Searching for the perfect side dish to for your meatloaf dinner? Look no further! This list of 24 delicious meatloaf side dishes ranges from classic mashed potatoes to zesty cilantro lime rice, offering something for every palate. With options that are quick to prepare, nutrient-packed, and easily customizable, this list will elevate your meatloaf meal into a complete dining experience.
1. Garlic Roasted Asparagus
A Healthy Green Option
Garlic roasted asparagus is not just delicious; it’s also a healthy side dish that complements the richness of meatloaf beautifully. It offers a good balance of fiber and vitamins while being low in calories.
Easy and Quick
You’ll find that garlic roasted asparagus is quite easy to make. With a sprinkle of garlic, olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper, you can have it ready in 20 minutes or less.
If garlic isn’t your thing, feel free to use other herbs like rosemary or thyme. You can also add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavor.
2. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
A Sweet Counterpart
Mashed sweet potatoes offer a sweeter contrast to the savory flavors of meatloaf. They’re packed with nutrients like vitamin A and fiber, making them a wholesome choice.
Creamy and Luscious
Achieving the perfect creamy texture is incredibly easy. You can elevate the flavors by adding ingredients like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Make It Yours
Don’t hesitate to get creative. Add some butter for richness, or go dairy-free with coconut milk to maintain the creamy texture.
Crunchy and Refreshing
Coleslaw is an ideal side dish if you’re looking for something that adds a refreshing crunch. The tangy and creamy dressing complements the savory, dense meatloaf quite well.
You can make coleslaw using various types of cabbage, or even add carrots for extra color and nutrition.
Feel free to tweak the dressing to your liking. Whether you prefer a mayonnaise base or a vinaigrette, the choice is yours.
4. Sautéed Mushrooms
Rich and Earthy
Sautéed mushrooms offer a rich, earthy flavor that pairs wonderfully with meatloaf. It’s a low-calorie option that doesn’t skimp on taste.
Quick and Simple
All you need is some quality mushrooms, a bit of butter or oil, and your choice of herbs. Within minutes, you’ll have a delicious side dish.
Mix and Match
Feel free to use a mix of mushroom varieties for a more complex flavor profile. You can also add garlic or onions for extra zing.
Cornbread is a classic southern comfort food that pairs exceptionally well with meatloaf. Its sweet and savory tones offer a delightful contrast.
Cornbread is quite straightforward to make. You can even add ingredients like jalapeños or cheese to give it your own twist.
Whether you like your cornbread sweet, spicy, or cheesy, there’s a variation that’s perfect for you.
6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
A Flavorful Green
Roasted Brussels sprouts offer a delightful balance of nuttiness and bitterness, making them an excellent companion for meatloaf.
Quick to Prepare
Simply trim the sprouts, toss them in oil and your choice of spices, and they’re oven-ready. They take just about 20 minutes to become a crispy, golden treat.
Make it Special
Add some bacon bits or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for an extra pop of flavor.
7. Rice Pilaf
An Elegant Classic
Rice pilaf is an elegant yet straightforward side dish that pairs wonderfully with meatloaf. It’s a versatile dish that’s flavored with broth and sautéed onions.
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Simple and Quick
This side dish doesn’t take much effort to prepare. The key is to lightly sauté the rice grains in butter before cooking them in a flavorful broth.
Mix it Up
Consider adding some vegetables like peas or carrots, or even some slivered almonds for crunch.
8. Caesar Salad
A Crispy Classic
Caesar salad provides a refreshing, crisp contrast to the denseness of meatloaf, with its blend of Romaine lettuce, Parmesan, and croutons.
Quick and Delicious
The beauty of a Caesar salad is its simplicity. The dressing can be made in advance and the salad assembled in just a few minutes.
Tailor to Your Taste
Feel free to add extras like grilled chicken or anchovies for more protein, or keep it vegetarian.
9. Garlic Bread
Aromatic and Indulgent
Garlic bread offers a buttery, aromatic side that is hard to resist and pairs beautifully with meatloaf.
It’s as easy as buttering your bread, sprinkling garlic powder or minced garlic, and baking until golden.
Add cheese or herbs like parsley to elevate this simple yet indulgent side dish.
10. Steamed Green Beans
Nutritious and Bright
Steamed green beans add a pop of color and nutrients to your meatloaf dinner.
Quick and Healthy
This dish takes minimal preparation and cooking time. Simply steam until tender and season with salt and pepper.
Add Your Twist
Toss them in a bit of garlic butter, or add almonds for a pleasant crunch.
11. Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Comfort Food at its Best
Baked macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and pairs naturally with another comfort classic like meatloaf.
Creamy and Cheesy
The blend of melted cheese and pasta creates a luscious, satisfying side.
Feel free to include various cheeses or add a crunchy breadcrumb topping for extra texture.
12. Glazed Carrots
Sweet and Savory
Glazed carrots offer a touch of sweetness, creating a delightful contrast to the savory meatloaf.
