This study evaluated the effects of palm kernel expellers in growing diets on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and carcass and meat quality characteristics of growing-finishing pigs. A total of 88 growing pigs were randomly assigned to two dietary treatment groups. The control diet (CON) was a typical growing or finishing diet based on corn-soybean meal, and the treatment diet (PKE) was formulated by replacing CON with 20% palm kernel expellers. The PKE-CON group was fed the PKE diet during the growing period (six weeks) and the CON diet during the finishing period (12 weeks). The CON-CON group was fed the CON diets during both growing and finishing periods. The PKE-CON group showed significantly depressed growth performance and lower nutrient digestibility than the CON-CON group during the growing period. However, after feeding the typical finisher diets during the finishing period, the PKE-CON group showed no difference in growth performance in comparison with the CON-CON group during both the finishing and overall experimental periods. In addition, carcass and meat quality characteristics were not significantly different between the PKE-CON and the CON-CON groups. The results of this study imply that palm kernel expellers can be an alternative ingredient in the growing diets of growing-finishing pigs if the combined feeding strategy (PKE for the growing period and CON for the finishing period) is used.