meatloaf sides

What To Serve With Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is an American cuisine classic that you must try to make at home at least once. Not only is it filling and homey, but it can be delicate if you want it to. Be sure to choose what to accompany it with wisely, as not everything matches.

In this article, we will let you know the best side dishes for meatloaf.

What Is Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a dish made of ground meat and other ingredients. It is shaped into a loaf and then baked, though it can be smoked sometimes. The meat is usually beef and can also be lamb, pork, veal, venison, chicken, turkey, or even seafood.

For the most part, you should slice meatloaf as you would bread and serve it warm. It can become dry easily, but many include breadcrumbs and eggs to keep the moisture inside. In other cases, using a sauce or cheese and vegetables can also keep the meatloaf moister.

Although meatloaf is usually considered an American dish, there are various variations across cuisines. Some of these include Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Cuba, Germany, Greece, and more.

In the United States, meatloaf became a famous dish as a way of saving money during the Great Depression.

While it is usually a warm meal, sometimes meatloaf may be sliced cold and be served as a sandwich filling. Most people consider meatloaf a comfort food, which is why it is part of diners and restaurants, but a homemade delicacy too. You can also find it as a vegetarian and vegan dish these days.

Nutrition Facts

One serving of meatloaf dinner (312 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 415 calories
  • 231 g water
  • 20.7 g protein
  • 23.1 g fat
  • 31.5 g carbohydrate
  • 3.74 g fiber
  • 9.67 g sugar
  • 144 mg calcium
  • 3.37 mg iron
  • 49.9 mg magnesium
  • 237 mg phosphorus
  • 668 mg potassium
  • 1230 mg sodium
  • 18.4 µg selenium
  • 10.9 mg vitamin C
  • 73.3 mg choline
  • 99.8 µg vitamin A
  • 59.3 mg cholesterol

Meatloaf can be a good meal to make at home because you can choose how much sauce and breadcrumbs to use. Be sure to choose leaner meat, like poultry, to lower the cholesterol content and sugar. Overall, meatloaf is a very filling meal that can be high in protein.

Best Side Dishes for Meatloaf

Below are some options for side dishes that you can serve with meatloaf at any time!

#1. Garlic Bread

When you need a simple yet tasty side dish that always complements meat well. You can make this recipe with any type of bread you like, even your oldest and most stale one.


  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your garlic bread:

  1. Start by melting the butter. Transfer it to a bowl, and add the garlic.
  2. Cut your bread into halves, and brush the butter and garlic mix on the inside of the loaf.
  3. Sprinkle the parsley and oregano on top of the butter.
  4. Place the bread with the garlic butter side up in the oven. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until golden on top.
  5. Serve warm on the side of the meatloaf.

#2. Roasted Lemon Asparagus

Asparagus is another one of those side dishes that goes well with any meat. In this case, it can be a good way to get some greens without overpowering your meal and getting too full.


  • Bunch of asparagus
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted lemon asparagus:

  1. Begin by washing your asparagus and trimming them.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the asparagus in a greased dish or baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil on top, along with lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  4. Finish off by zesting the lemon on top. Roast for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm next to your meatloaf and add shaved Parmesan on top if you want.

#3. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

What other more American side dish than mashed potatoes? This classic recipe is perfect when you want to serve something delicious yet easy to prepare and eat.

Mashed potatoes do not have to be boring at all, so serve them any time and switch a couple of ingredients to make things interesting.


  • 10 to 15 Yukon potatoes
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your creamy mashed potatoes:

  1. Wash, peel, and cut your potatoes into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the potatoes to a pot with water and salt. Cook them until soft, which should take about 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. With a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes over low heat.
  5. Remove from the heat, and add the butter, cream cheese, milk, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue mashing.
  6. Finish off by transferring the potatoes to a baking dish. Add a little butter on top, and bake enough to warm the mashed potatoes again until the butter melts.
  7. Serve warm next to meatloaf.

#4. Mushroom Mac and Cheese

Since jambalaya is a very complete and filling meal, a fresh corn salad can be the right choice for breaking through all the flavors. You can pretty much add any vegetable and seasoning that you can think of, making this recipe your own.


  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box elbow pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Italian mix cheese
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your mushroom mac and cheese:

  1. Begin by cooking your pasta according to the box instructions.
  2. In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a skillet, warm up the olive oil and garlic. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.
  4. Add the flour and mix well, forming a roux with the olive oil.
  5. Drain your pasta and serve a little cooking water. Return to the pot.
  6. Add the mushroom roux to the pasta and a bit of the pasta water. Mix well.
  7. Transfer the breadcrumb mix, milk, and cheese. Mix everything at low heat.
  8. Serve your mushroom mac and cheese warm.

#5. Roasted Broccolini with Lemon

Broccolini is another great vegetable to serve with meat, and when it comes to meatloaf, it can add flavor and nutrients. The lemon adds a bit of acidity to break through the meat flavors of your dish.


  • Bunch of broccolini heads
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted broccolini with lemon:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with tin foil. Spread your washed and trimmed broccolini and your chopped onions.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil on top. Add the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  4. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the broccolini browns a little.
  5. Serve warm with your meatloaf.

#6. Quick and Easy Coleslaw

This quick and easy coleslaw is the perfect side dish to serve with your meatloaf. You can serve this within minutes of making it, but it also lasts for a while in your fridge.


  • 1 bag coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage and carrots
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your quick and easy coleslaw:

  1. Wash your coleslaw mix or cabbage and carrots. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix everything well until there are no clumps and the slaw is completely covered.
  4. Refrigerate the bowl for at least one hour, but preferably longer.
  5. Serve cold next to your meatloaf.

#7. Parmesan Butter Noodles

Although a recipe of Parmesan butter noodles may not seem like much, it is a great way to serve a delicate yet filling side dish with your meatloaf. Prepare this meal within minutes and add a few more things to make it more elaborate.


  • 8 oz egg noodles
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Parmesan butter noodles:

  1. Cook your egg noodles according to instructions.
  2. When ready, drain the noodles, reserve a bit of cooking water aside, and return the noodles to the pot.
  3. Add the Parmesan cheese, butter, and a bit of the cooking water. Turn the heat on low and toss everything.
  4. Add the chives, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Continue tossing for a few more minutes.
  5. Serve your Parmesan butter noodles warm, so the cheese is melty and creamy.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Meatloaf Sides?

No one said that preparing a meatloaf is an easy task, but choosing a side dish can be. This list is comprehensive and gives you a wide range of options to choose from. You can mix and match, but remember that your meatloaf is the star of the show.

When you are serving a meatloaf with no sauce or cheese, choose a side dish that is denser and filling. One good choice is the mushroom mac and cheese, which is creamy and decadent. You could also serve the creamy mashed potatoes to accompany your meatloaf without overshadowing it.

If your meatloaf contains cheese or a thicker sauce, you may want a side dish that is more fresh and light. Try making the roasted lemon asparagus, which is delicious with any meat and goes well with many sauces. Another option is the roasted broccolini with lemon, for when you want a bit more crunch.

On the other hand, when it comes to a traditional meal or a potluck, a side dish that is easy and classic is the way to go. In this case, the quick and easy coleslaw will never disappoint. You can also try the Parmesan butter noodles and garlic bread to go with it.


Since meatloaf is a staple of American cuisine, it makes sense that at some point you would try it. These side dishes can all complement this meal differently, adding new flavors and textures. Combine two or more of these and surprise your dinner guests or your family with a comforting yet delicate meal.

Did you know that you can freeze meatloaf and then simply warm up for the next meal?

See more: How to reheat meatloaf

*image by urban_light/depositphotos

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