Transform your meatloaf into an unforgettable meal with these 14 savory side dishes. From cornbread to creamy mac and cheese, these sides are sure to delight.
There is nothing more comforting than going home to a freshly baked meatloaf. With that wonderful combination of savory meat and sweet and spicy seasonings, it’s the quintessential comfort food.
Everyone in my family is a huge meatloaf lover, so naturally, this comfort food is a staple at my house. And while meatloaf is a scrumptious dish by itself, it longs for the companionship of of a few complementary side dishes.
What to Serve with Meatloaf
From cornbread and mashed potatoes to roasted veggies and honey glazed carrots, there are hundreds of sides that will easily complement your meatloaf meal.
But I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you. So, ladies and gents, I present to you, 26 delectable side dishes for meatloaf.
1. Dinner Rolls
You’re already baking meatloaf, so might as well make some quick bread alongside it!
Bake some classic dinner rolls for an irresistible meatloaf companion. Go ahead, use the soft bread to soak up that gravy on your plate!
2. Garlic Bread
Aside from dinner rolls, garlic bread also works as a great side dish with meatloaf. It’s so easy to prepare too! Just slather your garlic bread slices with some butter and cheese, pop them in the oven and bake until the cheese melts.
Another thing I love about garlic bread is how easy it is to customize. Top it with your favorite ingredients. I even tried it with anchovies once and was surprised at how good it was!
Now, if you want a sweet and crumbly bread to pair with your meatloaf, a delicate cornbread is the one for you. Its texture is like no other. And that corn flavor? Irresistible!
When it comes to sides, potatoes are the star. There are a ton of ways to prepare this versatile crop, and all of them taste delicious with meatloaf.
But, perhaps the most classic side to serve with meatloaf is mashed potatoes. It’s my go-to side for meatloaf, and I never tire of it!
The combination of meaty meatloaf and tender potatoes is just flawless. And it can’t get any easier to make. Just mash those potatoes and add butter, cheese, and garlic.
Here’s another potato dish that will make your meatloaf dinner even more enticing and filling. Potato wedges may be a simple side, but they’re also spectacular.
The contrast between the tender entrée and the crispy side is to die for! Give those potato wedges even more flavor by coating them with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
Tater tots are delicious, but if you’re looking for a healthier version, why not use cauliflower instead?
I’m telling you, cauliflower tots taste just as good, even your kids will love it! It’s an excellent way to sneak some veggies without sacrificing flavor.
Here’s another cauliflower dish that tastes so yummy, your kids wouldn’t even notice they’re eating veggies. Mashed cauliflower isn’t only good for the kids, but for everyone too!
It’s a healthy side that offers a nutritious contrast to your rich meatloaf.
Here’s a glorious idea to give your mashed cauliflower an extra layer of flavor: add some smoked paprika!
Creamed spinach is a classic side dish that goes well with the equally classic meatloaf.
What’s not to love – it’s cheesy, creamy, and good for the body! It’s another one of those veggie dishes that even kids won’t say no to.
Sweet potatoes may not be as popular, but personally, I prefer them over regular potatoes. They’ve got that wonderful sweetness that I just can’t get enough of.
So instead of the classic French fries, make some sweet potato fries instead. They are perfectly crispy and delicious when baked, so there’s no need to fry them.
They also have that delicate balance of sweet and savory that I love so much. And, together with meatloaf, they make the perfect combination.
People make Hasselback potatoes all the time. But here’s something interesting, why not use sweet potatoes instead? They’re sweet, hearty, and have a melt-in-your-mouth consistency once baked.
And you know what will make your Hasselbeck sweet potatoes taste even better? A lavish amount of garlic herb butter. Don’t worry, it’s super easy to make.
Just whisk together melted butter with garlic, paprika, parsley, chives, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and pepper. Imagine all those flavors settling in the crevices of your sweet baked spud. Ahh. Perfection.
Asparagus is a crunchy and nutritious veggie that works as a great side to many dishes, meatloaf included. It’s so easy to enhance its flavor, too.
A simple seasoning of green onions and butter will do the trick. But, if you want more flavor, give it some bacon-lovin’!
Just wrap individual spears with a small strip of bacon, pop them in the oven, and you’ve got yourself a heavenly side that you and your guests will love.
Carrots already have a mild sweetness on their own, but if you coat them in honey, oh boy, you’re in for a treat. This crunchy side will offer a wonderful contrast to your tender and gravy-rich meatloaf.
To make, you may either slice your carrots into circles or sticks. Melt butter in a saute pan, and add brown sugar and honey, constantly stirring it until the sugar dissolves.
Add some lemon juice and carrots. Coat the carrots well and cook until carrots are tender. Top with chopped parsley for a delightful color contrast.
