If you’re looking for a delicious meal to please everyone at the dinner table, look no further than carnitas.
This mouth-watering dish of tender and juicy shredded pork, made with herbs and spices in a slow cooker or oven, will be an instant hit!
But what to serve with carnitas? In this blog post, we’ll share our favorite side dishes that bring out the flavor of carnitas and give your dinner spread just the right balance.
So if you want to explore new flavors and find accompaniments for this tasty dish, stick around as we explore all the options available!
What Is Carnitas?
Carnitas is a Mexican dish that consists of braised or roasted pork, usually shoulder or pork belly.
The meat is simmered in oil and lard until it is fork-tender, then shredded and served with accompaniments such as salsa, guacamole, tortillas, lime wedges, diced onions, and cilantro.
Carnitas is often a taco filling but can be used in burritos, enchiladas, and tostadas.
The slow-cooked meat has a rich flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients and makes for an incredibly satisfying meal.
For vegetarians and vegans, carnitas are also available in versions that use plant-based proteins, such as jackfruit.
Whether trying the original pork version or a plant-based alternative, carnitas will make your next meal delicious.
What To Serve With Carnitas?
One of the great things about carnitas is that they go with various side dishes. Here are some delicious options for what to serve with carnitas:
Fried Rice With Egg
Fried rice with egg is a delicious and simple dish popular with carnitas in Mexico.
Fried rice with egg consists of cooked white or brown rice, fried eggs, diced onion and garlic, peppers, tomato, and seasonings.
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Depending on the occasion, the dish can be served as an appetizer or main course. Serving fried rice with carnitas makes for a flavorful combination.
The savory flavors of the fried egg and onion are complemented by the sweetness of the carnitas.
The contrasting textures of the crispy fried rice and tender pork make for an enjoyable dish that will surely be enjoyed by all.
Fried rice with egg is also a great way to use leftover cooked rice and can be easily customized with whatever vegetables or proteins you have on hand.
This dish is sure to become a staple in your kitchen!
Cornbread is a type of bread made primarily from cornmeal.
It has been part of traditional Southern cuisine in the United States since before the American Revolution.
It is still enjoyed today, usually as an accompaniment to savory dishes such as chili and barbecue or as a side dish with meals like fried chicken.
Cornbread can also make a dessert, often served with honey or butter.
Cornbread is traditionally served with carnitas because the flavors of both dishes complement each other perfectly.
The sweetness and crunchiness of the cornbread balance out the savory flavors in the carnitas, while the pork’s richness complements the bread’s sweetness.
Additionally, cornbread helps soak up Mexican-style pork dishes’ flavorful sauce.
It’s also a convenient way of cutting down on dishes and can be used as a makeshift plate for eating tacos or burritos.
Mexican Vegetable Salad
Mexican Vegetable Salad is a refreshing and tasty side dish often served with carnitas.
It traditionally consists of a mix of raw diced vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, jicama, cucumber, bell peppers, cilantro and Serrano pepper.
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The vegetables are tossed in an oil-based dressing which typically includes lime juice, salt and cumin.
The flavors of the vegetables in Mexican Vegetable Salad are a great match for carnitas – cooked pork often served shredded or diced.
The cool and crunchy salad contrasts the pork’s richness, creating a delicious combination that’s absolutely perfect for casual dining.
Nacho Fries are Mexican-style french fries seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder.
The fries are then topped with melted cheese, jalapenos, sour cream and salsa for a delicious twist on the classic side dish.
The combination of flavors makes Nacho Fries so popular, and they go perfectly with carnitas.
Carnitas are traditional Mexican-style pulled pork cooked in various spices, herbs and citrus juice.
The sweet, savory and slightly spicy flavors of the carnitas create a perfect complement to the crunchy, cheesy and flavorful Nacho Fries.
Buttered Tortillas are a classic accompaniment to carnitas, the Mexican-style pulled pork.
The tortillas are served warm and buttered with either butter or oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and cumin.
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This traditional dish serves as a flavorful wrap for the savory carnitas.
The combination of buttery, crunchy tortillas and juicy, flavorful carnitas make for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Enjoy it as is or with your favorite toppings, such as guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and more!
Taco Pasta is an Italian-inspired dish that combines the flavors of tacos and pasta.
It typically includes cooked penne pasta, a seasoned beef or chicken base, tomatoes, onions, black beans, corn, jalapeños, and various spices like cumin and chili powder.
This one-pot meal is quick, easy to make, and great for feeding a crowd.
Carnitas are traditionally made by slow-cooking pork shoulder until it’s tender and juicy.
The cooked pork can then be shredded into smaller pieces and added as a topping to Taco Pasta.
The combination of the savory Mexican flavors in Taco Pasta with the rich and juicy carnitas makes for a delicious meal that’s sure to please everyone.
Camotes Enmielados is a traditional Mexican sweet potato dish typically served with carnitas.
The sweet potatoes are boiled until tender, then mashed and mixed with cinnamon, cloves and other spices to form a sweet paste.
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This mixture is then spread over the carnitas and baked in the oven.
The finished dish is rich, sweet and savory at the same time and makes an incredibly flavorful combination when served with carnitas.
It’s a classic Mexican side dish that can be enjoyed alongside many other dishes, including tacos, quesadillas or burritos.
Queso Dip is a Mexican-style cheese dip typically made with melted cheese, peppers and spices.
It’s often served as an appetizer or side dish to accompany carnitas – a traditional Mexican pork dish.
Queso Dip adds flavor and texture to the delicious carnitas, making it a perfect complement to this popular entrée.
Its creamy texture and spicy flavors pair perfectly with the savory pork, creating a flavorful dish everyone can enjoy.
What Vegetables To Serve With Carnitas?
Carnitas are traditionally served with diced onions and sliced jalapenos, but you can also add other vegetables to your plate, such as bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, or squash.
To keep the flavors light and fresh, serve a Mexican-style coleslaw salad or an arugula salad with lime vinaigrette.
For a more hearty plate, serve your carnitas with roasted vegetables or a side of refried beans.
Is Carnitas Not Good For Your Health?
No, carnitas is not necessarily bad for your health. When made correctly with lean cuts of pork and cooked in healthy cooking oils, it can be a very nutritious meal option.
However, like all foods, it should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Additionally, how you serve this dish will also affect its nutrition profile.
For example, adding high-fat toppings such as cheese and sour cream will drastically increase its calorie count and potentially make it an unhealthy choice.
Do You Serve Carnitas With Corn Tortillas?
Yes, corn tortillas are a great accompaniment to carnitas.
They provide the perfect base for making tacos or burritos with your carnitas.
If you don’t want to use a tortilla, you can also serve them over rice, in salads, or just as is!
What Kind Of Cheese To Serve With Carnitas?
Topping with the right cheese can take your carnitas to the next level.
Some popular cheeses to serve with carnitas include cotija, queso fresco, panela and Oaxaca.
These cheeses are crumbly and mild in flavor, which pairs perfectly with the tangy and savory flavors of carnitas.
For an extra special touch, you can even top your carnitas with a mix of different types of cheese!
Now you should know what to serve with carnitas. Carnitas are a delicious and versatile Mexican-style pork dish that can be enjoyed in many ways.
From classic side dishes like Mexican Vegetable Salad or Queso Dip to innovative creations such as Nacho Fries or Taco Pasta, there are plenty of options for accompanying carnitas.
Regardless of what you choose to serve with it, be sure to enjoy the flavor and aroma of this traditional dish.