Do you love pinto beans but don’t know what to serve with them?
If so, you’re in luck as we are going to dive into 12 of the best side-dish options that go perfectly with this classic Mexican dish.
Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner – there is a delicious accompaniment that will hit the spot!
You may think pinto beans are boring and plain, but combined with one of these incredible sides will turn your meal into something special – no matter how simple.
Get ready to put your cooking skills to the test with some new recipes that have flavors from around the world!
Let’s get started on finding the perfect companion for those irresistible pinto beans!
What to Serve with Pinto Beans? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Spicy Corn and Tomato Salad
This corn and tomato salad is the perfect side dish for a summer BBQ.
The salad is packed with flavor, thanks to the addition of diced jalapeños, fresh cilantro, and a zesty lime dressing.
The salad can be served as is, or you can elevate it by adding avocado, feta cheese, or grilled chicken.
The taste of this corn and tomato salad is bright and fresh, with a little bit of heat from the jalapeños.
The texture is crunchy from the corn and onions and creamy from the avocado (if you choose to add it).
To elevate this dish, I suggest adding avocado, feta cheese, or grilled chicken.
The avocado will add creaminess and healthy fats, while the feta cheese will add a salty, tangy flavor.
Grilled chicken would be a great protein-packed addition.
2. Grilled Eggplant with Basil-Mint Pesto
If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy side dish to accompany your pinto beans, look no further than grilled eggplant with basil-mint pesto.
This dish is packed with flavor and has a great texture that pairs perfectly with the beans.
When it comes to taste, this dish is definitely not lacking.
The eggplant is grilled to perfection, and the pesto is light and refreshing.
The mint adds a nice touch of sweetness, while the basil brings out the flavors of the eggplant.
Overall, it’s a winning combination.
As far as texture goes, the eggplant is tender and juicy, while the pesto is smooth and creamy.
Together, they create a perfect balance that will have you coming back for more.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish even further.
First, try serving it with some grilled bread on the side.
The bread will soak up all of the delicious juices from the eggplant and pesto and take the dish to another level.
Secondly, if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some crumbled feta cheese on top.
The salty flavor of the cheese pairs perfectly with the other ingredients and takes this dish over the top.
3. Summer Squash and Zucchini Salad
This summer, squash and zucchini salad is the perfect side dish for any outdoor gathering.
It’s light and refreshing, with a great mix of textures and flavors.
The best part is that it’s so easy to make.
The key to this salad is to use fresh, in-season produce.
Summer squash and zucchini are both at their peak during the summer months, so that’s when you’ll get the best flavor.
Look for bright, colorful vegetables that are firm to the touch.
Avoid anything that looks dull or mushy.
To give the salad some extra flavor and texture, I like to add some chopped fresh herbs.
Basil and mint are both great options.
You could also use cilantro or parsley.
If you’re not a fan of raw onions, you can always leave them out.
Just be sure to add in some other crunchy element, like chopped nuts or croutons.
This salad can be served as is, or you can dress it up with a simple vinaigrette.
I like to use olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, but you could also use lemon juice or red wine vinegar.
Just be sure to taste as you go and adjust the seasoning as needed.
4. Roasted Carrots with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
Roasted carrots are a simple and delicious side dish that can be enjoyed all year round.
Carrots are roasted with a variety of spices, but we especially love the combination of cumin and lime.
The earthy flavor of the cumin pairs perfectly with the freshness of the lime, and the vinaigrette adds a lovely zing to the dish.
The carrots are first roasted in the oven until they are tender and slightly caramelized.
Then, they are tossed in a vinaigrette made with olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and salt.
The result is a flavorful and healthy side dish that can be enjoyed on its own or served alongside your favorite main course.
To make this dish even more special, we recommend roasting the carrots with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
The thyme will infuse its flavor into the carrots as they roast, and you’ll be left with an incredibly fragrant and tasty dish.
5. Potato, Green Bean, and Egg Salad
This dish is a great side for a summer BBQ or picnic.
The potato, green bean, and egg salad have a great mix of textures and flavors that will leave your guests wanting more.
The key to this dish is to use fresh ingredients.
The potatoes should be boiled until they are tender but not mushy.
The green beans should be blanched so that they still have a little crunch to them.
And the eggs should be hard-boiled so that they are easy to chop up.
To elevate the flavors in this dish, you can add some diced red onion, fresh herbs like parsley or chives, and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette.
This will give the salad a bit of tang and brighten up the flavors.
6. Greek Salad
A Greek salad is a delicious and healthy option that can be enjoyed as a side dish or a main course.
