When it comes to pork dishes, there are so many delicious options to choose from. But for me, nothing beats mouth-watering, oh-so-delicious pulled pork.
Pulled pork is not only scrumptious but also very affordable.
Slow-cook it right, and the melt-in-your-mouth texture will rival any expensive pork dish.
That’s why I don’t understand why some people neglect pulled pork as a main dish.
With the right side dishes, pulled pork can turn a gathering into anything from a backyard barbecue cookout to an elegant summer dinner.
But figuring out the best sides for your cookout or family gathering can be quite a task.
With pulled pork specifically, the best sides can range from sweet to salty, soft to crunchy, light to heavy, and everything in between!
Side dishes for pork can serve as a refreshing break from the heavy meat.
I’ve created a list of the most scrumptious breads, salads, and veggies that will really enhance your pulled pork experience.
So without further ado, let’s dig in!
Cornbread is a classic partner to pulled pork. You can never go wrong pairing up these two classics.
Best of all, it’s not too hard to make, and you can have fun experimenting with a variety of flavors!
One popular option these days is jalapeno cheddar cornbread.
It incorporates the flavors of sharp cheddar and spicy jalapeno with the classic corn goodness.
The blend of savory and sweet is a great accompaniment to pulled pork!
2. Sweet Corn Fritters
Fritters are a crunchier alternative if you want a playful side that even young kids will enjoy.
You can’t go wrong with sweet corn that’s turned into deep fried balls of golden, crispy goodness!
You can also take the North Carolina approach and pair your pulled pork with some buttermilk hush puppies.
They really give your meal a sweet and crunchy element.
3. Honey Butter Biscuits
If you’re debating over which side to choose then go for honey butter biscuits and all your troubles will go away.
These are easy to prepare, quick to make, and are a hit for both kids and adults alike.
Just be careful not to leave them out before mealtime, especially when the kids are around. They’ll vanish before you can say “Dinner’s ready!”
I also suggest avoiding those instant biscuits from a can.
Trust me, you can make your biscuits taste even better and it’s easy to do so.
The best part about a bread side dish is using it like a sponge to clean the plate and soak up whatever sauce you have left. Yum!
4. Spicy Collard Greens
One of the top choices for Southern side dishes is collard greens. This side is virtually everywhere, and for good reason.
You can count on spicy collard greens to really amplify your pulled pork dish.
There’s such variety in collard recipes that you’ll always have a new experience!
Coleslaw is definitely a classic salad accompaniment and the best thing about it is that there are so many options.
A traditional coleslaw is always a great option.
But if you’re watching your weight and calories, you can make a healthier version with low-fat mayo.
You can even make a purely vegan option that uses either vegan mayo or skips out on any mayo options entirely.
That way, vegans and vegetarians at your barbecue can still enjoy the sides!
6. Onion and Tomato Curtido Salad
This might not be a traditional Southern side for pulled pork, but experimenting and trying out new things often yields good results.
And trust me, this is an awesome result!
This Latin American side features tomatoes, onions, and lime.
It gives your barbecue a Latin kick that pairs very well with the meaty, earthy flavors of your pulled pork.
It’s a refreshing side that can help clear the palate and reset the tastebuds for another helping of barbecue!
7. Macaroni Salad
If you want a side that is filling, easy to make, and can be served chilled, then macaroni salad is a great option.
You can make this ahead of time so that you won’t have much to do at dinner time.
Make it as early as the night before, pop it in the fridge, and have it ready the next day.
Macaroni salad can also be a fun way to sneak in vegetables, especially for those kids (and some adults) who have pickier palates.
8. Cucumber Tomato Salad
Now, this is a classic summer salad that can really bring a certain dimension of freshness and crunch to your pulled pork picnic.
How could a scrumptious combination of green peppers, red onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes ever be wrong?
Not only is it easy to prepare and affordable, but it’s also a colorful addition to any plating of pulled pork.
9. Fruit Salad
To elevate the pulled pork dish with sweetness, pair your barbecued pork with a fruit salad. It’ll work wonders.
It’s not as unlikely a pairing as one might think considering some pulled pork variants can end up sweet.
So serving a big bowl of fresh fruit salad is a great choice!
10. Green Salad
This quintessential salad will always be the standard when it comes to green, healthy eating.
Pair this with your pulled pork and you’ll definitely balance out the heavy, protein-rich meat.
It has a light, refreshing, crunchy, flavor, and most importantly, it’s a healthy side!
11. French Fries
Ah, the classic potato side dish is fit for any occasion.
Fries are easy to make, quick to pull off, and can definitely be customized for your own style.
You can add a variety of ingredients to change up the flavor of your fries, or cut them up thick to turn them into wedges instead.
