If you’re looking for a delicious way to upgrade your pulled pork sandwich, look no further.
Pulled pork sandwiches are one of the most popular comfort foods around – and with good reason!
They’re easy to make, they taste great, and they can be adapted to any dietary restrictions.
But if you’ve been making them the same way for years, it might be time to switch things up.
With just a few extra ingredients and some creativity, you can take your pulled pork sandwich from ordinary to extraordinary.
Here are 20 tasty toppings that will take your pulled pork sandwich game up a notch.
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What Is A Pulled Pork Sandwich?
A pulled pork sandwich is a classic American dish made with slow-cooked, shredded pork shoulder that has been cooked in a flavorful sauce.
The pork is usually served on a bun or roll and topped with coleslaw, pickles, and other condiments.
Pulled pork sandwiches are popular at barbecues and cookouts as well as in restaurants across the United States.
The traditional method for making pulled pork involves cooking the meat slowly over low heat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded by hand or with two forks.
This can take several hours depending on the size of the cut of meat used.
Once cooked, the meat is then mixed with barbecue sauce or another type of marinade before being served on buns or rolls along with any desired toppings such as coleslaw, pickles, onions, cheese, mustard, mayonnaise and more.
Read Also: The 10 Best Cheeses for Pulled Pork Sandwiches
20 Tasty Pulled Pork Sandwich Toppings
Pulled pork sandwiches are a delicious meal, but they can be made even more flavorful with the right toppings.
Here are twenty tasty topping ideas that will make your pulled pork sandwich truly unforgettable:
Coleslaw is a salad made of shredded cabbage and other vegetables, usually dressed with mayonnaise or a vinaigrette.
It is often served as an accompaniment to barbecued meats such as pulled pork sandwiches.
- Varieties: There are many varieties of coleslaw, including classic American-style coleslaw, which is made with green cabbage and carrots; German-style coleslaw, which includes apples and bacon; Asian-style slaw, which features sesame oil and rice vinegar; and Mexican-style slaw, which incorporates jalapenos for a spicy kick.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Coleslaw adds crunchy texture and bright flavor to pulled pork sandwiches. The creamy dressing helps to balance out the smoky richness of the meat while adding moisture to the sandwich. For extra flavor, try adding diced apples or pickles to your coleslaw mix before serving it on top of your sandwich.
2. Fried Onion Rings
Fried onion rings are a popular snack and side dish made of sliced onions that have been dipped in batter or breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
They can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or topping for sandwiches and burgers.
- Varieties: Onion rings come in many varieties, including beer-battered, tempura-style, panko-breaded, and even vegan versions. The type of onion used also varies; sweet onions such as Vidalia or Walla Walla are often preferred for their mild flavor.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Fried onion rings make a great addition to pulled pork sandwiches. The crunchy texture of the fried onions contrasts nicely with the tenderness of the pork while adding a savory flavor to the sandwich. For an extra kick, try adding some spicy mayonnaise or barbecue sauce to your sandwich before topping it off with the fried onion rings!
Bacon is a type of cured pork made from the belly or back of a pig.
It is usually smoked and can be found in many different varieties, including thick-cut, thin-cut, hickory-smoked, applewood-smoked, and more.
Bacon has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its savory flavor and versatility.
- Varieties: There are many different types of bacon available on the market today. Thick cut bacon is often used for cooking because it holds up better during frying or baking. Thin cut bacon is great for sandwiches because it crisps up quickly and adds a nice crunchy texture to the sandwich. Hickory smoked bacon has a smoky flavor that pairs well with sweet ingredients like maple syrup or honey mustard sauce. Applewood smoked bacon has a milder flavor that works well with savory dishes like macaroni and cheese or pulled pork sandwiches.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Pulled pork sandwiches are already delicious on their own but adding some crispy bacon takes them to the next level! The salty smokiness of the bacon complements the sweetness of the BBQ sauce while adding an extra layer of texture to each bite. You can also use cooked crumbled bacon as a topping for burgers or BLTs for an extra boost of flavor!
4. Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are a type of cooked onion that has been slowly cooked in butter or oil until it is soft and sweet.
The process of caramelizing onions involves breaking down the natural sugars in the onion, resulting in a rich, golden-brown color and a deep, complex flavor.
