Empanadas are a traditional South American dish that is usually filled with meat, cheese, and vegetables.
They can be made ahead of time and frozen so they’re easy to prepare for dinner parties or family gatherings.
Serve these delicious empanadas with one of the following sides:
- In Chile, you will typically serve Empanadas con Palta (avocado),
- In Peru, you would serve them with Ají de Gallina (chicken in a creamy peanut sauce) and
- in Argentina, you might eat them as part of a parrilla (grilled meats) meal.
But what do you serve when there’s no clear-cut answer? Here are some ideas for side dishes to go along with your favorite empanada.
1 – Black Beans and Rice
Black beans and rice is a great side dish to go with any empanada. It’s a hearty, filling option that is also gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Black beans are high in fiber which helps keep you full for longer periods so this would be an excellent choice if your main course isn’t as heavy or rich on its own.
Black rice is a healthier alternative to white rice and it’s also gluten-free.
If you want something more filling, try adding some browned ground beef or shredded chicken with the beans for extra protein.
2 – Corn on the Cob
This dish is perfect to serve with anything fried or spicy. It’s a great option for those who are looking to balance out the flavors and textures of their meal with something sweet, crunchy & fresh.
The corn on the cob can be boiled in water before you serve it so that all its natural flavor comes through without being too tough (or if they’re already cooked).
You could also grill them over an open flame until golden browned – this will give your dish some smoky undertones as well which pairs nicely when served alongside any type of empanada filling.
3 – Fried Plantains
You’ve heard it! Fried plantains are also delicious on their own and make for an excellent side dish when served alongside any type of meat or fish.
But they work especially well as the perfect complementing flavor profile against spicy fillings like beef chorizo & potato.
You can fry them in oil until golden browned (about 30 seconds per each) then season generously – salt is always your best bet here because it will help bring out all those natural sugars that you want people tasting at first bite.
4 – Potato Salad with Aioli Dressing
If you’re planning on serving a more traditional type of empanada, you might want to consider adding some potato salad as the perfect side dish.
Aioli is an easy and delicious sauce that can be made with just two ingredients: mayonnaise & garlic.
You’ll need about ¼ cup for every pound or so of potatoes – which will make enough dressing in total if your recipe calls for three pounds (or six cups) cooked diced potatoes).
Add salt liberally until it tastes good then add lemon juice one tablespoon at a time while tasting long way; this should give plenty tangy flavor without being too sour-tasting like vinegar would have been here instead.
And don’t forget fresh ground pepper on top before serving alongside any meat filling types.
5 – Arroz Con Pollo
If this is the first time you’ve ever had Arroz Con Pollo, then you’re in for a treat.
This dish is often served with white rice and black beans on the side to make it more of an entrée than just another one-pot meal – but that’s up to your preference.
The recipe is easy to make but does require a bit of prep work.
First, you’ll need to fry up some bacon in the pot before adding onions and garlic for flavor – then add chicken broth or water (or both) with salt & pepper as needed until it’s not too salty tasting.
Next comes rice which should be cooked according to package instructions; this is important because if your dish isn’t tasty enough from just these ingredients alone.
Finally, add the chicken and cook until it’s done – then you’re ready to serve!
If this is your first time making Arroz Con Pollo, be sure not to use too much salt or pepper because that can make a dish taste bland.
You’ll want enough for flavor but don’t go overboard with either ingredient as they both have their distinct flavors which should come through in every bite of food eaten from an empanada plate (or any other type).
6 – Arugula Salad
Another green salad that pairs well with empanadas is Arugula salad. It’s a great option to have on hand because it can be made in advance and will last for up two days without wilting or becoming soggy.
The best part about this dish, too? You don’t need any fancy ingredients – just some arugula leaves (washed), olive oil & vinegar dressing mix of your choice as the base flavorings;
Then add salt/pepper if desired along with other herbs like basil which are also easy to make at home from fresh herb plants you’ve grown yourself or bought already prepped off organic produce stand somewhere nearby that sells them by weight so they’re not expensive either way).
7 – Charro Beans
For some, this dish might be considered a side dish, but for others, it might be considered the main course.
Charro beans are made with pinto or black bean and cooked in water until they’re soft enough to eat.
Then you add salt/pepper if desired along with other herbs like cilantro which is also easy-to-make at home from fresh herb plants that can grow just about anywhere
Or bought already prepped off an organic produce stand somewhere nearby so there’s no need of buying them expensively either way).
8 – Pico de Gallo Salsa
It’s time for dipping sauce. Pico de gallo salsa is a fresh, raw tomato and onion mix that’s been chopped up finely with cilantro thrown in for good measure.
It can be eaten as-is or used to top off tacos/empanadas. It has the perfect balance of acidity from tomatoes combined with some sweetness thanks to onions (and if you’re feeling adventurous maybe even throw on an avocado too).
9 – Tomato Salsa
This salsa is a little more cooked than pico de gallo, but it’s still fresh and raw. It can be eaten as-is or used to top off tacos/empanadas.
Again the perfect balance of acidity from tomatoes combined with some sweetness thanks to onions. You can make it as spicy or mild you want, depending on your preference.
The best part is that it’s really easy to make – just chop up some tomatoes and onions (and maybe an avocado if desired) in a food processor until they’re finely chopped then mix with salt for taste.
You can also add cilantro but this will change the flavor of course so be sure not to overdo it because too much might overpower other flavors like cheese/meat inside empanadas).
If making ahead store covered at room temperature; refrigerate leftovers within two hours after the preparation date has passed.
Empanadas are a delicious, filling savory dish with so many variations. Whether served hot or cold the pastry is always pleasing to the palate and appetite.
A great dish to serve as an appetizer or main course. They can be filled with any type of meat, cheese, and vegetables you want!
But to complete the meal, be sure to consider the above side dishes.