Fans of Mexican food are quite familiar with the fresh, light, flavorful, and slightly spicy taste of tortilla soup. I absolutely love this savory, yet zesty cousin of chicken noodle and so does my family! Not only is it easy to make, but it is filled heart healthy ingredients.
This makes it perfect for both the main course or a scrumptious side dish! It features a tomato or chicken base along with corn, beans, onions, chiles, avocado chunks, cheese, and of course, tortilla strips. If you are wondering what to serve with tortilla soup, we taco-bout the best options for your fiesta!
Tortilla soup has minimal protein in it. Thus, if you want to serve a more substantial meal, pair it with wholesome main dishes like chili rellenos, molettes and enchiladas. These options will not only fill you up, but they feature complimentary flavors. In contrast, when your soup is the main course, choose sides that have contrasting textures to enhance the sensory experience of the food.
Chips and guacamole, Mexican chopped salad and Mexican cornbread make for delicious and refreshing options that add a little extra substance to the meal, while still using similar ingredients. Furthermore, keep your dessert sweet and light by serving traditional options like tres leches cake or flan. These will mellow the palette after this spicy meal.
What to Serve with Chicken Tortilla Soup (Side Dishes, Desserts & Wines)
1. Chili Con Queso
Rich, velvety, creamy and meaty. This hearty appetizer seems like a drastic contrast to a healthy bowl of tortilla soup, but that is what makes it such a perfect compliment! The ideal meal is one that will tantalize ALL of your tastebuds and fill you up, while still utilizing similar ingredients.
Queso usually features a mixture of cheese, peppers and onions, which can be all found in tortilla soup. Most importantly, the crunchy chips that go along with this starter add some extra texture to the meal.
2. Cilantro Lime Rice
This delicate side dish is a simple way to bulk up your meal without a lot of effort! White rice, lime juice, fresh garlic and cilantro make for a refreshing carb that is healthy and affordable. It will also not steal attention away from your main course, but the flavors still pair with that of the soup.
Most notably, this is recipe requires minimal work, which is always ideal for busy parents!
3. Frijoles Charros (Charro Beans)
Charro Beans are another quintessential Mexican side that elevate simple pinto beans with the addition of chorizo, ham, bacon, tomatoes, onions and peppers. This means that they are hearty, delicious and will give your meal a protein boost!
Keep in mind that this recipe can take a few hours to make, but if you cook your beans in bulk, they can be frozen and saved as a quick side. Again, the combination of onions, tomatoes and peppers pair well with those found in the soup, making this another superb side.
Papas are a Mexican upgrade to the ever classic mashed potatoes. How you may ask? This recipe includes semi mashed red potatoes, cheddar cheese, onions, bell peppers, green chilis and green onions for garnish.
Needless to say, this zesty side dish is rich, savory and the perfect way to fill up after a hearty bowl of tortilla soup! Best of all, the spice partners well with the soup, but the creaminess of the mixture ensures that the picante flavor won’t overpower the culinary experience.
Can you ever go wrong with a quesadilla? This is one of my favorite options for a quick and easy main course that pairs perfectly with soup. The best part is that it only takes minutes to make! Parents with limited time should grab a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket to shred up and mix in with the cheese.
Furthermore, don’t forget that this is a meal that is completely customizable! Therefore, if you have peppers and onions lying around from making your soup, you can add some extra zest to this simple dish or you can keep it plain for the picky eaters in your household.
6. Chili Relleno
Chili Rellenos are a fiery fried food that are guaranteed to add some flare to your fare! This recipe involves stuffing green chili peppers with an array of cheeses and ground meat, breading and frying them, and then drizzling them in sauce.
This sizable meal will fill you up. Therefore, it is an optimal main course to pair with a cup of tortilla soup.
This is another filling meal. It features tortillas rolled around cheeses, meats, beans, seafood, vegetables, or a combination of these ingredients, all smothered in sauce. Chicken enchiladas tend to be a favorite for kids and adults alike!
Moreover, since tortilla soup is actually quite healthy thanks to the array of vegetables floating in the broth, it can provide a nice balance to this rich dish.
