What Sauce Goes with Tamales? (12 Sauces)

Tamales are a delicious and traditional dish that is made with corn husks or banana leaves and filled with a variety of fillings including meats, cheeses, vegetables, and more.

They are then steamed until cooked through.

Tamales are typically served with a variety of sauces on the side so that each person can add their own desired amount.

So if you are wondering what sauces to serve with tamales, then you have come to the right place.

I’m sharing 12 of the best sauces for tamales including salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese sauce, enchilada sauce, and more.

What Sauce Goes with Tamales

What Sauce Goes with Tamales?

There are many different types of sauces that go well with tamales. If you want a sauce with a little bit of heat, you can try a salsa verde or a chili sauce. For something on the sweeter side, you can try a honey-based sauce or even just some plain old sugar.

Still looking for sauce ideas?

Then simply keep scrolling!

Here are 12 sauces that go well with tamales:

1. Salsa

There are many different types of salsa that would be delicious on tamales.

A simple salsa made with diced tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder would be a great option.

You could also try a more complex salsa made with roasted tomatoes, peppers, and onions.

No matter what type of salsa you choose to serve with your tamales, it is sure to add some extra flavor and spice to the dish!

2. Guacamole

Guacamole is known as one of the most versatile sauces in Mexican cuisine.

It goes well with almost anything, but it pairs exceptionally well with tamales.

The smooth and creamy texture of guacamole can help to offset the dryness of tamales, and the zesty flavor of lime helps to brighten up the dish.

  1. To make guacamole, start by mashing together ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, and fresh lime juice.
  2. Then add in cayenne pepper to taste.
  3. Serve immediately or store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
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3. Sour Cream

Whether you make your own sour cream or simply buy it from the store, this thick and creamy sauce is the perfect addition to any tamale dish.

The tangy flavor of sour cream pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of tamales, making it a must-have condiment for this Mexican favorite.

Not only does sour cream add delicious flavor to tamales, but it also helps to balance out the spice of certain ingredients.

If you find that your tamales are too spicy for your taste, simply add a dollop of sour cream on top.

The cooling effect of this sauce will help to tone down the heat, making them more enjoyable to eat.

4. Cheese Sauce

If you’re a cheese lover like me, then you’ll love this cheese sauce recipe!

This sauce is the perfect addition to tamales, as it adds a creamy and cheesy flavor that takes them to the next level.

The best part about this sauce is that it’s quick and easy to make, so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing it.

  1. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Then, all you need to do is pour it over your tamales and enjoy!

5. Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada sauce is super easy to make and goes well with tamales.

The sauce is made with gluten free flour, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, spicy chili powder, and cinnamon.

This enchilada sauce is the perfect addition to your next Mexican feast!

6. Chili Sauce

If you like the hotness of red chilies, then this chili sauce is perfect for you.

It’s a great dipping sauce for tamales as the spiciness will bring out the flavors of the tamales.

This chili sauce is very easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.

  1. First, you need to roast the chilies until they’re blackened.
  2. Then, you need to put all the roasted ingredients into a blender and blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
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You can use this chili sauce as a condiment for other dishes as well.

Try it on tacos or enchiladas and see how delicious it is.

7. Lime Juice

Lime Juice

Yes, even something as simple as lime juice can enhance the flavors of your tamales.

The citrusy and tangy flavors of lime juice can brighten up the flavors of the tamales.

Plus, it can also help to cut through the fat of the dish.

8. Mole Sauce

Spicy, smoky, and earthy, mole sauce is the perfect topping for tamales.

This classic Mexican sauce is made with a variety of ingredients, including chocolate, chili peppers, and nuts.

While it may sound like an odd combination, the flavors come together to create a delicious and complex sauce that enhances the flavor of tamales.

Mole sauce is typically served on top of tamales, but it can also be used as a dipping sauce or even as a base for other Mexican dishes.

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your tamales, try serving them with mole sauce.

You’ll be glad you did!

9. Honey


Honey is easy to find, versatile, and a great addition to any pantry.

It has a unique flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes.

Honey goes well with tamales because it can add a touch of sweetness to the dish.

Tamales are often served with a savory sauce, so honey can help balance out the flavors.

10. Red Sauce

If you like the taste of tomato in your food, then you will love this red sauce!

It is perfect for tamales as the acidity in the tomato helps to cut through the richness of the dish.

This sauce is also incredibly easy to make.

All you need is a can of diced tomatoes, some chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

If you want a bit more spice in your sauce, you can always add more chili powder or even a diced jalapeno pepper.

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Just be warned that the heat level will increase with each addition!

11. Green Sauce

Green sauce ranges from a mild to hot salsa verde and is a common condiment served with tamales.

The sauce is made with tomatillos, jalapenos, cilantro, and garlic.

You can control the heat of the sauce by adding more or less jalapeno peppers.

To make the sauce your own, you could also add in some lime juice or zest for extra acidity, or even some chopped fruit like mango or pineapple for sweetness and depth of flavor.

Green sauce is easy to make and can be made ahead of time.

It will keep in the fridge for up to a week, so it’s great to have on hand when you’re craving tamales!

12. Chipotle Sauce

I’m sure you’ve tried this sauce before on tacos or enchiladas, but have you tried it with tamales?

If not, you’re missing out!

The smoky, slightly sweet, and slightly spicy flavors of chipotle sauce are the perfect complement to tamales.

And the best part is that it’s so easy to make your own chipotle sauce at home.

All you need is some adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo), tomato paste, honey, and lime juice.

Just mix these ingredients together and adjust to taste.

That’s it!

what sauce goes best with tamales

What Sauce Goes with Tamales? (12 Sauces)

I think it's important to know what sauces go with tamales because it can really make or break the dish.
I've tried a lot of different sauces with tamales and I've found that some work better than others.
In this post, I'll share 12 of my favorite sauces to use.
I hope you find one that you like!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 388 kcal


  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheese Sauce
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Chili Sauce
  • Lime Juice
  • Mole Sauce
  • Honey
  • Red Sauce
  • Green Sauce
  • Chipotle Sauce


  • Pick any sauce from this list to use with your tamales.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword what sauce goes well with tamales, What Sauce Goes with Tamales