Cooking a pork roast for the holidays? These easy side dishes are guaranteed to round out your meal.  

By 58wang
December 14, 2018
Jennifer Causey

Pork roast—such as a loin or tenderloin—is the perfect main dish at any special gathering. Whether pan-seared, roasted, or grilled, this lean protein is effortless to cook and easily feeds a crowd. Yes, pork roast is delicious enough to stand on its own, but what’s the fun in that? When paired with a stunning array of side dishes, a pork roast becomes a well-rounded meal.

But won’t just any side dish work? The truth is, pairing sides with pork can be tricky. It’s more robust than chicken, but it doesn’t fall into the beef or lamb category either. Aim for side dishes that are less aggressive (not too smoky, spicy, or acidic), and not as heavy on the palate (overly cheesy, creamy, or fatty). The key is to compliment—not overpower—the flavor of the pork.

Perfect Pork Roast Recipes:

Here are four side dishes that would make delicious additions to your pork roast dinner, plus plenty of easy recipes to try.

Brussels Sprouts

Jennifer Causey

Nutty Brussels sprouts make a perfect earthy counterpart to pork roast. When roasted until crispy and golden-brown, they’re simply divine.

Whole Grains

We love grains because they give you a starch without the heaviness of mashed spuds or pasta. Keep it simple with stove top brown rice, jazz it up with farro pilaf, or whip up a quinoa salad.  

Butternut Squash

Elizabeth Laseter

Simple and elegant, butternut squash is a seasonal side guests will love. Its subtle sweetness balances out the richness of pork roast. You can roast butternut squash whole (try our hasselback method!) or in slices—and it's delicious when paired with other spices, toasted nuts, or Parmesan cheese.

Fruit

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Fruit may sound like an unexpected pairing, but it adds brightness and acidity that instantly elevates a savory pork roast. Stick with citrus, cherries, apricots, or raisins—and incorporate them into salads or pair them with vegetables like parsnips or beets.

Last but not least—it’s not exactly a side dish, but our Cherry Port Sauce is the perfect sauce  for your pork roast. Here, cherries, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and port team up for a tangy-sweet combination that gives pork a big flavor boost. Trust us on this one.

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