By Melanie Fincher

Standout sides for a savory pork roast.

If pork roast is on the table, it's normally a special occasion. But without the proper side dishes, it can feel like something is missing from your meal. From classic hearty, casseroles to lighter and greener options, these side dishes will raise the bar for all pork roast dinners to come.

Related: Get top-rated pork roast recipes.

1. Cheese Grits Casserole

Reviewer ECKFAN says, "This recipe has been in my family for years. It always disappears!" Comfort food fans will love this cheesy dish. Add a side of green beans and dinner rolls to the table and you have a classic and delicious pork roast dinner.

Photo by Nicolette

2. Cherry Farro Salad with Sweet Vinaigrette

Although fruit and pork sound like an unlikely pairing, they're perfect for each other. This light and easy grain salad is packed with walnuts, green apple, and dried cherries. "This was a great side dish! Sweet and tart with great texture from the walnuts. I left out the white sugar like previous reviewers did and thought it was sweet enough just from the maple syrup," says reviewer Captainbiscuitt.

Photo by France C

3. Baked Macaroni and Cheese III

"I love this recipe. Very tasty and not a lot of work! I made it for a family potluck and I have been asked for the recipe many times. There is also a request for it at the next baby shower coming up," says reviewer Autumn Bell.

4. Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup

"This winter pureed soup will warm you up on the inside while still protecting the waistline," says recipe creator zhidaoma. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples all make great companions to pork — and this soup has them all!

Photo by Liz Dalton 'Lizzie'

5. Roasted Green Beans

"Great flavor and texture — it was nice to do something different than the same old green beans," says reviewer naples34102. Green beans are a classic pairing for pork, but this recipe will stand out from the crowd because of a simple twist. Check out the recipe to see what it is.

Photo by KGora

6. Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

"I've tried many variations of mashed cauliflower and while I've enjoyed them all, all were not as 'fluffy' as I would like, and in fact leaned toward the 'porridge-like' side — until now," says reviewer naples34102. Cauliflower is a healthy alternative to a classic mashed potato side dish.

7. Baked Polenta with Fresh Tomatoes and Parmesan

"This recipe is a perfect way to highlight and use fresh summer tomatoes. It makes a great side dish for grilled chicken or pork chops," says recipe creator rjohl. Bring something different to the table with this vibrant, vegetarian comfort food dish.

Photo by Molly

8. Couscous Fruit Salad

Any savory pork roast can benefit from the acidity of fruit, such as that from the dried cranberries, raisins, and mango in this fresh fruit salad. "This recipe is a keeper. It has a flavorful fruity taste and gives you the fulfillment of a starch. If you're tired of always making rice and potatoes, this is a great variation," says reviewer ShakerHeightsgrandma.

Photo by lutzflcat

9. Mashed Potatoes with Fried Mushroom, Bacon, and Onion

In some households, mashed potatoes are a given when you're having a pork roast for dinner. If that's you, change it up a little with this nontraditional recipe. "A new twist on an old classic! Taking mushrooms, onions, and bacon, and incorporating them into good old fashioned mashed potatoes," says recipe creator Isis'smommy.

Photo by abapplez

10. Cranberry Lentil Quinoa Salad

"A very nice salad that tasted better the longer I left it to sit in the fridge. This is a good recipe to use when you need a prepared-ahead meal in one," says reviewer Buckwheat Queen. This easy salad will add some brightness to a salty, pork roast. With walnuts, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and green onion — there's new flavor in every bite.

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

11. Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion, and Garlic

If you don't think cabbage can be flavorful, this recipe is here to prove you wrong. "This is a family favorite that is put into every cookbook for my kids when they move out and get married. It is a beautiful dish with many colors and full of flavor. Warning, it is addictive," says recipe creator Kathi Richards Smith. This savory side can also be heaped generously on top of your pork, but that's really up to personal preference.

12. Balsamic Butternut Squash with Kale

If you're looking for a nutritious accompaniment to a hearty pork roast, look no further. "This is a great side dish for the holidays, with the added benefit of kale! Surprisingly tasty. Serve hot or cold," says recipe creator Danielle Walquist Lynch.

Photo by Stephie

13. Awesome Broccoli-Cheese Casserole

"I am making this dish once again for Christmas because it is the most requested recipe that I own. It is the best broccoli recipe I have found so far. I add a butter and club cracker crumb mixture on the top before I bake it. It is scrumptious. I highly recommend that you try this," says reviewer NEDJOBEAN. This is one side dish that veggie fans and comfort food lovers will agree on.

14. Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Hazelnuts and Cranberries

This wintry Brussels sprouts salad is sweetened with maple syrup, so even your pickiest eaters won't be able to resist. "Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, and cranberries combine to make a salad that even kids will want to eat. The colors and flavors make a great fall or holiday side dish, but we have been enjoying it all summer as well," says recipe creator aayers1.

Photo by mauigirl

15. Roasted Delicata Squash

Whether you're serving up a holiday pork roast, or just making a delicious dinner on a chilly winter night, this crisp, sweet squash is the perfect cold-weather companion to roast pork. "This recipe is like making healthy candy, the squash is that sweet, and flavorful," says reviewer William Dunphy.

16. Almanzo's Fried Apples N Onions

Make Laura Ingalls Wilder proud with this side dish inspired by "Little House on the Prairie." Sweet apples and flavorful onions combine for an aromatic side that's the perfect addition to any pork roast dinner. "I used Granny Smith apples for a hint of tartness used a little more butter brown sugar and cinnamon (my apples and onion were a bit on the larger side). NO leftovers. We ate every single bite," says reviewer Sarah Jo.

17. Chef John's Potato Roses

It's worth it to learn how to make Chef John's show-stopping potato roses for your next pork roast. "Baked rose-shaped potato gratins would be great for entertaining, since you can make them ahead, and keep them warm in the pan, or cool and reheat in the oven when you are ready to serve. The technique is straightforward, but make sure you season the potatoes generously," says Chef John.

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