What to Serve with Meatloaf: Perfect Sides for Meatloaf – Our Top Picks

Hey there, foodie friend! Are you wondering what to serve with meatloaf to jazz up your meatloaf night with side dishes that are anything but sidekicks? Because let’s face it, even the best meatloaf sides should stand up and sing, not just sit quietly by the plate.

Whether you’re aiming for a meatloaf meal sides symphony or just need a little nudge past the usual suspects, you’re in the right place. Prepare to amp up your dinner’s deliciousness to an 11.

Your meatloaf, that quintessential American comfort classic, deserves companions that complement its rich, savory glory without stealing the spotlight. Think of what we’re serving up today as the ultimate sidekicks – ready to swoop in and save the day with bold flavors and textures that make every bite of meatloaf sing.

We did the legwork and gathered a mouthwatering lineup of the best side dishes for meatloaf, ensuring your next meatloaf moment is nothing short of spectacular.

A Match Made for Meatloaf: The Best Potato Sides

Sitting beside your succulent meatloaf, there’s a trio of potato sides that could very well steal the spotlight. Craft a soul-soothing meal with these comforting companions that marry well with the rich flavors of your main dish. Let’s dive into the starchy delights that round out the perfect meatloaf meal.

Mashed Potatoes: The Classic Companion

Imagine scooping up a forkful of fluffy mashed potatoes, where every bite is a creamy cascade of buttery, garlicky goodness. With our mashed potatoes recipe, you can transform the humble potato into a velvety side dish that melds with meatloaf like a dream.

Garlic and Herb Roasted Potato Wedges

Craving something with a bit more bite? Roasted potato wedges, kissed with garlic and herbs, offer a crispy edge and tender inside – a textural delight next to the soft succulence of meatloaf. Glisten them with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt to reach potato perfection.

Duchess Potatoes: Elevate Your Potato Game

And for those special occasions, bring out the duchess potatoes. These piped peaks of potato elegance, with their golden brown crust and airy core, are extravagance on a plate. Seasoned to the nines, they add a royal touch to the best potato sides for meatloaf.

Mashed potatoes with meatloaf and coriander in a plate with spoon on the table

Tantalizing Vegetables to Serve with Meatloaf

As you sit down to savor that succulent slice of meatloaf, why not give it the vibrant veggie companions it so richly deserves? You’re about to turn “just a side dish” into the star player on your plate. Let’s dig into some vegetable recipes that will make you forget they’re supposedly playing second fiddle to the meatloaf.

Glorious Garlic Green Beans

You haven’t truly enjoyed green beans until you’ve tried this green beans recipe that will have garlic lovers swooning. Imagine crisp-tender beans sautéed with minced garlic and just a smidgen of butter, finished with a garnish of green onions for a pop of color and flavor. Is your mouth watering yet? Because it should be.

Caramelized Honey Glazed Carrots

Honey glazed carrots are like the candy of the vegetable world – only better for you. They’re drizzled with a syrupy blend of honey and brown sugar, then roasted to bring out their natural sweetness. Add a squeeze of lemon for a zesty twist and watch these carrots disappear faster than you can say “seconds, please!”

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with bacon

And then, there are the crispy Brussels sprouts – tiny cabbages that have made a significant culinary comeback. Fried, served with cut up bits of bacon, and drizzled with a balsalmic glaze, this is a perfect complement to meatloaf.

a dish of brussel sprouts with bacon

Bread Basket Favorites: From Cornbread to Rolls

Imagine the moment when the meatloaf emerges from the oven, its aroma tantalizing your senses. Now, amplify that delectable experience by pairing it with the right bread sides for meatloaf. Let’s be real, the bread basket can be a showcase of comfort, cradling the perfect additions to your meatloaf masterpiece.

Take, for instance, the southern charm of cornbread. Its sweet, crumbly texture is like jazz to meatloaf’s blues—just the right mix of smooth and soulful. And don’t think it stops there, cornbread is versatile. Serve it warm, and watch it absorb the meatloaf’s juices like a sponge made of pure heaven.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of these recipes:

Aim for that golden-brown crust with a pillow-soft middle, the perfect companion to your famed meatloaf.

“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king.” — Louis Bromfield

Garlic bread slices, when slathered with butter and a sprinkle of cheese, add a touch of garlicky splendor that beautifully complements the rich flavors of meatloaf. Toss on some aromatic herbs or a sprinkle of parmesan for that extra flair that’ll have everyone reaching for seconds.

  • Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside cornbread.
  • Dinner rolls that are perfectly pulled apart to reveal a steaming center.
  • Garlic bread slices toasted to perfection with a generous helping of garlic butter.

So the next time you’re planning that impeccable meatloaf dinner, remember to treat your bread sides with the reverence they deserve. They’re not just a side thought, they’re an essential part of the symphony on your plate. Happy baking!

Satisfying Grain and Rice Side Dishes

Who says meatloaf must always be a solo act? Let’s huddle around the cozy kitchen stove and jazz up your plate with grain side dishes that are nothing short of show-stopping. As you ponder the perfect culinary cohort to your meatloaf, imagine the harmonious blend of textures and flavors these grainy companions can deliver.

Meatloaf dishes on the table

Nutty and Aromatic Rice Pilaf

A glossy spoonful of rice pilaf recipe, with its fluffy grains perfumed by aromatic spices, brings elegance to your meatloaf dinner. It’s like the understudy that’s finally had its chance to shine—stage left of your meatloaf.

Picture it, each grain enriched with the earthy undertones of thyme, a pinch of cumin, and the nuttiness of browned onions. Here’s a tip to intensify the flavors: a splash of chicken broth can transform the pilaf from ordinary to extraordinary.

Classic American Fried Rice: A Simple Staple

Then there’s the hearty American fried rice, a mosaic of colors and flavors that’s as straightforward as it is soul-satisfying. It plays well with your dish—no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This simple staple, studded with pops of carrots, peas, and the essential scrambled eggs, isn’t just a side dish; it’s a chorus of comfort alongside the star of the show: your meatloaf.

Grain DishMain IngredientsFlavor ProfileBest Paired with Meatloaf Type
Rice PilafRice, Chicken Broth, Onions, AlmondsNutty, earthy, slightly spicedGarlic-heavy Meatloaf
American Fried RiceRice, Carrots, Peas, EggsSavory, colorful, comfortingClassic Tomato-Glazed Meatloaf

Whether you’re wooed by the siren song of a nutty rice pilaf recipe or the heartwarming familiarity of American fried rice, these grain side dishes are ready to tango on the dinner plate with your beloved meatloaf.

They promise to leave you and your guests asking for an encore. And who wouldn’t? After all, no great performance is quite complete without a fantastic supporting cast.

Mouthwatering Creamy Delights for Meatloaf

Prepare to douse your taste buds in luscious waves of creaminess. These side dishes don’t just accompany your meatloaf; they elevate it into the stratosphere of comfort food greatness. Think elegant yet homely, think flavors that hug you from the inside, and you’ll find yourself in creamy side dish heaven.

Mac and Cheese: A Decadent Favorite

Your meatloaf is begging for companionship, and what better match than the timeless classic, gourmet mac and cheese? It’s the culinary equivalent of a bear hug – warm, comforting, and impossibly cheesy. A dish that turns everyday ingredients into a gold standard for creamy sides for meatloaf.

The Richness of Cream of Mushroom Soup

If the thought of velvety cream of mushroom soup alongside your favorite meatloaf gets your heart racing, you’re not alone. Imagine, each spoonful is a dive into a rich, earthy pool of mushroom goodness, an essential creamy mate for your meaty main.

Luscious Mashed Cauliflower – A Healthier Twist

For those navigating the maze of comfort food with caloric caution, fear not—mashed cauliflower is the virtuous sidekick to your meatloaf escapade. Whipped to perfection, with a dash of smoked paprika for that punch of flavor, it’s a lighter road paved with fewer carbs and all the creamy magic.

Mashed Cauliflower, Meatloaf, Roasted Potatoes and Greens in a plate on the tab;e

Embrace the joy of a meal crowned with one, or hey, why not all, of these creamy champions. Your meatloaf deserves it and let’s be honest, so do you. So go ahead, dive fork-first into these indulgent, creamy delights!

Refreshing Salads and Slaws to Offset the Hearty Meatloaf

After savoring the rich flavors of a classic meatloaf, nothing complements the experience quite like a palate-cleansing refreshing salad or slaw. Each crunchy forkful of vibrant greens and veggies serves as a balancing act, ensuring your meal doesn’t weigh you down. Below, find some crowd-pleasing recipes that are as delightful to the eyes as they are to your tastebuds!

Refreshing salad plate on the table

Classic Cobb

You’ve got to have a cobb salad at the ready if you want a true classic that packs a punch. It’s a textural symphony of shredded or torn lettuces and carrots draped in a dressing that’s a delightful mix of tangy and sweet. Perfect for cutting through the savory richness of meatloaf!