- Varieties: There are many varieties of caramelized onions available, including white, yellow, red and sweet onions. Each variety will have its own unique flavor profile depending on how long it is cooked for and what ingredients are used to enhance the flavor.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Caramelized onions can be used to add an extra layer of flavor to pulled pork sandwiches. They can be added directly to the sandwich or served as a topping alongside other condiments such as barbecue sauce or mayonnaise. The sweetness from the caramelized onions pairs perfectly with the smoky flavors of pulled pork and adds an extra depth of flavor that makes this classic sandwich even more delicious!
Pickles are cucumbers that have been preserved in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment.
They can be sweet or sour, depending on the ingredients used in the pickling process.
Pickles come in many varieties including dill, bread-and-butter, and kosher dills.
- Varieties: There are many different types of pickles available for purchase at grocery stores and specialty shops. Some popular varieties include dill pickles, which are made with garlic and spices; bread-and-butter pickles, which are sweetened with sugar; and kosher dills, which are made without any added sugar.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Pickles add a unique flavor to pulled pork sandwiches that can’t be replicated by any other ingredient. The tartness of the pickle cuts through the richness of the pork while adding an extra layer of flavor to each bite. Try adding thinly sliced pickles to your sandwich for an extra crunchy texture as well as a burst of flavor!
6. Pickled Vegetables
Pickled vegetables are vegetables that have been preserved in a brine or vinegar solution.
The pickling process helps to preserve the vegetables and gives them a unique flavor.
Pickled vegetables can be made from any type of vegetable, including cucumbers, peppers, onions, carrots, cauliflower, and more.
- Varieties: There are many different varieties of pickled vegetables available on the market today. Some popular types include dill pickles, sweet gherkins, bread-and-butter pickles, and spicy jalapenos. Each variety has its own unique flavor profile that can add an extra layer of complexity to your dish.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Pickled vegetables are often used as toppings for sandwiches such as pulled pork sandwiches or Reubens. The tangy flavor of the pickles pairs well with the savory flavors of the meat and cheese in these sandwiches. They also provide a crunchy texture contrast to the softness of the sandwich bread and fillings. Pickled vegetables can also be added to salads or served alongside other dishes for an extra burst of flavor!
7. Jalapenos or Pickled Jalapenos
Jalapenos are a type of chili pepper that is native to Mexico.
They range in size from two to three inches long and have a bright green color when fresh.
When dried, they turn red and become more pungent in flavor.
Pickled jalapenos are jalapenos that have been preserved in vinegar or brine, giving them a tart flavor with some heat.
- Varieties: There are many varieties of jalapeno peppers available, including the milder Anaheim pepper and the spicier Serrano pepper. Pickled jalapenos come in both mild and spicy versions, depending on how much vinegar or brine has been used for preservation.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Jalapenos can be added to pulled pork sandwiches for an extra kick of flavor and spice. The peppers can be diced up and mixed into the pork before it is cooked, or they can be served as a topping after the sandwich has been assembled. For an even bolder flavor, pickled jalapenos can be used instead of fresh ones; these will add a tangy taste along with some heat to the sandwich.
Pepperoncini are a type of Italian pickled pepper that is mild in heat and has a slightly sweet, tangy flavor.
They are usually sold pickled in vinegar or brine and can be found in most grocery stores.
- Varieties: There are several varieties of pepperoncini peppers, including the Tuscan variety which is larger and milder than other types. The Greek variety is smaller and spicier than the Tuscan variety, while the Calabrian variety is even spicier with a smoky flavor.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Pepperoncini adds an extra layer of flavor to pulled pork sandwiches. The tangy, slightly sweet peppers pair perfectly with the savory pork for an unforgettable sandwich experience. To make your own pulled pork sandwich with pepperoncini, start by slow-cooking your favorite cut of pork until it’s tender enough to pull apart easily with two forks. Then add some sliced pepperoncini to the mix before piling it onto a bun or roll along with your favorite condiments like BBQ sauce or mayonnaise.
9. Grilled Corn
Grilled corn is a type of cooked corn that has been grilled over an open flame or hot coals.
The kernels are usually left on the cob, but can also be removed and grilled separately.
