What to Serve with Pernil with Rice and Beans (11 Interesting Dishes )

It can be tough to figure out what to serve with pernil with rice and beans. But don’t worry, I’m here to help.

Like you, I love pernil with rice and beans. But sometimes, it’s nice to mix things up.

I was scrolling through Pinterest the other day when I came across a pin for pernil with rice and beans. Intrigued, I clicked on it to learn more about this dish. Apparently, pernil is a Puerto Rican dish made of pork that is slow cooked until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender. It’s then served with rice and beans.

This got me thinking, what else could I serve with pernil with rice and beans? After doing some research, I’ve come up with a list of 11 things that would go well with this dish. Take a look at my favorites.

Side dishes for pernil with rice and beans

  1. Fried plantains or tostones
  2. Pickled onions
  3. Rice and pigeon peas
  4. Cuban salad
  5. Baked beans
  6. Cheesy mashed potatoes
  7. Steamed broccoli
  8. Spaghetti squash
  9. Mashed cauliflower
  10. Bacon and greens
  11. Roasted asparagus

Fried plantains or tostones

Tostones are a traditional side dish in many Latin American and Caribbean countries. They are made by frying plantains that have been peeled and then flattened. Tostones are usually twice-fried, which makes them very crispy. This makes them the perfect side dish for pernil, which is a slow-roasted pork shoulder dish.

The crispy texture of the tostones pairs well with the rich flavors of the pernil, and the two dishes complement each other perfectly. The plantains also absorb the flavors of the pork, making them even more delicious.

Overall, tostones are a simple dish to make, but they add a lot of flavor and texture to any meal.

Pickled onions

Pickled onions are a great side dish for pernil because they act as a palate cleanser. The tangy, bright flavor of the onions helps to cut through the richness of the pork and makes the dish more enjoyable.

Pickled onions are also very easy to make in advance, so they can be prepared ahead of time. Simply thinly slice some onions and soak them in a vinegar solution for a few hours. Then, drain the onions and store them in a jar in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, just add them to your pernil dish.

Rice and pigeon peas

Rice and pigeon peas or arroz con gandules is a very famous dish in Puerto Rico. It is usually served as a side dish for pernil.

The dish has a nutty flavor because of the beans. Many people say it goes well with pernil because it balances out the flavors.

Cuban salad

Cuban salad is a great side dish for pernil because it is light and fresh, with the acidity from the dressing cutting through the richness of the pork.

It is also quick and easy to make, which is important when you are already cooking a complex dish like pernil. Simply toss the ingredients together before guests arrive, and then serve chilled or at room temperature.

The Cuban flavors in the salad also complement the spices in the pork, making for a complete and well-rounded meal.

Baked beans

Baked beans are a great side dish for pernil, as they provide a delicious blend of sweet and spicy flavors. The beans are slow-cooked with onions, garlic, and jalapenos, giving them a kick that pairs well with the juicy pork.

In addition, the beans are a classic BBQ side dish, making them the perfect accompaniment to pernil. For a truly authentic experience, serve the beans with white rice and a side of avocado. The rich flavors of the beans will complement the pork perfectly, making for an unforgettable meal.

Cheesy mashed potatoes

Cheesy mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for pernil. They are creamy, buttery, and full of cheesy flavor. The cheddar cheese and cream give the potatoes a rich flavor, while the garlic adds a touch of savory depth. Plus, the potatoes are hearty enough to stand up to the hearty flavors of pernil.

Cheesy mashed potatoes are also slightly sweet, which pairs well with the other flavors in the pernil. Trust me, they’re sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.

Steamed broccoli

Steamed broccoli is a healthy and easy-to-cook side dish that goes well with pernil. The broccoli is steamed until it is tender but still has a slight crunch. It is then flavored with garlic, salt, and pepper.

The result is a garlicky and crunchy side dish that is healthy and clean. Steamed broccoli is a good choice for those who are looking for a no-fuss, quick side dish that is healthy and goes well with pernil.

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is a low-carb alternative to pasta that goes well as a side dish for pernil. The spaghetti squash strands are tender and have a pasta-like consistency.

The best way to cook it is to roast it in the oven. First, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Next, drizzle olive oil over it and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash on a baking sheet, flesh side up, and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti-like strands.

Spaghetti squash can be served as is or with your favorite tomato sauce and ground beef.

Mashed cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is a delicious and healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. It’s a great side dish for pernil because it’s rich and savory, but not too heavy.

The key to making great mashed cauliflower is to steam it until it’s very soft, then mash it with garlic, milk, butter, and Parmesan cheese. I also like to add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Overall, mashed cauliflower is a great way to get your veggies in while still enjoying a delicious and hearty meal.

Bacon and greens

Bacon and greens are a classic side dish that pairs well with pernil. Bacon is a fatty meat that helps to balance out the leaner pork in pernil, and the greens add a pop of color and nutrients.

I usually use kale or escarole, both of which have a slightly bitter flavor that compliments the rich pork. To prepare the dish, I start by cutting the greens into thin ribbons. Then, I sauté them in a bit of olive oil until they’re wilted. Finally, I add crumbled bacon and give everything a quick stir.

The result is a flavorful and satisfying side dish that’s sure to please any pernil fan.

Roasted asparagus

Roasted asparagus is a simple and elegant side dish that pairs well with many main courses, but it especially goes well with pernil. To make roasted asparagus, simply toss asparagus spears in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

The nutty flavor of asparagus complements the rich pork flavor of pernil, and the roasted asparagus is a healthy option that adds color and nutrients to your plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pernil?

Pernil is a Puerto Rican dish made from pork that has been slow-cooked in garlic, onion, and citrus juices. It is usually served with rice and beans.

Can I make pernil ahead of time?

Yes, pernil can be made ahead of time. In fact, it’s often better when made a day or two in advance so that the flavors have time to develop.

What is a common side dish in Puerto Rico?

A common side dish in Puerto Rico is rice and beans. This pairing is a classic for a reason – the flavors of the pork and the beans complement each other perfectly. Plus, it’s a hearty and filling dish that will satisfy everyone at the table.


When it comes to what to serve with pernil with rice and beans, the options are endless. You’ve now made your way through a list of my favorite side dishes that pair well with this delicious dish.

Whether you’re looking for something healthy and light or something rich and hearty, there’s something for everyone on the list.

What to Serve with Pernil with Rice and Beans (11 Interesting Dishes )

Here are 11 unique recipe suggestions to accompany your favorite dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Puerto Rican
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • Fried plantains or tostones
  • Pickled onions
  • Rice and pigeon peas
  • Cuban salad
  • Baked beans
  • Cheesy mashed potatoes
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Mashed cauliflower
  • Bacon and greens
  • Roasted asparagus


  • Choose your preferred side dish recipe to serve with Pernil with Rice and Beans
  • Prepare the ingredients needed to complete the recipe
  • Prepare your side dish
  • Enjoy
Keyword Pernil, Pernil with Rice and Beans