what are the best side dishes for meatloaf

What Are the Best Side Dishes for Meatloaf?

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There isn’t a single household that does not love meatloaf. It is a favorite dinner item that everybody simply loves to eat. The choices for kinds of meat and flavors change from family to family. Ethnicity is a great factor in putting a unique twist of herbs and flavors on this pretty common dinner dish. But as often as the meatloaf is prepared for dinner, people find it challenging to decide which side dish goes best with their meatloaf and what variation to bring to their meatloaf dinner tonight.

Meatloaf is classic comfort food that everybody loves. However, the picky eaters main get fussy over the side dishes. But the good thing about meatloaf is that you can serve it with a huge range of side dishes. It works well with a variety of side dishes which is why preparing your meatloaf with a bunch of side dishes that cater to the picky eaters is always the right option.

Meatloaf is a protein-intensive meal, so people like to serve it with different vegetables. However, there are some other great options to consider here. To make it easier for you to choose versatile fixings for your meatloaf, we are sharing the 7 best side dishes for your meatloaf. Generally, people choose to go with 2 or a maximum of 3 side dishes with meatloaf. However, if you’re having a dinner party or want to put some extra effort into your meatloaf dinner, you can go up to five side dishes at a time to accompany your meatloaf.

What are the best side dishes for your meatloaf?

Whenever you are making meatloaf, you find yourself wondering what the best side dishes for meatloaf are. The first thing that comes to mind here is that the meal must have some vegetables as a healthy portion of the daily diet. However, the importance and preferability of potatoes cannot be ignored. Besides, they are quite easy to prepare as a side dish, making them a popular choice.

To make your choices for side dishes to accompany your meatloaf easier, check out our following list of amazing side dishes. We are sharing the ingredients as well as recipes with you right here. Some of them are classics, while the others are rich in nutrition. You can choose any of these according to your own flavor or dietary preferences.

How to Prepare 7 Amazing Side Dishes for Your Meatloaf

Meatloaf Side Dish # 01 – A Hearty Side of Mashed Potatoes

meatloaf-mash-potatoes

Mashed potatoes are everybody’s favorite, and they go pretty well with a meatloaf. You can also serve the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish and garnish it with parsley. You can refrigerate them overnight and reheat them in the oven after adding some Parmesan cheese and butter.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ medium head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups cream cheese
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 12 persons

Recipe:

Boil ample water in a pot and add some salt to it. Add peeled potatoes in boiling water and cook until they are tender but firm. Drain off excess water and leave on low heat for a minute or two to dry. Start mashing the potatoes with a masher and add Parmesan cheese, butter, cream cheese, chives, garlic, salt, and black pepper one by one. Keep mashing the potatoes until smooth and serve in a bowl.

Meatloaf Side Dish # 02 – Scrumptious Italian Peas

scrumptious italian peas with meatloaf

Peas are a great addition to any meal, and they work pretty well with a meatloaf. The only trick with the peas is to make sure that you do not over or undercook them. If the peas are mashed or chewy, they will not win you any praises. So, make sure to pay attention and cook your peas perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock
  • 16 ounces frozen green peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 6 persons

Recipe:

Pour a little olive oil into a skillet on medium heat. You can choose any oil you prefer, but olive oil works best in this recipe. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and stir until they soften. It will take about 5 minutes, and then add garlic and keep stirring for one more minute. Add your peas to the skillet and slowly add the stock while stirring. Season your peas with salt and black pepper, and then cover the skillet to cook the peas for around 5 minutes until they are tender. You can give them 2 more minutes if they are not soft enough. Your Italian Peas are ready to serve.

Meatloaf Side Dish # 03 – Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Carrots

It’s a simple yet incredibly healthy dish to serve as a side for your meatloaf. It does take a bit longer to cook but offers much higher nutritional value. Since the carrots are roasted and not boiled or fried, they have a unique crunchy flavor. Adding garlic to this dish truly brings out the flavor, and Parmesan makes every spoonful feel like heaven.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 4 persons

Recipe:

For roasting these delicious carrots, you have to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C. Line a deep baking sheet with some aluminum foil and set it aside. Take a small bowl, add olive oil, garlic, and salt, and stir the mixture. Add the carrots to a Ziplock bag or a sealable plastic bag and pour the mixture onto it. Seal the bag and shake it until carrots are properly coated with the oil mixture. Now transfer the carrots coated with garlic and oil onto the baking sheet. Place the carrots in the preheated oven until they become tender and crispy. Your carrots will be ready in about 45 minutes. Sprinkle about one-fourth cup of Parmesan cheese on the carrots and let them roast for 5 more minutes until they turn light brown. Garnish the carrots with parsley, and it’s ready to serve.

Meatloaf Side Dish # 04 – Twice Baked Bacon with Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an amazingly nutritious vegetable. Combine it with bacon and baking; everyone will love it, especially kids who winkle up their noses when asked to eat their vegetables. Just the aroma from baking this amazing dish will be enough to make you hungry. The baking makes the cauliflower tastes exotic and a perfect choice for a side with your meatloaf.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 (20 ounces) bags of frozen cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons bacon bits
  • cooking spray

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4 persons

Recipe:

Heat your oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Use a large square baking dish and prepare it with the cooking spray. Add the cauliflower to a separate microwave-safe bowl and cook it in the microwave oven for about 6 minutes until it is good and tender. Then shift this cauliflower into a food processor and blend it until it gets smooth. Then add butter, yogurt, and sour cream one by one into the food processor and blend again until everything is mixed well.