Grilling brings out the natural sweetness of the corn and adds a smoky flavor to it.
- Varieties: There are several varieties of grilled corn available, including sweet yellow corn, white sweetcorn, and bi-color sweetcorn. Each variety has its own unique flavor profile and texture when cooked. Sweet yellow corn is the most common variety used for grilling as it has a mild sweetness with a slightly nutty taste. White sweetcorn is sweeter than yellow and has a more delicate texture when cooked. Bi-color sweetcorn combines both flavors in one ear of corn for an even more flavorful experience!
- Uses In Sandwiches: Grilled Corn makes pulled pork sandwiches even more delicious! It adds a smoky flavor to the sandwich while still maintaining its juicy tenderness from being slow-cooked in BBQ sauce. The sweetness from the grilled corn pairs perfectly with the savory pulled pork, making this sandwich truly irresistible! You can also add other toppings such as pickles or coleslaw to make your sandwich even tastier!
10. Onion Jam
Onion jam is a condiment made from onions that have been cooked down until they are soft and caramelized.
It has a sweet, savory flavor with hints of balsamic vinegar or other seasonings.
The texture can range from chunky to smooth, depending on the recipe used.
- Varieties: Onion jam can be made with any type of onion, including yellow, white, red, or sweet onions. It can also be flavored with herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, or cumin. Some recipes call for adding sugar or honey to balance out the tartness of the onions.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Onion jam adds an extra layer of flavor to pulled pork sandwiches. Spread it on both sides of the bun before adding the pork and toppings for a delicious combination of sweet and savory flavors in every bite! You can also use it as a topping for burgers or grilled cheese sandwiches for an added kick of flavor.
11. Roasted Bell Peppers
Roasted bell peppers are a type of pepper that has been cooked over an open flame or in the oven until the skin is charred and blistered.
The flesh of the pepper becomes soft and sweet, with a smoky flavor.
- Varieties: There are many varieties of roasted bell peppers available, including red, yellow, orange, and green. Each variety has its own unique flavor profile; for example, red peppers tend to be sweeter than green ones.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Roasted bell peppers can add a delicious depth of flavor to pulled pork sandwiches. They can be added raw or cooked into the sandwich filling itself for extra smokiness and sweetness. Alternatively, they can be served as a topping on top of the sandwich for an extra burst of color and flavor.
Avocados are a type of fruit that is native to Mexico and Central America.
They have a creamy texture and mild flavor, making them popular in many dishes.
Avocados are high in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Varieties: There are several varieties of avocados available on the market today. The most common variety is the Hass avocado, which has a dark green skin and creamy flesh. Other varieties include Fuerte (light green with smooth skin), Bacon (large with yellow-green skin), Pinkerton (longer than Hass with bumpy skin), Zutano (yellow-green with thin skin), and Reed (smaller than Hass with pebbly skin).
- Uses In Sandwiches: Avocado can be used to add flavor to pulled pork sandwiches. It can be mashed into a spread or sliced thinly for topping the sandwich. Adding avocado will give the sandwich an extra layer of creaminess that pairs well with the smoky flavors of pulled pork. Additionally, it adds some healthy fats and nutrients to make this meal even more nutritious!
13. Pineapple Slices
Pulled pork sandwiches are a classic American dish made with slow-cooked pork that is shredded or “pulled” apart and served on a bun.
The meat is usually cooked in a barbecue sauce, which adds flavor and helps keep the meat moist.
- Varieties: There are many different varieties of pulled pork sandwiches, including Carolina-style (with vinegar-based sauce), Memphis-style (with tomato-based sauce), Kansas City-style (with sweet molasses and brown sugar) and Texas-style (with chili powder).
- Uses In Sandwiches: Pineapple slices can be added to pulled pork sandwiches for an extra burst of flavor. The sweetness of the pineapple complements the savory flavors of the pork, creating a delicious combination. Pineapple slices can also be used as toppings for burgers or hot dogs, adding a tropical twist to these classic dishes.
14. Horseradish Sauce
Horseradish sauce is a condiment made from grated horseradish root, vinegar, and other ingredients such as cream or mayonnaise.
It has a sharp, pungent flavor that can be used to add zest to many dishes.
