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Pulled pork is a delicious and simple recipe that is enjoyed by people all over the world. This flavourful and versatile dish can be eaten in a wide variety of ways with many new inventive ways of serving pulled pork being created all the time. However, if cooking some yourself at home, you may need some ideas for what to serve with pulled pork. If so, we’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
- What Is Pulled Pork?
- What Goes With Pulled Pork?
- What To Serve With Pulled Pork?
- Answered: What To Serve With Pulled Pork?
- FAQ – What To Serve With Pulled Pork?
What Is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is an American dish that originated from the southern states. The process of making it typically involves taking a barbecued pork shoulder that has been slow-cooked and shredding it to pieces. Typically this will be done with a pair of forks, following which the shredded pork will be mixed with a barbeque sauce.
In order to make it tender enough for shredding, the pulled pork will need to be slow-cooked. Often this is done in one of two ways depending on if this process is being done indoors or outside. When done outside, the meat will be slowly smoked over a wood fire. However, when done indoors a slow cooker is more likely to be used.
What Goes With Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is often served as part of a barbeque. As such a lot of sides and dishes that go well with pulled pork are likely to be other barbeque mainstays. However, the tastes sweet and slightly spicy barbecue, along with the smokey, savoury and meaty pork will go wonderfully with a wide variety of other dishes.
This is especially true with dishes that are creamy or saucy, along with those that are crispy or crunchy. Especially since texture-wise, these will excellently contrast the sticky and tender but slightly dry nature of the pulled pork.
What To Serve With Pulled Pork?
With the above in mind, you may already have some ideas of what to serve with pulled pork, or how to use any leftover pulled pork you may have. However, if you are unsure of what to have with your pulled pork, then take a look at the suggestions below.
- Creamy Potato Salad
- French Fries
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Roasted Vegetables
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Baked Beans
- Sweet Corn Fritters
- Corn Salsa
- Grilled Corn
- Rice Pilaf
- Fruit Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Honey Butter Biscuits
- Burger/Slider Buns
Creamy Potato Salad
A mainstay of many a barbecue is a deliciously creamy bowl of potato salad. This German side dish is of course creamy but also has the wonderful fluffy texture of boiled potatoes and crunchy celery which combine to create a delicious combination of textures. Additionally, whilst potatoes and pork are always a great combo, the tangy, sweet and creamy and sweet tastes of potato salad truly elevate things,
Now, of course, you can buy some premade potato salad from the store. However, for this dish to truly shine it should be made from home, which is surprisingly simple to do.
Additionally, with how simple this dish is to make, it’s quite simple to experiment with. As such, adding extra ingredients such as eggs, mustard or maybe even bacon can help you really put your own spin on things.
Another potato-based side option that pairs wonderfully with pulled pork is of course French fries (or chips to the English). Truly, French fries go wonderfully with most things. However, with something like pulled pork, this is especially true since the crispy exterior and fluffy interior will contrast with sticky and tender pork beautifully.
If wanting to add something a little extra to homemade french fries though, then using different mixes of seasonings is an excellent way to do so. One possibility is to combine a teaspoon of cumin with a pinch of chilli powder, salt and pepper and mix it over your french fries before cooking.
Alternatively, you can go for a more cajun route and use smoked paprika and garlic powder with salt and pepper. When using this seasoning mix though, whilst skinny French fries are good, you could also cut them into thick potato wedges.
Sweet Potato Fries
Baked sweet potato fries have seen a surge in popularity in recent years as this variant of potato fries is quickly establishing itself as a modern staple food. Instead of being fried, sweet potato fries are just as often baked to wonderful results, with them being wonderfully crunchy and having their natural sweetness emphasised through caramelisation.
Like traditional french fries, these will offer a wonderful contrast in texture to the pulled pork. However, instead of a salty and slightly earthy taste, sweet potato fries will provide an extra layer of sweetness which perfectly complements the taste of the barbecue sauce used on pulled pork.
A mainstay side for near enough any dish, especially when serving something meaty. Truly an assortment of roasted vegetables is always an excellent choice, especially when seasoned with fresh herbs and caramelised in honey or balsamic vinegar.
An assortment of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, onions, radishes, turnips and of course potatoes is always a delicious choice. These will all caramelise brilliantly and provide a wonderful mix of sweet and earthy tastes, along with a wonderfully crunchy texture.