8. Huevos Rancheros
For those hoping to serve their tortilla soup at an early hour, huevos rancheros is a suburb sidekick to your signature soup. These breakfast tacos are constructed with corn tortillas, fried eggs and a hefty helping of salsa. While these two dishes feature differing ingredients, the toppings are usually quite similar.
Avocados, cheese, tomatoes, onions and beans can all be found in this morning meal. Talk about a fantastic way to start your day!
Appetizers To Serve With Tortilla Soup
Mexican cuisine would not be complete without an array of appetizers at the table! The best options include chips and contrasting flavors so look to serve a mixture of queso, guac, salsa and bean dips!
9. Chips And Guacamole
Creamy, nutty and earthy, with just a hint of citrus. Guacamole is a rich dip that features tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and the ever popular superfood, avocados. When paired with freshly baked and perfectly salted tortilla chips, this appetizer adds the ideal amount of crunch to your soup themed meal!
Most importantly, it features many of the same ingredients, making this a flawless compliment to the main course. Just make sure to not fill up before the soup is served!
10. Salsa Verde
This gloriously green salsa will either add some spice or some sweetness to your meal, depending on the recipe. When made with tomatillos, otherwise known as Mexican husk tomatoes, this dip gives off a sweet and earthy vibe.
However, many recipes also include serrano peppers, which can provide a bit of a kick. Interestingly enough, if you choose the fiery version, research indicates that this could help to curb your hunger and avoid overeating! This can help to limit the number of there sides you need and help your soup become a filling option.
Either way, these differing flavors can both be found in many tortilla soup recipes, so choose the options that best compliments your version of this dish.
There is never an instance where you can go wrong with queso! This creamy and spicy blend is heartwarming and hard to resist. Best of all, you get a more robust flavor to pair with the light broth of the tortilla soup.
Additionally, unlike chili con queso, the vegetarian option will not add as much bulk to the meal, allowing you to have room for more courses.
Salads To Go Well With Tortilla Soup
Soup is smooth and savory in nature. That is why adding a salad is such an amazing compliment to your meal. It add crunch and color! These sensations are important for truly enjoying eating experience.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to choose a dressing that complements the broth of your soup. Thus, if you have a tomato base, consider using a salsa roja for your dressing. Conversely, avocado ranch or cilantro lime can be a fantastic substitute when the soup uses a chicken broth.
12. Mexican Chopped Salad
Tortilla soup and Mexican chopped salad contain virtually all of the same ingredients. The difference lies with a leafy green base instead of a broth! What this means is that the flavor profiles will match and that you will have texture and crunch added to your meal.
Throw in tomatoes, avocados, black beans, corn, onions, tortilla strips and whatever other ingredients tickle your fancy.
13. Taco Salad
If you want to bulk up your soup and salad combo, why not upgrade your chopped salad to a taco salad. These are essentially the same thing, but this version is topped with a hefty helping of taco meat! This is sure to fill you up, while still partnering well with your soup.
Additionally, nix the dressing and just add salsa to the mix. This will guarantee that the flavors compliment one another.
13. Mexican Fruit Salad
Those looking for a sweeter fare should select a Mexican fruit salad! Mix chunks of pineapple, mango, papaya and watermelon. Then coat them in a light layer of lime juice and chili powder. This is the perfect sweet and spicy combination to cool you off after slurping some steamy tortilla soup.
Sandwiches To Serve With Tortilla Soup
Soup and salad is always a fan favorite in American culture. However, when pairing tortilla soup with your Sammy, it is important to stick with the theme of the meal. Thus, try options that incorporate stereotypical Mexican and Latin American ingredients.
Here are two fantastic options!
14. Molette (Open Faced Sandwiches)
In case you didn’t know, molette is essentially an open faced sandwich. Refried beans are spread across each half of a Bolillo (Mexico’s version of French bread) and then cheese is melted on top. Finally, pico de gallo is sprinkled across the slice to add a fresh feel and a bit of zest.
While basic, this staple Mexican cuisine is a spectacularly straightforward side to accompany your tortilla soup that features similar flavor notes.
