Pork belly is an incredibly rich and savory dish. These juicy bites of mouthwatering meat are ultra tender, crispy, and often marinated in a savory sauce or dipped in BBQ. AKA… it’s like a party in your mouth.
You can serve pork belly in bite-size pieces for an unforgettable appetizer. Or you can roast it, braise it, or fry it for the main entree. Pork belly is like the candy of meat. All the goodness of bacon, but on an entirely new level.
Put them in tacos, on top of salads, or in between two buns for one succulent sandwich.
But you know transforms pork belly from a delicious dish into a magnificent feast? Some great side dishes!
If you’re serving a super moist and juicy pork belly, then go for a side dish with a crunch. If the pork belly is on the dry and crisp side, then choose a side that’s soft and tender. The trick is to get contrasting textures to balance each other out.
Still wondering what to serve with your pork belly? No problem! Here are 13 savory sides that will turn your pork belly into an unforgettable feast.
1. Baked Beans With Brown Sugar
Baked beans with brown sugar have a nice sweetness and smokiness to them – a flavor profile that complements the richness of pork belly. Plus, beans are also hearty, so when you pair them with pork belly, you’ll have a satisfying meal that leaves your tummy happy and your taste buds tingling.
2. Red Cabbage Coleslaw
This side dish gives you a mixture of red cabbage, sweet carrots, and golden raisins tossed in a garlicky lemon dressing. You can also add some crunch to it by topping it with toasted seeds. The colorful and refreshing slaw has mild flavors that pairs perfectly with the pork belly.
BBQ pork belly, baked beans, and cole slaw: we’ve got a family cookout in the making!
No matter what entrée you’re serving, it always goes well with a healthy and refreshing bowl of salad. That’s what we love about this side dish!
The crunchiness of the vegetables complements the tenderness of the pork belly. And it’s got mild flavors, too, so it definitely won’t clash with the star of your meal. Plus, you can customize this side dish any way you like.
In fact, you can even put the pork belly on top of your salad. Imagine: Roast pork belly, apple, and caramelized walnut salad. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, crunchy, savory goodness.
We suggest that you go for a milder dressing, though, such as a balsamic vinaigrette or a sweet Asian dressing. That way, the flavors won’t overpower the pork belly.
4. Baked Sweet Potatoes
Because sometimes, all you need is a simple side dish to round out a meal. Slather on some butter and you’ve got a meal fit for a king (or queen!).
The sweetness offers a nice contrast to the savory pork belly. Its soft texture complements the crunchiness of the pork belly skin. And, since it’s a starchy crop, it makes the dish extremely filling. What more can you ask for?
5. Mac & Cheese
There’s something about macaroni and cheese that pairs perfectly with BBQ. Especially BBQ pork belly.
It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, and it might just be the best creamy side dish ever.
6. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are another creamy side that goes well with almost any protein. After all, it’s the most classic side dish of them all!
These creamy and buttery bites pair perfectly with the rich and savory pork belly. Can you say… classic comfort food!?
Cornbread is perfect if you’re having a large crowd of guests over. This sweet and tender side will help fill those tummies up fast! Plus, the soft and crunchy texture is sure to satisfy.
You can prepare them the sweet, traditional way the Southerners do it or flavor it with some cheddar and jalapeno for a savory twist. It will taste fantastic with pork belly, regardless.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Okay, we know they’re not the most popular vegetables, but they really deserve a chance. If you’ve ever been traumatized by its foul smell and bitter taste, it’s because they weren’t cooked properly.
The key to great-tasting Brussels sprouts is to not overcook them. Coat them in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast them to perfection! When done right, they’re actually sweet and nutty – almost like candy. I eat them straight off the baking pan.
9. Roasted Red Potatoes
If you’re not too keen on serving the usual mashed potatoes to your guests, here’s another potato dish that tastes great with pork belly. Roasted red potatoes are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside – textures that are very similar to your main.
10. Macaroni Salad
If you’re not a fan of the rich mac & cheese, but still want a starchy side to go with your pork belly, then why not go for macaroni salad?
It’s just as filling as mac & cheese but has a more subtle flavor that won’t overpower the pork belly.
11. Sweet Corn Fritters
Sure, corn on the cob works with pork belly, too, but why not switch things up by making your guests some corn fritters. Imagine loads of sweet corn kernels dipped in batter and then deep-fried into golden crispy balls – now who can say no to that?
These fried cornbread balls are crisp on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and just wonderful overall. They’re so delicious, I recommend making them in large batches so you don’t run out. They disappear quickly!
13. Corn Pudding
Here’s another sweet treat to pair with your savory pork belly – corn pudding. This creamy dish is not only delicious but also very filling. The dish is made of sweet and juicy corn kernels mixed with milk, cheese, and eggs. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?