Meatloaf is a delicious dish. It can be made with ground turkey for a lighter meal, or you can make a rich meatloaf with ground beef and cheddar cheese for classic comfort food, much like creamy mac and cheese! Either way, your taste buds will enjoy it!!
In my family, we enjoy a simple recipe made with ground beef, eggs, oatmeal (or breadcrumbs), and various seasonings served with a sweet and spicy brown sugar sauce on top! That’s it. Nothing fancy.
Mashed potatoes or twice-baked potatoes with green beans or LeSeur peas are our go-to side dishes for a delicious dinner, but I’ve also been known to deviate and use whatever I have on hand.
In this article, I’ll share with you my absolutely favorite meatloaf side dishes as well as other dishes we’ve found pair well with meatloaf. I’ll also give you some tips on how to tell what side dishes wouldn’t go well with meatloaf.
Let’s get started…
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Potato Side Dishes For Meatloaf
In my opinion, homemade meatloaf deserves a good potato dish. It doesn’t matter whether you serve French fries, tater tots, make-ahead mashed potatoes, or any of the potato dishes below. Just serve up some taters for the ultimate comfort meal! Here are my favorite potato side dishes for a meatloaf meal.
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
There’s nothing like homemade creamy mashed potatoes made with half and half, sour cream, and lots of butter!
A simple baked potato is a comforting, belly-filling side dish, but it takes time to bake. Unless you have double ovens, the easiest way to bake potatoes is to cook them in a toaster oven, air fryer, or InstantPot, or start them early in the day in your slow cooker.
But, if you don’t have those options, here’s what you need to do:
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Wash your potatoes and quickly wrap them in aluminum foil. I use these sheets.
- As soon as they are wrapped, put them on the bottom rack of your oven, even if it isn’t preheated.
- Let them bake while you are putting together your meatloaf.
- Turn down your oven to whatever temp you bake your meatloaf.
- Place your meatloaf on the top rack and let them bake together.
Now, you may need to experiment a few times until you get your timing down. Just be sure not to use jumbo baking potatoes. They take a long time to bake. Start off using small potatoes!
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Take your favorite mashed potato recipe and add some garlic. I usually use garlic paste or minced garlic, but I have also used garlic powder. All three work!
Twice Baked Potatoes
My family LOVES my twice-baked potatoes, but to be honest, they are pretty time-consuming to make, so when I make them, I make a LOT of them because they go with pretty much everything!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Try roasted garlic mashed potatoes any time you’re serving a crowd or want to get a little fancy with your potatoes.
This side dish provides a creamy coolness to your meal. So if you have leftover potato salad, be sure to serve it with your meatloaf.
Pro Tip: Potato salad takes some time to make, and it is always better when it has been refrigerated overnight. So, whenever you find yourself making potato salad, make a big batch so you can serve it as a side dish for several upcoming meals!
Boxed Instant Mashed Potatoes
Now, don’t cringe. They’re not as bad as they seem, especially when you’re an exhausted home cook trying to get dinner on the table!
I am a pro at elevating boxed instant mashed potatoes. Follow the directions on the box, but substitute half and half for the milk. Don’t have half and half? Use milk to make plain mashed potatoes.
Then, when they are done, add more creamy richness with additional butter, cream cheese, or sour cream!
Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
If you’re not in the mood for creamy mashed potatoes, then opt for roasted potatoes. Roasted Yukon Gold potatoes with olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of red pepper flakes make a delicious side dish for just about any meal.
Vegetable And Bean Side Dishes For Meatloaf
Green beans are a perfect side dish for meatloaf. Whether you whip up a can of green beans or make fresh green beans, they work.
ProTip: Want to doctor up a can of green beans? Try simmering them in ham base!
Peas go so well with meatloaf. Our family prefers LeSeur peas, which have a hint of sweetness and are very tender, but any kind of pea will go well with meatloaf.
Corn On The Cob
Corn goes with pretty much anything, and it’s a super easy side dish that pairs beautifully with meatloaf.
Green Side Salad
If you’re looking to add a super quick salad to your meal, then opt for a prechopped bag of iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. Then pick up a container of cherry tomatoes, a bunch of green onions, and some salad dressing, and you’ve got an easy side dish.
Want to make your own dressing? Opt for a lemon juice and olive oil vinegarette made with your favorite herbs.
Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to potatoes when serving meatloaf. You can opt to make your own or purchase store-bought rice from your favorite grocer.
A spinach salad with mandarin oranges, red onion, and bacon is also another great salad to serve with meatloaf!
Simply pick up a bag of baby spinach, canned mandarin oranges, smoky bacon bits, and red onion. Top it with a tangy dressing.
Beans are high in protein and fiber, and they’re absolutely delicious. If you don’t have time to make traditional baked beans, simply heat up a can of baked beans on the stovetop.
You can also “spice” them up by adding a bit of mustard, ketchup, and molasses while heating up the beans. If you prefer a barbeque-type sauce on your meatloaf, add a little barbeque sauce to the beans. They won’t disappoint.
Broccoli is another side dish that goes well with pretty much anything. It’s simple, healthy, and adds a pop of color to any meal.
Baked sweet potatoes make a great alternative to the traditional baked potato and will go well with meatloaf.
You can opt to make your own cauliflower tots or purchase cauliflower tots from the frozen foods section of your grocery store.
Fried Okra doesn’t get a lot of love. But, if your family enjoys fried okra, it’ll definitely go with meatloaf. And it’s another easy side dish that can be made while your meatloaf is baking.
Cook up a can of sweet corn or a bag of frozen corn for a simple, delicious side dish for your meatloaf! When heating it up, add some butter, and you’re good to go!
Coleslaw is another dish often served with meatloaf. And it can be made in minutes with just two, yes, two ingredients.
Grab a bag of coleslaw mix from your favorite grocery store and this brand of coleslaw dressing!
Baked Sweet Potato
As an alternative to baked potatoes, you can always bake up some sweet potatoes.
Cornbread is another delicious side dish for meatloaf. Don’t have time to make cornbread? Then try this boxed brand. And when it’s done, immediately spread some butter on it. It is so good!
Garlic Herb Butter Rice
Rice is another side dish that goes well with meatloaf. We like to make ours with garlic, herbs, and lots of butter. When choosing your herbs, be sure to choose ones that will complement the herbs and spices in your meatloaf.
Garlic Bread or Rolls
Any type of garlic bread or rolls makes for an easy side dish. You can change things up by choosing a chewy baguette-style bread, garlic toast, or soft dinner-type rolls. They’ll all go well with your meatloaf meal!
Sweet Potato Fries
If your family doesn’t like french fries, serve up some sweet potato fries instead.
Roasted carrots make an awesome side dish for meatloaf. Want to add a little variety? Make a roasted vegetable medley as a side dish. In addition to carrots, include bell peppers, snap peas, brussel sprouts, and onions.
If your family enjoys asparagus, then bacon-wrapped asparagus is a perfect pairing for your family’s dinner.
Creamed spinach is another simple side dish to serve with meatloaf.
Mashed cauliflower made with parmesan cheese, garlic, sour cream, fresh cracked black pepper, and salt makes a wonderful side dish for meatloaf.
Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen
Meatloaf is delicious with most side dishes, but it’s also very versatile, so you can probably find a lot of other side dishes that go well with it. You don’t have to serve all of these suggestions – make up your own combinations!
Remember, when you’re thinking about side dishes for meatloaf, keep it simple, and you’ll be fine.
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Until next time…