15. Mexican Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Spice up the American classic with some peppers, onions, pico de gallo, avocado and chicken! This will not only be a flavor filled sandwich, but it will mesh perfectly with your soup. Additionally, this is the ideal opportunity to use up your leftover ingredients. Thus, cut back on food waste and maximize your meal.
16. Mexican Torta
This is a traditional sandwich served on a soft roll that features meat cheeses and sauces. I recommend ingredients that compliment your tortilla soup. Thus, grilled chicken, avocado, refried beans and cheddar cheese are a spectacular combination.
Add some grilled onions and peppers for some added spice if time allows! Again, all these foods are found in the soup as well, allowing for an easy pairing.
Bread To Pair With Tortilla Soup And Chicken Tortilla Soup
Soup and bread go hand in hand! While any bread will technically do, why no go with an authentic Mexican bakery good?
17. Mexican Cornbread
Mexican cornbread is a spicy take on this Southern staple. Just like your soup, it uses jalapeños and green chilis along with some Monterey jack cheese. This makes this moist and crumbly cake-like baked good is another great compliment to serve with tortilla soup.
Most importantly, it also pairs with virtually any other dish on our list!
This is Mexico’s version of French bread! While simple, the crispy brown crust and airy interior make it the perfect utensil to soak up your tortilla soup broth and any of the savory contents. Additionally, while it does not include any of the same ingredients as your soup, you can still rest assured that this bread will pair with any time on the list thanks to the mild flavor.
Finally, this is the ingredient needed to make molettes!
This is extremely similar to a bolillo, but it is flatter and has a softer exterior. This makes it ideal for two sided sandwiches as well as dipping into soups and dips. Moreover, just like the bollilo, it will not steal the show. Instead, it will just ensure that your guests have ample to eat!
Desserts To Serve With Tortilla Soup And Chicken Tortilla Soup
End your meal with sugary sweetness to cut the spice from the main dish and sides. These traditional Mexican desserts are guaranteed to please!
20. Tres Leches Cake
Tres Leches is a light and airy sponge cake soaked in sweet milk. Topped with freshly whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon, this is a traditional Latin American dessert that is a simple, yet decadent and irresistible option. After a spicy meal like tortilla soup, this sweet treat will help to mellow your palate, leaving you feeling refreshed and satiated.
Best of all, this is not a dish that will overfill your guests.
For an extra dose of sweetness, sopapillas are a classic Spanish pastry that are fried and drizzled in honey, cinnamon and sugar. While a slightly heavier choice, this is another dessert that will tickle the taste buds and soften the spicy effects of the tortilla soup.
This is why this after dinner sweet is best served when the soup is the main course and not a starter. If you do plan to have a heavy meal, consider churros as an alternative to this dish.
Flan is another fan favorite in Latin American culture. This caramel coated custard has a silky smooth texture. Like the Tres Leches, it also features a milky base, which makes it an exemplary item to contrast with a zesty main course.
Most importantly, when you serve this delicious dessert, you will finish your meal feeling cool and energized!
These are another lightly fried option that will add texture and crunch to your meal. However, just like the other options, you will notice that this dish will help to lessen the strong, piquant flavors of the meal.
Additionally, these are not as heavy as soapapillas, which many times come filled with fruits or cream cheese. Therefore, churros are a great option to add to the menu when your tortilla soup is a starter and not the main course.
The Best Wines To Pair With Tortilla Soup
When serving wine with your meal, it is imperative that you consider the type of broth in your soup. Chicken stock goes best with a acidic white wine whereas tomato based stews are better paired with a rich red.
This wine selection is a classically crisp choice that will partner well with a chicken based broth. The acidic nature of this beverage will keep the flavors of the various ingredients fresh on your palate.
Moreover, the subtly sweet notes of apples, pears and tropical fruits will invigorate your taste buds and help to balance the spice of the dish. Best of all, this is a staple option that is easy to get ahold of when in a rush at the store.
When serving a tomato based bowl of tortilla soup, consider this complex red wine. Not only will the savory notes of figs, cherries and tobacco enhance the flavors of the sauce, they will also assist in subduing some of the spice. This is ideal for those with a sensitive palate.