- Varieties: There are several varieties of horseradish sauce available in stores, including creamy versions with added mayonnaise or sour cream and spicier versions with added mustard or hot pepper sauces. Some brands also offer pre-made mixes for making your own horseradish sauce at home.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Horseradish sauce is the perfect accompaniment to pulled pork sandwiches. The sharpness of the horseradish cuts through the richness of the pork and adds an extra layer of flavor that will make your sandwich stand out from the rest. You can also use it as a spread on burgers or mix it into coleslaw for an extra kick!
15. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce is a condiment made from peppers, vinegar, and other spices.
It can range in flavor from mild to extremely spicy and is used to add heat and flavor to dishes.
- Varieties: There are many varieties of hot sauce available on the market today, ranging from milder sauces like Tabasco or Cholula to more intense sauces like Sriracha or Ghost Pepper. Each variety has its own unique flavor profile that can be used to enhance the flavors of different dishes.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Hot sauce is an excellent addition to pulled pork sandwiches as it adds a layer of complexity and depth of flavor that complements the smoky sweetness of the pork. It also helps cut through some of the richness of the sandwich while adding a bit of heat for those who enjoy spicier foods. Hot sauce can also be added directly onto the sandwich or mixed into mayonnaise for an extra kick!
16. Pickled Red Onions
Pickled red onions are a type of pickle made from thinly sliced red onions that have been marinated in vinegar, sugar, and spices.
The result is a sweet-and-sour condiment with a crunchy texture and bright flavor.
- Varieties: Pickled red onions can be found in many different varieties depending on the region or country they come from. Common ingredients used to make them include white vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice berries and chili peppers.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Pickled red onions are often used as an accompaniment to pulled pork sandwiches due to their sweet-and-sour flavor profile which complements the smoky richness of the pork. They also add a nice crunchy texture to the sandwich which helps balance out the softness of the meat and bread. Additionally, pickled red onions can be added to other types of sandwiches such as burgers or BLTs for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
17. Fried Okra
Fried okra is a popular Southern dish made by coating okra slices in cornmeal or flour and then deep-frying them.
The result is a crunchy, savory snack that can be served as an appetizer or side dish.
- Varieties: Fried okra can be prepared with different types of coatings such as cornmeal, flour, breadcrumbs, and even crushed crackers. It can also be seasoned with spices like garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and oregano for added flavor.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Fried okra adds a delicious crunch to pulled pork sandwiches. The fried okra slices are placed on top of the sandwich before it’s served for an extra layer of texture and flavor. The combination of the juicy pork and crispy fried okra creates a unique taste experience that will have you coming back for more!
18. Fried Tomatoes
Fried tomatoes are a type of dish made by slicing tomatoes and frying them in oil.
The slices can be either thick or thin, depending on the desired texture.
They are often served as a side dish or used as an ingredient in other dishes such as sandwiches and salads.
- Varieties: Fried tomatoes can be prepared with different types of tomatoes, including beefsteak, Roma, cherry, heirloom, and green varieties. Different seasonings can also be added to enhance the flavor of the fried tomatoes. Common seasonings include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, thyme and parsley.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Fried tomatoes make a great addition to pulled pork sandwiches because they add a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the softness of the pork. The acidity from the tomato helps cut through some of the richness from the pork fat while adding sweetness to balance out any smokiness from barbecue sauce or spices used in cooking it. Additionally, fried tomatoes provide additional moisture which helps keep your sandwich from becoming dry when reheated for leftovers!
19. Potato Chips
Potato chips are thin slices of potatoes that have been deep-fried or baked until they are crisp.
They are usually salted and often served as a snack, side dish, or appetizer.
- Varieties: Potato chips come in many varieties, including plain, barbecue, sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, cheddar cheese, jalapeno pepper, and more. Some brands also offer healthier options such as baked potato chips or reduced fat versions.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Potato chips can be used to add crunchy texture to pulled pork sandwiches. The salty flavor of the chips pairs well with the savory flavors of the pork and other ingredients in the sandwich. To make a delicious pulled pork sandwich with potato chips on top, layer your favorite type of bread with pulled pork (or shredded chicken), coleslaw or slaw mix (optional), BBQ sauce (optional), pickles (optional) and top it off with some crushed potato chips for an extra crunchy bite!
