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What side dishes go with Hawaiian pig roast?

A Hawaiian pig roast, also known as a luau, is a festive way to bring people together for a special occasion. The centerpiece is a whole roasted pig, or kalua pig, which is traditionally cooked in an underground oven. While the roast pig is certainly the star of the show, the side dishes served alongside it are an important part of the experience. Choosing the right sides to accompany the savory pork can take your luau spread to the next level. So what are some tasty options to serve with Hawaiian kalua pig?

Potato Macaroni Salad

No luau would be complete without potato macaroni salad! This creamed pasta salad is a staple side dish at Hawaiian gatherings. It’s made with elbow macaroni, russet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, onions, and a mayonnaise dressing. Some versions also include carrots. The potatoes add extra bulk and creaminess to the classic mac salad. It’s the perfect complement to juicy kalua pig.

Make it ahead

Potato macaroni salad can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Just give it a gentle stir before transferring to a serving bowl.

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is another quintessential Hawaiian side dish. To make it, rice is cooked in a mixture of coconut milk, water, and salt. Chopped green onions are usually stirred in for extra flavor. The coconut milk gives the rice a subtle sweetness that pairs wonderfully with savory kalua pig. Other add-ins could include pineapple chunks, chopped macadamia nuts, or shredded coconut for texture.

Cooking tips

Use a ratio of 1 can coconut milk to 1 cup water or broth when cooking the rice. For fluffier grains, cook the rice with the lid off.

Lomi Lomi Salmon

Lomi lomi salmon is a chilled salad made with diced raw salmon, tomatoes, Maui or sweet onions, and Hawaiian sea salt. Traditional versions included salted salmon that was massaged by hand until tender. The end result is a refreshing cube-sized salmon salad that adds some protein to your plate. The bright acidity from the tomatoes balances the fattiness of the pork.

Make it salad style

For a lighter alternative, serve lomi salmon over a bed of salad greens, chopped kale or cabbage.

Fried Plantains

Fried plantains are a treat served at Hawaiian luaus. Green plantains are sliced on a bias and fried until golden brown and slightly caramelized. Fried plantains have a pleasant sweetness that contrasts with the pork. Their firm-soft texture also adds more variety to the meal.

Spice it up

After fried, toss the plantain slices with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for extra flavor.

Taro Rolls

At Hawaiian gatherings, you’ll always find a basket of taro rolls on the table. Taro is a starchy root vegetable that is a staple in Polynesian cuisine. It’s mashed and made into dough, then shaped into round rolls and steamed. The rolls have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and fluffy texture. They work well for making kalua pig sandwiches or dipping into sauce.

Gluten free option

Taro rolls are naturally gluten free. For those avoiding gluten, they are a great alternative to bread or biscuits.

Tropical Fruit Salad

A fresh Hawaiian-style fruit salad adds variety, nutrition and bright flavor to the meal. Go beyond the usual fruit salad staples by including tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, papaya, dragonfruit, guava, starfruit, and kiwi. Toss all the fruit with a bit of lime juice to prevent browning. A light honey-lime dressing is also delicious drizzled over the top.

Make it colorful

Use a mix of different colored fruits like orange papaya, purple dragonfruit, yellow mango and green kiwi for a colorful salad.

Banana Bread

Banana bread is a humble yet delicious sweet treat that is easy to make ahead of time. Overripe bananas create the sweet base, while coconut oil or macadamia nut oil add Hawaiian flavor. Nuts like macadamia, walnuts or pecans add crunch. Slices of banana bread with butter are a perfect way to end a luau feast.

Add tropical flavor

For more Hawaiian flair, add a teaspoon of coconut extract or chopped macadamia nuts to the batter.


Haupia is a traditional Hawaiian coconut pudding made with just a few simple ingredients – coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch. Salt and vanilla are also commonly added. The mixture is cooked on the stovetop until thickened, then chilled until set. Haupia has a texture like firm jello with a light and creamy coconut flavor. It’s often cut into squares and served as a sweet finale to a luau.

Make it dairy free

Haupia is naturally dairy free, making it a great dessert option for those avoiding milk products.

Passionfruit Cheesecake Bars

Passionfruit is grown in abundance in Hawaii and loved for its exotic, aromatic flavor. Incorporate it into dessert in the form of easy no-bake cheesecake bars. Make a crust from crushed graham crackers, mac nuts or coconut flakes. Fill it with a creamy passionfruit-swirled cheesecake mixture made with cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and passionfruit puree. Chill the bars until set for a refreshing treat.

Decorating ideas

Top the finished cheesecake bars with extra toasted coconut flakes or macadamia nuts before serving.

Guava Cake

Sweet guava puree adds tropical flavor to this Hawaiian-inspired cake. Simply swap guava nectar or guava paste in place of some of the liquid when mixing up your favorite vanilla or white cake batter. Bake as usual. The guava creates a moist, tangy backdrop for the soft cake. Frost the cooled cake with whipped cream cheese or coconut frosting flavored with rum or vanilla. Fresh guava slices on top make a pretty garnish.

No guava puree?

Other tropical fruit purees like mango, pineapple or passionfruit also work well in the cake batter.


Complementing the star kalua pig with delicious side dishes and desserts ensures your Hawaiian luau will be a true feast. Embrace Hawaiian cuisine and culture by serving specialties like mac salad, coconut rice, taro rolls, tropical fruits and coconut pudding. Your guests will leave happy and full after enjoying this unique island spread.