What Goes With Meatloaf?


Meatloaf is a popular main dish that traces its documented history as far back as the 5th century. The dish combines ground meat, usually beef, with binding agents and spices that add to the wholesome flavour. The mix is usually shaped into a loaf by hand or with a baking form and baked or smoked. Such a popular and savoury main dish deserves equally accomplished side dishes to go with it. So if you want to get the best out your meatloaf we have a few things that you will find will pair well with it. First, let’s understand meatloaf in a bit more depth then we delve into great pairings for meatloaf.


What is Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a dish that is found in many cuisine styles that is comprised mostly of ground meat that is mixed with eggs, breadcrumbs, herbs and spices. The mixture is shaped into a loaf and cooked in oven by baking or smoked to produce the dish we know as meatloaf. It is made of mostly meat hence its name. The meat options for meatloaf include beef, pork, mutton and lamb among others. Popular standard meatloaf recipes include eggs, breadcrumbs, onions and milk. Meatloaf is a mostly dry recipe and is served with a glaze or sauce to add some moisture to it. It is served as a main meal accompanied by starch or vegetable side dish. Many dishes can go meatloaf but here are some that we think you should try.


Mashed Potatoes

The favourite accompanying dish for many meatloaf lovers are mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes in their best expressions are creamy and moist with a dash tangy flavours from additions like cheese, sour cream, chives and garlic. Potatoes are a great source of starch and fibre to balance out the meat for digestion in the stomach. Mashed potatoes will pair well with meatloaf made from beef, pork and lamb. Chicken and mutton will pair reasonably well too.



For the vegetable lovers who are looking something with a lower carbohydrate content peas make a great pairing partner for meatloaf. Being sweet more often than not peas contrast well with the savoury natural flavours in meatloaf. Plain blanched peas are great but if you want an adventure try Italian peas which is a version of peas seasoned with garlic and parmesan cheese.


Macaroni And Cheese

Macaroni and cheese go well with just about any type of food and of course by itself. Probably the most popular pasta recipe worldwide the inclusion of cheese and cream give a moist and starchy well-balanced side dish for your meatloaf. Plain creamy macaroni and cheese is a good combination with meatloaf but you can try it with bacon included for a better match.


Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprout is a leaf vegetable with a small bulb. They are members of the cabbage family and look like miniature cabbages. It is a very versatile vegetable so it can work well with meatloaf. If you want to try more than just Brussels sprouts you can try them sauteed with bacon and garlic to add some punch to their flavour.



There are versatile vegetables and then there is the carrot. This vegetable is beyond versatile as it works standalone or in recipes raw, blanched, sauteed, steam, fried or baked. Impressive. Carrots are major contributors to some of your favourite soups, stews, stir-fries and salads. Carrots will pair with meatloaf regardless of how you cook them. For something more exciting try roasted carrots with parmesan and garlic.



Broccoli is one vegetable that has a somewhat undeserved bad reputation. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family but favoured for its flower bulb rather than its sparse leaves. Broccoli is, despite its reputation, very versatile as well. With this in mind, you can certainly combine broccoli very well with meatloaf. Whether you like your broccoli plain steamed, stir-fried or perhaps baked in a cheese sauce you really can’t go wrong when you put this vegetable alongside meatloaf.


Roasted Potatoes

If mashed potatoes work it was inevitable that roasted potatoes would make the list. Because of potatoes bland flavour, you have near-limitless possibilities with the root tuber. Cheese, chives, chillies, garlic, scallions and so many other herbs and spices can be combined with your potatoes to give them an interesting flavour. Or you could just have them plain roasted, that works too.



With so many members of the cabbage family in the mix and it’s near lookalike broccoli there too you should’ve expected to see cauliflower on the list of things that go well with meatloaf. While it simply looks like “white broccoli” cauliflower is a whole different ball game. It has a creamy smooth flavour and works very well in baked dishes or with cheese sauce. Cauliflower still holds up steamed or blanched.


Creamed Spinach

There are so many leaf vegetables on this list and we couldn’t do justice without including spinach. While spinach in any form is great with meatloaf we recommend skipping the rest and going straight for creamed spinach. This recipe mixes the fresh vegetable taste of spinach with a strong flavour of garlic and the smooth flavours of milk and cream. It makes a great low-calorie option for the calorie-conscious as well.


Slow-Cooked Green Beans

Green beans are consumed as the unripe seed pods of various bean varieties include bush beans, string beans, haricot and French beans. The pods are chosen from beans that have thick pods in the early stages of growth and this is the focus. They work in stews, soups and even salads as well as standalone. The slow-cooked version is especially soft and moist to go with a relatively dry meatloaf.


You are not short on options that go well with meatloaf. Leaf vegetables and potatoes work the best with meatloaf and many other vegetables work too.


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