pork tenderloin sides

What To Serve With Pork Tenderloin?

Pork tenderloin is a common cut of meat to serve on several occasions. It is very tender and flavorful, but can also be difficult to know what to pair with. Instead of stressing over side dishes, try one of these below and serve a delicious meal.

In this article, you will find the best side dishes for pork tenderloin and how to prepare it accordingly.

What Is Pork Tenderloin?

Also called pork fillet or pork steak, this is a cut of pork that contains no bone. The pork tenderloin is usually long and narrow and comes from the back muscle along the backbone. Unlike other cuts of pork, this one is considered extra lean.

Since it contains little fat, pork tenderloin is often considered a very healthy source of protein. Because of it, the pork tenderloin cut can be a bit pricier than most. However, since it is so lean, it dries out quickly, and knowing how to cook it is very important.

You can prepare pork tenderloin by sauteing or braising. Cooking it on the grill is also a good idea, as long as you keep an eye on it. Since it tends to be dry, most people serve it with sauces, marinades, or gravy.

One way to prevent drying out your pork tenderloin is to do quick first cooking on a saucepan and then finishing it in the oven. Some people prefer to slow cook it as well, which prevents overcooking and preserves the juices.

Nutrition Facts

One thick slice of pork tenderloin (63 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 97 calories
  • 42.1 g water
  • 16.9 g protein
  • 2. 73 g fat
  • 0 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 0 g sugar
  • 3.78 mg calcium
  • 0.617 mg iron
  • 19.5 mg magnesium
  • 203 mg phosphorus
  • 338 mg potassium
  • 374 mg sodium
  • 27.7 µg selenium
  • 45.4 mg cholesterol

When you want a leaner protein source that is not poultry or fish, pork tenderloin is the right choice. Be careful not to let it get too dry, and choose a healthier sauce to go with it. By baking, roasting, or grilling it, you also save some fat and calories.

Pork Tenderloin Side Dishes That Go Very Well

Below are some options for side dishes that you can serve with pork tenderloin at any time!

#1. Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Potatoes are always a good choice when it comes to pork recipes. You can choose fingerling potatoes because they are very tender and easy to cook, but if you prefer, other types of potatoes work too.


  • 12 to 16 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your rosemary fingerling potatoes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place your potatoes in a pot with water and salt. Cook them for about 15 minutes or until more tender.
  3. In the meantime, slice the shallots.
  4. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  5. Drain your potatoes and place them on the baking sheet with the shallots. Drizzle your potatoes and shallots with olive oil.
  6. Add the garlic, rosemary, cumin, sea salt, and pepper. Toss everything.
  7. Roast your potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden on top.
  8. Serve warm next to your pork tenderloin.

#2. Israeli Couscous Salad

This Israeli couscous salad is a good balance between sweet and savory. You can prepare this salad and get your portion of veggies as well as grains.


  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mint
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Israeli couscous salad:

  1. Bring the vegetable broth and ½ cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook the couscous for about 15 to 25 minutes, or until it has absorbed all the liquid.
  2. Wash your vegetables. Chop and dice them accordingly, and place them in a bowl.
  3. Add the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss everything.
  4. Transfer the couscous and continue tossing. Allow the couscous and vegetables to cool down.
  5. Add more olive oil if necessary, as well as the mint. Toss well.
  6. Serve cold with your pork tenderloin.

#3. Asparagus with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

If you are looking for more vegetables to accompany your pork tenderloin, this recipe is the right choice. These asparagus with cranberries and pine nuts are delicious and very easy to make.


  • A bunch asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your asparagus with cranberries and pine nuts:

  1. Wash and trim your asparagus to remove all the fibrous ends.
  2. Place your asparagus in a pot with water and salt. Cook for five minutes, so they get a bit more tender.
  3. Add the olive oil and garlic to a skillet. Allow it to warm, then add the pine nuts, cranberries, and asparagus.
  4. Cook everything for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and allow it to cook for a few more minutes until it caramelizes a little.
  6. Serve your asparagus with cranberries and pine nuts warm next to your pork tenderloin.

