pulled pork sides

What To Serve With Pulled Pork?

If you have not made pulled pork yet, it should be one of your next adventures in the kitchen. This dish is traditional during cookouts, summer barbecues, and parties. Preparing pulled pork takes time, so knowing what goes with it is key in making a delicious meal.

In this article, we will discuss the best side dishes for pulled pork. We will also give you some tips on when to serve them.

What Is Pulled Pork?

Pulled pork is an American barbecue dish that consists of pork shoulder that is slow-cooked or slow-smoked.

This recipe comes from the Southern region of the United States, where barbecue is popular. Usually, you shred the meat by hand and serve it with sauce on top, but it can also be on its own.

In most cases, pulled pork is served over bread or on its own. Because you cook it in a slow-cooker, this pork dish takes around 12 hours, although it can take fewer hours depending on the equipment used.

Sometimes, the meat is soaked in brine for it to retain moisture before you cook it for long hours.

Pulled pork sandwiches are very common in barbecue joints or cookouts, and in some instances, chicken or turkey is used instead of pork.

However, this type of meat is starting to be popular in tacos, with baked beans, omelets, or salads. You will often see pulled pork in a barbecue sauce, spicy mustard, or tomato-based sauces.

Nutrition Facts

One-third of a cup of pulled pork (85 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 200 calories
  • 12 g protein
  • 16 g fat
  • 2 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 1 g sugar
  • 20.4 mg calcium
  • 0.722 mg iron
  • 490 mg sodium
  • 100 IU vitamin A
  • 50.2 mg cholesterol

Pulled pork is a traditional summer dish but also a Southern and barbecue specialty. Still, you may have more sugar and fat that you do not want at home. For better control of your meal, prepare the pulled pork yourself.

Best Pulled Pork Side Dishes That Go Well

Below are some pulled pork sides that you can serve with pulled pork at any time!

#1. Classic Southern Coleslaw 

Since pulled pork is a classic Southern dish, what better way to serve it than a tasty coleslaw recipe? This one is easy to make and remains a fan favorite for many.


  • 1 bag of coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage and carrots
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your classic Southern coleslaw:

  1. Before you do anything, make sure to wash the coleslaw.
  2. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, celery seeds, garlic powder, celery seeds, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the coleslaw mix and continue tossing so everything coats evenly.
  4. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
  5. Serve cold with pulled pork on the side.

#2. Easy Cornbread

What better way to say Southern than a good piece of cornbread? Although it sounds complicated, this recipe is not too hard, and it does compliment your pulled pork perfectly.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup butter

Follow these steps to prepare your easy cornbread:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. In another bowl, add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones slowly.
  5. Grease a baking dish of choice. Slowly add the batter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top.
  7. Serve warm or cold according to your preference.

#3. Summer Sweet Corn Salad

This summer sweet corn salad is a fantastic side dish to serve with your pulled pork. It is particularly good for a cookout or barbecue at home when you need a refreshing side dish.


  • 3 cups sweet corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your summer sweet corn salad:

  1. Drain your corn and place it in a bowl.
  2. Wash your tomatoes and onion. Chop them both and add them to the same bowl.
  3. Toss the vegetables, then add the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, sea salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least one hour.
  5. Serve cold next to pulled pork.

#4. Black Bean Salsa

Sometimes you may want a lighter dish to go with your pulled pork. When using the meat in a taco or sandwich, you can try this recipe as a topping. This black bean salsa is then the right choice and can be served as a salad too.


  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your black bean salsa:

  1. Drain the corn and black beans, and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Wash your red bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes. Chop them and add them to the bowl.
  3. Add the cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss everything.
  4. Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator.
  5. Serve the dish cold on top of the pulled pork or the side.

#5. Creamy and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

These creamy and cheesy mashed potatoes are a fantastic side dish to go with pulled pork. You can add other toppings to make the potatoes even more decadent.


  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamy and cheesy mashed potatoes:

  1. Begin by peeling and then cooking the potatoes in a pot with water for about 20 minutes or until soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes and then using a potato masher or fork make them into mashed potatoes.
  3. Return the potatoes to a saucepan. Add the butter, heavy cream, cheddar cheese, milk, salt, and pepper.
  4. Continue to whisk everything together until you reach the creamy consistency you want.
  5. Add the parsley to the potatoes and continue mixing for a few more seconds.
  6. Serve the creamy and cheesy mashed potatoes with your pulled pork on the side.

#6. Herbed Rice Pilaf

Not everyone serves pulled pork with rice pilaf, but it is a great choice when you want something delicate. This recipe takes only a few ingredients and minutes to make but tastes great.


  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your herbed rice pilaf:

  1. Add your butter to a skillet. Place the rice and garlic powder until it starts browning.
  2. Stir in the dry thyme, mint, chicken broth, water, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring your rice mix to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the parsley and continue mixing the rice.
  5. Serve warm with pulled pork on the side.

#7. Easy Oven Fries

These easy oven fries are delicious and decadent, but more importantly, they go well with your pulled pork. You can add as many spices or herbs as you want to change things up.


  • 5 large potatoes, cut into french fry size
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your easy oven fries:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Grease your baking sheet using olive oil and a brush.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the potatoes, dry parsley, dry rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  4. Transfer your potatoes to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Open the oven, and turn the potatoes.
  5. Bake for another 10 minutes or until they are brown and golden.
  6. Serve with pulled pork on the side or top.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Pulled Pork Sides?

There is nothing that says barbecue or cookout like a good plate of pulled pork. Since it takes so long to prepare, you also need to spend time finding worthy side dishes to serve with it. Enjoy your favorite pulled pork with a delicious dish to go with it.

Nothing says classic cookout like another Southern dish to go with your pulled pork. Start with the classic Southern coleslaw or easy cornbread. You could serve these two together since these do not clash with each other.

If you are looking for a refreshing summer flavor to complement the sauce from your pulled pork, then you should get something that is lighter. Try the summer sweet corn salad or black bean salsa, which only takes a few minutes to make. When you feel adventurous, mix these two recipes any time you want.

Finally, for more filling dishes, you could try something a little more elaborate. In this case, the creamy and cheesy mashed potatoes, herbed rice pilaf, and easy oven fries are all great options. Accompany any of these with the summer sweet corn salad or classic Southern coleslaw as well.


Cooking and eating pulled pork is not easy, but it is worth a try. Instead of ruining the flavors and all your effort,  you can try one of these side dishes to go with your dish. These are all fantastic choices that will add flavor and density to your meal. 

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*image by urban_light/depositphotos

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