Sometimes you want something a little fancy, other times you just want simple home-cooked food. Allow us to present the humble pork chop. Provided you pick up your meat from a reliable source, this is actually the food of the gods—filling, tasty, and easy to make. A hot skillet, job done! Pork can sometimes need a little helping hand to make it shine. That’s why we have come up with a list of what to serve with pork chops, 17 of the best pork chops side dishes, in fact, to take your chops to the next level. Read on to see what made our list.
17 Best Pork Chops Side Dishes
1. Fried Apples
Ok, so pork and apple sauce aren’t exactly a new invention. But it is one of the best ever food pairings out there. That’s why it appears high up on our list. We aren’t interested in sugary, watery jelly from the store. We want real apples, and we want them now! It takes less than 15 minutes, which is quicker than driving to the store, and uses only 4 ingredients which you’ll almost certainly have at home. We heat butter, sugar, and cinnamon. We then toss in chunks of granny smith apples and gently sauté for around 15 minutes until they soften and turn really sweet.
2. Vegetable Fried Rice
You’ll find that pork features highly in a lot of dishes in Southeast Asia. So, it makes sense that it would work really well with fried rice. You can add some Asian spices if you are looking to bring out the Asian flavors. Our favorite is the Chinese five-spice. The trick to creating fried rice (and not fried mush) is to use rice that has been cooked and allowed to cool down. The gluten stiffens and is reabsorbed as it cools, giving you grains that don’t break apart as you stir and cook them. Rice kept in the fridge overnight is even better for achieving the perfect result.
3. Dinner Rolls
Sometimes you get in from work, and you just want something really simple. Pork chops can sometimes be a little on the small side. If this is the case, you will need something that will bulk that meal right up. The humble dinner roll might sound boring, but when smothered with lashings of slightly salty butter and a few chunks of crispy fried pork, it is actually the taste of heaven. These rolls actually contain a large amount of sugar which works wonderfully to offset the saltiness of the pork.
4. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Pork chops and mashed potatoes? It’s simple, and it works. Make your mash as you normally would. In a bowl, add a knob of butter and a crushed garlic clove. Microwave for around a minute. Tip into your mash and stir. That’s about it. The mash will soak up any stray pork juices too. Guaranteed clean plates all around!
5. Corn Pudding
Corn and pork work really well. Corn tends to be just a little bit sweet which works in a perfect counterpoint to salty pork. Corn also features heavily in southern cooking… Guess what else does? Thick and juicy pork chops. Corn pudding is really filling too, so it is a great way to pad out your chops. If you let it cool, it makes for a wonderful side dish for barbecued food as well… or you could kill two birds with one stone and do barbecue pork chops! We often make a large portion of corn pudding and have half as a side dish for pork and the other half for a midday snack the next day. This is a great option if you’re trying to figure out what to serve with pork chops.
6. Sweet Potato Fries
Let’s stay on a sweet theme. Sweet potato fries are so easy to make and can be pretty much left to their own devices, allowing you to lovingly focus on your pork chops. We prefer to bake our sweet potato fries. This is because it is slightly healthier and also because it is much easier. If you are looking to spice them up a bit, give them a dusting of chipotle or taco seasoning before cooking them in the oven. To get a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, blanch them in boiling hot water for around one minute. And keep an eye on them when they are coming up to finishing their cooking time as they tend to burn in a heartbeat.
7. French Fries
Ah, is there any food on earth that doesn’t go well with the humble French fry? If you are serving your pork with any sauce, then a French fry makes the ideal side as it acts as a little ‘broom’ to sweep up all of those delicious flavors. You can also use it to dip if you have a separate side sauce, such as barbecue (there’s a little bonus pork side dish thrown in for you there). Unlike sweet potato fries, we like to cook our french fries in oil and add plenty of seasoning. The trick is to be good with a knife when you are cutting your fries. That way, they all cook evenly.
8. Mac and Cheese
Let me ask you a question, how hungry are you? If you are looking for something that will keep you feeling well-fed for the rest of the day, you will like this. Mac and cheese are heavy, tasty, and super filling. Because it is not a strong flavor, it will really allow the taste of your pork chops to shine through.
You can make this dish ahead of time, refrigerate it and then whack it in the oven just before serving time if you are looking for an easy life. IF you have pork chops leftover (unlikely), remove the meat from the bones, cut it into small cubes and mix in with the max and cheese to be baked the next day. Delicious. If you’re interested mac and cheese sides, we’ve got you covered there too.
