Most mac and cheese lovers think of this popular pasta dish as a complete meal. After all—it has carbs (hello pasta!) and protein (hi there, cheese!). But what a lot of people do not understand is the fact that it lacks one vital nutrient—fiber. Let us also not forget about the fact that most mac and cheese recipes do not include meaty bits so that would be another factor that this dish would be lacking.
Please keep in mind that we are not here to discredit the gloriousness of mac and cheese. In fact, we are totally in love with this comfort food too! What we are trying to say is the fact that there is a way on how you can level up this already amazing dish!
How? By adding a few side dishes! What goes good with mac and cheese? Read on and find out!
What Goes Good with Mac and Cheese?
You will be amazed at how diverse the side dish selection for mac and cheese is! If you can’t wait to discover what goes good with mac and cheese, we won’t let you wait any longer! Here they are:
If you want to prioritize your fiber intake, the best side dish option that you can try is baked broccoli. This vegetable is one of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber which is good for digestion and your overall health.
Now that we’ve got that settled, let us proceed on how we can make this nutritious dish. And surprise, surprise—it is very easy to do! Just simply wash and cut the broccoli. Let it dry a bit then drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Use your hands to fully coat the broccoli slices.
Arrange the pieces in a lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack and roast the broccoli for 15 to 18 minutes or until the broccoli is already tender and browned at its edges.
After that, remove the baking sheet from the oven and top the broccoli with parmesan. Switch the oven to broil mode and place the baking sheet back in the oven. This time, put it in the upper rack. Broil the broccoli for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. Squeeze one lemon over the broccoli. Toss to coat.
Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms
If you want to add something tomato-ish to your cheesy and meaty mac and cheese, this is one side dish that you may want to consider. Same with the baked broccoli, this one is very easy to make too!
To do this, add cherry tomatoes, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss to combine. Place the resulting mixture in the upper half portion of your rimmed baking sheet.
In the same bowl, add the garlic, mushrooms, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Put the resulting mixture in the lower half portion of the baking sheet.
Roast the veggies for 30 to 35 minutes. After removing the sheet from the oven, mashed the potatoes using a fork. Afterward, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the veggies and toss to coat.
One secret that you should know about this side dish is that you can mix it into your pasta dish to get that tomato-ish flavor! This would certainly go well with spaghetti too!
Korean-style Popcorn Chicken
What would be the perfect match to the oooey and gooey cheese of your mac and cheese? It would be no other than the spicy, sticky, sweet and a bit crunchy popcorn chicken!
You can start by preparing the breast fillets. Place them in a large bowl then add in the ginger powder, rice wine, salt, and black pepper. Mix them all and set it aside for 30 minutes. After that, coat the chicken pieces with starch powder and deep fry until they are all brown and crispy.
The recipe may seem a bit intimidating but believe me that this is one chicken dinner that is easy to make! In fact, all you need is to use a commercially available bottle of Korean chicken sauce. But if you like to whip up a homemade one, you would just need the following ingredients—ketchup, gochujang, brown sugar, honey, sesame oil, minced garlic, and soy sauce. Just mix all of these in a bowl and use it to coat your chicken.
If there is one no-fail side dish that would go well with almost all types of pasta dishes, it would be no other than burgers! But what we will introduce to you is a burger with a. twist!
Instead of the full-sized burgers that we all used to have, why don’t you try burger bites? It is equally flavorful and satisfying but it will not have an entire bun which is recommended for those people who are trying to lose weight or cut down on their calorie consumption.
So how do you prepare burger bites? For this, you would need lean ground beef, a beaten egg yolk, salt, grated onion, pepper, cheddar cheese cubes, and a few bread slices.
Once you have the ingredients ready, you can proceed on placing the ground beef, pepper, salt, egg yolk and onion in the bowl and mix them all together. Get a teaspoonful of the beef mixture and shape it into balls. Proceed on doing this until the mixture is all used up.
After that, remove the crust of your bread slices roll it flat and used a small circle mold to shape the bread into round slices. If you do not have the mold, you can cut the slices into square shapes instead.
Once the bread slices are ready, place the beef patties on top of the bread slices and put a cheese cube on top. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and broil them for 3 to 5 minutes in the oven.
You can garnish the burger bites with whatever it is that you like—mustard, dill pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise, onions, the works!
Regardless if you have prepared your mac and cheese from scratch or you just simply popped up an instant mac and cheese in the microwave (no judgment, promise!), you would need additional side dishes to transform this already delicious pasta dish into a full meal! We hope that you are able to find the best one on the list that we have provided!