12. Classic Rice Pilaf
If you want the pulled pork to take center stage with no distractions, rice pilaf is a great side.
How could it not be, considering it’s a very versatile dish with subtle flavors that complement any main?
With multiple variants available, you can pick and swap different rice pilafs depending on your dish or your guests’ preferences.
13. Picnic Potato Salad
No backyard barbecue is complete without potato salad. This sweet, tangy potato salad pairs perfectly with pulled pork.
But skip that pre-made stuff at the store! Making this classic dish is surprisingly easy and oh-so tasty.
You can make a classic southern potato salad with potatoes, eggs, celery, sweet relish, mustard, and mayonnaise with salt and pepper to taste.
14. Baked Beans
Low and slow-cooked pulled pork can be matched perfectly with low and slow-cooked baked beans!
Pop those beans in a slow-cooker and add whatever kick you want, from brown sugar for sweetness to apple cider vinegar for some tang.
Then, let them simmer until they’re ready.
You’ll thank the stars for this traditional pairing, and it will definitely fill you up!
If you want a good blend of corn, greens, and vibrant veggies, succotash is the ultimate side dish for your pulled pork!
It’s meatless, so it’s a great side for vegetarian and vegan guests. It has greens, so it’s definitely healthy.
It’s colorful and sweet, perfect to satisfy the kids and kids at heart. And best of all, it’s easy and quick to make!
16. Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese
You really just can’t go wrong with a creamy, dreamy side dish of macaroni and cheese!
This Cracker Barrel version is the perfect pairing for pulled pork, whether it’s served in sandwiches or on its own.
Pork and mac and cheese make for the ultimate Southern-style feast! Trust me, everyone will love it.
17. Ina Garten Pasta Salad
If anyone knows how to whip up perfect side dishes, it’s the Barefoot Contessa!
Ina Garten’s pasta salad is packed with tomatoes, feta, and olives.
It’s so ideal served alongside pulled pork, especially at a backyard barbecue.
Best of all, this easy recipe takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Bring it to a party, and everyone will ask for seconds!
18. Sweet Potato Fries
Level up your meal with these simple sweet potato fries! They’re healthier than traditional French fries.
Plus, the sweetness of the potato combined with the savory taste of pulled pork makes for an epic combination.
Be sure to serve them with your favorite dipping sauces.
You can go with a standard ketchup or jazz things up with a spicy aioli.
19. Green Beans Almondine
Add a little color to your plate with these green beans almondine!
This easy recipe comes together in no time and is always a crowd-pleaser.
The crunch of the almonds combined with the crispness of the green beans is a guaranteed hit.
As a bonus, you can have this dish ready in just 30 minutes.
20. Easy Cucumber Salad
If you’re looking for a lighter side dish to serve with your pulled pork, you can’t go wrong with a cucumber salad.
Made with cucumbers, red onion, dill, honey, and a champagne vinegar, this is a refreshing side dish that brings out the best flavors of your pork.
On top of that, this salad won’t weigh you down and make you feel sluggish like heavy, starchier sides.
21. Fully-Loaded Baked Potato
It really doesn’t matter what type of meat you’re serving.
Nothing quite goes better with it than a baked potato full of all the fixings!
Top your spuds with sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon, and butter.
Or, you could even just go ahead and stuff it with your pulled pork for an incredible treat!
22. Homemade Applesauce
Particularly if you’re serving pork that’s on the spicier side, you’ll want to even things out with something sweet.
That’s where this homemade applesauce recipe comes in. It’ll remind you of applesauce your grandma made!
With just a few wholesome ingredients and a little sugar, you’ll have the perfect sweet side dish to pair with pulled pork.
23. Homemade Extra-Crispy Onion Rings
While some people are partial to French fries, I can’t resist having crunchy onion rings as a splurge!
This recipe couldn’t be easier, and they’ll come out extra-crispy every time. I know, I know, using a fryer isn’t the healthiest option.
But if you want restaurant-worthy, super crispy onion rings, it really is the best method.
These onion rings take a few minutes to prepare before frying, but the process is well worth it!
24. Air Fryer Biscuits
How can you have a complete pork meal without a side of freshly-baked biscuits? Well, actually, this recipe is made in the air fryer.
The process is even easier, and you can give your oven a rest for a change.
You’ll be shocked at how buttery, flaky, and perfect these biscuits come out every single time!
If you really want to shake things up, make a pulled pork sandwich out of ’em.
25. Homemade Potato Chips
Potato chips add such a nice crunch to your meal, plus, they pair perfectly with sandwiches.
I know it can be tempting to go with store-bought for the convenience factor.
But once you see how easy these homemade potato chips are, you’ll kick the bag to the curb!
If you’re making pulled pork sandwiches, you can even top them with a few chips to give them a little extra pizazz.
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