Cooking pulled pork might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. This simple pulled pork recipe can be made in a slow cooker!
The secret is to cook it at a low temperature for about six to eight hours, or until the meat can easily be shredded with a fork. Just keep in mind that some cook times on slow cookers can vary!
This recipe uses three to four pounds of pork shoulder. After seasoning the pork all over with salt and pepper, add it to the bowl of a slow cooker with finely chopped onion, ketchup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and spices.
The sauces and spices blend together to create a tangy sauce for tender meat. Once finished, pile the juicy pork onto a bun and top with coleslaw and pickles.
While these pulled pork sandwiches are incredibly savory on their own, pairing them with the right side dish can be the perfect complement and make for a complete meal.
Here are 14 ideas to help you figure out what side dish to serve with your pulled pork.
Mashed potatoes are the ultimate side dish and this recipe has hints of garlic for extra flavor.
Many people have opinions on whether to use sour cream or cream cheese to give the potatoes their fluffiness, but this recipe uses heavy whipping cream.
The only other ingredients to this simple recipe are butter, garlic, and salt and pepper. Serve them with your favorite gravy smothered on top!
Green beans are another classic side dish and they pair well with anything, especially pulled pork. These come together in just 20 short minutes.
After trimming the ends of one pound of fresh green beans, toss them in some olive oil, grated or shredded parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, salt, and garlic powder.
The breadcrumbs add a nice additional crunch to an already crunchy vegetable.
Don’t worry if you don’t have panko breadcrumbs in your pantry, you can make this with any kind of breadcrumbs- either with seasoning or without.
The taste of macaroni and cheese that comes in a box does not even come close to the homemade kind, and it is surprisingly easy to make.
This particular recipe only takes 15 minutes to make and everything can be done in the same pot!
All it takes is boiling elbow macaroni, and after draining the water, add the shredded cheddar and white cheddar, sour cream, butter, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper and watch all of them melt together.
Grate the cheese yourself, if possible, for maximum freshness. This batch of cheesy goodness is sure to be an excellent match for your pulled pork sandwiches.
4. Potato Salad
A barbecue without potato salad is like a night without stars.
This summer get-together classic combines Yukon potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, dill pickles, celery, and red onion with a creamy dressing made of mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, and a splash of pickle juice.
Once this salad chills in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to mesh together, serve it alongside pulled pork sandwiches as the perfect side dish.
Here’s another mayonnaise-based salad. This macaroni salad is quite filling due to the carbs from the pasta and the added vegetables give it an amazing crunch.
It includes red and green onion, red bell pepper, and celery as well as fresh parsley and dill.
The fresh herbs add such a bright flavor.
The main ingredients in the dressing are mayonnaise and sour cream along with a few tablespoons each of white wine vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar for a hint of sweetness.
Now for something on the lighter side- this simple green salad. You can choose whatever kind of green you’d like, whether it’s romaine, butterhead, or green or red leaf.
There are so many varieties listed. The possibilities are endless!
For the dressing, simply combine two parts oil to one part vinegar. While is recipe is super simple, feel free to spice it up by adding veggies, herbs, or cheese!
It is a great light option for a side for your pulled pork sandwiches.
Dill dip is always a crowd favorite. This one can be whipped up in just a few short minutes!
All it contains is mayonnaise, sour cream, onion flakes, fresh dill, fresh parsley, and seasoned salt. Dill is such an aromatic herb with a delicious flavor.
Serve this dip with your favorite vegetables and crackers!
8. Baked Beans
Bring canned baked beans to life just by adding a few common kitchen ingredients to them.
This recipe can be made in the oven or a slow cooker. Simply mix canned baked beans, cooked bacon, red onion, and an even amount of ketchup, yellow mustard, and brown sugar.
Add small amounts of molasses, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce and turn boring canned baked beans into a delicious side dish.
If your pulled pork is being served as a sandwich, there are few better side dishes to pair with a sandwich than French fries.
The best kind of potato to use for homemade fries is russet potatoes since they don’t retain too much water.
The key to getting the fries super crispy is to soak them in cold water for at least an hour, but longer is better. Fry them to a golden brown in vegetable or canola oil and dip them in your favorite sauce.
10. Fruit Salad
Here is another lighter, healthier side dish option- a stunning fruit salad with a citrus honey dressing.
This one features red and green grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, and blueberries.
The freshness of the fruit is dressed up even more with a mix of orange juice, honey, and cinnamon. Everybody loves fruit, and serving it with pulled pork is never a bad idea.
Elote is delicious Mexican corn on the cob recipe that is commonly served as street food.
It combines elements of creaminess from ingredients like sour cream, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese with elements of spice from chili powder and cayenne pepper.
After the corn is finished grilling, brush it with butter and the sour cream mixture and then sprinkle on the cheese and spice mixture. Garnish the elote with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of a lime wedge.
Crunchy corn, cherry tomatoes, and red onion deliciously harmonize with creamy avocado in this fresh avocado corn salad recipe.
Chopped cilantro and minced garlic bring out the flavors of all the veggies in this salad and make it a wonderful summer side dish for any pulled pork recipe.
It is also tossed in a simple dressing made from olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. This one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Onion rings are such a perfect comfort food and they are much easier to make than you may think. You can fry them in oil, but they also cook well in an air fryer.
A large sweet onion is cut into thick rounds and then separated into rings. The rings are then dredged in a mixture of flour, paprika, and salt, then in a beaten egg, and, finally, in the breadcrumbs.
They come out of the air fryer golden brown with a sweet and satisfying crunch.
Serve the onion rings on the side- or you can even use a few small ones as a topping for your pulled pork sandwiches!
Any barbecue recipe is incomplete until there is coleslaw served alongside it. It consists of shredded cabbage and carrots and is coated in a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing.
There isn’t any need to worry about tediously chopping the cabbage and carrots. You can buy it already shredded at any grocery store.
The dressing comes together by whisking mayonnaise, sugar, lime juice, and white vinegar in a bowl and then topping it off with salt and pepper.
You can add the dressing to the shredded cabbage little by little until you are satisfied with the amount. Toss the cabbage to coat it in the dressing and make sure it chills in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Coleslaw is a very common topping for pulled pork sandwiches, but it can be served as a side dish as well.
There are few better things in life than an outdoor gathering with good food and good company. Pulled pork is a barbecue staple and pairing it with the perfect side dish elevates the flavors of it even more.
Hopefully, this compilation of side dish recipes served as inspiration on what to pair your pulled pork with.
- 1. Mashed Potatoes
- 2. Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
- 3. One-Pot Macaroni & Cheese
- 4. Potato Salad
- 5. Macaroni Salad
- 6. Everyday Green Salad
- 7. Easy Dill Dip
- 8. Baked Beans
- 9. Homemade French Fries
- 10. Fruit Salad
- 11. Mexican Corn on the Cob
- 12. Fresh Avocado Corn Salad
- 13. Air Fryer Onion Rings
- 14. Homemade Coleslaw
- Choose your favorite dish!
- Prepare ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready in 30 minutes or less!