Adding a protein like pork tenderloin to your dinner table is an easy way to take a meal from ordinary to extraordinary. But the trick is in selecting the accompanying sides!
You want them not only to complement and enhance the flavor of the entrée, but also provide nutrition for a balanced meal.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled this ultimate guide that covers 12 delicious side dishes you should definitely try with pork tenderloin!
We guarantee these will offer something extra special and perhaps excite even more taste buds than just pairing it with plain roasted potatoes or steamed vegetables.
Read on for details about how each tantalizingly tasty dish will bring out all the juicy flavors of pork tenderloin ideal for any family gathering or elegant night in!
What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Roasted Potatoes
There’s nothing quite like a roasted potato.
With the perfect balance of crispy skin and fluffy insides, it’s no wonder this dish is a classic.
And while it might seem simple, there are a few things you can do to elevate your roasted potatoes and make them even tastier.
Roasted potatoes have a lovely savory flavor that goes well with just about anything.
But if you’re looking to add a little something extra, try adding some garlic or herbs to the mix.
Garlic will give the potatoes a nice pungent flavor, while herbs will give them a more earthy taste.
You can also experiment with different seasonings and spices to find what you like best.
This dish should be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
To achieve this, make sure you use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, as they’ll hold up better during the roasting process.
Cut the potatoes into even pieces, so they cook evenly, and don’t forget to give them a good drizzle of olive oil before putting them in the oven.
Finally, let’s talk about tips for making the perfect roasted potato dish.
First, make sure you preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will help ensure that your potatoes get nice and crispy on the outside.
Next, roast your potatoes for 25-30 minutes, or until they’re tender and golden brown.
Once they’re done, remove them from the oven and enjoy.
2. Roasted Vegetables
There’s nothing quite like roasted vegetables.
The perfect blend of taste and texture, they can elevate any dish – no matter how simple – to new heights.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your roasted veggies.
First, choose your vegetables wisely.
Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and beets are always a good choice, as their natural sweetness really comes through when roasted.
Other great options include squash, Brussels sprouts, and green beans.
Next, think about how you want to cook them.
Roasting at a high temperature will give your vegetables a nice crispy exterior, while cooking at a lower temp will result in more tender veg.
Personally, we love a mix of both. Finally, don’t forget the seasoning.
A little bit of salt and pepper goes a long way, but feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices too.
Garlic, chili powder, and paprika all work well with roasted veggies.
3. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are classic comfort food that can be enjoyed in so many different ways.
The creamy, dreamy texture and delicious taste are hard to resist, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to elevating this dish.
One way to elevate the taste of your mashed potatoes is to add some fresh herbs like chives, parsley, or rosemary.
This will give them a nice flavor boost that takes them from good to great.
Another way to change up the flavor is to use different kinds of potatoes.
Yukon golds are my personal favorite, but you could also use red potatoes or even sweet potatoes for a twist.
As far as texture goes, you can make your mashed potatoes as smooth or as chunky as you like.
If you want them to be extra creamy, you can add in some milk, cream, or even sour cream.
For a little bit of crunch, try adding in some chopped bacon or roasted garlic.
And finally, don’t forget the all-important topping of butter.
This will give your mashed potatoes that rich flavor that we all know and love.
4. Sauteed Green Beans
Green beans are a healthy and versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in many different ways.
One of our favorite ways to prepare green beans is by sauteing them with some garlic and olive oil.
This simple dish is packed with flavor and can be easily elevated to suit any taste.
When sauteed, green beans take on a slightly crispy texture that is delicious and satisfying.
The garlic and olive oil add a depth of flavor that makes this dish truly special.
If you’re looking to elevate your green beans, we suggest adding some shaved Parmesan cheese or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Both of these ingredients will take the dish to the next level.
To make this dish, simply start by trimming your green beans and chopping up some garlic.
Then, heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and green beans to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the beans are slightly crispy.
Be sure to season the dish with salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately and enjoy.
5. Corn on the Cob
There’s nothing quite like the taste of sweet corn on the cob, and it’s a perfect side dish to complement the savory flavors of pork tenderloin.
The key to great corn on the cob is to cook it properly so that it’s tender and juicy, but not overcooked and mushy.
The best way to cook corn on the cob is to boil it in water for about 5 minutes.
You can also grill it, which will give it a nice smoky flavor.
If you’re grilling, be sure to soak the corn in water for at least 30 minutes before putting it on the grill.
This will help prevent it from drying out. Once your corn is cooked, you can add some butter and salt for flavor.
Or, you can try one of these other delicious ideas:
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Add a dollop of sour cream.
- Drizzle with chili sauce.
- Roll in cinnamon sugar.
6. Macaroni and Cheese
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese.
This dish is comforting food at its finest, and it’s perfect for a cozy night in or a casual gathering with friends.
The best part about mac and cheese is that it’s easy to make and can be tailored to your taste.
