Meatloaf is a comfort food classic, and for good reason: One bite, and it’s like we’re instantly transported back to grandma’s warm and inviting kitchen. And what would meatloaf be without the sides! Creamy mashed potatoes, cheesy casseroles … they only make the meal more delicious. So while that meatloaf is cooking, why not get creative with its pairings? We at the First for Women test kitchen have gathered our best meatloaf recipe, along with the most delicious side options. Scroll through to find your perfect match!
Our best-ever meatloaf recipe
There are so many ways to make meatloaf, and here’s the favorite we always return to in the First for Women test kitchen. We used two kinds of meat to make it extra-flavorful, while a hint of mustard gives it a little kick.
Feel free to tweak the seasonings however you’d like, and try different glazes. We like using chili sauce or barbecue sauce, or you could top with marinara and shredded cheese just before broiling. For a spicy kick, try our recipe for Tuscan Heat Spice Mix to stir in. And then there’s classic just plain ketchup!
19 recipes for side dishes with meatloaf
Mix and match your picks from these delicious for the ultimate cozy meal! For more options, check out these baked sweet potato recipes. And click through for cozy casserole recipes that let you enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving all year long.
1. Slow-Cooker Buttermilk Herb Mashed Potatoes
This tangy twist on a classic side is extra creamy and delicious, thanks to a long simmer in the slow cooker.
2. Cheese-Stuffed Snap Peas
Just 4 ingredients is all it takes to make these so-easy bites.
3. Cheddar-Parmesan Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Since Parmesan has a strong flavor, it only takes a little to add cheesiness to this dish’s low-cal veggie-based sauce.
4. Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Balsamic adds a tangy punch that complements the smokiness of the roasted Brussels sprouts.
5. Cheesy Broccoli Puff Pastry Cups
Pastry shells make a crispy base for our veggie and cheddar combo.
6. Creamy Mushroom Polenta
For extra richness, we stirred wine into our make-ahead sauce, but you can sub in more broth if you prefer.
7. Garlicky Green Beans with Crispy Shallots
Smoky bacon and crispy shallots elevate in-season green beans to a steakhouse-worthy side dish the whole family will love.
8. Broccoli and Bacon Toss
Bacon adds smoky mmm to this side that comes together in a flash.
10. Garlic-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
Boiling spuds before roasting ensures they come out crispy on the outside and creamy inside.
10. Honeyed Carrots and Leeks
Lemon, ginger and honey give this quick side a perfectly balanced blend of sweet and tangy taste.
11. Beet Arugula Salad
For extra-zesty flavor, toss beets with our citrusy dressing up to 2 hours ahead and chill until serving.
12. Parmesan-Thyme Duchess Potatoes
To save time, bake, mash and fill the potatoes up to a day ahead and chill, then re-bake when ready to serve.
13. Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake
Thanks to jarred sauce, you can serve this hot side in 30 minutes.
14. Savory Herb & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
This melt-in-your-mouth bread is a cinch to whip up, thanks to refrigerated biscuit dough.
15. Rainbow Roasted Root Vegetables
We tossed in a few purple carrots to add a pretty pop of color, but trimmed and peeled beets would work well.
16. Creamy Pumpkin-Sage Risotto
Cider vinegar adds tangy contrast to the warm spices in this autumnal twist on a classic Italian side.
17. Green Beans in Sherry-Bacon Cream Sauce
Sherry gives this side a pop of brightness, but white wine vinegar works too.
18. Broccoli-Cheddar Rice Casserole
Using homemade roux instead of canned soup in our cheese sauce cuts 13 grams of fat per serving.
19. Curry-Lime Cauliflower Salad
Our test kitchen director flash-boiled the cauliflower to give this zesty side salad a crisp-tender texture.
Click through for more easy meal ideas: