Take meatloaf night to another level by making one of these side dishes for meatloaf. With so much variety on this list, there is something for every home.
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Meatloaf is a family favorite and it’s been popular in homes for decades. Besides being delicious, meatloaf is a super affordable meal to make. Whether you make your meatloaf with ground beef or ground turkey, meatloaf and some delicious sides make for an amazing dinner with your family.
Meatloaf is the perfect dish to make for the family because once you put it in the oven, you can focus on making your side dish until you’re ready to serve.
Meatloaf, a quintessential American comfort food, has been a favorite family dinner for many generations. As a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of side dishes, meatloaf presents an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. With many options for flavors and textures to complement the hearty main course, selecting the perfect sides for your meatloaf meal can enhance this classic dining experience.
Vegetables, potatoes, and grains are popular choices when considering side dishes for meatloaf. These options offer the perfect balance between taste and nutrition, adding both delightful flavors and health benefits to your meal. The key is to choose complementary tastes and textures, ensuring that the sides do not overpower the delicious centerpiece of the meal – the meatloaf.
Innovative recipes for side dishes that cater to various dietary restrictions and preferences abound, making it possible to transform a meatloaf dinner into a memorable and appetizing meal. By exploring the myriad of options available, you can customize your dining table and impress your family or guests, elevating the traditional meatloaf meal to new culinary heights.
Whether you are looking to have something savory to pair with your rich meatloaf or you’re wanting something a little more fresh, you’ll be able to pick your perfect meatloaf sides.
What Goes With Meatloaf?
Instead of needing to search for your own recipes here are 27 different side dishes that will pair perfectly with your beautifully cooked meatloaf.
Mashed potatoes are delicious, but what if you could have a beautiful golden-brown crust with the same gooey soft starchy middle?
That’s exactly what you get with duchess potatoes. They are packed with flavor too from garlic, cream, nutmeg, and parmesan.
If you want mashed potatoes that have even more flavor, this side dish is for you.
2. Dinner Rolls
What better match for meatloaf than a dish you need to stick in the oven anyway.
The classic dinner roll is perfect for meatloaf because you can use it to soak up all the flavor-filled gravy. You could also make a mini meatloaf sandwich to eat throughout the week.
The buttery and sweet bread is a perfect match for the rich and savory taste of meatloaf.
3. Lemon Cake
Instead of digging that decadent hole even deeper after a nice rich meatloaf meal, try balancing it out with a dessert that is light and refreshing.
Lemon cake is not dense at all, so you won’t have that ball in your stomach feeling after eating and the icing is absolutely incredible.
The lemon cake is the perfect way to close out your meatloaf dinner.
4. Garlic Bread
Want something with a little more flavor than regular dinner rolls? Throw a loaf of garlic bread into the oven and you’ll understand why this pairing goes so well together.
Most large grocery chains even make their own garlic bread now, so you can probably pick some up on your way home.
Buying it from the store doesn’t mean you have to eat whatever they give you either. You can add your own ingredients before throwing your bread in the oven, like loads of cheese or some butter slices.
If you time it right, you’ll have delicious ground beef meatloaf with a side of warm and cheesy garlic bread ready for the whole family.
A chocolate tart is good enough on its own, but adding coffee and caramel to it really makes this dessert something special.
You won’t believe how decadent this dessert really is until you’ve had a bite.
This is the kind of dessert that you bust out for special occasions or when you’re trying to impress the guests.
The only problem is you might not get to have a bite if you wait too long. This dessert disappears from tables once it’s served.
Corn is already great on its own, but when you turn it into a bread mixture it goes really well with meatloaf.
The bread’s crumbly texture does really well to soak up all the meatloaf gravy.
The sweet taste of corn also combines well with the savory flavors of your meatloaf, making this dish an irresistible pair!
7. Apple Pie
The sweet flavor pairs perfectly with meatloaf, so you already know having a little apple pie after your meatloaf is going to taste delicious.
Just don’t forget to throw in a little vanilla ice cream on the side for the ultimate apple pie experience.
There are plenty of potato sides on this list, but if you want the classic take, then the mashed version is the way to go.
Not only does the creamy and smooth texture go well with the rough edges of the meatloaf, but you can also dip your meatloaf into your mashed potatoes for a combo bite.
Even though you’ll need to put a little extra effort into getting mashed potatoes, the hard work will pay off when it’s time to chow down.
Throw in plenty of butter and maybe even a little garlic if you want your potatoes to have some extra flavor.
Mushrooms make a great side for meatloaf because it’s savory on top of savory. You’ll be filling up your mouth with wonderful flavors all dinner long.
What’s even better is mushrooms don’t take a lot of work to make them delicious. Throw some butter in your saute pan and let the mushrooms cook while soaking up the buttery flavors.
You can even throw some garlic in there too, so that your side is just as savory as your meatloaf.
10. Potato Wedges
With a crispy outer edge and soft starchy middle, potato wedges pair beautifully with your tender meatloaf.
You can even add some Louisiana seasonings to your roasted potatoes to give them some extra kick.
Take it even one step further by dicing up some garlic and sprinkling it on your potato wedges with a little parmesan cheese on top.
Cream of mushroom soup tends to just stick around your palette lingering with all its glorious flavors.
Pair it with your meatloaf and you’ll be swimming in unforgettable flavors that will make you want to enjoy every last bite.
You can even dip your meatloaf into your soap to act as a nice gravy. Getting some higher-quality mushrooms can really make this dish pop.
12. Cauliflower Tots
Everyone loves a good salty tater tot, but if you want something a little healthier for the family, try out this cauliflower tots recipe.
These might not look like your traditional tater tot but they taste almost the same!
It’s the perfect way to get your kids to eat more veggies without them even knowing what they’re doing.
Need a refreshing side that won’t overpower the flavors of your meatloaf but can still hold its own? Coleslaw is the meatloaf side you’ve been looking for.
Crunchy and good for you, coleslaw is underrated as a side because it has great flavor on its own and often compliments your main dish better than other dishes.
You don’t have to use mayo with your coleslaw. If you’re looking to be a little healthier, you can substitute some yogurt instead.
Just like with potatoes, cauliflower can be made in a ton of different ways.
This mashed cauliflower recipe is a healthy alternative to your mashed potatoes. The best part? They taste just as good!
Feed them to the kids and watch in shock as they devour vegetables without even breathing!
Now, if you want to walk on the wild side you could also throw some cheese on top, which will make this side your next favorite.
The tender meatloaf flavors really pop when it’s paired with a starch that can help bring out the meaty rich profile. That’s what makes rice such a great companion for your meatloaf.
Not only that, but your rice can also soak up all the flavors of your meatloaf sauce.
You don’t have to stick with a plain jane rice either, you could mix it up and go with fried rice as your side dish.
16. Creamed Spinach
This is another one of those recipes that trick your kids into eating more vegetables.
The creamy delicious texture and taste of the creamed spinach go well with the savory and rich meatloaf flavor.
If you make enough you can even throw the extras in the fridge with your leftover meatloaf and snack on it throughout the week with some crackers.
You might think of spaghetti as its own dish, but when you pair it with some meatloaf you might never try another combination again.
The tangy tomato sauce of the spaghetti goes perfectly with your meatloaf recipe, especially if you’re adding ketchup to your meatloaf.
Regular fries are great, but if you want a side that is so sweet it borders on a dessert, sweet potato fries are your next best friend.
All you have to do is chop up some fry size sweet potatoes and throw them in the oven with your meatloaf. No frying required!
They go well with a touch of salt and pepper, but if you really want to take this side dish to dessert levels, you’ll use a little brown sugar.
The sweet flavor of the fries balances out the savory meatloaf perfectly.