20. Sun-dried Tomatoes
Sundried tomatoes are tomatoes that have been dried in the sun or in a dehydrator.
The drying process removes most of the water content from the tomatoes, leaving them with a concentrated flavor and chewy texture.
- Varieties: There are two main types of sundried tomatoes – oil-packed and dry-packed. Oil-packed sundried tomatoes are preserved in olive oil, herbs, and spices for added flavor. Dry-packed sundried tomatoes are simply dried without any additional ingredients. Both varieties can be found at most grocery stores or specialty food shops.
- Uses In Sandwiches: Sundried tomatoes add an intense flavor to pulled pork sandwiches that is hard to beat! They pair perfectly with the smoky sweetness of slow cooked pork shoulder and provide a nice contrast to the creamy coleslaw often served on top of these sandwiches. To make your own pulled pork sandwich with sundried tomatoes, start by slow cooking some pork shoulder until it’s tender enough to pull apart easily with two forks. Then mix together some mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and diced sundried tomatoes before tossing it all together with shredded cabbage for a delicious slaw topping! Finally layer your sandwich bun with pulled pork, slaw topping and extra diced sundried tomato slices for an extra burst of flavor!
Do you put cheese on pulled pork sandwiches?
It’s a matter of personal preference. Some people like to add cheese to their pulled pork sandwiches, while others prefer to skip it. Adding cheese can enhance the flavor and texture of the sandwich.
What kind of cheese goes with pulled pork?
There are several types of cheese that pair well with pulled pork, such as cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, and smoked gouda. Choose a cheese that complements the flavor of the pork and adds a nice meltiness to the sandwich.
What sauce to put on pulled pork sandwich?
The most popular sauce to use on a pulled pork sandwich is barbecue sauce. However, you can also use other sauces such as hot sauce, mustard-based sauce, or a vinegar-based sauce. Experiment with different sauces to find your favorite.
What are some creative pulled pork sandwich ideas?
There are many creative ways to make a pulled pork sandwich, such as adding coleslaw, avocado, pickles, or jalapenos. You can also use different types of bread, such as brioche buns or ciabatta rolls. Try adding a fried egg or some crispy bacon for extra flavor.
What are some good pulled pork sandwich sides?
Some popular sides to serve with a pulled pork sandwich include potato salad, mac and cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob, or sweet potato fries. These sides complement the flavors of the pork and add texture to the meal.
Can I put mayo on pulled pork sandwiches?
Yes, you can put mayo on a pulled pork sandwich. Mayo can add creaminess and tanginess to the sandwich, especially if you’re using a spicy or smoky sauce. You can also mix mayo with other condiments such as mustard or hot sauce.
What goes well on a pulled pork burger?
To make a pulled pork burger, you can top the patty with pulled pork, cheese, coleslaw, pickles, onions, or jalapenos. You can also add a fried egg, bacon, or avocado for extra flavor. Choose a bun that can hold all the ingredients and doesn’t get soggy too quickly.
In conclusion, there are many delicious topping options for pulled pork sandwiches.
The best toppings for pulled pork sandwiches include coleslaw, fried onion rings, bacon, caramelized onions, pickles, pickled vegetables, jalapenos or pickled jalapenos, pepperoncini, grilled corn, onion jam, roasted bell peppers, avocados, pineapple slices, horseradish sauce, hot sauce, pickled red onions, fried okra, fried tomatoes, potato chips, and sundried tomatoes.
These toppings can be used to create a variety of delicious and flavorful sandwiches that will surely satisfy your taste buds.
Whether you’re looking for a classic combination or something a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of topping options that will make your pulled pork sandwich the best it can be.
20 Tasty Pulled Pork Sandwich Toppings
- Fried Onion Rings
- Caramelized Onions
- Pickled Vegetables
- Jalapenos or Pickled Jalapenos
- Grilled Corn
- Onion Jam
- Roasted Bell Peppers
- Pineapple Slices
- Horseradish Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Pickled Red Onions
- Fried Okra
- Fried Tomatoes
- Potato Chips
- Sundried Tomatoes
- Select your favorite toppings from this list to add to your pulled pork sandwich.
- Prepare the rest of your meal, and enjoy!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.