Rice is the ubiquitous side dish for pork tenderloin, but why settle for boring white rice when there are so many exciting options to choose from? As a food writer specializing in side dishes, I pride myself on unearthing lesser-known grains and creating innovative variations on familiar favorites.
Imagine your dinner guests’ faces when you unveil a rainbow of colored rices, nutty wild rice blends, coconut-infused sticky rice, or an heirloom rice studded with dried cherries.
While pork tenderloin is a lean, delicate cut that deserves an equally refined side, these robust, intensely flavored rice dishes can stand up to the meat’s subtle sweetness.
Join me as I take you on a whirlwind tour of 10 stunning rice sides that will transform your pork tenderloin from everyday to extraordinary.
Your taste buds—and dinner companions—will thank you.
Why Pair Rice with Pork Tenderloin?
Rice is an ideal partner for pork tenderloin.
Its soft, fluffy texture offers a great contrast to the juicy, tender meat.
Rice serves as a neutral canvas, allowing the pork’s flavor to stand out.
Plus, the grains soak up sauces and juices, making the dish even tastier.
Furthermore, rice is very versatile.
You can make jasmine rice, risotto, or fried rice for added depth and complexity.
So don’t forget a scrumptious rice side dish for your pork tenderloin dinner.
10 Rice Side Dishes for Pork Tenderloin
Rice is a great accompaniment to pork tenderloin.
Let’s explore ten creative side dishes that will elevate your meal.
From traditional favorites to unique flavors, these rice dishes are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
1 – Garlic Butter Rice Pilaf
Garlic Butter Rice Pilaf is a delightful dish that goes great with pork tenderloin.
Let’s explore the delicious details.
- Delight in the inviting aroma of garlic and butter.
- Savor the fluffy texture of the rice.
- Enjoy the boost of flavor from spices like cumin and paprika.
- Plus, the medley of veggies like peas and carrots add color and nutrition.
- A sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro brings a refreshing finish.
Give this pilaf a personal touch by adding toasted almonds or zesty lemon zest for an extra flavor kick.
This makes it stand out from other rice side dishes.
2 – Coconut Jasmine Rice
Coconut Jasmine Rice – perfect for pork tenderloin.
Add a tropical twist to your meal with this flavorful dish.
Creamy coconut and jasmine rice combine to create a delightful blend.
Your taste buds will be satisfied.
Making this rice is easy.
Start with rinsing the jasmine rice.
Then mix with coconut milk, water, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan.
Boil then reduce heat.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
Fluff with a fork.
The texture should be light and airy.
The subtle coconut undertone complements the richness of pork tenderloin.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or scallions.
This adds an appealing visual element and unique tastes.
Freshness is guaranteed.
3 – Lemon Herb Basmati Rice
Lemon Herb Basmati Rice is the perfect side for pork tenderloin.
It’s tantalizing with a balance of lemon and herb flavors.
The fluffy grains give it an extra level of sophistication.
Each bite is zesty, citrusy, and mild.
The combination of lemon and herbs makes it special.
Basmati rice adds a pleasant fragrance and touch of elegance.
The vibrant green from the herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, makes it visually appealing.
These leafy greens also bring unique flavors.
This recipe is light, fragrant, and refreshing.
Enjoy it with your pork tenderloin to upgrade your meal.
4 – Wild Mushroom Risotto
Wild Mushroom Risotto is a scrumptious dish that pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin.
It’s made with a host of wild mushrooms, making it creamy and rich.
- The wild mushrooms’ earthy flavors make a beautiful blend with the tender pork.
- The risotto’s creamy texture offers a luxurious feel that elevates the meal.
- The mushrooms’ umami plus the savory risotto gives every bite a delicious burst of flavor.
To make this dish stand out, some chefs add truffle oil or Parmesan cheese.
These extra ingredients take this already-tasty side to the next level.
5 – Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple Fried Rice is a yummy addition to any meal.
It blends the sweetness of pineapple with the savory flavors of rice for a one-of-a-kind dish.
Here are 3 points to show how scrumptious it is:
- Tons of flavor: Pineapple fried rice combines aromatic spices and juicy pineapple chunks. Every bite has a burst of flavor with the pineapple’s sweetness and the umami taste of the rice.
- Colorful plate: The dish not only tastes amazing but looks great too. The bright colors of veggies like bell peppers, carrots, peas, and onions make it inviting.
- Versatile side: Pineapple fried rice is versatile and pairs with different proteins like pork tenderloin. Its tangy-sweet flavor is a perfect balance.
Moreover, you can customize it by adding ingredients like shrimp or chicken.
With its special flavors and variety, this dish can wow family and guests.