Cucumber Salad with Dill and Yogurt

Shifting gears to something a bit heartier, yet unmistakably light is the beloved cucumber salad with dill and yogurt sauce, a favorite Polish dish.

Caesar with a Twist

Classic Caesar salad is great, but let’s go for a crunchy twist – Kale Caesar salad. It has everything you love about the classic Caesar, but packs more protein, more crunch, and the same rich, bold flavor. A good salad complements a meatloaf really well.

Broccoli Apple Salad: A Sweet and Crunchy Surprise

And for a slightly sweet turn that’ll make you rethink salad stereotypes, the broccoli apple salad is a revelation. The unexpected combo of fresh broccoli florets and juicy apples declares that salad ingredients can indeed be fun and inventive.

Salad ComponentColeslawPasta SaladBroccoli Apple Salad
Main IngredientsCabbage, CarrotsPasta, Mediterranean VeggiesBroccoli, Apples
DressingMayo-based, VinegarOlive oil, HerbsYogurt or Mayo, Lemon Juice
TextureCrunchy, CreamyChewy, SoftCrunchy, Crisp
Flavor ProfileTangy, SweetSavory, TartSweet, Tangy

So, next time your meatloaf is feeling a little lonely on that dinner plate, pair it with one of these stellar sides. You’ll bring the crunch, the zest, and the zing that takes your home-cooked meal to the next level!

The Sweet Finish: Baked Apples and Desserts

After savoring the main course, your palate deserves a sweet encore. What better way to round off a meatloaf dinner than with a dish that cozies up as both a sweet side and a dessert?

Yes, you guessed it—baked apple pies, cozily sprinkled with cinnamon, dolloped with butter, or drizzled with honey, they’re the quintessence of comfort that complements without overpowering. Let’s talk about the perfect baked apples pie recipe that harmonizes with your hearty meatloaf.

American vegan apple pie with lattice top
  • Core some crisp apples, because nobody wants a chewy surprise.
  • Stuff them with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of nuttiness from crushed walnuts.
  • Top them off with a pat of butter because everything is better with butter.
  • Bake to perfection, and voilà—a dessert that doubles as a sublime sweet side dish.

But why stop there? Your meatloaf deserves a dessert pairing that’s as robust and comforting as it is. Venture beyond traditional boundaries with delectable meatloaf dessert pairings that balance the meal’s savory punch with a hit of sweetness.

DessertFlavor ProfilePairing Perk
Baked ApplesWarm cinnamon spice and tender sweetnessComplements meatloaf’s savory depth
Vanilla Bean Ice CreamCreamy and rich with a hint of bourbonProvides a cool contrast to a hot main course
Pecan PieDecadent and nutty with a caramelized fillingIntroduces a new texture to the palate

Imagine sinking your teeth into a piece of meatloaf drenched in savory gravy, followed by the soothing flavors of a perfectly baked apple. Imagine, too, the cheer it brings—not just to your taste buds, but to your well-nourished soul. Go ahead, give these sweet finales a place at your table. Your meatloaf, and your satisfied sweet tooth, will thank you.

Other Desserts To Complement Meat Loaf

If the classic American apple pie is not your thing, and you’re looking for something crunchy or tart or softer, try a coconut peanut brittle, a sponge cake, or a French baked cherry tart. This image below shows the Australian sponge cake – you’ve got to try it!

Australian Lamingtons - Chocolate and coconut covered sponge cake

Other Delectable Side Dishes to Explore

Just when you thought your meatloaf couldn’t get any cosier on your dinner plate, along come a couple of standout sides that might just steal the show. Let’s delve into a world where low-carb meets high indulgence, and every bite is a merry dance of flavors.

Sauteed Mushrooms: A Low-Carb Side

Imagine sauteed mushrooms, each slice soaked in the golden goodness of butter, and just a whisper of garlic to set off their earthy flavor. These little gems are the perfect low-carb accompaniment to your hearty meatloaf, providing a succulent texture and a taste that lingers lovingly on the palate.

As meatloaf side dishes go, this one’s a no-brainer for the flavor-focused feaster.

Baked Sweet Potatoes with a Candied Twist

Enter sweet potatoes, baked to a soft tenderness and then teased with a hint of brown sugar and a dollop of melted butter. It’s like every sweet potato took a dip in the fountain of dessert dreams, emerging as a candied companion to your savory slice of meatloaf.

