Mexican dishes are some of the tastiest in the world.
Everything from their street food to gourmet dishes, the flavors are wholesome.
Every dish has a unique blend of spices and seasonings to them.
When talking about Mexican food, you’re probably thinking of tacos and Burritos.
But have you ever heard of Carnitas or even tasted it? If not, you should try it.
Carnitas is basically pulled pork with a Mexican twist.
You let the pork simmer or braise in lard or oil until it becomes tender and juicy.
You can have them with tacos, bread, rolls, etc.
The dish is of Michoacán origin, unique to Mexico, and translates to “little meats”.
Preparing it usually takes up to 3-4 hours as the meat has to tenderize.
It is a savory dish that goes well with almost everything.
So, today we want to talk about what to serve with Carnitas.
Here are the 7 best side dishes.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Carnitas?
Carnitas is one of those dishes that pair well with plenty of side dishes.
The juicy and tender pulled pork is excellent for any meal.
You can have them for breakfast, lunch, or supper.
While Carnitas by itself is a heavy meal, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few extra dishes on the menu.
The choices are endless, with soft meat as the main dish.
Another reason you should serve sides is to have variety on the table.
You wouldn’t want the menu to look dull, would you? Plus, you can get creative with your side dishes.
A mixed veggie salad, sour bread, beans, salsas, etc., are all excellent options.
They add variety to the flavors without overpowering them.
And we assure you it will pair well with the central star, i.e., the pork.
What to Serve with Carnitas? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are 7 of our picks to go along with Carnitas.
1 – Egg Fried Rice
Adding a twist of Chinese cuisine to your meal will elevate the experience.
And what better to do it with than egg fried rice.
Egg fried rice is one of the simplest varieties of fried rice.
Thus, they are a perfect fit to serve alongside Carnitas.
The “eggy” and earthy flavors with the juicy pork are the way to go.
What’s more, you can add spring onions and sesame seeds to give it a different vibe.
The good thing is it will make the meal even better.
Get your plates out and scoop out a nice helping of the delicious fried rice.
Then, dice or shred the Carnitas and sprinkle it on top.
This will serve as a wholesome meal with everyone asking for second helpings.
2 – Cornbread
Cornbread is a simple dish—nothing fancy in terms of flavor but a great dish when partnered with Carnitas.
The first thing to note is that Cornbread is easy to make.
You only need basic ingredients like cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and eggs.
Plus, using baking powder instead of yeast makes the preparation time faster.
Cornbread also has that subtle sweet taste that is missing in pork.
You can lightly toast it for extra crunch.
The crunchy texture of the soft meat is to die for.
The “double C” combo is something you would enjoy during a lunch break or even a light dinner.
You can also prepare various dipping sauces to go along with it.
3 – Mexican Mixed Vegetable Salad
If you’re looking for a dish to balance the flavors, your best choice is a mixed vegetable salad.
A simple veggie salad agrees with any dish.
Thus, it works well as a side dish with Carnitas.
Add a Mexican twist to the salad by adding tomatoes, black beans, orange peppers, black beans, etc.
You can top it off with a bit of cumin, lime juice, and cilantro.
And when it all comes together, the burst of flavors is heavenly.
The addition of veggies also complements the meat well.
It adds a perfect balance to the fatty goodness of the meat.
4 – Vegetable Casserole
Keeping up with the vegetable theme, we have another excellent vegetable dish.
A vegetable casserole is another great dish to serve with Carnitas.
You can get creative with your veggie casserole recipe.
Peas, broccoli, carrots, celeries, potatoes, etc., are all excellent choices to add.
It is a mixture of different textures and flavors worthy of any meal.
Plus, the casserole adds color and texture to the menu.
The cheesy and meaty goodness is something no one can refuse during a meal.
You can also add Mexican flavors like enchilada sauce, chipotle peppers, Mexican cheese, etc.
This will make your meal more warm and delicious.
5 – Mexican Corn On The Cob
You can never go wrong with corn on the cob.
It is the ultimate comfort food loved by everyone.
The Mexicans love to add their twist and call it “Elote”.
This particular version of corn is pasted in sour cream, chili powder, cumin, and mayonnaise.
This gives a different flavor than your regular corn on the cob.
The tangy sweetness of the corn complements the meat so well.
There are no overpowering of flavors here.
Furthermore, it is a favorite staple during your fourth of July barbecues (if you’re an American).
So, you can try this dish on your next barbecue outing.
6 – Homemade Buttered Tortillas
Tortillas are the ultimate go-to when you need something tasty and filling.
Plus, you can make any filling work great with these flatbreads.
Pulled pork is one of those fillings that people enjoy with tortillas.
Carnitas adds to the Mexican vibe and is a perfect combo.
It is simple as it gets in taste as well as preparation time.
Get your tortillas toasted and apply a generous amount of butter.
Next, scoop an even generous helping of the juicy pork meat and add them.
You can top it off with chopped bell peppers, lime juice, and your favorite Mexican hot sauce.
7 – Taco Pasta
Yes, you read that right. It is a marriage of Italian and Mexican cuisines with our next side dish.
Taco pasta is just one of many Italian-inspired Latino dishes.
It is a unique blend of traditional Mexican ingredients with Italian pasta.
And if you’re preparing Carnitas, give this dish a try.
Taco pastas usually have a variety of ingredients like jalapenos, passata, cheese, etc.
When served with Carnitas, the taste is next level.
The burst of tangy tomato sweetness and meaty goodness is a perfect combo.
Another thing to note is to prepare the dish in one pot.
This makes the whole dish creamier and easy to prepare.
Every dish needs the perfect pair to complement each other in taste and smell.
The traditional Mexican pulled pork recipe is one of those that goes well with almost anything.
However, you might want to serve some of the dishes mentioned here in small amounts.
Carnitas is very filling and will not taste great if the side dishes take too much plate space.
Also, ensure you do not overwhelm the flavors when you mix dishes.
That said, we hope you try the side dishes listed here.
You can always have fun adding your touch to each recipe and enjoy a great meal.
What to Serve with Carnitas? 7 BEST Side Dishes
- Egg Fried Rice
- Mexican Mixed Vegetable Salad
- Vegetable Casserole
- Mexican Corn On The Cob
- Homemade Buttered Tortillas
- Taco Pasta
- Pick your favorite recipe from the article.
- Organize your ingredients and utensils.
- Follow the detailed instructions in the recipe to make your side dish.
- Prepare and serve for delicious meal!
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.