Most importantly, since most Mexican dishes contain tomatoes in their ingredients list, this wine will also match the flavor profiles of your other dishes.
This is the perfect middle ground wine that has the benefits of both a white and red. It is highly acidic like a white, but has the rich flavors of dark fruits like a red. Additionally, this blush is sweet and savory, so it will appeal to most palates.
Most notably, it will complement any dish that you serve!
What To Serve With Tortilla Soup For Dinner?
Protein is the main prerogative when serving dinner. This ensures that bellies get filled until morning! Thus, when selecting dinner dishes, look for meaty options. Here are some of the top contenders.
While most consider this dish a snack, when loaded with the right ingredients, it can become a fantastic main dish! Since tortilla soup is a lighter start to the meal, stack your chips with grilled chicken or beef, beans, and cheese. Then, let them roast under the broiler until the cheese is golden brown.
Finally, top them with your choice or salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Not only will this partner perfectly with your soup, but it is guaranteed to fill you up and add some texture to your spread.
Kids and adults will also flock to the dinner table when tacos are on the menu! This completely customizable dish gives your guests the power to make their meal exactly the way they like it.
Additionally, you can ensure that the dishes meld together splendidly by offering the same ingredients found in your soup. Thus, offer beans, corn, cheese, avocados, and of course, a hefty helping of meat to bulk up the meal!
This is another hearty option that includes similar ingredients to your soup, but it guaranteed to fill your guests up. Additionally, you can keep this dish simple with beans and cheese or bulk it up with meats and veggies.
Either way, the flavors will match well! Just make sure that your tortillas are not too big so that guests have room for the rest of your spread.
Other Foods/Condiments To Complement Your Dish
One more factor to consider when serving tortilla soup is having additional toppings on hand to add to the dish.
If you want to do a dollop of Daisy on your tortilla soup, you are not alone! This creamy addition to the meal will give it a rich and slightly tart taste. Since this is an ingredient found in many of the main dishes listed above, it is a great accent to this spicy meal.
However, if you are looking to cut back on calories, limit the amount you use and consider a low fat variety.
2.Pico De Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a light and flavorful choice that adds a little extra spice as well as a dose of sweetness. The natural sugars in the tomato will compliment the broth of the soup.
In contrast, the pungent flavor of the onion and the sharp taste of the jalapeños will make this a more savory soup. Just keep in mind that this is only a good option for those who can handle some spice.
3.Lime Wedges & Cilantro
This combination is guaranteed to add an extra burst of flavor! The tangy zest from the lime paired with the refreshing, yet citrus based notes from the cilantro are a fantastic accent found in many Mexican dishes.
Since these ingredients are found in guacamole, Mexican salads and cilantro lime rice, make sure to choose one of these side dishes to pair with your soup. It will ensure the perfect pairing!
We Thought You Would Like
In my experience, the best tortilla soup features fresh ingredients and lots of spice. Moreover, the cheese, avocados and tortilla strips should not be added until you are ready to serve. This will conserve their unique textures and allow those with food allergies to enjoy this delectable dish without worry!
Moreover, if you want to serve minimal sides and keep your tortilla soup as the main attraction, you also have the option of adding chicken or turkey to your recipe. This bumps up your protein and the flavor will not conflict with the many side options listed above.
Additionally, for those who want to serve alternative Mexican stews like chicken enchilada soup and taco soup, these dishes contain similar ingredients to the tortilla variety. This allows you to easily swap out your soups with no worry.
Just remember that the main difference is that taco soup contains ground beef and taco seasoning, whereas chicken enchilada soup will have a more creamy base thanks to the addition of an enchilada sauce. This can help you better select sides that compliment these soups.
Finally, chicken tortilla soup is an extremely healthy option when made from scratch. However, store bought soups tend to be packed with sodium. Whether you prefer Campbell’s, Costco or Panera tortilla soups, always check the label. When serving these varieties, sides like cilantro lime rice and Mexican salad can be a healthy pairing that help to even out the negative health attributes of the soup.
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