Pernil is a typical dish in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
It’s well-known for its delicious taste and flavor and because it is made with pork skin rather than just pork meat.
Unlike Chicharrón (fried pig skin), pernil is cooked slowly at low temperatures to let the fat and connective tissue melt away and keep it moist and tender.
The flavor of Pernil is unlike any other pork dish.
It has a unique taste thanks to the combination of garlic, oregano, and lime juice rubbed into the skin before it is roasted in an oven or cooked over low heat for at least five hours.
Pernil may not be served alone; it’s typically accompanied by rice and beans or red beans – making these dishes the perfect complement to one another.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best side dishes to serve with pernil.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Pernil?
Pernil is a traditional Puerto Rican dish for Christmas, Easter, and other holidays.
Although it can be served as a dish, some people like to serve side dishes with the pork shoulder.
Side dishes are not necessary – but they are highly recommended.
This is because pernil can sometimes need some extra flavor or moisture on top of what is already there.
In terms of texture, pernil can be somewhat dry if eaten on its own.
Side dishes help add some moisture and flavor to the pernil, which balances out the dish as a whole.
When it comes to side dishes, the goal is usually to complement pernil.
This means that you want to pick a side dish that has similar flavors and textures as pernil.
There are many different types of meats – like chicken, pork, beef, etc.
Side dishes come in all shapes and sizes too.
You can serve vegetables or starches – but sometimes both.
It is generally best to pick one starch and one vegetable.
Another reason to consider side dishes for pernil is that people may not like eating them independently.
Side dishes add an extra layer of flavor and some actual substance to the dish.
It can also be a good way for people who don’t prefer pernil to try some – knowing that they have something else with it.
What to Serve with Pernil? 8 BEST Side Dishes
So what should you serve with your pernil? Here are some ideas:
1 – Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Here it is the most delicious way to eat spaghetti.
This dish is a twist on classic spaghetti and meatball — we’re swapping that pasta for low-carb spaghetti squash.
This recipe blends tender pasta-like strands with savory tomato sauce, hearty ground beef, and buttery garlic bread.
This dish is perfect for serving at dinner parties with meatballs or pernil, especially when trying to keep the carbs down.
It is simple to make but tastes great.
The combination of spaghetti squash and tomato sauce packs a ton of flavor into one delicious bowl of food.
2 – Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar Cheese
There is a reason why potatoes are so common as side dishes at dinner parties – they go perfectly with the meat.
These garlic mashed potatoes, for example, are loaded up with cheddar cheese and cream.
The result? Creamy, cheesy goodness that makes for a tasty combination of sweet and savory.
If you like mashed potatoes (and cheese), then you will love this dish.
Garlic mashed potatoes go well with several dishes – but it works especially well with pernil.
The meat, in particular, goes extremely well with the garlic and cheddar flavors.
This is a simple side dish to make which combines elements of sweetness and savory.
The result is a rich, creamy texture that will go perfectly with your pernil or chicken.
3 – Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Parsnips
These roasted rainbow carrots and parsnips are so flavorful — they’re packed with garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, and more.
Regular carrots are delicious, but these rainbow carrots (and parsnips) take it to the next level.
They’re not only bright in color; they’re also intensely flavorful.
Roasted vegetables are an easy side dish to serve with your pernil – depending on what you have cooking in your oven.
The vegetables are easy to prepare and will go nicely with the crispy meat.
4 – Parmesan Asparagus Spears
Asparagus is a great vegetable to serve as a side dish for pernil because it’s so simple.
Just pick up some fresh asparagus and toss the spears in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Then roast it in the oven for a few minutes. Voila!
Simple asparagus is one of those recipes that adds a nice touch of flavor to any meal.
If you prefer something simple, then this dish will do the trick.
It’s made up of just three ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.
There’s not much to it – toss your asparagus spears in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Then roast them in the oven for a few minutes.
If you are serving this with pernil, then remember that crispy meat goes nicely with tender veggies.
5 – Bacon and Greens
If you have a non-vegetarian at the table, you might want to consider serving something meaty with your veggies.
This dish is made up of bacon and greens – packed with flavor.
It’s easy-going green with this recipe: take a bunch of kale or escarole (or both), cut into ribbons, and sautee them with some crumbled bacon.
The result is a dish that packs in tons of flavor while also being pretty healthy.
You can also add in some garlic for even more flavor.
6 – Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Cauliflower is another good side dish for pernil because it can go sweet or savory.
This recipe calls for cauliflower steamed, blended with garlic, milk, butter, and parmesan cheese.
The result? A rich, savory side dish that tastes delicious.
This is another simple recipe for pernil – but it adds a ton of flavor.
Cauliflower is simmered in milk and garlic before being pureed and mixed with parmesan cheese.
Once it’s finished, you have a rich, creamy side dish that tastes great with the meat.
7 – Fried Plantains
Fried plantains are a great side dish, especially if you have any non-vegetarians at the table.
