cilantro Lime Rice

But wait, there’s more to this scrumptious cilantro lime rice than just its mouth-watering flavors and customizability.

You’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the nutrition boost it brings to your taco night spread.

After all, who says indulging in delicious food can’t come with some added health perks?

When you’re whipping up a batch of this vibrant side dish, keep in mind that you’re not only treating your taste buds but also nourishing your body with antioxidant-rich ingredients like cilantro and lime.

These zesty components are known for their immune-boosting properties and ability to combat inflammation – so go ahead and pack in those extra spoonfuls!

In addition to being incredibly tasty, our refreshing cilantro lime rice is proof that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or enjoyment at mealtime.

So gather around the table with friends and family, knowing that each bite comes loaded with both irresistible tastes and wholesome goodness.

3. Flavorful Black Or Pinto Beans

Carnitas tacos are a delicious and hearty meal on their own, but when paired with some scrumptious black or pinto beans, the dish becomes truly unforgettable.

These two bean varieties offer unique flavors that complement the savory goodness of carnitas perfectly.

Pinto Beans

Plus, there’s an endless array of cooking techniques to explore in order to make these legumes stand out even more.

To really elevate your taco night experience, consider preparing both black and pinto beans using different methods – this will not only add variety to your feast but also showcase the versatility of these fantastic ingredients.

  • Soak your beans overnight for a softer texture
  • Experiment with spices like cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika
  • Add aromatic vegetables like onions and bell peppers during the cooking process

For instance, try simmering one batch of beans slowly in a tomato-based sauce infused with garlic, chilies, and fresh herbs while gently sautéing another batch with onion and bold spices until they reach a rich golden-brown hue.

This way, you can present multiple options for guests to mix and match as they please; creating personalized flavor combinations that’ll keep them coming back for seconds (and thirds).

There is no doubt that including well-prepared black or pinto beans alongside those mouthwatering carnitas tacos will take your meal from great to extraordinary.

By exploring various bean varieties and employing creative cooking techniques, you can transform simple legumes into show-stopping side dishes worthy of sharing center stage with your main course.

So go ahead – experiment, have fun in the kitchen, and watch as your friends’ eyes light up at first bite!

4. Crunchy Mexican Slaw

After enjoying those delightful beans, why not take your carnitas tacos to the next level with a side of Crunchy Mexican Slaw?

Did you know that cabbage is packed with vitamins C and K, making it an excellent addition to any meal for both taste and nutritional value?

Mexican Salad

This unconventional slaw combines fresh ingredients with bold flavors to create a dish that will excite your taste buds.

For this spicy coleslaw, think beyond the traditional green cabbage.

Mix in some vibrant red cabbage and crunchy jicama for added color and texture.

Toss everything together with a tangy dressing made from lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño peppers for a burst of acidity and heat.

To showcase the versatility of this recipe, consider using different toppings or dressings depending on your personal preference or dietary needs! Here’s a table displaying various combinations:

IngredientDressingOptional Add-Ins
Green CabbageLime Juice & Olive OilSliced Avocado
Red CabbageApple Cider Vinegar & HoneyPickled Jalapeños
JicamaCreamy Chipotle SauceFresh Mango
CarrotsSriracha MayoToasted Pepitas
RadishesTangy Yogurt DressingCrumbled Queso Fresco

Now imagine taking a bite out of that succulent carnitas taco layered with flavorful beans and topped off with our colorful Crunchy Mexican Slaw.

The contrasting textures – tender meat, creamy beans, crispy vegetables – meld together beautifully while tantalizing every single one of your senses.

So go ahead: elevate your taco night by pairing those scrumptious carnitas tacos with an unforgettable side dish that leaves everyone craving more!

5. Creamy Queso Fundido

Creamy Queso Fundido is a delicious and indulgent dish that pairs beautifully with carnitas tacos.

The rich, velvety texture of the cheese intermingles perfectly with the succulent meat, adding an extra layer of depth to your taco experience.


This sumptuous dip not only complements the flavors of your main dish but also elevates them, turning an ordinary meal into a veritable symphony of taste.

  1. Spicy chorizo inclusion: Adding spicy chorizo to your queso fundido injects warmth and robust flavor into every bite. The smoky undertones from this Spanish sausage will dance on your palate, leaving you craving more.
  2. Unconventional cheese options: Why limit yourself to traditional Mexican cheeses when there’s a world of delectable dairy to explore? Consider using Gouda or Fontina for a nutty twist that melds seamlessly with the other ingredients.
  3. Freshly chopped cilantro: A sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro adds just the right amount of freshness and zestiness needed to cut through the richness of the melted cheese.

As you embark upon crafting this exquisite Creamy Queso Fundido, remember that attention to detail is key in transforming it from merely tasty into truly transcendent.

Carefully selecting each ingredient ensures that every mouthful bursts with harmonious flavor notes that elevate your entire dining experience.