Combine the blended cauliflower mixture with 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese, chives, bacon bits, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Separate these mixtures in the baking dish already prepared and top it with the rest of the Cheddar cheese. Put this dish in the preheated oven on the middle rack until the cheese is melted. It will take about 15 minutes until it’s done. If the top is not golden brown yet, switch to broil and continue baking for about 3 to 5 additional minutes. Your double-baked bacon with cauliflower is ready. You can also garnish it with some bacon bits.

Meatloaf Side Dish # 05 – Quick Creamy Spinach

Every healthy meal must have some leafy greens, and spinach provides all the necessary nutrition. But some people, especially kids, are fussy at eating more greens, and you have to develop some creative ideas for that. This quick and healthy Creamy Spinach dish is ideal for the young and old alike. You will not have to face much resistance with the kids, as it tastes so good that they just might ask for another serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh grated lemon zest
  • 2 (16 ounces) bags of fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of fine shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 6 persons

Recipe:

To prepare this dish, you will need a large pot like the ones used to make soup. Put this large pot over high flame, pour some olive oil into it, and add spinach. Mix these well and cover the pot for about a minute. Then uncover the pot and stir the spinach lightly until the leaves turn wilted and bright green. It will take about two minutes, and then drain the spinach right away and transfer it onto a plate that’s been lined with at least 5 to 6 paper towels. Let the spinach cool down and press the edges of paper towels onto the spinach to squeeze and soak off as much water as possible. Once the spinach is fully drained, transfer it onto a large cutting board and chop it coarsely.

Take a small bowl and mix cayenne paper, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper in it. Put a skillet, large enough to contain the spinach later, on medium heat and melt some butter in it. When the butter is hot enough, add the shallots and stir for about 3 – 4 minutes until they turn golden and translucent. Stir the seasoning mixture from the small bowl into the mixture of shallots and add the cream. Raise the flame to medium-high heat and keep stirring until the cream is reduced to about a half. Leave it for 5 minutes, and then stir in some lemon zest.

Lower the heat when the cream sauce starts simmering in the skillet and add spinach. Cook while stirring the spinach for around 2 minutes until thoroughly coated with the cream sauce. If you like, you can add the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese to the spinach and stir it until it’s mixed thoroughly and serve it right away.

Meatloaf Side Dish # 06 – Knockout Creamy Corn Casserole

This is truly the stuff of legends. This side dish for your meatloaf is a cross between sweet corn pudding and corn souffle. It is quite easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. One great thing about this is that you can double the serving size, and it will still take the same time to prep and cook it. This convenience makes it an ideal side dish for dinner parties with a relatively longer guest list. You must try this knockout creamy corn casserole at least once. I guarantee that you will be making this dish for years to come and collecting praises for your cooking skills.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 (14.75 ounces) can creamed corn
  • 1 (15 ounces) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8.5 ounces) package dry cornbread mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 8 persons

Recipe:

Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. Take a baking dish about 9 x 9 inches, grease it lightly and set it aside. Combine cornbread mix, eggs, butter, creamed and whole corn, and sour cream in a medium-sized bowl. Make sure to mix everything well and then pour the mixture onto the baking dish and place it in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. The amazing creamy corn casserole is ready to serve as soon as the top turns golden brown. You can serve it as is, and there is no need to garnish it.

Meatloaf Side Dish # 07 – Slow-Cooked Spicy Green Beans

Green beans serve as a staple to every meat-intensive meal. They offer high nutritional value, and you can make them in about 20 different styles. But these slow-cooked Spicy Green Beans are perfect as a side dish for your meatloaf. They are juicy and go well with your cornbread. The slow cooking adds extra flavors to the beans and makes them an ideal companion to your meatloaf.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 lengthwise sliced onion
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 pounds of fresh trimmed green beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours & 10 minutes

Serving Size: 6 persons

Recipe:

Heat a saucepan on medium flame and add the bacon to it. Keep stirring the bacon in the saucepan until it turns crispy. It will take around 6 minutes, and then add onion and keep stirring until they turn golden brown and soft. The onion juices will dissolve the food bits at the pan’s bottom in around 5 minutes. At this point, add the tomato sauce and garlic into the pan and keep stirring until the garlic is soft, which will take just a minute.

Add the green beans into your skillet and add the chicken broth. When the broth comes to boil, raise the heat and add cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt to taste in the beans. Let the broth simmer, which will soften the beans. Reduce the heat to a medium-low flame and let the beans cook for about 1.5 hours. Make sure that you check the beans occasionally and stir lightly. If the broth evaporates quickly, you can add some more water or broth.

Before you are finished, test the salt and pepper levels and adjust according to your own taste. Keep cooking the beans until they are tender and soft, which will take about an additional 30 minutes. Once the beans are well done, transfer them onto a deep serving platter. You can choose to add the juices from the pan to the platter, or you can keep the beans dry and serve them right away.

Once you try these amazing side dishes, you will never have to wonder about what are the best side dishes for meatloaf ever again. You have 7 great options here. Choose 2-3 or even more to make your meatloaf dinner a bit fancy and have a healthy, hearty, and nutritious meal.

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