The Best Kalua Pork Side Dishes

What sides pair best with Kalua pork? First, create Hawaiian-inspired salads, including Hawaiian coleslaw, grilled corn and avocado, macaroni salad, and orange coconut salad. Then, consider making pineapple rice, fried rice, or pair Kalua pork with sweet sides like Hawaiian bread rolls, purple sweet potatoes, and Hawaiian salsa.  

Kalua pork is a succulent staple at any Hawaiian luau. Most luaus even throw an elaborate ceremony embracing its presentation and rich history. Fortunately, you do not need grips for Kalua pork’s history to enjoy the sweet, robust flavors.

Let’s discover the best lip-smacking sides to pair with Kalua pork.

Hawaiian Coleslaw

Hawaiian coleslaw is a crunchy and tangy side dish that we believe is a MUST to serve with your Kalua pork. This coleslaw makes a bright and refreshing side that you do not want to miss!

Together with traditional coleslaw ingredients like red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots, we spruce the slaw up with fresh pineapple chunks, sesame seeds, and a zingy, ginger-soy, and lime vinegar dressing.

Combine red and green cabbage, carrots, pineapple chunks, onions, and cilantro in a bowl and set aside. Then, make a vinaigrette with olive oil, ginger, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, and sesame oil.

Pour the vinaigrette over the slaw and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes to ensure the slaw absorbs the zesty flavors. Lastly, garnish the side with black sesame seeds before serving.

Grilled Corn Avocado Salad

Grilled corn avocado salad is a Hawaiian-inspired side dish that tropical, refreshing, and, oh boy, very addictive! Consider pairing this sweet salad with Kalua pork.

The salad consists of fresh buttery avocadoes, sweetly grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, feta, and fresh basil.

First, grill the corn until charred and golden brown. Once cooked, remove the cobs from the grill and allow them to cool while preparing the salad.

Then, cut the avo into chunks, slice the cherry tomatoes, roughly chop the herbs, and crush the feta cheese into one bowl. Now, slice the kernels off the con and mix them into the salad.

Lastly, drizzle a homemade dressing of olive oil, lemon or lime juice, salt, and pepper over the salad.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian macaroni salad is another essential side of any Hawaiian lunch place. Consider adding this guilty pleasure to your Kalua pork.

Fortunately, Hawaiian macaroni salad is a no-frill dish packed with creamy flavors.

Authentic Hawaiian macaroni salad consists of macaroni, carrot bits, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. However, we enjoy adding some like celery, green onion, and pickle relish.

If you’re feeling guilty about all the mayo calories, consider using Greek yogurt as a healthy substitute.

Orange Coconut Salad

Orange coconut salad is a delicious and easy salad that works equally well as a Kalua pork side or a low-calorie dessert after your main course.

This coconut salad consists of luscious navel oranges tossed in Greek yogurt and coconut extract to create a dynamic combination that you’ll want to recreate time and again!

Consider adding marshmallows or berries as exciting additional toppings.

Pineapple Rice

Have you ever tried adding pineapple to your rice? Pineapple rice is a tasty dish that you can warmly welcome to your Kalua pork meal.

This intricate blend lends tropical, sweet, spicy, and savory flavors perfect for a summer side.

We recommend using Jasmine rice for its subtle sweetness, but any white rice will also work.

Then, to make the pineapple rice, simply add the rice, crushed pineapple, and red chili flakes to a saucepan and let it simmer till the rice is fluffy and fully cooked.

Once cooked, fluff the rice and stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice to taste.

Hawaiian Fried Rice

Hawaiian fried rice is a fabulous side dish packed with addictive sweet and savory ingredients that make this side hearty and ideal for pairing with Kalua pork.

Our Hawaiian fried rice recipe is perfect for using leftover, day-old rice. So, it contains all the essential elements of traditional fried rice; however, our Hawaiian version is filled with more flavorsome ingredients and textures.

Complete your traditional fried rice with diced ham, red bell peppers, pineapple, and vibrant fresh herbs.

Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Sweet and fluffy Hawaiian rolls are a favorite side dish to pair with Kalua pork.

Hawaiian bread rolls are made using a similar recipe as traditional dinner rolls, but these are a whole lot sweeter.

The rolls contain pineapple juice to give them a subtle sweetness and tropical flavor. In addition, the rolls are topped off with a slathering of butter and honey, making them irresistible.

Purple Sweet Potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes are a traditional luau food that will allow your Kalua pork to shine. So, watch; none of your friends will be able to say no to this rich, deep purple side dish.

Purple sweet potatoes taste excellent boiled, steamed, or baked, and the vibrant color puts a fun spin on standard mashed potatoes. In addition, the purple sweet potatoes lend a rich, almost winey taste with a creamy texture.

However, purple sweet potatoes are dense and dry compared to regular sweet potatoes. So, you’ll need to cook them for longer.

After cooking our purple sweet potatoes, we scoop the flesh into a bowl and add coconut milk, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Then, beat the flesh with an electric mixer to achieve a smooth consistency.

Hawaiian Salsa

Take a trip to Hawaii with vibrantly fresh Hawaiian salsa that you can pair with Kalua pork.

Our Hawaiian salsa is chock full of fresh mango and pineapple chunks, tomato, red peppers, red onions, cilantro, and jalapenos.

Then we finish the salsa off with lemon and lime juice.

Best Wine Pairins For Kalua Pork

Kalua pork lends a rich, voluptuous, and smoky taste that requires an acidic wine drink to keep its flavors fresh on your palate.

As wine enthusiasts, we recommend pairing Kalua pork with the following wine:

Sauvignon Blanc: The wine’s grassy character will harmonize with the smoky Kalua flavors, while the wine’s acidity helps balance the fattiness. 

Vinho Verde: Vinho Verde is high in acidity, making it a suitable companion for Kalua pork.

Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir and Kalua pork make an alluring combination, sharing sweet, succulent flavors and a smoky undertone.

In addition, the bright acidity, medium tannins, and velvety texture of Pinot complement Kalua pork perfectly.

Best Sauce For Kalua Pork

Our favorite homemade sauce to pair with Kalua pork is pineapple BBQ sauce- your friends will be begging for the recipe after one bite.

Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl, including 1 cup pineapple juice, 4 tablespoons tomato paste, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon molasses, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Then add the dry ingredients of 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder. Ensure to whisk the ingredients well to prevent cornstarch lumps.

Lastly, add 1 cup finely diced or crushed pineapple to the mixture and pour the lot into a medium saucepan, bringing it to a boil. Allow the BBQ sauce to simmer until it reaches the desired thickness.

Pour your sweet pineapple BBQ sauce into a glass jar and enjoy!