What to Serve with Brisket Tacos (12 Best Sides)
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When it comes to Tex-Mex food we all know that brisket tacos are one of the most popular items. The combination of tender, smoky brisket, warm tortillas, and fresh salsa and guacamole is a crowd-pleaser! But while the brisket itself is definitely the main attraction… the sides can make or break the meal.
Choosing the right sides for brisket tacos is an important (some might say critical) part of making a tasty and filling meal. Traditional sides like rice and beans are always a safe bet that people like. They go well with the rich and flavorful brisket and are comforting and familiar. But there’s also a lot of room for creativity and experimentation because there are so many sides that can give the meal different tastes and textures.
In this article, I will talk about some of the best sides to go with brisket tacos. We’ll start with the classic options, like rice, beans, and guacamole, and talk about why they go so well with brisket tacos.
Next I will look at some creative and unique side dishes that can take your brisket tacos to the next level. Side dishes like grilled vegetables, fruit salsas, and pickled onions are just a few of the many ways this classic dish can be made more interesting.
And, of course, we can’t forget to pair drinks with food! Adding the right drink to brisket tacos can bring out the flavors and make the meal even better.
Whether you’ve been making brisket tacos for years according to your favorite recipe – or you’ve never tried them before, this article will give you a lot of ideas for making a tasty and filling meal with great side dishes.
Traditional Sides for Brisket Tacos
There are a few traditional sides that go well with brisket tacos that are sure to please your guests or family. These sides are popular because they go well with the taste of the brisket and give the meal more texture and substance.
Rice: Rice is a common side dish in Tex-Mex food and goes well with brisket tacos in particular. My favorite is a flavored rice like cilantro lime where the mild flavor and soft texture of rice are a great contrast to the rich and smokey brisket. Adding chopped cilantro or lime juice to make it taste even better. You could use a packaged rice mix that only takes a few minutes to cook in the microwave or on the stove if you need to save time.
Beans: Like rice, beans are a classic side dish that goes well with brisket tacos. You can choose black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans, depending on what you like. Beans add protein, fiber, and a creamy texture to the meal, which goes well with the soft brisket. You can make beans from scratch, or you can buy them in a can and heat them quickly on the stove.
Guacamole: This is my personal must-have side. The creamy avocado dip adds some healthy fats and vitamins to the meal as well as a fresh and tangy taste. You can make guacamole from scratch with ripe avocados, lime juice, salt, and other spices like cilantro or jalapeno.
Unique and Creative Sides for Brisket Tacos
While traditional sides are always a good choice… I must say that there’s also plenty of room for creativity when it comes to serving brisket tacos. Here are a few unique and creative side dishes that can add some variety and excitement to the meal:
Grilled vegetables: Grilling some vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or onions can add some smoky charred flavor and texture to the meal. You can chop the grilled vegetables and use them to enhance the tacos, or serve them on the side as a refreshing and healthy complement to the rich brisket.
Fruit salsas: Salsas don’t have to be limited to tomatoes and onions. Consider making a fruit salsa using diced pineapple, mango, or peach, mixed with some red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. The sweetness of the fruit will balance out the smoky flavors of the brisket and add a tropical twist to the meal.
Pickled onions: Pickling some red onions in vinegar and sugar can add some tangy and sweet flavors to the meal. And the bright pink color that looks beautiful on the plate. You can serve the pickled onions on the side or use them as a topping for the tacos.
Coleslaw: A creamy and tangy coleslaw can add some crunch and freshness to the meal. Keep in mind that you can also serve it as a cooling contrast to the spicy brisket. You can make your own coleslaw using shredded cabbage, carrots, and a dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, and spices.
Corn salad: Fresh corn kernels mixed with red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice can make a refreshing and flavorful salad that goes perfectly with brisket tacos.
Grilled avocado: Cut an avocado in half, remove the pit, brush with some olive oil, and grill for a few minutes until charred. The creamy and smoky flavor of the avocado will complement the brisket perfectly.
Roasted sweet potato wedges: Cut some sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil, salt, and paprika, and roast in the oven until crispy and tender. These sweet and savory wedges are a great alternative to traditional fries.
Charred corn on the cob: Grill some corn on the cob until charred and serve with some butter, lime juice, and chili powder. The sweet and smoky flavor of the corn pairs perfectly with the rich brisket.
Black bean and corn salad: Mix black beans, corn, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice for a flavorful and filling salad that can also be used as a taco filling.
Grilled peaches: Halve some peaches, remove the pit, brush with some olive oil, and grill until charred. The sweet and smoky flavor of the peaches can add some complexity to the meal.
Chipotle sweet potato mash: Boil some sweet potatoes until tender, mash them with some butter, milk, and chipotle chili powder for a spicy and sweet side dish that can also be used as a taco filling.
Watermelon salad: Mix some cubed watermelon with feta cheese, red onion, and mint for a refreshing and unexpected salad that can balance out the richness of the brisket.
Note: Check out our guide on how long to smoke your brisket per pound.
Beverage Pairings for Brisket Tacos
Pairing the right beverage with brisket tacos can enhance the flavors of the meal and make it even more enjoyable.
Here are some of my favorite options you can consider:
Mexican beer: A cold Mexican beer like Corona, Modelo, or Pacifico is a great choice to pair with brisket tacos. The light and refreshing flavor of the beer can cut through the richness of the brisket and cleanse the palate between bites.
Margaritas: Need I say more?
The tart lime juice and tequila in the drink can complement the smoky flavors of the brisket and add some festive flair to the meal. I suggest that you make your own margarita at home using fresh lime juice, tequila, and triple sec, or opt for a pre-made mix.
Agua fresca: If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option then consider serving some agua fresca alongside your brisket tacos.
Agua fresca is a refreshing fruit drink made with water, sugar, and fresh fruit like watermelon, cantaloupe, or cucumber. The light and fruity flavor of the drink can provide a nice contrast to the savory flavors of the brisket.
The right sides and beverages can make or break brisket tacos.
Traditional sides like rice, beans, and guacamole are always a good choice. There’s also plenty of room for creativity and experimentation with grilled vegetables, fruit salsas, pickled onions, and coleslaw. Don’t forget about beverage pairings – a cold Mexican beer, refreshing margarita, or fruity agua fresca can all enhance the flavors of the meal and make it even more enjoyable.
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