Pork tenderloin is an incredibly versatile cut of meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you’re grilling, roasting, or pan-frying it, pork tenderloin makes for a delicious main dish. But to really make your meal complete and special, you need the perfect side dishes.
From roasted potatoes and vegetables to grilled pineapple and creamy polenta, there are plenty of options when it comes to sides for your pork tenderloin dinner.
To help you out we’ve put together a list of 20 amazing side dishes that will pair perfectly with any type of pork tenderloin recipe. So get ready to impress your family and friends with these tasty accompaniments!
1. Mashed Potatoes
Let’s start with a classic: few pairings are as traditional as mashed potatoes and pork tenderloin. This time-honored tradition truly brings out the flavor of both components, making it a delicious comfort food staple.
Mashed potatoes act as a perfect complement to tenderloin, enhancing its juiciness and savory flavor. Beyond that, mashed potatoes offer a great canvas for mix-ins such as herbs or spices, making them adjustable depending on your personal tastes.
Being such a versatile dish, mashed potatoes bring out the best in pork tenderloin no matter what variations you choose to put on the plate!
2. Roasted Vegetables
A great way to get your daily dose of veggies while enjoying a delicious pork tenderloin dinner is to make some roasted vegetables. Roasting until the vegetables are lightly browned gives them an amazing flavor and texture.
Perfectly roasted vegetables make for a delicious dish that pairs nicely with the tender pork loin. You can choose from sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onion, bell peppers and more; the options are endless.
Consider cutting the vegetables into different shapes and sizes to give yourself a variety of textures when you serve them. Your friends and family will love this combination!
3. Rice Pilaf
You can never go wrong with a side of rice pilaf. The combination of flavorful cooked rice, combined with herbs and vegetables offers your pork tenderloin a simple yet flavorful pairing.
Rice pilaf has the unique ability to merge both texture and flavor profiles together, essentially unifying all of the elements on the plate.
What makes it an ideal accompaniment to pork tenderloin is that even as the juicy cut absorbs complex spices, the grains of rice emerge unscathed to remain an intact base across which all of the other ingredients may shine.
Garnish it with fresh basil leaves or sprinkle over some parmesan cheese for guaranteed success at any dinner table.
4. Cheesy Grits
Cheesy grits are a classic Southern dish that is becoming more popular in the North! Perfectly cooked grits make a delicious side dish served with pork tenderloin. Grits are made up of protein-rich corn and blended with cheese, these grits become an irresistible comfort food.
The creamy texture and bold flavors of the cheesy grits pair nicely alongside the slightly sweet pork tenderloin. As an added bonus, cheese grits are incredibly easy to prepare, cooking right on your stovetop with basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
Treat your family to this convenience-meets-comfort food meal idea tonight!
5. Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus is a great option for adding some green to your plate. This simple side dish is packed with flavor and pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin.
Not only does it provide a wonderful crunch, but its unique flavor can enhance the taste of any main dish. Plus, cooking it over a flame gives the asparagus an amazing smoky flavor that can’t be beaten.
Serve it with some butter or lemon juice for an extra pop of flavor. With these sides, you can make a delicious meal that everyone will love!
6. Corn On The Cob
This comfort food classic is guaranteed to bring back fond memories and transform an ordinary dinner into something special.
Not only are Cheesy Grits incredibly delicious but they can be adapted in many ways – try adding spinach, mushrooms or corn with your favorite shredded cheese for a flavorful boost.
For a heartier version, top them with crispy bacon or sautéed onions for an added crunchy texture. The possibilities are truly endless. Serve these Cheesy Grits along with juicy pork tenderloin, warm biscuits and a crisp green salad and you have a meal fit for entertaining royalty!
7. Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
This low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes is mouth-watering and simply irresistible when served with a flavorful pork tenderloin. Roasted garlic mashed cauliflower is so deliciously creamy and velvety, without the calories of traditional mashed potatoes.
