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What To Serve With Neck Bones [15 BEST Side Dishes]

Neck bones typically come from pork or beef, and are known for their rich, meaty taste. The bones are slow-cooked to tenderize the meat and release all of their savory flavors. They’re a staple in soul food and Southern cooking, and are absolutely delicious!

Can’t decide what to serve with your neck bones? Look no further. This article reveals 15 delicious side dishes that will take your neck bones to the next level.

The best side dishes for neck bones include mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. Beans are also a popular side, with options like red beans and rice or southern-style black-eyed peas to pick from. For something a little different, try sauerkraut.


Pairing neck bones with a starchy side dish will give you the ultimate comfort meal! I love a creamy mash that’ll soak up every bit of that delicious sauce, but a slice of cornbread sounds heavenly too. 

Or go with a rice dish if you want something slightly lighter.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is the epitome of comfort food, so it’s a no-brainer side dish for tender neck bones. It’s going to be a rich meal that may add an inch or two to the waistline, but it’s so worth it.

Just make sure you don’t have any plans for afterwards — I guarantee you’ll be needing a nap!

There’s a plethora of mac and cheese recipes, but I always come back to this one-pot wonder by Don’t Go Bacon My Heart. It’s quick, easy, and creates less mess in the kitchen.

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One-pot mac and cheese
Preheat the oven
Southern baked mac and cheese
Skip the pasta
Cauliflower cheese

Buttermilk biscuits

Next to neck bones, buttermilk biscuits are a filling, understated side dish that will make sure no one leaves the table hungry.

The texture of the biscuits works well with saucy neckbones because they become a sponge that soaks up all the flavors. Yum!

Just make sure you use cold butter when making these biscuits. I made a mistake of using softened butter once, and it was a disaster. The biscuits didn’t rise and they were very dense.

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Buttermilk biscuits
Make it indulgent
Cheesy garlic drop biscuits
Go Irish
Irish soda bread

Potato Salad

This southern classic is a great partner for neck bones. The creaminess of the mayo dressing is an excellent contrast to the savory goodness of neck bones.

Aside from the usual ingredients, Brandie’s secret addition to this mayo dressing is chicken stock. It sounds odd, but this brings an extra layer of flavor that makes this salad irresistible.

Pro-tip: If your salad feels too dry, add a splash of chicken stock and some mayo to restore its creamy goodness.

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Potato salad
Another favorite
Herb and garlic mashed potatoes
Keep it simple
Baked potato


Not a fan of flaky biscuits? Try classic cornbread instead!

It’s got a soft, moist crumb that soaks up all the delicious juices from your neckbones, meaning not a single drop is wasted.

Want to add an extra touch to this recipe? Don’t worry, it’s easy to jazz up! I like tossing in a couple of pickled jalapeno slices in the batter and shredded cheddar cheese for a classic combo.

Or you can try adding a cup of whole corn kernels for extra flavor and texture.

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Make it cheesy
Cheddar cornbread muffins
Ditch the oven
Hot water cornbread

Fried okra

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, fried okra is a play on textures., and it fits with the Southern theme of neck bones.

My tip? For an extra kick, a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning goes a long way. Remember, okra is best served hot and crispy, straight from the fryer. If you need to keep it warm for service, spread it out on a wire rack and keep it in a low oven.

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Fried okra
Skip the frying
Stewed okra
Roast it
Garlic roast okra

Beans and rice

This version of red beans and rice is a cheap dish that will bulk out neck bones without being boring.

Karen from The Food Charlatan uses Cajun seasoning to jazz the classic side dish. It may sound simple, but this spice blend brings a bold and spicy kick that’ll make your taste buds buzz.

Tip: you can freeze any leftovers, but I highly doubt you’ll have some with how tasty this dish is.

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Red beans and rice
A Southern classic
Louisiana dirty rice
Make it healthy
Cuban black beans and cauliflower rice

Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a side that bridges the gap between savory and sweet, making it a fantastic companion for neck bones. It’s not going to be a light dinner, but everyone needs some full on comfort food sometimes.

The magic of this dish lies in its topping – a mix of pecans, brown sugar, and butter, creating a caramelized crust that’s simply divine.

And for a little twist, a splash of bourbon in the sweet potato mix can elevate this dish to new heights.

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Sweet potato casserole
Make it marshmallow-y
Marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole
Keep it simple
Classic mashed sweet potatoes


Neck bones are already loaded with protein, so you only need a nutrient-loaded veggie side to complete the meal. 

Go full Southern with a bowl of classic collard greens or keep it quick and simple with steamed green beans or broccoli florets.

Southern style green beans

These Southern-style green beans are anything but boring.

