What to Serve with Empanadas: 9 Side Dishes

Empanadas go well with rice, salads, stir-fried veggies, and other typical Mexican foods. We made a list of our favorite side dishes to pair with these steaming pockets of delight.

9 Side Dishes to Serve With Empanadas

  • Rice
  • Coleslaw
  • Stir-fried Vegetables
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Potato Salad
  • Arugula Salad
  • Qdoba Queso Sauce

1. Rice

Time to prepare: 25-30 minutes, depending on the recipe

Cook your rice with chicken stock for added taste.

Most Mexican foods, including empanadas, may be served with rice. For a substantial supper, pair them with any variety of rice or risotto.

You may make a meal using white rice, beans, cilantro, and lime. Sauté some tomatoes and mushrooms to add some flavor to your rice if desired.

Serve Mexican rice cooked in a tomato base for a more traditional approach. To increase the spiciness, add jalapeño peppers to the tomato sauce.

For a heartier rice meal, add protein-rich horse beans and artichokes.

Most recipes ask for cumin and salt, but if you prefer, season with your favorite garlic powder.

2. Coleslaw

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Tip: To make things easier, cabbage mix may be purchased pre-shredded.

If you have the ingredients on hand, coleslaw may be made before the empanadas are cooked. Simply shred some cabbage and carrots and blend it with your favorite mayonnaise.

To give your coleslaw a zingy boost, add a dab of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

To make things even simpler, purchase pre-shredded coleslaw mix and just add the condiments. Vegan mayonnaise may also be used to make it vegan.

3. Stir-Fry Vegetables

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Tip: Good for using up leftover vegetables

Half a zucchini here, a quarter carrot there, and a few bell peppers here and there Stir-fried veggies are excellent, and they go nicely with the delicate garlicky flavor of empanadas.

Cook the veggies of your choosing in a pan with sesame oil and soy sauce. Begin with carrots and bell peppers since they take longer to cook than zucchini.

Air-fry your veggies after smearing them with oil and salt for a lower-calorie supper.

If you don’t have time to cut and dice vegetables, you may purchase ready-made stir-fry kits that include a variety of chopped vegetables and a sauce. You just need the skillet to get started!

4. Cucumber Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Tip: Low in calories and rich in vitamins

Chop tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cucumbers into bite-size pieces for this Mediterranean staple. To make it more healthful and colorful, add some olives and feta cheese.

To add a Mexican flair, mix in some mango and avocado slices and top with entire basil leaves.

5. Salsa

Time to prepare: 10–25 minutes, depending on the kind of salsa.

Tip: Can be served cooked or uncooked

Salsa is widely acknowledged to be the greatest dipping sauce available. Which salsa, though? What about red salsa, green salsa, and fresh salsa? All of them, in fact!

Tomatoes, garlic, serrano or jalapeño peppers, onions, cilantro, and lime juice are the major components. You may create various variants by combining and recombining these elements.

To make a green salsa, use green tomatillos for the tomatoes. Do you want your dip to be crisp and fresh? Serve your salsa with chopped veggies such as peppers and onions.

Do you like it smooth? Blend everything together in a blender. Simply simmer everything and blend your ingredients into a silky sauce if you wish to add smoked peppers or another veggie.

If there are any leftovers, you can freeze them, although this is unlikely!

Can Cilantros Be Freezed: How to Preserve Cilantro the Easy Way

6. Guacamole

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Tip: Plant-based fat and protein

Did you know that in 2020, the average American devoured more than 9 pounds of avocados? That’s a lot of guac! This crowd-pleaser is an excellent way to use up that mushy avocado.

Combine the chopped onions and tomatoes with the mashed avocados. To offset the nutty taste of the avocado, add some freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt. Enjoy your empanadas with guacamole.

7. Potato Salad

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Tip: For a fast treat, parboil potatoes ahead of time and freeze them.

Potato salad has a lot of promise. Depending on the condiments, it might be creamy or fresh.

Peel and boil your potatoes first. Partially cooked potatoes may be frozen for up to three months, so prepare a large batch if you have a lot of potatoes.

To make a thick and creamy potato salad, mix in sour cream, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, pickles, and bell peppers.

Make a basic vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, grainy mustard, and a touch of maple syrup for a more fresh variation. Chop some pickles, onions, and garlic and combine them with the potatoes and dressing.

Allowing your salad to rest overnight will improve its flavor since the vinaigrette will have more opportunity to flavor everything else.

Season with salt, pepper, and fresh dill and serve with hard-boiled eggs for extra texture and protein.