As an added benefit, this side dish also provides lots of vitamin C and dietary fiber, making it a great nutritional choice. The well-rounded flavor of roasted garlic adds depth as it adds green notes to the cauliflower’s earthy sweetness.
When combined with the savory flavors of pork tenderloin, roasted garlic mashed cauliflower creates a memorable meal that your guests will never forget.
8. Cabbage Slaw
For something light and crunchy to go with a juicy pork tenderloin, cabbage slaw is an excellent choice. Cabbage slaw has a refreshing, slightly sweet flavor that is complemented perfectly by the rich, savory flavors of pork.
It only takes minutes to make and is full of nutrients like vitamin K and fiber. The tender cabbage is also incredibly easy to digest. A homemade cabbage slaw gives you the opportunity to mix in various vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, radishes or apples for added texture and flavor.
Create your own unique twist by adding freshly grated ginger or lime juice, or even brown sugar and chopped walnuts. No matter how you dress it up, cabbage slaw will be a delicious accompaniment to any pork tenderloin.
9. Baked Acorn Squash
Baked acorn squash is a heart-healthy option with plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals that make for a deliciously nutritious addition to meals. With its unique flavor and creaminess, baked acorn squash complements the light juiciness of pork tenderloin beautifully.
Beyond that, it’s so easy to prepare! Simply slice acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds and bake in research for about 45 minutes until soft. Serve topped with butter and herbs for an appetizing side dish you won’t be able to resist.
10. Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Every meal needs potatoes, and these garlic-roasted potatoes are sure to steal the show. This easy, one-skillet recipe has all the needed elements to be a real hit with your dinner guests.
The potatoes are first boiled until just tender; this helps them cook quickly in the skillet, where they get coated in garlic butter infused with rosemary and lemon zest.
Finally, they are tossed in Parmesan cheese and roasted until they take on a golden hue that is sure to look as compelling as it tastes. You’ll have crisp on the outside and soft on the inside potatoes that will make a savory addition to your pork tenderloin.
11. Roasted Beets
Roasted beets add a lovely earthy sweetness to any meal, making them an ideal complement to the delicate yet rich flavor of pork tenderloin. The cooking method is key when preparing beets as overcooking renders them dull and lifeless.
Roasted beets are best cooked slow and low or quickly with high heat, resulting in a deep golden exterior contrasted by the juicy, al dente interior.
The roasting process brings out the naturally sweet flavor of the beets, making them an even better accompaniment to the mild yet robust flavor of pork tenderloin.
Marrying this classic vegetable side with pork tenderloin will truly elevate your next dining experience.
12. Braised Red Cabbage
This traditional German side dish is a great way to add some color and flavor to your pork tenderloin. The contrast between the sweet cabbage and the savory meat creates a flavor combination that stimulates the senses.
By balancing these flavors, each delicate note can be appreciated on its own without anyone dominating the dish. Red cabbage is especially versatile because it can be enjoyed both hot or cold, depending on your preference.
In addition to pairing beautifully with pork tenderloin, braised red cabbage adds an extra touch of vibrant color to any meal – flattering both the plate and your palate!
13. Fig and Arugula Salad
For a light, fresh side that works with all types of cuisines, try this fig and arugula salad. This robust salad tastes salty, sweet, and acidic due to its combination of subtly sweet dried figs, peppery arugula, and bright lemon-garlic vinaigrette dressing.
The sharpness of the salad creates the perfect complement to pork tenderloin, which tends to be mild in flavor. The nuttiness of the figs and the distinctive bite of the arugula make this dish both texturally and aesthetically pleasing.
Furthermore, by adding nuts such as walnuts or pine nuts as well as apple slices and crumbled cheese, this simple salad can easily become a complex flavor extravaganza that pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin for any special occasion or everyday dinner.