Side dishes don’t come easier than this broccolini recipe. Throw a pinch of salt and pepper with a little bit of olive oil and toss it all into the oven.
Broccolini has a slightly peppery taste compared to its broccoli cousin but it’s just as tasty and nutritious.
If you really want to pack the flavors on this side, add some diced garlic with a generous amount of parmesan.
Hasselback potatoes are thinly sliced so that each one turns a beautiful golden brown, but if you want a healthy and sweet alternative to regular potatoes, try sweet potatoes.
The only thing that would make your sweet potatoes even better is by adding a little garlic herb butter.
You’ll have to make your own but it just takes a few minutes and when you have your first bite you’ll realize why you put in so much effort.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative that can bulk up your meal, you need to try this broccoli apple salad recipe.
The fresh and crisp bites of broccoli and apple will pair wonderfully with your tender savory meatloaf.
Its like every bit of salad gives your mouth a reset to eat more meatloaf instead of getting overwhelmed by all the flavor.
The salad is great if you have a lot of healthy ingredients you’re trying to eat, because you can basically dump them all inside and it will still taste delicious.
Asparagus is one of those highly adaptable sides that you can have with fish, steak, or a tender meatloaf.
The crunchy texture and refreshing taste balance out the savory and heavy meatloaf.
What’s nice about asparagus is you can make it in a ton of different ways, depending on your specific tastes.
You can add a little lemon, parmesan, or cut up some strips of bacon and add that to your side.
A green bean is another veggie you can sub out for asparagus that will have a similar texture and serve the same purpose.
23. Roasted Veggies
Got a bunch of veggies in your fridge you need to get rid of before your next shopping day?
This recipe helps you take care of any unused veggies by slicing them up and throwing them in the oven. Of course, you’ll want to add your favorite spices before doing so.
This side has one of the best presentations because of the different colors, which will make people think it took you hours to make!
Wondering what to serve with meatloaf? These honey-glazed carrots are the perfect sweet for your savory meatloaf.
Slice yourself up some carrot circles and then cook some brown sugar and honey in a saute pan. Once the sugar dissolves, throw in your carrots and stir until your carrots are coated in a delicious honey glaze.
Having some fresh chopped parsley on top can add a lot of color and presentation to your side dish.
25. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can do just fine with a pinch of salt and some olive oil, but when you want them to match the rich flavors of your meatloaf you’ll want to try adding some garlic and balsamic vinegar.
You could also mix up the recipe completely and throw in some bacon bits or some maple syrup.
Sure, maple syrup sounds weird, but when you try it you’ll be kicking yourself you didn’t try it before.
Just keep a close eye on your Brussels sprouts because if you cook them too long they’ll get that sulfur taste that no one likes.
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.
26. Corn Pudding
If you’re looking for that sweet flavor that can balance out your meatloaf but you don’t want bread, try this wonderful corn pudding recipe.
Corn pudding is inexpensive, tastes delicious, and can be adjusted to fit your family’s personal preferences.
You can stick with a sweet side or you can transform your corn pudding into a savory dish that goes right alongside your meatloaf.
27. Mac and Cheese
This classic take on mac and cheese will have your mouth watering for more. Pair it with some tender meatloaf and you have your next favorite meal of the week.
Nothing says home cooking like some mac and cheese with mom’s meatloaf.
Mac and cheese is great for kids because they can’t get enough of the gooey cheesy goodness, but it’s also great for adults. Make your own mac with some gruyere cheese and throw some breadcrumbs on top to give it a more sophisticated flavor.
If you’re feeling really crazy, throw some bacon or pork belly into your mac and cheese but be careful, you might never come up for air.
27+ Side Dishes For Meatloaf (+Garlic Bread)
- 1 loaf French bread
- 2 roasted garlic bulbs
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Squeeze the garlic into a bowl.
- Add in all of the other ingredients except the bread.
- Spread the mixture onto the bread.
- Bake for 10 minutes on each side.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.