There is nothing quite like enjoying meatloaf for dinner. Especially, when you have spent a good portion of your day preparing and making your meatloaf.
Though meatloaf alone isn’t enough for a satisfying dinner. There need to be some side dishes. The last thing you want to do is ruin all of your hard work with the wrong side dishes.
Having meatloaf for dinner is very comforting and your side dishes need to enhance this comfort. That is why it is important to find the right side dishes to match and complement the flavor of meatloaf.
Well, we’ve done the hard work for you. We have narrowed it down to savory side dishes.
Since meatloaf has a lovely meaty flavor, the side dishes should be savory. So we have created a list of 26 savory dishes for meatloaf. We have also answered a few of your questions relating to meatloaf and side dishes.
Macaroni and cheese is such a classic savory side dish that we had to put it at the top of this list. Macaroni and cheese dishes have been paired with many meat dishes and meatloaf is no exception.
The creaminess and richness of the macaroni and cheese perfectly pairs with the meatiness of the meatloaf as well as the tomato flavor of the glaze.
Duchess potatoes are like mashed potatoes but elevated. This is the side dish to pair with meatloaf if you are serving it for a dinner party. This dish is all about presentation as well as flavor.
Duchess potatoes are creamy and buttery, but they have crispiness to them that makes them addictive. If you want to enhance your savory potato side dish for meatloaf, then you must make duchess potatoes.
Garlic bread is a classic savory side dish that you might often see with pasta. It goes great with meatloaf as well. A lot of people assume that meatloaf is too bready to have bread as a side dish but this isn’t true.
Garlic bread is a fantastic side dish, especially if you find that your meatloaf tastes a little bland. The crunchiness of the garlic bread works well with the softness of meatloaf.
We are sticking with bread side dishes with this next entry. Dinner rolls are a great side dish for meatloaf that is soft and tender.
Some people’s meatloaf is very similar to a burger patty, and nothing goes better with a burger patty than bread. You can use the dinner rolls to dip into any juices and gravy. Also, a meatloaf sandwich is very tasty.
Meatloaf and mashed potato go together like two peas in a pod. This is a classic side dish when it comes to what to have with meatloaf. You really cannot go wrong with this side dish.
The creaminess of the mashed potato is delicious with the juices of the tender meatloaf. Dipping the meatloaf in the mashed potatoes makes for one incredible bite. There is a good reason this is a classic savory side dish for meatloaf.
If you want a creamy side dish that isn’t mashed potatoes then creamed spinach is what we would suggest. This savory side dish is rich and creamy but also easy to make. Spinach also pairs well with meat, especially beef.
This is also a slightly healthier option to have compared to mashed potatoes but is still as rich as them.
Cornbread is a light and fluffy bread. This is why it is perfect as a savory side dish for meatloaf. Cornbread is ideal to serve with meatloaf since it is a type of bread that will be able to absorb all of the juices from the gravy of the meatloaf.
Cornbread is soft and crumbly which enhances the tenderness of meatloaf.
If you want to make your meatloaf dinner more filling but at the same time introduce a different texture, then you need to try potato wedges as your side dish. Potato wedges are crispy but soft at the same time.
This matches the crispy edges of meatloaf and the tender inside of it. Swap out your mashed potatoes and try potato wedges for a hearty meatloaf dinner.
For those of you who are looking for a super simple scrumptious savory side dish, sauteed mushrooms are the one for you. There is nothing simpler than slicing some mushrooms and popping them in a pan.
Sauteed mushrooms are also quite light which balances out meatloaf, especially if your meatloaf isn’t as tender.
Coleslaw is the perfect savory side dish for those of you who are looking to make your meatloaf dinner more refreshing. We love that the creaminess of coleslaw and all the different vegetables doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meatloaf.
Coleslaw also adds a different texture to your dinner as it is crunchy.
For those of you who want to enjoy the crispiness of fries with added benefits then we suggest having sweet potato fries as your side dish. Sweet potatoes have vitamins and minerals that are good for you.
Plus they are delicious! The sweetness of these fries complements the saltiness of the meatloaf.
If you are not feeling sweet potato fries then you can’t go wrong with some good old french fries. This is a quick side dish that is perfect for adding a crunch to your meatloaf dinner.
You can also buy french fries from the grocery store to make it a quick and easy side dish to serve.
Asparagus is another vegetable option for those of you who want a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes. They are slightly crunchy and tender. You can also adjust the flavor of asparagus depending on the seasoning.
Although, you can’t go wrong with seasoning them with garlic, lime, parmesan, or lemon. Another tasty way of serving them is wrapped in bacon.
You might think soup is a slightly strange side to serve with meatloaf, but don’t know it until you try it. This side pairs particularly well with a meatloaf that is on the dryer side and is a bit heavy.
You can add instant moisture back into your meatloaf meal by serving it with a creamy mushroom soup. We haven’t even begun to discuss the flavors.
We had to give you another vegetable that is a super healthy side for your meatloaf. Broccolini might not be as popular as broccoli but it is just as nutritious.
Broccolini is also incredibly versatile in how you can cook it. Season it with some garlic and red pepper and you have a tantalizing savory side dish.
We’ve all heard of tater tots but the healthier version of them is cauliflower tots. Cauliflower tots are crispy and cheesy, everything you could ever want from a side dish.
If you are feeding children, these will be a big hit with them for dinner. Who are we kidding? Adults will love them as well!
Sick of regular potatoes and want to impress your guests? Make Hasselback potatoes. These potatoes require a bit of effort, but they look so good on your dinner plate.
This is definitely a savory side dish to serve at a dinner party. These garlic-flavored potatoes have the perfect amount of crunch and softness.
Another savory side dish you can’t go wrong with is roast potatoes. Since you are using the oven, you might as well roast some potatoes.