They’re cooked low and slow in bacon, chicken broth, and aromatics, giving you the most tender, flavorful green beans you’ll ever have. Nikki adds a dash of red pepper to give these green beans a bit of a kick, but you can always omit it if you’re not a fan of spicy food.

Pair these delicious green beans alongside your neck bones and a slice of cornbread, and you’ve got the ultimate comfort meal.

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Southern-style green beans
Make it decadent
Green bean casserole
Make it light
Green bean salad with lemon and dill

Collard greens

Collard greens are a meaty, fiber-filled veg that pair really well with neck bones.

They have a distinct hint of bitterness that helps cut the fattiness of neck bones. Plus, they’re packed with nutrients such as calcium, iron, and pretty much any vitamin you can think of.

Jenne from sweet potato soul uses smoked paprika in her collard greens instead of the traditional bacon to keep this side dish lighter.

Pssst… no collard greens? You can also use mustard or turnip greens. Swiss chard is a great option too!

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Collard greens
Make it creamy
Creamed collard greens
Keep it fresh
Marinated collard greens salad

Cucumber tomato salad

For something fresh and light, cucumber tomato salad is my go-to. It’s the perfect palate cleanser alongside hearty neck bones.

The key here is the dressing – a simple concoction of olive oil, lemon juice, and a dash of herbs. It’s super refreshing and can make even the simplest of salads stand out.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, throw in some feta cheese for a salty kick.

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Cucumber tomato salad
Add a twist
Asian cucumber salad
Better presentation
Cucumber ribbon salad

Southern black-eyed peas

Neck bones are soul food, so you can’t go wrong with serving them alongside a cozy Southern side dish. And one of my favorites is Southern black-eyed peas.

Aside from the black-eyed peas, the most important ingredient is using smoked meat. Karen uses ham hocks, although I sticked with bacon because it’s what I had on hand.

But it still worked wonders — this smokiness of the bacon gave this simple side a robust flavor that could easily stand up to the decadence of neck bones.

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Black-eyed peas
Make it crispy
Black-eyed peas fritters
Skip the black-eyed peas
Butter bean mash


You’re probably used to eating sauerkraut on hot dogs, but it goes superbly alongside neck bones too.

Its intensely salty-sour flavor is just what you need to cut through the richness of your neck bones.

You can pop open a can, heat it up, and enjoy it as is, but Where is My Spoon’s version goes the extra mile and cooks it with spices and potatoes. You’ll still get that salty-sour kick, but it’s much more filling and delicious.

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Make it different
Cabbage stir-fry
A classic
Buttermilk coleslaw

Creamed corn

Sweetcorn has to be up there with one of my favorite vegetables. It’s tasty on its own with just a bit of butter, but this creamed corn recipe takes it to another level.

Chungah uses cream cheese to create a luscious sauce that also complements the rich meatiness of your neck bones. It’s absolutely decadent, but there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, right?

It’s also super easy to customize. You can add in cayenne pepper to up the spice level, or parmesan to give it a salty edge.

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Creamed corn
Fire up the grill
Grilled corn on the cob
Add more veg

Southern coleslaw

Nothing says ‘winter picnic’ quite like a helping of Southern coleslaw next to your neck bones. This slaw will bring a brings a crunchy, creamy contrast that’s just irresistible.

And the secret? A hint of apple cider vinegar in the dressing. It adds a tangy twist that cuts through the richness of the neck bones beautifully.

Psst… don’t skip chilling it in the fridge for a bit before serving. It’s that cool crispness that really makes this coleslaw shine.

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Southern coleslaw
Spice it up
Spicy coleslaw with jalapeno
Keep it light
Vinegar-based coleslaw

Roasted cabbage steaks

Want a base for you neck bones but don’t fancy a heavy carb? Cabbage steaks are what you’re looking for. You can scoop the neck bones over them, and the cabbage will soak up all the delicious gravy.

You can use red or white cabbage for this recipe, but I would suggest looking for a medium sized one. Larger cabbages can take a long time to cook through.

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Cabbage steaks
Go classic
Braised cabbage with bacon
A different veggie
Cauliflower steaks

What To Serve With Neck Bones [15 Side Dishes]

In this short recipe, I show exactly what to serve with your neck bones.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: neck bones, neck bones side dishes, what to serve with neck bones
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 299kcal


  • 1 portion mac and cheese
  • 1 portion collard greens
  • 1 portion buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 portion beans and rice
  • 1 portion sauerkraut
  • 1 portion Southern-style green beans … and more


  • Prepare your neck bones according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside them.
  • Sides include: mac and Cheese, southern style green beans, collard greens, potato salad, cornbread, southern black eyed peas, sauerkraut, creamed corn, and beans and rice.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 299kcal

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