If you’re wondering what to serve with your kalua pork, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 13 of the most popular side dishes for kalua pork.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes to serve with kalua pork are a bowl of simple coconut rice, red cabbage slaw, sweet potato fries, or some brioche buns. For Hawaiian themed side dish options, you can try lomi lomi salmon, Hawaiian baked beans, ulu chips, or a Hawaiian macaroni salad.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
There’s nothing like a bowl of delicious fluffy rice to match your tender kalua pork.
And you can forget about plain old rice, this coconut rice is the next big thing.
It has a subtle sweet but nutty flavor and it’s more creamy than regular rice, so it perfectly highlights the smoky pork right next to it.
The rice will soak up all the juices from the meat too, adding a depth of flavor to every bite.
Learn how to make the perfect coconut rice here.
Hawaiian baked beans
Are you looking for a hearty meal combo?
A Hawaiian meal made of baked beans and tender kalua pork should do the trick.
Hawaiian baked beans have sweet notes from pineapple, some spice from the jalapenos, and the same smokiness you’re used to from molasses and bacon.
There’s just no way you won’t love Stacey’s recipe.
Serve it all with some cornbread on the side to mop up all the sauce.
Hawaiian macaroni salad
Hawaiian macaroni salad is an iconic side dish that’s as creamy as it is comforting.
It’s like a mix between a pasta salad and coleslaw, and it’s perfect for potlucks and summer parties.
The creamy dressing helps mellow out all the strong, smoky flavors from the pork.
Go try this Hawaiian macaroni salad recipe. It’s such a delight!
Psst… make this tasty cold pasta dish ahead of time to give all the ingredients a chance to meld.
Fancy some pork sliders?
Make some airy brioche buns for your earthy kalua pork.
Stuff the buns with the shredded pork, then some creamy coleslaw or a mustard sauce and enjoy.
I would even consider melting some cheese in there.
Just be sure to make enough brioche buns, because people will be coming back for seconds.
Red cabbage slaw
Fresh, crisp, and full of flavor, this red cabbage slaw is a force to be reckoned with.
It delivers in appearance with its gorgeous purple color as well as in texture with it’s crunchiness.
This red cabbage slaw features a peppery flavor from the red cabbage but you can also change it up and add green cabbage and carrots for another layer of color and crunch.
For a little tang, add fresh cilantro and some diced jalapeno.
A Hawaiian luau meal wouldn’t be complete without a basket of ulu chips.
So if you happen to come across breadfruit anytime soon, grab it and seize the opportunity to make these healthy delights.
They’ll add a crunchy contrast to your soft kalua pork.
If you’re not in the mood for chips, you can make ulu fries or mashed ulu instead.
Learn more about this fascinating dish here.
Psst… can’t find breadfruit? You can make plantain chips instead, or just some potato chips!
Lomi lomi salmon
Lomi lomi salmon is another traditional Hawaiian side dish.
It’s a nourishing combination of salted raw salmon, green onions, and tomatoes. You can also add some spicy peppers to the mix if you want some heat.
It’s simple yet flavorful, and the best part is you can whip it up in 20 minutes.
The name ‘lomi lomi’ means to knead or massage, you need to gently massage the other flavors into the salmon while you’re preparing it (don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds.)
Pina colada salad
Kalua pork can be quite rich, so sometimes you’ll just want something light like a salad.
And what’s more Hawaiian than a pina colada salad (don’t worry it’s alcohol-free)!
This fun salad is super easy to throw together and you can use whatever fruits you have on hand.
Just don’t forget the pineapples because they’re the star of the show.
Serve the salad alongside the pork for a sweet-but-savory main. Or keep it as a dessert.
Get the recipe here.
Add a bit of Filipino flare to your juicy Hawaiian staple, the kalua pork.
Atchara is a light tangy side dish that’s sure to brighten up anyone’s mood.
It’s made from pickled green papaya, carrots and peppers, and some vinegar.
(you can use Jicama if you can’t find any green papaya)
The mix has a sweet and sour flavor that will cut through the richness of the pork and keep things from getting too heavy.
Check out Hungry Huy’s detailed guide on making atchara.
Sweet potato fries
A foolproof side dish that you can always count on is fries.
But for kalua pork, I think sweet potato fries work better than traditional potato fries.
The sweeter notes will help balance out the earthy flavor of the pork.
Sweet potato fries are known for being a bit softer, but Albert has a little secret to getting them extra crispy.
Want to add your daily dose of greens to your kalua pork meal?
Keep things simple with some easy buttered cabbage.
All you need is one pan and three simple ingredients – shredded cabbage, butter, and a pinch of pepper for taste.
Learn how to make the perfect buttered cabbage here.
Frog eye salad
Throwing a luau soon?
Serve this potluck classic, frog eye salad.
Frog eye salad is made from little balls of sweet pasta that are mixed in a homemade custard made from pineapple, whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.
Whether you eat it before your kalua pork or after, this fluffy frog eye salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
And if you have no acini di pepe pasta on hand, you can substitute it for orzo.
How about a cold beverage to go with the melt-in-your-mouth pork?
I’d recommend an easy watermelon otai.
It’s a refreshing drink that’s made up of shredded watermelon, crushed pineapple, and coconut.
You can definitely count on this drink to cool you off on hot days.
Check out this banging 15-minute recipe for watermelon otai here.
The best side dishes for kalua pork
- Coconut rice
- Hawaiian baked beans
- Hawaiian macaroni salad
- Brioche buns
- Red cabbage slaw
- Ulu chips
- Lomi lomi salmon
- Pina colada salad
- Sweet potato fries
- Buttered cabbage
- Frog eye salad
- Watermelon otai
What To Serve With Kalua Pork
- 1 portion kalua pork
- Prepare your kalua pork according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it!
- Side dishes include: coconut rice, Hawaiian baked beans, Hawaiian macaroni salad, brioche buns, red cabbage slaw, ulu chips, lomi lomi salmon, pina colada salad, pickled onions, sweet potato fries, buttered cabbage, frog eye salad, or a watermelon otai.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.