So go forth and revel in this culinary delight as you savor its luxuriousness alongside those irresistible carnitas tacos; satisfaction is guaranteed!

6. Warm Corn And Flour Tortillas

Making your own tortillas is a great way to get the most out of your carnitas tacos. You can make them with either corn or flour, depending on your preference.

For corn tortillas, you’ll need masa harina, salt, and warm water.

Corn On The Cob

For flour tortillas, you’ll need all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and warm water.

Get creative and explore the different flavors and textures that these two types of tortillas have to offer!

Making Tortillas

Who doesn’t love the comforting and satisfying feeling of biting into a fresh, warm tortilla filled with delicious carnitas? Making your own homemade masa for corn or flour tortillas is easier than you might think, and it’s guaranteed to elevate your taco game.

Let me walk you through some simple steps in crafting those perfect little pockets of goodness.

For authentic corn tortillas, using homemade masa dough made from ground nixtamalized corn is key.

You’ll need to mix together the dampened masa harina (cornflour) with water until it forms a smooth yet pliable dough that will hold its shape when pressed between your hands.

For indulgent flour tortillas, use all-purpose or whole-wheat flour mixed with baking powder, salt, lard or vegetable shortening, and hot water to create a soft and tender dough.

Once kneaded properly and allowed to rest for at least 30 minutes before dividing into equal portions – these delightful discs are ready for rolling out thin by hand or with a tortilla press.

If traditional corn or flour isn’t quite what you’re looking for in terms of texture, taste or dietary preferences; don’t fret! There are plenty of tortilla alternatives available like blue cornmeal-based ones or even gluten-free options made from rice flour blends that still deliver an exceptional experience when paired with juicy carnitas tacos.

Whichever way you decide to go: remember that nothing beats freshly prepared warm tortillas enveloping sumptuous fillings bursting with flavor – so roll up those sleeves and get started on making your very own today!

Ingredients For Tortillas

Now that we’ve covered the basics of making traditional corn and flour tortillas, let’s dive into the exciting world of ingredients for these versatile flatbreads.

Whether you’re sticking to classic recipes or venturing out with tortilla alternatives made from unique grains, there’s a wealth of possibilities when it comes to choosing what goes inside your homemade creations.

Don’t be afraid to explore unconventional fillings and leave your taste buds delighted by new flavor combinations!

You can start by experimenting with different types of flours like spelt or quinoa for an earthy twist on the classic recipe.

For those who prefer gluten-free options, rice flour blends or chickpea flour make excellent choices without compromising texture or taste.

Want to add some color and drama to your taco night? Give blue cornmeal-based tortillas a try – their vibrant hue is sure to impress your guests.

When it comes down to picking the perfect fillings for your warm, homemade tortillas, think beyond the usual suspects like carnitas and grilled veggies.

Consider incorporating seasonal produce like roasted butternut squash or sautéed mushrooms; play around with bold spices such as harissa paste or za’atar seasoning; even consider non-traditional protein sources like tempeh or lentils!

The sky’s truly the limit when customizing your delightful mealtime masterpieces.

7. Sweet And Tangy Grilled Pineapple

Now that you’ve got your warm corn and flour tortillas ready for those mouthwatering carnitas tacos, it’s time to turn our attention to a vibrant and refreshing accompaniment: sweet and tangy grilled pineapple.

The smoky sweetness of the caramelized fruit adds a delightful contrast to the savory flavors in the tacos, while also bringing out an underlying zestiness from the spices used in cooking the meat.


When grilling your pineapple, be sure not to overlook pairing it with some thirst-quenching pineapple cocktails.

Whether you prefer a classic piña colada or a fruity daiquiri, these drinks will enhance the overall dining experience by complementing both your scrumptious carnitas tacos as well as this succulent side dish.

As if that wasn’t enough reason to whip up one of these tropical concoctions, they might just transport you straight to paradise – at least for a little while!

To round off this gastronomic extravaganza on an even sweeter note, dessert pairings are key.

Consider serving something light yet indulgent like coconut macaroons or Mexican chocolate mousse with cinnamon-infused whipped cream.

These treats meld seamlessly with the rest of your meal without overpowering any individual element.

Ultimately, each bite and sip work together harmoniously towards crafting an unforgettable culinary journey filled with bold flavors and unexpected twists.

So go ahead—let yourself savor every delectable moment!


In conclusion, delight your taste buds by savoring the perfect combination of zesty salsa and guacamole alongside refreshing cilantro lime rice.

Then, indulge in flavorful black or pinto beans as they beautifully complement crunchy Mexican slaw and creamy queso fundido.

Treat yourself to an exquisite culinary experience with warm corn and flour tortillas paired with sweet and tangy grilled pineapple.

You’ll be sure to create a memorable meal that you and your loved ones will crave time and time again.

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About the author

Natalie is a food enthusiast who spends all of her time trying out new recipes, testing out new appliances, and making her kitchen as awesome as possible. She is a professional writer and blogs here about her love of food & kitchen.

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