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. It’s more than just a simple sandwich meat!
It’s kind of disappointing that the top Google results for “pulled pork” are mostly different sandwich variants, when really, pulled pork is so much more!
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 barbecue, the sides are just as important as the meat.
And with pulled pork specifically, the sides can range from sweet to salty, soft to crunchy, light to heavy, and everything in between!
The sides can serve as a refreshing break from the heavy meat, or used to mop up whatever is left of the sauce on your plate. The possibilities are nearly endless!
And that’s why I’m here today. 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, which 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!
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 and really give your meal a sweet and crunchy element.
If your 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 meal time, 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!
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, and 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, so vegans and vegetarians at your barbecue can still enjoy the sides!
This might not be a traditional Southern side for pulled pork, but experimenting and trying out new things often yields good results. And trust us, this is an awesome result!
This Latin American side featuring tomatoes, onions, and lime will give 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 taste buds for another helping of barbecue!
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. You can 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.
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, it’s also a colorful addition to any plating of pulled pork.
9. Fruit Salad
When you want to elevate the pulled pork dish with sweetness, or you just can’t wait for dessert, then pairing your barbecued pork with a fruit salad will 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 that 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 with a light, refreshing, crunchy, and most importantly, healthy side!
11. French fries
Ah, the classic potato side dish 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.
If you want the pulled pork to take center stage with no distractions, rice pilaf is a great side to pair with your rich pulled pork. 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.
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 it simmer until 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, all mixed up in a blend of sweet and sour, with a dash of salty, then the ultimate side dish for your pulled pork is succotash!
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!