Let’s face it—meatloaf is the go-to dinner of most American families. Almost everyone knows how to make this dish—your mother, grandmother, aunt, and even, you! In fact, most families have a meatloaf recipe of their own that they have passed down from generations to generations.
But let us also be honest here—eating meatloaf almost every week can get pretty boring. To avoid this monotony, the best thing that you can do is to vary the side dishes that you pair it with.
But what goes with meatloaf? Let this article tell you!
What Goes with Meatloaf? Here are The Best Side Dishes
Aside from the fact that meatloaf has become a favorite comfort food (we’ve had it since we were little children so that no longer comes as a surprise!) of many people, another reason why it is a popular dinner dish is because it is so easy to pair with. Below are some of the side dishes that go well with meatloaf.
Nothing will ever go well with meatloaf better than mashed potatoes. The combination of meat and potatoes have been a staple for as long as we can remember. The easiest and most efficient potato side dish that you can ever make is mashed potato.
If you are on a diet, you can go for the basic mashed potato recipe that is comprised of potatoes, milk, and butter. One pro tip to keep in mind when preparing your mashed potatoes is to add a dash of pepper to give it that unexpected flavor.
But if you want to do something unique and you have the leeway to splurge on calories, you can add sour cream and shredded cheese to the mix.
Sweet Potato Fries
If you want to reduce your carbohydrate intake and boost your fiber intake, you can substitute your potatoes with sweet potatoes. Cut these into strips and turn them into fries!
Instead of frying it, we suggest that you bake it in a convection oven for a healthier option. You will surely be surprised as to how crispy these can get when baked in the oven. In addition to salt and pepper, you can also flavor your fries with herbs and spices of your choice.
Sliced carrots and Papayas
If you have prepared a gravy meatloaf, it would be best that you make some slices veggies to add a crunchy twist to it. Lucky for you, preparing this side dish is not as complicated as you think. In fact, it is quite simple.
Cut your carrots into long and thin slices. You can also do the same with the papayas of your choice but don’t serve them raw. Saute it to add that special touch. If you plan to serve only spiced carrots and papayas as your side dishes, it is recommended that you also add a few dips and sauces so these would not taste bland.
Mushrooms work well with steaks and burgers so it is completely safe to think that it would be a perfect side dish for your meatloaf dish too. It is pretty easy to make too. All that you have to do is to saute the mushroom slices together with the butter in a pan, and you are good to go! If you want something unique, you may also want to add teriyaki sauce to it.
The key here is to always have a can of button mushrooms in your pantry so you can whip up a fantastic side dish anytime you decide to make meatloaf for dinner.
Buttered Corn/ Green Beans
If you want a healthy side dish, buttered veggies are the way to go! You can cook green beans or canned corn in butter. Or if you’re going to ditch canned ingredients, you can boil ears of corn and serve them with olive oil and butter.
If you do not want the added calories of butter, you can steam peas, asparagus, and sliced baby carrots. To make these vegetables more palatable for your children, you can serve them with ranch dip or top them off with cheese.
Meatloaves go well with starches and breads are no exceptions. All you need to do is to cut your loaf into smaller slices, add garlic spread then toast it in the microwave. If you want to make your garlic bread fancier, you can top it off with anchovies, bacon bits, jalapenos or cheese.
The best thing about using garlic bread is it is not only great as a side dish—you can use it as an appetizer as well!
If you like to combination of mashed potatoes and meatloaf, but you do not want the extra carbs and calories that come with potatoes, go for a mashed cauliflower recipe. All you have to do is add cauliflower, garlic, and broth in the slow cooker. Allow it to cook for 3 hours. After that, coarsely mash the cauliflower using a large fork or a potato masher. Add yogurt and butter into it. Mix until it is already smooth.
You can also top it off with chives, rosemary or parsley.
Mac and Cheese
If you are having a bad day and you need a double dose of comfort, try pairing your meatloaf with a side of mac and cheese. While there are plenty of instant mac-and-cheese packs that you can use, nothing beats homemade. Don’t worry though as it is straightforward to make.
You just need to add milk, salt, pepper, and macaroni and bring it to a boil. Let it cook for about 16 minutes or until the pasta is already tender. Afterward, stir in cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and butter and mix well. This is so easy—so much that you would need only one pot to make it!
If you are a bacon lover, this is the perfect option for you. Bacon-wrapped asparagus is one of the easiest and most loved appetizers in the world so why should we not use them as a meatloaf side dish?
The good news is, it is so easy to make them too! The first thing you need to do is to rinse the asparagus and pat those dry. Afterward, cook the bacon in the skillet until it is only soft and translucent (not crispy). Wrap the bacon around four to five pieces of asparagus then secure it with a toothpick.
You can fry the asparagus in the same pan where you cooked the bacon (no need to add oil). If you want to keep it low-calorie, you can bake them in the oven or grill.
What goes with meatloaf? This is one question that Americans have been asking for the longest of time. Before, we only have the usual options—vegetables, mashed potatoes, and fries. But as meatloaf becomes more and more popular, the side dish options that we have also grow bigger and more diverse.
It is vital that you consider the preference of your guests, the type of meatloaf you have cooked, and the amount of preparation time that you have when choosing your meatloaf side dishes.