13. Mac and Cheese
This side dish is ideal if you’re feeding the young ones! It’s super creamy, cheesy, and oh so satisfying. It’s the perfect comfort food to go with your equally rich meatloaf.
With that said, this may not be the best side if you’re serving adults who are watching their diets. Because it’s super decadent, they may not be a fan of the rich/rich combination. But the kids and the kids-at-heart will surely dig it!
14. Corn Pudding
If you want a sweet and creamy dish to eat with meatloaf, you can’t go wrong with this Southern dish.
Corn pudding is a smooth custard bursting with refreshing corn. It’s usually sweet, but if you prefer a savory side, you can do that as well! Whether sweet or savory, corn pudding will not disappoint.
15. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can be quite intimidating because they’re easy to overcook. And when that happens, you end up with a bitter, sulfur-tasting dish that’s no good at all.
But if you cook it right, you will get a flavorful and nutritious dish to serve with meatloaf.
To enhance the flavor of your sprouts, coat it in maple syrup! It will bring out their natural sweetness, making them taste spectacular. Or, you could also toss it in a mustard sauce to mellow down its bitterness.
Here’s another idea: cook it with bacon! Why? Because bacon makes everything better, that’s why.
16. Roasted Veggies
Now, if you can’t decide what vegetable to serve with your meatloaf, why not serve them all!
Give your meatloaf a vibrant and healthy side by roasting your favorite vegetables.
To make, cut up some red and yellow bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, and red onions. Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in the oven.
The color combination is so pretty, it might just outshine your meatloaf.
17. Broccoli Salad
Give your savory meatloaf a light and leafy accompaniment with this simple broccoli salad. The broccoli gives your tender meatloaf that nice crunchy contrast.
Add some dried cranberries, cashews, red onions, and cheese to your salad for more flavor and texture too. Give it a tangy dressing and you will get a well-balanced side that will complement your meatloaf oh so well.
Here’s another super veggie that does not seem to have the same level of popularity as its cousin. Broccolini may not be as popular as the broccoli, but it’s just as delicious and nutritious.
To make a ridiculously yummy broccolini dish, just saute it in olive oil and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. That’s it. So easy, right?
Meatloaf is such a protein-packed dish, you may want something starchy for a more filling meal. And what’s more filling than a classic spaghetti?
Another thing that makes spaghetti so good with meatloaf is the tomato sauce! That sweet and tangy sauce complements the flavors of the meatloaf so well.
Speaking of starch, here’s another one that will be a great accompaniment to meatloaf. Rice, on its own, is rather bland, but it can easily absorb the flavors of whatever ingredient you add to it. And that’s why I love it! I can easily customize it depending on my entrée.
For a classic meatloaf, you can’t go wrong with another classic: American fried rice. The mixture of white rice, carrots, peas, and scrambled eggs pairs perfectly with your entree.
Or, if you want simple flavors, just add some lemon juice and cilantro to your steamed rice and call it a day. Meatloaf is already rich in flavor, so a simple side will balance out all that savoriness.
Now, this side is for those who want to balance their high-calorie meatloaf with something light and nutritious. A classic coleslaw gives your tender meatloaf that wonderful crunch.
Now, a coleslaw usually comes with a mayo dressing, but you can switch that up with low-fat yogurt for a healthier side. It’s still just as delicious, but minus a lot of calories!
A thick soup is always an excellent companion to meatloaf. One of my favorites is cream of mushroom soup.
It’s rich, creamy, and oh so flavorful! Mushrooms have such a distinct earthy flavor that you won’t get from any other ingredient. It’s so good, I even use it as a faux-gravy to my meatloaf too!
And speaking of mushrooms, here’s another side that will complement the flavors of your meatloaf. I love how easy it is to make, too! Just saute button mushrooms with butter, and you’re all set.
24. Apple Pie
A rich and hearty meatloaf dinner calls for a refreshing dessert. Give your meal a fruity ending by serving a delicious apple pie. It’s got that beautiful balance of sweet and tart and crisp and tender.
25. Chocolate Tart
To me, and many others, chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. So if you’re looking for the perfect ending to your meal, this is the way to go.
A chocolate tart has that decadent filling sitting on top of a crunchy crust. It’s the perfect balance of textures.
And I know I’ve said repeatedly that it’s important to have a balanced meal but come on, no one can say no to chocolate! And it’s not like you eat it all the time, right? So go ahead and indulge yourself… you deserve it!
26. Lemon Cake
Meatloaf is such a heavy and rich dish, you may want something light and refreshing for dessert. Lemon cake perfectly fits the bill because it is light, airy, and downright delicious!
Its tangy frosting is so refreshing it counteracts the richness of the meatloaf. It’s the perfect way to end a splendid meal.
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