This dish adds just the right amount of sweetness to your meal, ensuring a well-rounded feast that will leave no taste bud untouched.

Baked sweet potatoes dish on a table


As we bring our gastronomic journey to a close, your foray into the realm of best meatloaf pairing is poised to transform mere meals into feasts for the senses. You’ve witnessed firsthand how a humble slice of meatloaf can ascend to new heights when flanked by the ideal meatloaf sides.

From the comfort of fluffy mashed potatoes to the innovative flair of crispy cauliflower tots, every side dish presented offers a unique way to round out your plate and leave guests savoring every last bite.

Picture this: a complete meatloaf meal awaiting your next dinner party—a tableau of textures and tastes designed to please diverse palettes while staying true to the warmth of comfort food.

Whether you adhere to the traditional or dabble in the modern twists of side dish pairings, the versatility of meatloaf stands undiminished, promising a dynamic dining experience tailored to your unique culinary style.

Now go ahead, armed with a pantheon of sides from which to choose, ready to elevate that next meatloaf from simply satisfying to truly stellar.

You have the power to craft an ensemble of accompaniments that not only enhance the main attraction but also tell a story—the story of a meal crafted with forethought, care, and a touch of whimsy. So step into your kitchen with confidence; a world of flavors and fond memories await.


What are the best sides to serve with meatloaf?

The top picks for meatloaf sides are diverse, ranging from the comforting presence of mashed potatoes to the sweet allure of glazed carrots or crispy Brussels sprouts. Bread sides such as cornbread or dinner rolls add a delightful touch, while grains like rice pilaf or American fried rice offer a satisfying base. Don’t forget those creamy delights like mac and cheese or a healthier twist with mashed cauliflower!

Can you suggest some potato sides that pair well with meatloaf?

Absolutely! The classic mashed potatoes recipe is always a winner with meatloaf, but if you’re looking to elevate your potato game, consider garlic and herb roasted potato wedges or the more sophisticated duchess potatoes. They’re not just sides; they’re crowning glories!

What vegetables can I serve to complement meatloaf?

Bring on the tantalizing tastes of glorious garlic green beans, the sweet caramelization of honey glazed carrots, or the savory crunch of crispy Brussels sprouts with a maple mustard glaze. These vegetable sides are far from mere support acts; they can steal the show!

What kinds of bread should I include in my meatloaf meal?

A bread basket can be your secret weapon for a meatloaf feast! Include a warm, sweet crumb of freshly baked cornbread or the soft embrace of classic dinner rolls. And let’s not forget the irresistible charm of buttery, cheesy garlic bread slices, because who could resist a garlicky, savory cuddle?

Are there any grain or rice dishes that go well with meatloaf?

There certainly are! Try a nutty and aromatic rice pilaf to soak up all those meatloaf juices, or keep it traditional with a bowl of classic American fried rice. These grain and rice side dishes make sure that every forkful of meatloaf is met with textured, flavored joy.

What creamy sides complement meatloaf?

To sidestep into pure decadence, whip up some gourmet mac and cheese or bask in the warmth of creamy mushroom soup. If you’re on a health kick, opt for luscious mashed cauliflower – it’s like your favorite mashed potatoes took a spa day and came back lighter and more rejuvenated!

Can you recommend any salads or slaws to serve with meatloaf?

Following the hearty embrace of meatloaf with a tangy classic coleslaw provides that palate-popping cleanse you didn’t know you needed. Perhaps an Italian pasta salad teeming with Mediterranean zest or a broccoli apple salad, which is pretty much the cool, sweet crunch your plate is begging for. Refreshing salads and slaws, you’re up!

What about sweet side dishes or desserts to pair with meatloaf?

For a sweet little twist, baked apples work wonders alongside meatloaf, especially when they’re dressed simply in cinnamon, butter, or honey. They’re like a comforting dessert that decided to join you for dinner instead because why wait until the end, right?

Are there any additional meatloaf sides that I should consider trying?

Oh, let your adventurous side loose with some sauteed mushrooms in butter and garlic, or offer up a plate of baked sweet potatoes with a candied twist. It’s sides like these that remind you meatloaf doesn’t just have dinner friends; it has flavor BFFs.

What makes a side dish ideal for meatloaf?

The ideal side dish for meatloaf is one that complements without overpowering, adds texture and flavor contrast, and aligns with the comfort that meatloaf naturally provides. Whether it’s something starchy, cheesy, fresh, or sweet, it should complete the meatloaf meal, making each bite feel like a harmonious blend of yum.