8. Arugula Salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Tip: Arugula is rich in potassium and calcium.

Arugula is also known as rocket. Is it because the flavor is incredible?

Don’t give up on arugula because of our lousy joke; this salad is a delicious way to get some greens into your diet. Its peppery flavor and crisp texture pair well with the buttery empanadas.

Arugula is tossed in olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkled with parmesan cheese in the dish.

To add heat and color to your salad, cut some chili peppers. If you don’t mind a little sweetness, we also propose julienne sliced apple and pear slices.

The smokiness of the balsamic vinegar will bring out the brightness of the lemon juice, giving your dressing a sweet and tart taste.

Try these dairy and nondairy parmesan substitutes if you’re vegan or don’t have any parmesan on hand.

9. Qdoba Queso Sauce

Preparation Time: 1 hour to 5 hours

Tip: Good for using up leftover cheese

Anyone who has eaten at Qdoba knows that the queso sauce is more than just a cheese sauce. White American, White Monterey Jack, and American cheese are combined to form a tasty sauce at the fast-food restaurant.

Why not try making your own at home? It may take some time to come together, but every minute will be well spent when you first dip your scorching hot empanada into this cheesy bliss.

In a slow cooker, combine the cheeses, heavy cream, tomatoes, and poblano pepper and simmer for 2-3 hours on low heat.

To add flavor, grill your tomatoes on the stovetop or on the grill ahead of time. You may add any additional veggies you choose; aubergines, in particular, will give your sauce a smokey flavor. If you don’t want to grill them, put them in the slow cooker first since they cook slower.

Finally, add some jalapeño juice to your homemade queso sauce to give it that trademark fiery flavor. Make careful to add it slowly so you may adjust the degree of spiciness to your liking. Good luck!


Are empanadas a side dish or main dish?

Empanadas are a kind of pastry from the Iberian Peninsula. They may be baked or fried and are generally filled with meat, cheese, veggies, or other delicious ingredients. Empanadas may be served as a main course, appetizer or snack, or even dessert.

What do Argentines eat with empanadas?

Serve them alone with chimichurri. The traditional Argentine chimichurri is a basic blend of parsley, oregano, garlic, chile, salt, oil, and vinegar. The fresh parsley’s crisp texture and the biting finish of red wine vinegar lend the ideal zest to any empanada. Find out how to create your own here.

How are empanadas traditionally served?

Empanadas are called as panades in Belize. They are often constructed with masa (corn dough) and filled with fish, chicken, or beans. They’re frequently deep-fried and topped with cabbage or salsa. Panades are popular as street food.

How many empanadas is a meal?

When empanadas are served as an appetizer before a meal, one or two standard-sized empanadas are often provided each person. Five or six are deemed typical if it is to be the key player in a dinner.

What pairs well with empanadas?

White beans, marinara sauce, sweet potato cubes, french fries, salsa, corn on the cob, acorn squash, and tamales are the greatest side dishes to offer with empanadas. Some individuals choose healthier alternatives such as arugula salad, guacamole, chimichurri, or jalapeño poppers.

Are empanadas an entree or appetizer?

Empanadas are delicious for breakfast, lunch, and supper. They may be served as appetizers or snacks, but they can also be combined to provide a complete and delicious dinner.

What are empanadas eaten with in Paraguay?

The mandioca empanada, also known as pastel mandi’o, is unique to this nation and is often offered during the San Juan celebration. Empanadas are traditionally eaten with bread in Paraguay. Most typically consumed in the morning (after breakfast and before lunch).

What is the difference between Colombian and Argentine empanadas?

Argentine empanadas are often wet, therefore sauce is entirely optional. In contrast to its wheat-based counterparts, Colombian empanadas employ maize as the foundation for the dough. These delectable sweets are often fried, which makes them crisper.

What is the national dish of empanadas?

Empanadas originated in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal. They initially arose during the Moorish invasions in Medieval Iberia. Among the recipes for Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian cuisine in a 1520 cookbook written in Catalan are empanadas stuffed with shrimp.

What sauce to serve with empanadas?

Empanada Dipping Sauces
Criolla Salsa. This is a zesty and sweet dipping sauce.
Chimichurri dressing. Chimichurri sauce is my favorite dipping sauce for empanadas.
Verde Salsa. Another great choice for dipping my empanadas is salsa verde.
Sauce with honey mustard.
Sauce Romesco.
Chili sauce from Anaheim.
Sauce Marinara.
Sauce Mole.

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