Whether you like it extra cheesy or want to add a kick of spice, there are endless ways to customize this dish.
When it comes to taste and texture, there are two schools of thought when it comes mac and cheese.
Some people prefer a creamier sauce while others prefer a more robust, cheese-forward flavor.
Whichever camp you fall into, there are plenty of ways to achieve the perfect taste and texture.
For a creamier sauce, try using milk or cream in place of some of the water called for in the recipe.
You can also add extra cheese to the sauce for a richer flavor.
If you prefer a less creamy mac and cheese, cook the pasta in less water so that the sauce is thicker.
You can also experiment with different types of cheese until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds.
There are endless ways to elevate this classic dish.
One simple way is to add some chopped bacon or sausage for extra flavor and protein.
You can also mix in some vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or even tomatoes.
For a fun twist, try using different-shaped pasta such as shells, rotini, or elbow noodles.
And don’t be afraid to get creative with your cheeses.
Cheddar is classic, but feel free to experiment with other types like Gouda, Swiss, or Gruyere.
7. Sweet Potato Casserole
There’s nothing quite like a warm, comforting casserole on a cold winter’s day.
And this sweet potato casserole is the perfect dish to whip up when you’re craving something sweet and satisfying.
Made with creamy sweet potatoes and brown sugar and topped with marshmallows, this casserole is sure to please everyone at the table.
The best part about this casserole is that it’s so easy to make.
Simply bake the sweet potatoes until they’re nice and soft, then mash them up with some brown sugar, butter, and spices.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish, top with marshmallows, and bake until golden brown.
If you’re looking for ways to elevate this dish, try adding a layer of pecans or walnuts on top of the marshmallows before baking.
Or, stir in some raisins or dried cranberries into the sweet potato mixture for a pop of color and flavor.
8. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is a holiday staple, and for a good reason.
This tart and sweet sauce is the perfect complement to rich, savory dishes like pork tenderloin.
Cranberry sauce is also incredibly easy to make, which is another bonus.
When it comes to taste, cranberry sauce is both tart and sweet.
The perfect balance of these flavors makes it the perfect accompaniment to rich dishes like pork tenderloin.
The texture of cranberry sauce is also worth mentioning.
It’s smooth and slightly thickened, making it the perfect sauce to spoon over meat or sides.
There are plenty of ways to elevate this dish and make it even more special.
One way is to add a touch of fresh thyme or rosemary.
This will give the sauce an herby flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the cranberries.
Another way to elevate this dish is to add a splash of orange juice or Grand Marnier.
This will give the sauce a beautiful color and festive flavor.
Applesauce is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side.
The taste of applesauce is sweet and tart, with a smooth texture.
It’s a great way to enjoy the taste of apples without the hassle of peeling and slicing them.
There are many ways to elevate applesauce.
One way is to add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.
Another way is to add other fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries.
You can also add nuts such as walnuts or pecans.
10. Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is a dish that can be enjoyed all year round but is especially comforting in the colder months.
It’s a great way to use up any leftover bread that you might have and can be easily dressed up or down, depending on your preferences.
The taste and texture of bread pudding can vary depending on the type of bread that you use.
If you want a richer dish, opt for brioche or challah bread.
For a lighter option, go for a white loaf.
The bread should be slightly stale so that it doesn’t fall apart when soaked in the custard mixture.
To elevate your bread pudding, try adding some seasonal fruits or spices to the mix.
In the autumn and winter months, cinnamon and nutmeg work well, whereas, in the spring and summertime, citrus zest gives it a lovely fresh flavor.
Fresh berries are also a delicious addition.
Whatever you decide to add, make sure that it complements the overall flavor of the dish.
11. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving dish, but it can also be enjoyed year-round.
This dessert is made with pumpkin puree, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, spices, and a pie crust.
The filling is cooked before being poured into the crust and then baked.
Pumpkin pie has a creamy, smooth texture and is typically spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
The sweetness level can vary depending on the recipe, but most pumpkin pies are not too sweet.
There are many ways to elevate this classic dessert.
One way is to use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned.
This will give the pie a richer flavor.
Another way is to top the pie with whipped cream or ice cream.
You could also add a layer of pecans or chocolate chips to the top of the pie before baking it.
12. Vanilla Ice Cream
Vanilla ice cream is a classic flavor that can be enjoyed on its own or as a topping for other desserts.
It’s rich and creamy, with a sweet taste that comes from the vanilla bean.
Vanilla ice cream is best when it’s made with high-quality ingredients.
The better the quality of the cream and the vanilla bean, the tastier the ice cream will be.
If you want to elevate your vanilla ice cream, try serving it with fresh fruit or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
For a truly indulgent experience, top your vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
In conclusion, there are many great side dishes that go well with pork tenderloin.
Try some of these dishes the next time you make pork tenderloin for a delicious and complete meal.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!