ComScore

20 Sides for Pork Tenderloin That Are (Almost) as Exciting as the Main Event

Juicy, baked pork tenderloin is one of our all-time favorite roasts. In fact, we love it so much that sometimes the rest of the meal falls by the wayside. As such, we’ve resolved to balance our plates with a roundup of sides for pork tenderloin that are just as exciting—OK, almost as exciting—as the main event, whether it’s something sweet like homemade applesauce, spicy (think: grilled corn with spicy aioli) or downright decadent (hello, potatoes au gratin) that you desire.

What Veggies Go Best with Pork?

One of the benefits of serving up a juicy pork dinner is that this light red meat is highly versatile and pairs beautifully with just as many vegetables as chicken. In other words, you’re spoiled for choice here. That said, pork dinners tend to lean into a comfort food vibe, so rich and hearty sides like creamed veggies, cheesy grits or risottos and umami-forward stuffed mushrooms are a natural fit. Pork also plays well with sweeter sides, so anything with a fruity flourish or caramelized flavor will also work wonderfully. That said, there’s no need to feel hemmed in—just browse our diverse selection of suitable sides and pick whichever one speaks to you.

The 45 Best Sides for Pork Chops 


Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Ranch
MICHAEL MARQUAND/STYLING: JAKE COHEN

1. Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Ranch 

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: keto-friendly, crowd-pleaser, sheet pan recipe 

Aleppo pepper-spiked cauliflower and tangy ranch combine in this flavorful vegetarian dish. The end result is a refreshing departure from the heaviness of standard pork sides.

Oven-Roasted Beets and Potatoes
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

2. Oven-Roasted Beets and Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, <500 calories 

You can’t go wrong with a sweet and salty combination of roasted beets and potatoes, but this recipe scores extra points for presentation, so you’re guaranteed to wow your dinner guests (assuming you aren’t too afraid of a mandoline, that is).

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

3. Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make-ahead, crowd-pleaser

Pork and applesauce is a classic combo. Skip the Mott’s and make your own cinnamon-spiked sauce for a fun, edible DIY and a difference you can taste.

Hasselback Butternut Squash Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

4. Hasselback Butternut Squash

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 20 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, <500 calories 

The Swedish Hasselback potato technique reaches new heights when applied to a seasonal butternut squash. Dress it up however you see fit, but we suggest lots of butter and fresh, heady herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage.

Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

5. Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 30 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly 

News to no one: Cauliflower and cheese get along famously. Toss some of the former into your mac n’ cheese for an oh-so comforting and indulgent side for pork tenderloin that still delivers a serving of veggies.

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Barley Risotto
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

6. Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Barley Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 15 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, high protein, special occasion-worthy 

These meaty portobello mushrooms stuffed with creamy and toothsome barley risotto score extra points for presentation and boast an umami flavor profile that harmonizes beautifully with pork, to boot.

Brussels Sprouts Latkes
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

7. Brussels Sprouts Latkes 

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy 

Not your grandmother’s latkes, to be sure, but we promise they’re an exceptionally tasty way to sneak in one of the season’s most nutritious vegetables. Bonus: They play nicely with applesauce, too.

Creamed Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Onions Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

8. Creamed Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Onions

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, keto-friendly  

This decadent Brussels sprouts recipe relies on a rich and creamy cheese sauce to turn a snoozy roasted vegetable side into a comfort food slam dunk.

Leek, Kale, and Goat Cheese Strata
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

9. Leek, Kale, and Goat Cheese Strata

  • Time Commitment: 8 hour 35 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, high protein 

Strata—a close relative of Thanksgiving stuffing—is a delightful combination of bread, eggs, cheese and various mix-ins. Our kale and leek version is a perfect match for pork tenderloin, especially if you serve the latter with a little pan sauce and use the strata to sop it all up.

Coconut Creamed Spinach Sides for Pork Tenderloin
ERIN MCDOWELL

10. Coconut Creamed Spinach

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, <500 calories, low carbs 

This ginger and cayenne-spiked creamed spinach recipe uses coconut milk instead of heavy cream for a healthier dish that tastes every bit as indulgent.

Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

11. Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, no bake 

Choose your pork seasoning or marinade to match the flavors of this grilled corn—coriander, lime, paprika—and you will be rewarded with the best and easiest summer dinner of all time.

Spicy Broccoli Sauté Sides for Pork Tenderloin
EVA KOLENKO/BREAD TOAST CRUMBS

12. Spicy Broccoli Sauté

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan 

Quickly sauteing broccoli instead of roasting it is a faster way to get fork-tender broccoli. Add generous amounts of garlic and red chili flake to the mix and you have a healthy and flavorful side dish that’s 100 percent fuss-free.

Blistered Green Beans with Tomatoes Pounded Walnuts and Raw Summer Squash Sides for Pork Tenderloin
ABRA BERENS/CHRONICLE BOOKS

13. Blistered Green Beans with Tomatoes, Pounded Walnuts and Raw Summer Squash

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes 

This beautiful medley of summer vegetables features blistered green beans—our favorite way to prepare them if you want to preserve their bright green color and snappy texture. Psst: The walnuts add a lovely earthy flavor and pleasant crunch to the salad, but almonds will work just fine if that’s what you have on hand.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

14. Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, one pot recipe 

Little explanation needed here—just cue the Grease soundtrack because creamy, make-ahead mashed potatoes and pork tenderloin go together like…(you get the idea.)

Baby Vegetables with Orange and Thyme
OLA SMIT/DINNER'S IN THE BAG

15. Baby Vegetables with Orange and Thyme

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe, vegan 

Bring a pop of color and loads of flavor to the plate with this easy side featuring crisp, steamed veggies, simply dressed with a combination of orange and fresh thyme. The end result is aromatic, elegant and easy on the eyes.

Brussels Sprouts Skillet with Crispy Pancetta-Garlic Bread Crumbs
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

16. Brussels Sprouts Skillet with Crispy Pancetta-Garlic Bread Crumbs

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, <500 calories 

You can never have too much pork on your plate, which is why we strongly suggest making your sprouts a little snazzier with a generous sprinkling of crispy pancetta.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

17. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe 

These sweet potato fries get good and crispy in the oven without all the grease, though this recipe is an excellent candidate for an air-fryer, too.

Melted Onions Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LINDA PUGLIESE/HELP YOURSELF

18. Melted Onions

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make-ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy 

The swoon-worthy presentation of these deeply caramelized, melt-in-your-mouth onions is enough to qualify them as a standalone side.

Potatoes au Gratin Sides for Pork Tenderloin
LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

19. Potatoes au Gratin

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, <10 ingredients 

This classic French dish is a decidedly sophisticated and oh-so cheesy upgrade to the standard mash. The secret to success? Use a mandoline to ensure thin and uniform slices.

Sweet-and-Spicy Cornbread
NICO SCHINCO/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

20. Sweet-and-Spicy Cornbread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories 

Lean into Southern comfort (and leave no taste bud behind) with a boldly flavored cornbread featuring the formidable spice of fresh fresno chiles, offset by a healthy drizzle of honey.


purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...