6 – Spanish Saffron Rice
Spanish saffron rice is an incredible dish.
It has a rich, golden color and a delicious aroma.
Onions, garlic, and bell peppers give it depth and complexity.
Tomatoes add a sweet and acidic hint.
You can customize it with your favorite veggies or protein.
Serve it for a family dinner or a special occasion.
Your guests will be impressed by its amazing taste and bright look.
7 – Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is a tasty, zesty side dish that’s perfect with pork tenderloin.
Fresh cilantro and tangy lime add a burst of flavor to the nutty brown rice.
This recipe is a great alternative to plain white rice.
- To make it, cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Fluff it with a fork and let cool.
- In a separate bowl, mix cilantro leaves, lime juice, and zest.
- Fold the cilantro mixture into the cooked brown rice. The result? A vibrant, fragrant side dish. The green cilantro specks, and the tangy lime juice give it a great look and taste.
Serve alongside pork tenderloin for a balanced, delicious meal.
It’ll impress your guests and make for a great dining experience.
8 – Cranberry and Almond Rice
Cranberry and Almond Rice is a delightful side dish.
It’s perfect with pork tenderloin.
The texture and flavor of this rice dish will amaze you.
It’s simple to prepare.
- Cook long-grain white rice according to the package directions. Fluff it with a fork when done.
- In a bowl, mix dried cranberries, almonds, and chopped parsley. Gently fold this into the cooked rice.
The cranberries are sweet; the almonds are nutty.
Together, they create harmonious flavors.
And the vibrant cranberry color adds visual appeal.
Serve this aromatic rice with pork tenderloin – a meal to remember.
9 – Curry Rice with Vegetables
Curry Rice with Vegetables is a delicious and aromatic dish.
It goes great with pork tenderloin.
Spices like curry powder and turmeric give it a unique taste and fragrance.
Carrots, bell peppers, and peas add texture and nutrients.
This dish is versatile.
Substitute veggies for your own preferences.
Or try broccoli florets for crunch or zucchini for a mild flavor.
Cooking Curry Rice with Veggies? Separately cook the rice for perfect fluffiness.
Then mix in sautéed onions and garlic plus the fragrant curry mixture.
Let the flavors blend in.
Garnish with fresh cilantro or sliced green onions.
Serve with succulent pork tenderloin for an amazing meal.
10 – Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Rice
This side dish is bursting with flavor.
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Rice pairs perfectly with pork tenderloin.
The peppers add sweetness, the tomatoes bring a tangy balance, and the spices make it truly unique.
Plus, it’s easy to make with just a few ingredients.
Serve this dish hot or cold – it’s versatile for any occasion.
And to top it off, it looks amazing too.
Experimenting with different herbs and seasonings like garlic, onion, oregano, and basil will take this dish to the next level.
Enjoy this flavorful rice alongside succulent pork tenderloin for an unforgettable meal.
Don’t miss out on this colorful and delicious experience.
Choosing the Right Rice Dish for Your Pork Tenderloin
Choosing the right rice dish to go with your pork tenderloin can make your meal even better.
Selecting the perfect combination of flavors and textures can elevate the taste and make for a satisfying experience.
Fried rice is a popular choice – it adds a crunchy texture and savory flavors.
Pilaf is another option, with the rice cooked together with herbs, veggies, and spices.
If you want something creamy, risotto is the way to go.
This Italian dish has rich broth and parmesan, creating a velvety texture that complements pork perfectly.
Or try Spanish yellow rice, infused with saffron or turmeric for a subtle earthy flavor.
For lighter yet flavorful options, wild rice salad is great.
The nutty flavor of wild rice and mildness of pork go well together.
Add fruits and nuts for contrasting textures and tanginess.
Coconut jasmine rice also brings a tropical twist with its coconut aroma.
If you prefer bold flavors, Cajun dirty rice is the one.
Its mix of spices gives a unique flavor that perfectly enhances pork.
Mexican-style cilantro lime rice is also zesty and citrusy.
Quinoa fried rice is a healthier option that doesn’t skimp on taste.
It’s packed with protein and fiber, giving a chewy texture to your pork tenderloin.
In conclusion, when it comes to side dishes for pork tenderloin, there are plenty of delicious options.
From salads to roasted vegetables, grains to sauces, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Whether you’re aiming to impress guests or feed your family an exciting weeknight dinner, one (or more) of these ten rice side dishes for pork tenderloin can certainly provide a mouthwatering accompaniment.
So the next time you’re planning a meal featuring pork tenderloin, don’t just stop at the main course—try out some of these amazing sides for the full flavor experience.
Let us know which one is your favorite dish in the comments below and be sure to share your own ideas too.