A simple glaze can be made with butter and a bit of sugar or honey. Just simmer until tender.
Make it Yours
Feel free to add some cinnamon or nutmeg for an extra layer of flavor.
13. Quinoa Salad
A Protein-Packed Option
Quinoa salad is a high-protein, fiber-rich option that adds a hearty element to your meatloaf dinner.
Fast and Versatile
Cook quinoa in advance and mix it with your choice of vegetables. It’s a quick assembly job after that.
Make It Your Own
Feel free to incorporate any of your favorite salad veggies, or even some fruit for a sweet contrast.
14. Roasted Beet Salad
Vibrant and Nutritious
The earthy flavors of roasted beets provide a vibrant, nutritious side that pairs wonderfully with meatloaf.
Simple Yet Elegant
Roast the beets, peel them, and slice or cube them. Mix them with some greens, nuts, and cheese for a simple yet elegant dish.
You can add your favorite vinaigrette or even some citrus fruits for an extra zing.
15. Creamed Spinach
Rich and Flavorful
Creamed spinach provides a rich, flavorful side dish that’s a real crowd-pleaser.
Easy and Quick
Simply sauté some fresh spinach and combine it with a mixture of cream and spices.
Personalize Your Dish
Feel free to add elements like garlic, nutmeg, or parmesan for an extra layer of flavor.
16. Couscous Salad
Light and Fluffy
Couscous salad is light, fluffy, and packed with flavors that complement meatloaf very well.
Quick to Make
Couscous takes only a few minutes to prepare. Once it’s done, fluff it with a fork and mix in your favorite veggies.
Add ingredients like chickpeas, feta cheese, or dried fruits to make the salad even more delicious.
17. Baked Beans
Hearty and Comforting
Baked beans offer a hearty, comforting side that perfectly complements the homey feel of meatloaf.
Easy and Flavorful
Most baked bean recipes involve simple ingredients like canned beans, ketchup, and spices, baked until bubbly.
Customize Your Beans
Add bacon, mustard, or even a dash of bourbon for a unique twist on this classic dish.
18. Greek Yogurt Tzatziki
Cool and Creamy
For a lighter side, consider Greek yogurt tzatziki. Its cool, creamy texture contrasts nicely with the richness of meatloaf.
Quick and Easy
Simply mix Greek yogurt with grated cucumber, garlic, and some herbs. Let it sit for a bit to allow the flavors to blend.
Add a Fresh Twist
For a fresh twist, add some lemon juice or dill.
19. Apple Sauce
Sweet and Tangy
Apple sauce offers a simple yet effective contrast to the savory richness of meatloaf, making each bite a delightful experience.
Quick and Homemade
Making homemade apple sauce is a breeze. Cook down some peeled and chopped apples with a touch of water and sugar until soft.
Customize the Flavor
Feel free to add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to suit your taste.
20. Cucumber Salad
Refreshing and Simple
Cucumber salad provides a crisp, refreshing contrast to meatloaf, with its simple blend of sliced cucumber, vinegar, and herbs.
Effortless and Quick
Slice the cucumbers, toss them in a vinaigrette, and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Make It Your Own
Add ingredients like red onion, dill, or even some Greek yogurt for a creamy version.
21. Grilled Zucchini
Healthy and Delicious
Grilled zucchini is a quick, healthy, and delicious side dish that pairs well with meatloaf.
Quick to Make
Slice the zucchini, season it with some olive oil and spices, and grill for a few minutes on each side.
Feel free to add some Parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon for extra flavor.
22. Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes
Crispy and Flavorful
Garlic herb roasted potatoes bring the earthy flavors of garlic and herbs, adding a crispy, flavorful side to your meatloaf.
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All you need are some potatoes, garlic, and your choice of herbs. Roast them until they’re golden and crispy.
Switch up the herbs to match the flavor profile of your meatloaf or to suit your individual preference.
23. Cilantro Lime Rice
Zesty and Refreshing
This side dish adds a zesty, refreshing element to the meal with its combination of lime and cilantro flavors.
Quick to Cook
Cook the rice as you normally would, but finish by stirring in fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro.
You can add some black beans or corn to make it even more robust if you like.
24. Buttermilk Biscuits
Soft and Fluffy
Buttermilk biscuits give a Southern twist to your meal, providing a soft, fluffy side that pairs excellently with meatloaf.
Quick to Bake
They take just a few minutes to prepare and about 15 minutes to bake.
Serve it Your Way
You can serve them warm with some butter, or even make little meatloaf biscuit sandwiches if you’re feeling creative.
From hearty roasted vegetables to light and refreshing salads, this list of 24 meatloaf side dishes offers a versatile selection to match any taste or occasion. These tried-and-true recipes not only complement the flavors of your meatloaf but also add nutritional balance and visual appeal to your meal. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or hosting a special gathering, you’re sure to find the ideal side dish to make your meatloaf meal unforgettable.