#4. Mashed Butternut Squash

When you want to serve a carbohydrate but still save some calories, butternut squash is a great choice. This recipe is quick and easy but also tasty and healthy.


  • 2 butternut squash pieces, seeded
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your mashed butternut squash:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place your seeded and cut butternut squash on the baking dish. Add the vegetable broth and olive oil.
  3. Bake until your butternut is tender, which can take between 45 minutes to one hour.
  4. Add the butternut squash, sour cream, honey, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Using a potato masher or fork, mash until smooth.
  5. Serve warm and garnish with parsley if you want.

#5. Marsala Glazed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are always a good idea when it comes to pork meals. In this case, the Marsala wine sauce is a fantastic choice because it combines notes of sweetness with savory and acid flavors.


  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup Marsala wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Marsala glazed mushrooms:

  1. Add the olive oil and garlic to a saucepan. Allow it to get warm, and place all the mushrooms.
  2. Continue sauteing your mushrooms over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the thyme, Dijon mustard, and continue browning the mushrooms for another two more minutes.
  4. Add the Marsala wine, and cook at high heat for a few more minutes until the wine boils down.
  5. Turn off the heat and serve the mushrooms warm.

#6. Creamy Polenta with Spinach

Polenta is another good option for a carbohydrate to go with your pork tenderloin. You can add spinach to break through the creaminess of this recipe.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamy polenta with spinach:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic powder and spinach.
  2. Cook the spinach for about 5 minutes or until it shrinks.
  3. Add the cream and simmer for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. In another saucepan, add the vegetable broth and ½ cup of water. Bring them to a boil.
  5. Add the polenta, and reduce the heat to a low. Stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Return the spinach to the saucepan, mix well. Add the cheese and continue to mix. Season the polenta with salt, pepper, and oregano.
  7. Serve your creamy polenta with spinach warm.

#7. Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have always been a traditional dish to serve with any pork meal. In this case, these are sweet and savory and pack a ton of texture and aroma as well.


  • 15 to 20 Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup Canadian bacon, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your maple-glazed Brussels sprouts:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Clean your Brussels sprouts. Place them on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle your sprouts with olive oil, toss them. Drizzle them with maple syrup, then toss them again.
  4. Add the Canadian bacon, toss everything again. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Toss once more.
  5. Roast your Brussels sprouts and Canadian bacon for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the sprouts caramelize.

Tip: halfway through, be sure to stir everything to prevent burning.

  1. Serve your maple-glazed Brussels sprouts warm with pork tenderloin on the side.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Side Dish?

Pork tenderloin is a delicious cut of meat that deserves an equally delicious side dish. Whether you serve it alone or with a sauce, choosing the perfect complement can be difficult. In this case, you can prepare any of these recipes to make your pork tenderloin shine even more.

If you are serving your pork tenderloin with a sauce, like cranberry or mustard, you may want a side dish that is more simple and allows your sauce to shine. Try serving the creamy polenta with spinach for a delicate but unique dish. You could also choose the mashed butternut squash and save yourself the guilt.

For a roasted or grilled pork tenderloin, you can serve it with a more filling and complex recipe. Try the Marsala glazed mushrooms, which are healthy, sweet, and very filling. You could also serve the maple-glazed Brussels sprouts that are sure to leave you wanting more.

Finally, for everyday pork tenderloin recipes, why not try something that everyone would like? Go with the rosemary fingerling potatoes that also take only a few minutes to make or prepare the asparagus with cranberries and pinenuts for a classic side dish. To try something new, that is fresh and tasty, go with the Israeli couscous salad.


Do not stress over making pork tenderloin ever again! With these pork tenderloin sides recipes, you will leave your daily or guests wanting more. Try one or two, or even three, and elevate your pork tenderloin meal.

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*image by Nadianb/depositphotos

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