Change Up Pulled Pork Dinners With The Humble Baked Potato

With hunks of succulent, mouthwatering shredded meat drenched in sweet, tangy barbecue sauce and accompanied by delicious sides, it's easy to see why a pulled pork dinner is such a popular meal in the South (where it originated) and throughout the rest of the United States. But, as with any food, there's always room for exploration and innovation to keep things interesting. To change up pulled pork, look no further than the humble baked potato.

The combo of moist, flavor-packed pulled pork draped over the blank canvas of a fluffy, piping-hot baked potato just makes sense and is a great alternative to the rolls that pulled pork is often served on as a sandwich. The potato and pulled pork together are rich in protein and high in fiber. Add a vegetable, and you basically have a full meal in compact form, though this can also work as a snack. Filling and easy to make, a pulled-pork potato is a worthwhile meal on its own, but it's equally great to make (or maybe even better) when you have leftover pork and a russet or sweet potato lying around. Just as with any baked potato, there's plenty of room to add your own twist by piling on extra toppings.

Baked potato + pulled pork = winning combination

To enjoy this simple duo using leftover shredded pork, first, bake a potato in the oven (or microwave, if you're short on time). Next, reheat the pulled pork in the oven or on the stovetop on low heat. Slather the pork in your favorite barbeque sauce, taking care to stir frequently to avoid burning the sugary sauce. Once your potato is cooked through, carefully slice it open, peel back the skin, and mush up the soft insides using a fork. Spread the warmed pork inside of and atop the potato, and you're good to go.

Of course, there's a lot more that you can add, starting with standard loaded baked potato toppings like sour cream, chives, and shredded cheddar cheese. You can also add side items that are typically paired with pulled pork, like smoky collard greens, caramelized onions, and baked beans, or crunchy apple coleslaw to provide a crisp coolness.

Another option is to switch up the protein, using other barbecue shredded meats like chicken or beef. You can even try subbing in different flavor profiles, such as Greek or Indian spice blends, in place of barbecue sauce for a more adventurous spin on pulled pork.

This meal is also a fun way to liven up a dinner party or gathering (like a Super Bowl bash) by creating a build-your-own pulled-pork potato night. Just lay the options out like a buffet, and everyone can fill their own taters with their choice of toppings.