How often have you found yourself staring at a pork roast, wondering what on Earth to serve with it?
You don’t want to overwhelm the meat with too many flavors or too many textures, but you also want something that will stand up to the richness of the pork and be able to stand out on its own.
With these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to pick a side dish that complements your main course in no time.
In this blog post, we will learn more about eight side dish ideas to make your pork dish more special and delicious.
What to consider when choosing a side dish to serve with pork?
When choosing a side dish to serve with pork, there are several things to remember.
Choosing dishes that complement each other and don’t overpower one another is essential.
Here’s what you need to think about:
- Which cut of pork is used: a pork belly cut is much fattier than a pork loin, or a rib cut is packed with a lot more flavor. Therefore, the different pork cuts can result in additional choices in choosing a side dish.
- How the meat is cooked: Pork is versatile because it can be cooked differently. Stir-fried pork might work with different companions compared to roasted pork or smoked pork.
- What meal are you serving: A meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be different because you want more energy during the daytime while looking for lighter dishes to enjoy at night to not upset your stomach.
8 best side dishes to serve with pork
Now we will explore the eight side dish ideas that can help complement and elevate your pork dish on any occasion:
Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are great to serve with pork because they contain protein and fiber.
Not only that, but both are easy to prepare: You can buy them already cooked in cans or dried in bags, which makes them convenient for busy weeknights.
If you prefer to cook your own beans, soak them overnight first and then boil them until they soften before draining the water and adding more fresh water.
To make lentils, just add them to boiling water until they become tender (usually 20-30 minutes), drain the liquid, and season with salt or whatever spices you like (cumin is common).
Beans and lentils can be used in various recipes, from baking to stewing or even served in a salad.
Grains (rice, barley, farro)
Grains are a great way to round out your meal.
Rice, barley, and farro are all excellent options.
Rice is the most common option, but barley and farro offer more fiber and a heartier texture that can help fill you up without being too heavy.
They can be steamed and served plain or cooked with many other veggies and meat for extra flavor.
Saucy vegetables (collards, kale, chard)
Collards, kale, and chard are all leafy greens that can be served with pork.
They’re also milder than other greens, making them a good choice for those who don’t usually like their greens to be too bitter (or to have a strong taste).
And they’re incredibly nutritious!
Cooking these leafy greens with cheese or cream will result in a creamy and saucy dish without feeling guilty when eating it.
Braised vegetables (cabbage, onion, fennel, leeks)
Braised vegetables are another great side dish for pork.
This cooking method uses a small amount of liquid, which is heated until it nearly boils.
The vegetables and any other ingredients are then added to the pan and cooked at a low simmer for about 20 minutes or so until tender.
Braising also allows you to infuse the vegetables with tons of flavor!
Cabbage and other root vegetables are perfect options when it comes to braising.
Sweet potatoes and squash
You can serve sweet potatoes and squash with your pork to add more nutrients to the meal.
Both vegetable options are rich in vitamin A, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve vision. Sweet potatoes also contain high amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6.
Squash contains even more fiber than sweet potatoes!
These two vegetables are delicious on their own or roasted with some olive oil for a tasty side dish that will complement any protein (and help you meet your daily requirements for iron).
Potatoes (boiled or baked)
Potatoes are the perfect side dish for your pork dinner.
They’re also great with fish, but that’s a different point.
Potatoes can be boiled or baked, mashed or whole—your choice!
They’re versatile and delicious no matter how you choose to prepare them.
If you’re serving a roast or chop, add potatoes to keep everyone satisfied until dinnertime’s over (and beyond!).
While there are many ways to cook potatoes—roasting them in the oven is classic—boiling them on the stovetop is just as easy and yields similar results: fluffy, tender spuds that go well with any meat dish.
One popular way of serving potatoes alongside other meats is in the hash form: diced potatoes sautéed with onions until golden brown, then finished off with cheese and sour cream for added flavor and richness.
You can serve this potato hash simply by assembling all ingredients into one skillet, so everyone gets their fair share (and maybe even some leftovers). Hash also works great as an appetizer; just cut it into bite-sized pieces before serving!
Garlic butter mushrooms
Mushrooms are a good source of nutrients, which superbly benefit our health.
They are also very versatile and can be used in many different dishes.
Mushrooms have a meaty texture and a unique umami flavor, making
One of the best ways to cook mushrooms is by sautéing them in butter with garlic, which makes them taste amazing!
If you’re looking for a good side dish to serve with pork, cheese rolls are a great option.
They’re easy to make and can be served with many different types of meat, including chicken and ham.
Plus, they can also be served hot or cold.
Cheese rolls are trendy in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
They’re often made with Cheddar cheese, but you can substitute any type of cheese that you like.
To make them even more nutritious and healthy, try substituting whole wheat flour for regular flour!
Cheese rolls are also a great source of protein, so they’re an excellent choice if you want something extra filling without having to worry about overeating too much fat or carbohydrates (such as pasta).
Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas for what to serve with pork.
There are many other options out there that we didn’t mention in this article; it is up to your personal preference.
But if we had to pick one last thing, it would be this: have fun and try new things!