Cooking a pork roast for the holidays? These easy side dishes are guaranteed to round out your meal.
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:
- Rosemary-Crusted Pork with Mushrooms
- Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin
- Pork Loin Stuffed With Spinach and Goat Cheese
Here are four side dishes that would make delicious additions to your pork roast dinner, plus plenty of easy recipes to try.
Nutty Brussels sprouts make a perfect earthy counterpart to pork roast. When roasted until crispy and golden-brown, they’re simply divine.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Mustard Dressing
- Tangy Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Maple-Caraway Brussels Sprouts
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.
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.
- Hasselback Butternut Squash With Brown Butter Sauce
- Roasted Butternut Squash With Sticky Walnut Topping
- Butternut Squash Gratin
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.
- Pecan-and-Raisin Parsnips
- Mixed Grain, Cherry, and Snap Pea Salad
- Beet and Citrus Salad With Almond Gremolata
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.