14. Grilled Pineapple
This tropical twist on a classic side dish is sure to please your taste buds. The combination of sweet grilled pineapple and savory pork tenderloin creates a delicious harmony of flavors that is sure to be a hit at your dinner table.
Grilled pineapple can be cooked in minutes on the grill or stovetop. Drizzled with a simple honey-lime glaze and sprinkled with cinnamon, this side dish is as easy to make as it is delicious.
The slightly charred surface of the pineapple adds a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin, making this dish a great addition to your meal. Not only does it add a unique flavor, but it’s also an eye-catching presentation that will be sure to impress your guests.
15. Green salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
Whether you’re serving a light lunch or an elegant dinner, no meal is complete without a crisp green salad. The combination of fresh greens and tart vinaigrette dressing is a classic pairing that will make your pork tenderloin shine.
A basic green salad provides just enough crunch and acidity to balance out the richness of the pork. To add more complexity, consider adding flavorful ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit, or cheese.
A light yet flavorful green salad will make your pork tenderloin the star of the show – and it’s a great way to get in some extra vegetables too.
16. Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
While this side dish may not be to everyone’s taste, Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze are an excellent contrast to the mild flavor of pork tenderloin. The sweetness of the glaze and the slight bitterness of the sprouts create a unique flavor combination that will tantalize your taste buds.
The caramelized texture of the Brussels sprouts also adds a delightful crunch to this dish – making it both pleasing to the eye and the palate.
The balsamic glaze brings out the sweetness of the Brussels sprouts, and makes them a great complement to the flavor of pork tenderloin. If you’re looking for a side dish that is both delicious and sophisticated, this is a perfect choice.
17. Grilled Peppers and Onions
Grilled peppers and onions are a wonderful accompaniment to pork tenderloin, as they are an easy way to add color and flavor to the plate.
The sweet bell peppers provide a satisfying crunch and the onions lend a pleasant bitterness that highlights the tenderloin’s succulence. Grilling these vegetables can also bring out their sweetness, allowing them to caramelize for added depth of flavor.
To grill peppers and onions in preparation for serving with pork tenderloin, cut them into 1/4 inch thick slices then season with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Grill over medium-high heat alongside your pork until golden brown around the edges.
18. Creamy Polenta
If you want a side dish that’s both comforting and flavorful, creamy polenta is a great choice. This classic Italian staple pairs beautifully with pork tenderloin and is a great way to add some creaminess to the plate.
To make polenta, simply bring milk and water to a boil in a large saucepan, then reduce the heat and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook the polenta until it reaches a creamy consistency and season with salt, pepper, and any other desired flavors.
Polenta is a great way to round out your pork tenderloin meal and can be served either hot or cold. Enjoy this delicious side dish with your favorite pork tenderloin recipes.
19. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Who thought tomatoes could be so delicious? Roasting cherry tomatoes add a subtle smoky flavor to them and pair perfectly with pork tenderloin.
To make this side dish, preheat the oven to 400°F and place halved cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes.
The sweetness of the roasted cherry tomatoes pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin and adds a pop of color to the plate.
20. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Grilled portobello mushrooms are a great way to boost flavor and nutrition when serving pork tenderloin. Taking advantage of their beefy and savory flavor, these mushrooms can add depth to the tenderloin’s light and mild taste.
The earthiness of the mushrooms helps bring out the flavor of the pork without overpowering it. Grilled portobellos not only complement the pork dish but also provide ample health benefits due to their high levels of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants.
They can be quickly grilled on their own or added to a salad with other vegetables for an added range of flavors.
Encourage the reader to apply what they have learned, ending on a highly positive note! As you can see, there is no shortage of delicious side dishes to pair with your pork tenderloin dinner.
No matter what type of flavor profile or cooking method you prefer, these 20 amazing side dishes will make sure that every bite is as enjoyable as the last.
So don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen – try out some new recipes and find out which ones work best with your favorite cut of meat. After all, eating should always be an exciting experience!