To focus more on the earthy side of things though, using an assortment of roasted green vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts and green beans is an excellent idea. Alternatively, a fusion of the two concepts with the addition of some mushrooms is a wonderful way to achieve a wide variety of delicious flavours.
Pulled pork is an iconically southern dish. As such, surely it makes sense when partaking in such a dish to enjoy it with some iconically southern vegetables right?
Exactly, as such collared greens make for a wonderful choice when pairing vegetables with pulled pork, especially when wanting to enjoy some in cooler months.
For those unaware, collared greens are loose leafed plants that have something of visual similarity to something like cabbage or broccoli. When raw they are quite bitter, however, once cooked this bitterness mellows and more the earthy flavour comes through.
These are truly incredibly versatile vegetables that can be cooked and prepared in a myriad of ways. When serving them alongside pulled pork though they are particularly wonderful when sauteed in garlic and butter or prepared as spicy collard greens.
Pulled pork will inevitably be quite a rich and heavy dish that is packed with flavour. As such something quite light, earthy and simple such as green beans can be the perfect choice for a side to complement it.
Green beans can be prepared in a variety of ways but for pulled pork, roasting them with garlic powder, diced shallots and almond flakes, along with a light drizzle of lemon zest makes them truly light and delicious. Additionally though, for a double dosage of pork, bacon chopped into small pieces and sprinkled on top adds some extra salty and crispy goodness.
Baked beans a truly a mainstay part of many a hearty meal. With pulled pork, this is no exception since slow-cooked baked beans will pair wonderfully with the slow-cooked pulled pork.
To make them particularly sweet then mixing brown sugar into the pot is a wonderful way of doing so. However, for a bit of extra tang then some apple cider vinegar is what you’ll want to go for.
Alternatively, you could make them cheesy baked beans by stirring in a generous amount of grated cheesy and along to melt. The result being a wonderfully rich and cheesy treat that beautifully complements the sauce on coating your pulled pork.
Sweet Corn Fritters
As the name suggests sweet corn fritters are of course fritters made using delicious sweet corn. The process of making them is surprisingly simple and quite similar to that of making crab cakes in that you mix the sweet corn into a batter and fry them.
Typically, these will be eaten as an appetizer or a dessert with maple syrup. However, for a more hearty and savoury side dish option, other ingredients may also be added to the mix such as bacon, cheese, onions, or even the aforementioned crab meat.
The resulting pairing of sweet corn fritters with pulled pork is truly excellent as the contrast between the crispy fritters and tender pork is wonderfully delicious. Meanwhile the harmonising of these distinct sweet flavours pair perfectly with each other.
Pulled pork is a classic of southern barbecue cuisine. As such, it makes perfect sense to pair it with other classic barbecue staple dishes. One option for doing so is to include the aforementioned potato salad, however, another wonderful option is grilled corn.
The contrast between the tastes and textures of pulled pork and grilled corn is truly wonderful. Grilled corn’s crunchy and smokey traits differ greatly from the sticky, tender and slightly spicy pulled pork. Meanwhile, like with the corn fritters, the distinct sweet tastes of corn and barbecue sauce marry together perfectly.
Also known as succotash, corn salsa is a vegetable dish that primarily consists primarily of sweetcorn mixed with shell beans such as lima bean. However, in addition, other ingredients commonly added to succotash include onions, potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, bell peppers and sometimes okra.
Occasionally meat will also be added to the mix such as salted pork or corned beef. In this context though, that won’t be necessary thanks to the pulled pork.
The beauty of serving corn salsa alongside pulled pork is that it adds a diverse array of flavours and textures to your meal. Additionally, it also adds some wonderfully vibrant colour.
Pulled pork is an incredibly rich and flavourful dish. As such like when looking for a side for beef stroganoff, you might wish to pair it with something quite neutral in flavour. As such a simple rice pilaf (or pilau) is an excellent option for doing so.
If you’re unaware, a pilaf is essentially a rice dish that has been cooked in a broth or stock. Additionally, other ingredients such as spices, meat or vegetables may be included. The resulting rice will be very loose and not stick, additionally, it will have very subtle flavourings from the broth.
This versatile side dish option is a brilliant choice for pulled pork since it provides a mostly neutral flavour but with a hint of something extra such as garlic or onions. Additionally, it also adds the texture of brilliantly fluffy rice that soaks up any sauce that drips down from the pork.
