These fast, fresh sides keep the Mexican theme in mind while offering contrasting flavors and textures to round out the plate.

By Hannah Klinger
December 25, 2016
Photo: Andrew Purcell

Think of enchiladas like tacos in lasagna form: stuffed, sauced, and baked until bubbly. Like lasagna, enchiladas are a substantial main, but aren’t quite enough to be a complete meal. These side dishes provide contrasting flavors, textures, and spices so you can pair your preferred enchilada recipe with a different side dish until you find your new favorites.

Photo: Johnny Autry

Grilled Corn, Poblano, and Black Bean Salad: Every element in this salad except the black beans spends some time on the grill, adding great charred flavor to the meal. Poblanos can occasionally pack a fair amount of heat—seed after grilling and peeling if you like.

Photo: Jason Wallis

Tangerine and Avocado Salad with Pumpkin Seeds: Simple and refreshing with bright, juicy tangerine slices and cool, creamy avocado slices. Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, add just the right amount of crunch.

Photo: Squire Fox; Styling: Carla Gonzales-Hart

Cabbage and Mango Slaw: This fresh, crisp slaw gets a little bite from red onion and sweetness from ripe mango. Sprinkle a little cotija or crumbled feta over top if you like.

Photo: Jeff Kauk

Drink Bonus: Watermelon-Lime Soda: This is the definition of a summer thirst quencher, especially when served with spicy enchiladas. Make the ginger syrup in advance and keep in your refrigerator: it’s delicious stirred into lemonade, iced tea, or cocktails.