The salad is packed with flavor and texture and can be easily customized to suit your taste.
The key to a great Greek salad is the quality of the ingredients.
Fresh, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, flavorful olives, feta cheese, and a simple dressing are all you need to create a perfect dish.
For an extra touch of flavor, try adding some oregano or mint to the salad.
Greek salads are best served cold or at room temperature.
If you’re serving the salad as a main course, add some grilled chicken or shrimp for protein.
For a lighter meal, enjoy the salad on its own.
7. Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Looking for a unique and tasty side dish to serve with your pinto beans? Look no further than this kale and Brussels sprout salad.
This salad is packed with flavor and texture and is sure to be a hit with your guests.
The key to this salad is in the mix of ingredients.
The kale provides a hearty and slightly bitter taste, while the Brussels sprouts add a touch of sweetness.
The shredded carrots add a bit of crunch, and the dried cranberries provide a pop of color and sweetness.
To tie it all together, the dressing is a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
This salad can be easily elevated by adding some crumbled goat cheese or shaved Parmesan cheese.
For an extra bit of crunch, you could also add some chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans.
No matter how you customize it, this kale and Brussels sprout salad is sure to please.
8. Caesar Salad
Caesar salads are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed year-round.
The key to a great Caesar salad is in the dressing, which should be rich and flavorful without being too heavy.
The best dressings are made with high-quality olive oil, anchovies, garlic, and egg yolks.
When it comes to the lettuce, choose crisp greens like Romaine or iceberg that will hold up well to the dressing.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with toppings.
Crumbled bacon, shaved Parmesan, or grilled chicken all make great additions to a classic Caesar salad.
9. Caprese Salad
There’s something about the simple combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil that just screams summer.
This classic Caprese salad is the perfect side dish to any grilled main, whether it’s chicken, fish, or steak.
And it couldn’t be easier to make.
The key to a good Caprese salad is using the freshest ingredients possible.
Look for ripe tomatoes that are slightly soft to the touch and mozzarella that’s soft but not too mushy.
Basil should be bright green and fragrant.
Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’s time to build your salad.
Start with a layer of sliced tomatoes, followed by a layer of mozzarella slices.
Top with a sprinkle of basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This salad is best enjoyed immediately after assembling, while everything is still nice and fresh.
But if you need to make it ahead of time, you can store it in the fridge for up to an hour or so.
Just be sure to bring it back to room temperature before serving.
10. Farro Salad with Arugula and Feta
This dish is perfect for a summer picnic or potluck.
The farro salad with arugula and feta has a light, refreshing taste that is perfect for a hot day.
The salad is also packed with nutrients and is a great option for vegetarians or people who are looking for a healthy dish.
The farro in this salad gives it a chewy texture that is satisfying without being too heavy.
The arugula and feta add a nice contrast in flavors and textures.
If you want to elevate this dish, you could add some chopped fresh herbs, such as basil or mint.
You could also swap out the feta for another type of cheese, such as goat cheese or mozzarella.
11. Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries and Almonds
This quinoa salad is a great side dish for any meal.
It’s packed with flavor and has a great mix of textures.
The quinoa is nice and fluffy, the cranberries are chewy, and the almonds add a nice crunch.
To make this dish even more flavorful, try toasting the quinoa before adding it to the salad.
This will give it a nutty flavor that goes well with the other ingredients.
Toasting the almonds before adding them to the salad will also give them a nice flavor.
If you’re looking for a bit of sweetness in your salad, try adding some honey to the dressing.
This will complement the flavors of the other ingredients and make the salad even more enjoyable.
12. Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad
This dish is perfect for those who are looking for something light but filling.
It is also a great option for those who are trying to eat healthily.
The brown rice and black bean salad are full of nutrients and flavor.
The taste of this dish is very earthy due to the brown rice and black beans.
The texture is also fairly dense, but it is lightened up by the addition of fresh vegetables.
Overall, this dish is hearty and satisfying. There are a few ways to elevate this dish.
One way would be to add some grilled chicken or shrimp.
This will add some protein and make the dish more filling.
Another way would be to add a flavorful dressing, such as a cilantro lime vinaigrette.
This will brighten up the flavors and make the dish more exciting.
Pinto beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and they’re incredibly versatile.
In this blog post, we’ve shared 12 must-try side dishes that are perfect for serving with pinto beans.
From simple salads to hearty casseroles, there’s sure to be something on this list that everyone will love.
So the next time you’re looking for a new recipe to try, don’t forget about pinto beans.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!