This recipe calls for some oil and spices to be rubbed onto the plantain before being fried in a skillet.
It’s a simple process, but it adds a ton of flavor to an amazing side dish.
Plantains are a little different than your typical banana.
They require a little more work to prepare them for cooking: you’ll need to peel the skin and cut them into slices before frying them in oil.
All of that work is worth it.
The result is a super delicious plantain that goes well with meat and veggies.
8 – Cuban Rice and Black Beans
This recipe for Cuban rice, black beans, and plantains is packed with flavor — it’s the perfect side dish to serve with pernil.
This dish has some sweet flavors but also a little bit of spice. It’s not boring.
Cuban rice is bursting with flavor. It’s made up of white rice, spices, onion, garlic, and tomato.
The result is a super flavorful side dish that will be sure to impress your dinner guests.
You can add beans to just about anything.
In this dish, it’s mixed with cilantro and garlic before being added to rice and tomatoes.
Pernil may be a tough cut of meat, but it sure tastes great.
Serve it with some of these side dishes, and you will have an amazing meal.
If you’re looking to serve something else, be sure to check out some of the other side dishes we have listed on this blog.
We hope you enjoyed these recipes and ideas for side dishes.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
Like and share if you found this helpful. Have a great day.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar Cheese
- Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Parsnips
- Parmesan Asparagus Spears
- Bacon and Greens
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Fried Plantains
- Cuban Rice and Black Beans
- Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
- Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
Traditionally, pernil is served with yellow rice and pigeon peas (see related recipe), but feel free to accompany it with roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.What goes well with pork shoulder? ›
- 1 – Pesto Spaghetti Squash. ...
- 2 – Sautéed Kale with Onion and Garlic. ...
- 3 – Vegan Creamed Spinach. ...
- 4 – Sweet Potato Home Fries. ...
- 5 – Green Beans and Mushrooms with Shallots. ...
- 6 – Quinoa and Avocado Side Salad. ...
- 7 – Grilled Corn on the Cob. ...
- 8 – Grilled Asparagus.
- Green beans.
You can feed 3-4 people on 1 lb of cooked meat. So, a 2 lb (uncooked) roast would yield 1 lb cooked meat and serve 3-4 people.What goes with Hawaiian pork? ›
The best side dishes to serve with kalua pork are basmati rice, quinoa, green beans and potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, tuna risotto, lentil salad, vegetarian chili, zucchini noodles, and stuffed cabbage. People also love Hawaiian macaroni salad, deviled egg, frog eye salad and Hawaiian baked beans with this dish.What to eat with smoked pork shoulder? ›
- Fresh vegetables.
- Fruit salad.
- Baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or loaded baked potato rounds.
- Green salad.
- Cornbread or corn fritters.
- Potato chips.
- French fries.
- Potato salad.
- shredded cheese or crumbled cotija.
- shredded cabbage.
- cilantro lime slaw.
- diced avocado.
- lettuce and tomato.
- sour cream.
- lemon or lime juice.
What seasonings go well with pork? The sweetness of brown sugar is a great balance to the natural savoriness of pork. Cumin, thyme, oregano, and mustard all mix beautifully with pork as well. And chili powder and paprika both add spice without overpowering.What is the best vegetable to eat with pork chops? ›
What Vegetables Go Well with Pork Chops? If you'd like to serve vegetables with pork chops, you'll be happy to know that pretty much any vegetable goes well with pork chops. From broccoli, potatoes, green beans, carrots, squash, onions, asparagus, and zucchini, your choices are endless!What fruit goes well with pork? ›
Pork is friendly to fruits like apples, cranberries, strawberries, currants, dried cherries, dried figs, mangoes, quince, plums, pineapple, pears, peaches, and apricots.
Pork chops, “the other white meat”, can always be cooked right along with chicken. They actually go really well together, and each adds extra flavor to the other, without being overpowering in any way. So, no fears that if someone doesn't care for pork chops, it won't make the chicken taste like pork.How many people will an 8 inch pork shoulder feed? ›
For boneless cuts of pork shoulder, estimate 1/3 pound of cooked pulled pork per guest.How many people will an 8 lb pork shoulder feed? ›
For example, a raw 8-pound pork shoulder will yield 4 pounds of shredded pulled pork, serving approximately 12 people.How much pork shoulder do you need for 8 people? ›
For pulled pork, the standard rule of thumb is one-third to one-half pound of meat per person. When cooked and shredded, a bone-in pork shoulder will lose around 40 percent of its weight. For example, a raw 10-pound pork shoulder (or two 5-pounders) will yield about 6 pounds of finished meat, serving 12 to 18 people.What do Hawaiians eat with kalua pork? ›
Traditionally, it is served with cooked cabbage and rice. You can serve Slow Cooker Kalua Pork on a slider bun along with cabbage slaw, teriyaki sauce, and grilled pineapple.What do you serve at a luau party? ›
- Kalua Pig. The Kalua pig is an essential part of any luau menu. ...