These are perfect for pairing with meatloaf because they are crunchy but soft. The flavor of roast potatoes doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meatloaf.
Some people might think that carrots are too sweet to be considered savory, but we still love them. These honey-glazed carrots are simple to make.
The subtle sweetness of these carrots goes well with the saltiness of the meatloaf as it balances out the flavors. They are soft and tender just like meatloaf should be.
Rice is a great healthy option if you want to bulk up your meatloaf meal. What is great about rice is that it absorbs the flavor of what you serve it with.
This is great for meatloaf as the rice will absorb the flavor of the meatloaf juices and gravy. You can keep it simple with steamed or boiled rice. Alternatively, you could go for classic fried rice and make your meal hearty.
Just like roast potatoes, roasted vegetables are a great savory side dish for meatloaf. You can add some color to your dinner by choosing bell peppers, red onion, and carrots to roast.
This is a fairly simple side dish but the flavors of each vegetable complement the meatloaf. It is a great choice if you are unsure of what to serve as a side dish.
You either love them or you hate them but they still make a fantastic savory side dish. There is a reason Brussels sprouts are served with meat dishes and it is because the earthy flavor of them works well with meat.
You can keep Brussels sprouts simple by just seasoning with salt and pepper or you could add a range of seasonings to battle their bitter flavor.
If you are a fan of cheese and potatoes, then you need to make potatoes au gratin as your side dish. Meatloaf is a very comforting meal and there is nothing more comforting than potatoes covered in heavy cream and cheese.
This side dish is creamy and cheesy which is great for balancing out the saltiness of meatloaf. It is also a great side dish to serve at a dinner party.
Squash casserole is another soothing side dish. If you want a meal that is warm and comforting then adding squash casserole as a side dish is the best choice for you. Squash casserole is also perfect for serving as a side dish to a large crowd.
Cream of peas or creamed peas is another great alternative to the regular creamy side dishes served with meatloaf. This dish is quick and easy to make.
The flavors of the creamed peas don’t overpower the meatloaf but instead enhance the flavor. This savory side dish is another comforting side dish, perfect for the cool weather.
For our last entry in this list, we had to include roasted sweet potatoes. Like regular potatoes, the crispiness of this side dish goes well with meatloaf.
What we really like about this savory side dish is it adds a bit of spice to the dinner if you use sriracha. Make use of that oven and make this scrumptious side dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Side Dish With Meatloaf For A Light Dinner?
Sometimes we don’t feel like having a super heavy dinner, especially when one of the items cooked can be quite filling.
You’ll find that most of the advice provided when you want a light dinner is to have salad as a side dish. Though, that doesn’t sound too appealing when having meatloaf.
So let’s get rid of any thoughts of having a salad as a side and make these delicious dishes instead.
If you want a light side that is quick and easy to make, then having asparagus as a side dish is the way to go.
The great thing about asparagus is that you can cook it in so many ways. You can steam them, you can pan fry them, or even cook them in the oven.
Another incredibly tasty side dish that is light and pairs perfectly with meatloaf is coleslaw. Coleslaw is very light and creamy so it is ideal if you only want to eat something small for dinner or as a snack.
If you want to eat something that is a little bit rich but still light, then creamed spinach is the perfect savory side dish for you.
Creamed spinach adds extra moistness and creaminess to your meatloaf dinner which makes it rich. However, since it is just spinach it is light to eat.
What Are Some Healthy Sides For Meatloaf?
A big thing most of us are trying to maintain is eating healthy. This includes dinners that would usually be rich and on the unhealthy side.
One of the best ways to make your dinners healthier is to add a healthy side to them. Here are some of our favorite healthier sides.
If you are someone who loves having french fries, try switching them out for sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and minerals which is why they are the healthier alternative to french fries.
A great way to bulk up your meal without having to add a lot of unhealthy ingredients is to eat rice. Boiled rice is a much healthier option than having something heavy like mashed potatoes as a side dish.
If you are ever in doubt as to what healthy side to have with meatloaf then going for a simply cooked vegetable like broccolini is your best bet. With broccolini, you can cook it in a few different ways. The healthiest ways would be to boil or steam the broccolini.
What Are The Best Sides For Meatloaf To Serve A Big Crowd?
If you have a big family or are hosting a dinner party for a large crowd then it can be quite stressful making sure there is enough food for everyone. That is why when making side dishes for a large crowd you want them to be simple and large.
Here are some of the best sides for meatloaf to serve a large crowd.
When it comes to making sides for crowds, anything you can put in a large pan is your friend. Squash casserole is a great dish for large crowds, especially around the dinner table.
They can use the serving spoon to grab the portion they want. The same goes for any type of casserole.
Another great side for a large crowd is macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese dishes are always a bit hit at dinner parties. Also, it is very filling so a large portion of this goes a long way at dinner tables.
If you want something that feels more like an individual side then we would recommend making duchess potatoes. These make it feel like you’ve made every person their own side dish and you can make them in bulk.
If you are ever in doubt then a general rule to stick to when making a side dish for a large crowd is to make something easy. The easier side dishes are usually something you can make a large portion of in a baking pan, like potato au gratin.
We have now finished looking at 26 savory side dishes for meatloaf. What we love about these side dishes is that they complement the flavors of meatloaf without overpowering it.
These side dishes also work really well together. So if you want to make a really hearty meatloaf dinner, making more than one of these side dishes will do the trick.
If you are struggling to know what to pair together then thinking about having a vegetable side dish and a side dish that has a high carbohydrate content is a good pair. The other alternative is to have a creamy side dish paired with something on the dry side.
Hopefully, we have helped you find the perfect savory side dish to pair with your meatloaf. Have fun cooking these delectable dishes!