Whether it’s for a refreshing dessert after your meal or if your pulled pork is particularly sweet, fruit salad is an excellent choice to accompany the main dish in question. After all, serving fruit, particularly apples with pork is nothing out of the ordinary.
Pulled pork is a quite heavy and rich dish that is known for being quite warming. As such a bowl of cool and refreshing fruit salad might be exactly what you need to take the edge off.
For a good savoury fruit salad to have with your main meal a fruit salad that focuses heavily on apples is a good idea. Especially if you pair it with some berries and nuts, along with potentially a sharp cheddar cheese.
If you’re planning to have it after the pulled pork then a mix of particularly sweet fruits such as grapes, strawberries, pineapple and oranges and other berries will a great choice. Especially so when mixed with a light yoghurt.
Made using many of the same principles and ingredients like the aforementioned potato salad, the macaroni salad is therefore also an excellent choice to serve with pulled pork. As such, if you want to make a simple pasta dish or are out of potatoes, then this is a delicious and incredibly filling option.
The creamy and crunchy aspects of this dish contrast excellently with the tender and sticky texture along with the sweet, spicy and savoury flavours. Additionally, the al dente texture and filling nature of the macaroni pasta add extra layers and make for a particularly hearty meal.
Like potato salad, macaroni salad is also incredibly simple and quick to make. Additionally, it is also best served when chilled. As such, if planning a barbecue, preparing it the night beforehand and refrigerating will likely provide the best results.
Honey Butter Biscuits
American biscuits are wonderful balls of dough that can be eaten with sweet or savoury flavours and pair wonderfully with meaty dishes Especially so with a meat dish like pulled pork which is known for being particularly saucy.
This is because the doughiness of the biscuits allows them to soak up sauces and juices from the meat very efficiently. As a result, the flavours of pork and barbecue sauce merge with those of the spongy biscuits in an absolutely delicious manner.
The flavour sensation is further enhanced, however, by the addition of a honey butter spread to the biscuits. As the name implies, this spread is made with a mixture of honey and butter which is delectably sweet and creamy. Both of which harmonises perfectly with the tastes associated with pulled pork.
Perhaps the most iconic way to serve pulled pork is on a sandwich or a burger bun. This is because eating pulled pork in such a manner allows you to eat with your hands whilst providing the same sauce dough experience provided by biscuits. Additionally, though, the extra texture of a soft bun adds add a springy softness, along with providing a more filling meal.
Naturally, there are a wide variety of buns available to have with pulled pork. However, brioche burger buns, in particular, make for an excellent choice due to adding an extra buttery texture and honey sweetness. If not in the mood for a large sandwich, sliders allow you to have something akin to a pulled pork mini burger.
Speaking of burgers, the use of buns also allows you to include other ingredients to make particularly hearty meals. Some examples of such ingredients include a burger or chicken patty, cheese, lettuce, other sauces or even bacon.
Answered: What To Serve With Pulled Pork?
When deciding what to serve with pulled pork the options that are available to you are truly incredibly numerous. As such, the question isn’t necessarily a matter of having little to choose from but an overwhelming amount of choice.
With that in mind, the suggestions outlined above provide something of a guide of where you should start when deciding what to pair with pulled pork. For something rich and creamy then potato salad or macaroni salad are excellent choices. Meanwhile for something more neutral that allows the pulled pork to shine burger buns or rice are perfect.
Ultimately though, the direction that you choose to go when serving your pulled pork should come down to the preferences of your palette. With that in mind then, don’t be afraid to branch out from our recommendations. After all, cooking is an art, not a science.
FAQ – What To Serve With Pulled Pork?
What entrée goes with pulled pork?
Pulled pork is a dish that is both incredibly delicious and versatile. As such it can be served alongside a wide variety of different meals. As far as entrees go though, macaroni salad, potato salad, burgers, sweet corn fritters and roasted vegetables are all excellent choices.
How much pulled pork do you need per person?
Per person, roughly one-third of a pound of pulled pork will be suitable for each person. However, since pork shoulder is known to be quite a fatty meat you may require slightly more meat due to the shoulder potentially reducing in size by around half when slow-cooked. As such, you may need a joint twice the size that you would typically expect to compensate for the loss of moisture.