Pulled pork is relatively easy to prepare and affordable, making it one of the most popular barbecue options. Whether or not you choose to serve it in sandwiches or on its own, you are going to need other dishes to go with it. It is versatile enough to work with a large number of sides. Here are some of the best side dishes for barbecue pulled pork.
Nothing goes better with pulled pork — or any barbecue dish for that matter — than coleslaw, often called slaw for short. In many places, having any barbecue dish without a side of slaw is unthinkable. You can opt for the globally popular mayo slaw or you can go with a version made with a mustard dressing, which is traditional in some parts of the US. These days, you have numerous other options including vegan slaws made with mayonnaise free of animal products.
A traditional Southern US side for many dishes including barbecue, cornbread offers a mild and starchy counterbalance to the rich sweetness of pulled pork. Even better, a jalapeno cornbread can provide a little heat to act as a complement to the pork.
Another popular side from the America’s South, corn fritters are an excellent side for pork and pulled pork in particular. These crispy deep-fried treats made with corn can be shaped into balls or patties and provide a crisp, creamy and slightly sweet addition to your pulled pork.
Another creamy accompaniment for pulled pork, potato salad comes in many forms. Opt for the tangy sharp flavors of the mustard-based dressing or the creamier versions that use mayonnaise or sour cream. While it’s traditionally associated with summer, potato salad can work all year round and is just as good alongside a winter barbecue as it is with a summer one.
A simple green salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber can make a refreshing side for pulled pork. Add a little balsamic vinaigrette and you get a dish with a low-calorie count and that helps to cut the porky fattiness.
Collard greens are another side that accompanies many Southern favorites but is most at home when served alongside barbecue dishes. One of the best ways to have it is with a little pepper vinegar to bring a mild heat and tang to its slightly bitter flavor.
Commonly associated with barbecue, baked beans are versatile in that you can have versions with or without meat. You can also give them a smokey flavor by cooking them in your smoker. They provide a sweet, tangy flavor that works well with pulled pork and the other popular sides. Take a look at this spicy cowboy bean recipe for inspiration.
Stewed okra and tomatoes
Another Southern classic, the stewed okra and tomato combination has a small but ardent following. They are an all-purpose side that you can use with many main dishes including pulled pork. They are also healthier than many other traditional barbecue sides. The juiciness of the okra and the acidity from the tomatoes both work well with other sides and with the pulled pork.
Macaroni and cheese
Arguably, no side is more important to barbecue and Southern cuisine in general than mac and cheese. When done properly, you get a creamy and comforting savory dish that pairs perfectly with the sweet tanginess of pulled pork. Mac and cheese is the perfect family-friendly side that will appeal to kids who might not be interested in anything else on this list.