17 Scrumptious Side Dishes for Pulled Pork

Try these yummy BBQ-friendly sides

Fried Grits Cakes

The Spruce

Take a plate of pulled pork to the next level with these easy, inspired side dishes that go great with barbecue mains. You'll find great ideas here for what to serve with pulled pork, from classic sides such as coleslaw, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese, to crunchy and refreshing salads, healthful vegetable dishes, and the most delicious crispy carbs.

  • 01 of 17

    Quick and Easy Creamy Coleslaw

    Quick and Easy Creamy Coleslaw

    The Spruce

    Creamy, cooling coleslaw is a classic complement to savory, saucy barbecue entrees such as pulled pork. This crunchy slaw uses a convenient packaged shredded cabbage mixture, tossing it with an easy, seasoned mayonnaise dressing to impart a fresh and natural taste. Make it a few hours (or up to 3 days) ahead and store it in a tightly covered container in the fridge until ready to serve.

  • 02 of 17

    Fried Grits Cakes

    Fried Grits Cakes

    The Spruce

    Transform quick grits or stone-ground grits into a pleasing platter of fried grit cakes. Serve this fun and easy side with BBQ meats, creamed chicken, or Southern fried shrimp. The polenta-like griddle cakes are quick and easy to whip up in about 30 minutes and can be tweaked to taste with the addition of cheddar cheese, pimientos, or even grated garlic.

  • 03 of 17

    Macaroni and Cheese With Bacon

    Macaroni and Cheese With Bacon

    The Spruce

    Everyone needs a go-to macaroni and cheese recipe in their back pocket. This smoky-tasting version featuring bacon is a fabulous choice when you are serving pulled pork or other meaty cookout mains. It makes a satisfying family meal on its own, too, and it bakes in less than an hour for weeknight dinners.

  • 04 of 17

    Air Fryer Onion Rings

    Air Fryer Onion Rings

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    The air fryer makes it easy to produce perfectly crispy, crunchy onion rings with all the flavor you crave, and none of the extra fat or mess involved in deep-frying. Serve them as a tasty side dish for pork, with some Southern comeback sauce, ketchup, aioli, or your other favorite dipping sauce on the side.

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  • 05 of 17

    Country-Style Baked Beans

    Country-Style Baked Beans

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Cook up a comforting pot of slow-baked beans in barbecue sauce with bacon for a warming meal, or a filling side dish on snowy winter days. Salt pork helps to infuse the beans with loads of savory flavor, for a fantastic one-two punch when you serve them alongside shredded pulled pork.

  • 06 of 17

    Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

    Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    When you crave a cooling, crunchy side dish for barbecue mains, throw together this easy and delicious salad. It is a refreshing assembly of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, creamy avocado, tangy red onion, mixed sweet herbs, and optional tender lettuces, all bathed in a light and flavorful balsamic vinaigrette.

  • 07 of 17

    Instant Pot Collard Greens

    Instant Pot Collard Greens

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Use your Instant Pot to cook up these kicking collard greens. This easy recipe uses bacon and a few common pantry ingredients including hot sauce, to flavor the sturdy, slightly bitter greens and transform them into a fabulous Southern-style side dish. They are ready to enjoy in under 30 minutes and can be served at once or kept warm until they are needed.

  • 08 of 17

    Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pink Beans

    Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pink Beans

    StockFood / Getty Images

    Jump up your pulled pork dinner with a scoop of Caribbean-style yellow rice and beans. The tasty pairing makes a quick and wholesome family meal or outdoor party plate and is a fun and inexpensive way to introduce the ones you love to new ingredients. Pink beans are similar in appearance to red kidney beans.

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  • 09 of 17

    Corn Oysters

    Corn Oysters

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Deep-fried corn "oysters" are fluffy little corn fritters that are similar to hush puppies, with a flavor that is close to sweet cornbread. They make an irresistible side dish for pulled pork sandwiches, and you can easily cook up a big batch in about 30 minutes. Enjoy any leftovers for breakfast the next morning, with a generous drizzle of maple syrup over top.

  • 10 of 17

    Jalapeño Potato Salad

    Jalapeno Potato Salad

    Debbie Smirnoff / Getty Images

    Diced jalapeño peppers kick up the heat in this creamy, picnic-style potato salad. You can remove the seeds and ribs from jalapeños to dial down the heat, or leave some in for a spicy potato salad that brings great balance to meaty barbecue mains. You'll get the best results from this recipe with a higher-starch potato such as russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold.

  • 11 of 17

    Maple and Bacon Cornbread

    Maple and Bacon Skillet Cornbread

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Crunchy bacon crumbles and real maple syrup bring amazing flavor to this Southern-style cornbread, and the maple-butter glaze is a delectable finishing touch. Bake it up in a cast-iron skillet, a 9-inch square pan, or a regular round cake pan. Preheating your cooking vessel before adding the cornbread batter producing the crispiest crust.

  • 12 of 17

    Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

    Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

    The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

    If you love the crisp, saltiness of French fries but would rather skip the fat and calories of deep-frying, these easy baked vegan sweet potato fries will satisfy your desires. Enjoy them as a side dish or snack, with a little salt, some ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, or other favorite dipping sauce.

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  • 13 of 17

    Creamy Southern Succotash

    Creamy Southern Succotash

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

    Hearty, creamy, and brimming with nutritious vegetables, homestyle Southern succotash makes a delicious lighter meatless meal on its own, and a popular accompaniment for comforting fares such as fried chicken, pulled pork, or chicken-fried steaks. With a short ingredient list that includes frozen veggies, it's also easy on the budget.

  • 14 of 17

    Granny Smith Apple Slaw

    Granny Smith Apple Slaw

    Sabrina S. Baksh / Regarding BBQ Inc.

    Pork and apples are flavors that play well together. Use this crispy, cooling slaw on top of split buns piled high with savory pork at cookouts. If Granny Smith apples aren't available in your area, you can use another tart variety such as Cortland, Empire, or Pink Lady.

  • 15 of 17

    Cactus Salad

    Mexican Cactus Salad

    The Spruce / Robin Grose

    Cactus salad (or ensalada de nopales) is an aromatic and delicious medley of chopped, cooked cactus with tomato, onion, and queso fresco cheese. It's served in a light Mexican-style dressing, with fresh lime juice and olive oil. Try it as a side dish that goes well with all different kinds of grilled meats or on top of tacos. You can find jarred nopales in Mexican groceries and some large supermarkets, or buy them online.

  • 16 of 17

    Broiled Tomatoes With Parmesan Cheese

    Broiled Tomatoes With Parmesan Cheese

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Ripe summer tomatoes have so much juicy flavor they deserve to be celebrated. Use large, plump tomatoes for this super-easy recipe that involves garlic and herbs and dusting them generously with Parmesan cheese before sending them under the broiler to soften and caramelize.

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  • 17 of 17

    Easy Cabbage With Leeks

    Easy Cabbage With Leeks

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Round out a plate of corned beef, pork, or ham with some tasty, simmered cabbage and leeks. This rustic side dish is simple to make and needs only a little chicken stock, butter, and basic seasonings for flavoring.