- Lau Lau. The spread of edibles at a luau can be just as beautiful as it is delicious. ...
- Poi. ...
- Haupia. ...
- Kulolo. ...
- Squid Luau. ...
- Poke. ...
- Potato and celeriac mash. 0 comments.
- Roasted kale and broccoli. 0 comments.
- Cheesy celeriac bake. 0 comments.
- Roasted carrots with coriander pesto. 0 comments.
- Roasted roots. 0 comments.
- Garlic butter roast potatoes. 0 comments.
- Thyme and mushroom gravy. 0 comments.
- Rosemary, lemon and roasted garlic butter.
- Grilled Corn with Spicy Aioli. ...
- Slow Cooker Baked Beans. ...
- Light and Tangy Coleslaw. ...
- Easy Pretzel Buns. ...
- Cauliflower 'Potato' Salad. ...
- Jalapeño-Avocado Mac and Cheese. ...
- Rainbow Vegetable Skewers. ...
- Yogurt Biscuits with Honey Butter.
Carve it up
Cut the pork loins and the back meat and cut into pieces. After this, remove the spare ribs. At this point, all you'll have to do is to pull off the meat from the roast. The sliced pork that came from earlier can be served on a big platter and your guests can help themselves to it.
What Veggies go with Pulled Pork? Green Beans. Roasted Green Vegetables. Spicy Collard Greens.
- Vinegar Coleslaw.
- Baked Potato Bar.
- German Potato Salad.
- Tomato Cucumber Salad.
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.
Try brine: Choose a wet marinade rather than a dry one. Dry rubs may work fine but brine or a wet rub will add that extra moisture along with the flavor that will penetrate deep inside the meat. Keep a spray bottle handy: Keep spraying the meat during smoking or reheating to replace the lost moisture.What vegetable goes with pork carnitas? ›
For a healthy, balanced meal, serve your carnitas with a side of sautéed peppers and onions, steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, or a fresh, crunchy salad. To add some additional flavor to your dish, top off your carnitas with some diced tomatoes, avocado slices, or salsa.What is traditionally served with carnitas? ›
Carnitas are traditionally served with tortillas, topped with cilantro, diced onion, salsa, and even guacamole. You can serve your pork carnitas with other toppings other than shredded cheese or crumbled cotija, depending on what toppings you prefer.What side do you cook pork shoulder on? ›
Is the heat source at the top of the smoker or at the bottom? If the heat source is at the top, then you must place the pork butt fat side up. On the other hand, if the heat source is below, then you must rest the pork butt fat side down.What should not be eaten in pork? ›
While pork is rich in several important vitamins and nutrients, it can also be high in sodium and saturated fats, two things that should be avoided as part of a healthy diet.Do you cook pernil covered or uncovered? ›
Put your Pernil in the oven, uncovered at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes check to see if the skin is crispy and done by tapping it with a butter knife. If it is flexible, then cook for another 15 minutes and then check again. Repeat until the skin is crispy.Should pernil be covered or uncovered? ›
NEVER cover the roast as you bake it as you will steam the fat (cuerito) to softness. This is considered a mortal sin in Puerto Rican homes. Bake, uncovered, 4 to 5 hours or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature between 160 degrees F.Why is my pernil skin not crispy? ›
Turning the oven temperature to 400℉/205℃ during the last 15-20 minutes will crisp the skin perfectly, the best part of pernil for Puerto Ricans. You can also make parallel or diamond-shaped slits through the skin of the pork and halfway through the fat.Should the pernil be room temperature before cooking? ›
Roast the Pernil.
Make sure to bring the pork to room temperature before preheating your oven to 300 degrees. Roast the pork, covered with aluminum foil for 2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
That said, feel free to rinse your meat if that's how you learned. When it comes to the pernil, however, you need to “wash” the meat once again with white distilled vinegar.What is a good vegetable to serve with pork chops? ›
What Vegetables Go Well with Pork Chops? If you'd like to serve vegetables with pork chops, you'll be happy to know that pretty much any vegetable goes well with pork chops. From broccoli, potatoes, green beans, carrots, squash, onions, asparagus, and zucchini, your choices are endless!How many hours should I cook a pernil? ›
Cover and maintain the temperature between 300-350 degrees, replenishing coals as necessary. Cook until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees at the thickest part of the pernil, about 5-6 hours, perhaps more.Do you cook a pork shoulder fat side up or down? ›
Is the heat source at the top of the smoker or at the bottom? If the heat source is at the top, then you must place the pork butt fat side up. On the other hand, if the heat source is below, then you must rest the pork butt fat side down.Should you wash a pernil? ›
Next, we prep the Pernil before seasoning.
Drain the vinegar/lime mixture that your Pernil was sitting in and rinse your pernil with water. A quick rinse will do. Keep you pernil in the large bowl and take your bowl (with Pernil in it) over to your counter to begin the seasoning process.