9. Butternut Squash Soup
Pork chops and soup? Well, yeah. We aren’t asking you to serve it in the soup. If you are looking for something slightly lighter, then soup could be the way to go. You’ve had pork ramen before, right? This is a similar concept, except the dish is served alongside your pork chops. As with some of our other suggestions, squash is sweet, which goes oh so well with the savory pork. It’s also a real breeze to make. Cook it for long enough, and you’ll barely need to blitz it in a food processer. This is a great pairing with the dinner rolls above.
10. French Onion Soup
Onions, when raw, can be a little harsh. They are bitter, strong tasting, and can literally make your eyes water. Once they have been cooked until golden brown and stewed down, they caramelize and turn really sweet. That’s what French onion soup is all about. It isn’t too heavy either, so it makes for a great pork chop side dish. We like to top ours with a piece of bread fried in the pork fat and topped with a layer of thick and oozy melted cheese. The bottom soaks up the soup while the top remains slightly crispy. It is an absolute joy.
11. Bean Cassoulet
Pork and beans? Yeah, we know you’ve already heard of it. But this is special. We like to mix various-sized beans, a can of tomatoes, and a few herbs and spices… Not forgetting garlic. Before stirring together and baking for around 40 minutes. The beans cook down a little and thicken. This is a real rustic dish. You won’t win any presentation awards, but you’ll score highly in taste.
12. Deviled Eggs
Pork and eggs? What? No, wait, hear us out… You have had bacon and eggs before, right? Well, this is absolutely no different! The ‘bacon’ just happens to be a little thicker… oh and the eggs are slightly more high class too. If you don’t know what ‘deviled’ means, then here’s the lowdown. Y
ou won’t find a powdery egg yolk in sight. We remove it, combine it with mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and yogurt before piping it back into the egg center. Then, we sprinkle it with a dusting of paprika for the ultimate presentation. It sounds complicated, but it is really easy and will have your dinner guests asking where you learned it.
13. Scalloped Potatoes
You’ll hear this recipe with all sorts of names. If you want to be all upper class, you can call them potato ‘dauphinoise’ (its pronounced dough-fin-wah). Or you could just say ‘scalloped potatoes? This recipe is easy to make and takes care of itself once you’ve done the initial prep. The basis is slices of evenly cut potatoes, arranged in layers with a little garlic, some onions, and a large helping of heavy cream. It is then baked in the oven until the potatoes go tender and slightly crispy on top. Add a pinch of baking soda, and you’ll find that your sauce stays nice and creamy in the oven instead of splitting. This works so well with pork chops! It also made our favorite potato sides list.
Let’s head back down south and visit a solid staple of southern cuisine. Cornbread is tasty, filling, and really easy to make. Pork chops are delicious, but they can be a little ‘meh’ when it comes to being colorful. The answer? A huge chunk of yellow cornbread. Besides tasting a touch sweet, it is super absorbent, perfect for mopping around the plate to soak up all those tasty pork juices. It also goes well with other things, so if you have some leftover (probably like we say it is very filling), you can use it for the next night’s dinner too!
15. Glazed Carrots
A splash of orange will work wonders to enliven a plate. Carrots are easy to source and easy to make. What could be better? There are a few ways to make glazed carrots. Our favorite method is to add them to a pan with three cups of water, a half stick of butter, a tablespoon or two of sugar, and single star anise. We simmer them for around 40 minutes until they are tender and then whack them in the oven until the skins go slightly wrinkly. Make sure you reserve the cooking liquid. It makes for a tasty glaze to pour over the carrots at the end.
16. Cranberry Pecan Salad
If you find pork chops a little rich, then you may want something to cut through those tasty fats. Cranberries are a little bitter and acidic, but they go really well with pork chops. This dish is light and combines a few other flavors that also work really well with pork. It includes tasty and slightly tangy apples, some pomegranate seeds, and a large helping of crumbly goat’s cheese. Go easy on the goats’ cheese. It has a really strong flavor and is quite salty, so you don’t want it to overwhelm your juicy chops. We also make a lemon vinaigrette. This includes cider vinegar and lemon juice. We’ve been know to spoon a little over our pork, too, as it tastes divine!
17. Braised Fennel
Fennel is one of those vegetables that seems to have been custom-made to serve with pork. It has hints of anise and, when braised, turns super soft and juicy. It’s ideal if you’ve overdone your chops and are finding them just a little too dry. Here’s a top tip. If you have bought fresh fennel, pull off the fluffy tips and grind with half a teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle over the pork chops before cooking. Feel free to thank us later. Braised fennel is a breeze to make. Place in a roasting tin with a pinch of seasoning and a splash of white wine before baking on a lowish heat for 40 minutes.
There we have it, 17 side dishes to serve with pork chops. Any questions? Nothing on our list is particularly challenging, and most will allow you to get on with other things while they cook. Which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments. We love hearing from you!