What Goes Well With Meatloaf? – Best Side Dishes!

Cooking an amazing meatloaf can turn any dinner into a hearty, satisfying meal. But the popularity of this dish isn’t just because it’s so easy to make – its also due to how many different side dishes work perfectly with it! What goes well with meatloaf? From potatoes and rice to fresh greens and roasted vegetables, you’ll be sure to find something that pairs nicely with your homemade creation. Let’s explore some classic accompaniments for every kind of meatloaf in order to make your next dinner even tastier!

Where did meatloaf come from anyway?

Before diving into what goes well with meatloaf, let’s take a moment to consider where this dish actually comes from. The first recorded recipe for what we now know as “meatloaf” was written in the 5th century by Apicius, an ancient Roman gourmet chef. Even then it had become popular enough that he included it in what is considered to be the earliest known cookbook!

Where did meatloaf come from anyway?
Where did meatloaf come from anyway?

Nowadays, meatloaf continues to remain popular throughout many cultures and countries. This could partly be due to the fact that almost any type of ground or minced meat – including poultry, fish or vegetables – can be used as its base ingredient. Whatever ingredients you decide to use, what goes well with meatloaf is what will make it truly special!

Is meatloaf good for you?

Before we explore what goes well with meatloaf, it’s important to ask: Is this dish actually good for you? Yes and no. It depends on what type of ingredients are being used! Meatloaf can contain a variety of healthy fats and proteins if the right components are chosen. However, it can also be high in saturated fat, calories and sodium if not made carefully.

That being said, what goes well with meatloaf can help to make it a healthier option overall. To reduce the amount of unhealthy fats and add more nutritional value, choose sides that are rich in fibre and vitamins. For example, roasted vegetables (such as sweet potatoes), salads or sautéed greens.

How to make the perfect meatloaf?

Before you can decide what goes well with meatloaf, it’s important to make sure the main dish is up to par. The ground or minced meat should be combined with eggs, onion, garlic, herbs and other seasonings of your choice. This mixture should then be shaped into a loaf and baked in the oven for around 30 – 40 minutes.

The result should be a delicious, juicy meatloaf that’s simply begging for something to accompany it. Read on to learn what goes well with meatloaf and find the perfect side dish for your next meal!

How to keep a meatloaf from falling apart?

One of the most common questions that comes with making meatloaf is: How do I prevent it from falling apart? Fortunately, this is quite easy to do. Start by using a combination of ground beef and pork for more flavor and moisture, as well as eggs and breadcrumbs for binding the mixture together.

Additionally, adding grated cheese and other ingredients such as mushrooms and peppers can also help to make the meatloaf firmer. Finally, don’t over-mix the mixture as this can cause it to break apart or become rubbery.

What goes well with meatloaf?

Ready to make your favorite meatloaf recipe dazzle by flanking it with fabulous sides? While you could always reach for the trusty mashed potatoes and corn, why not take things up a notch with some of these tasty accompaniments? Once your meatloaf is ready to be served, it’s time to pick what goes well with it. Here are some of the best options:

What goes well with meatloaf?
What goes well with meatloaf?

Bacon-wrapped asparagus

For a veggie-based side full of flavor, wrap blanched asparagus in bacon and bake until the fat renders. Then drizzle with garlic butter or balsamic glaze before serving. It’s super easy to put together, and super delicious!

Roasted vegetables

Bring out the natural sweetness of veggies by roasting them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and mushrooms are all great options to go along with meatloaf. A sprinkling of garlic powder can add extra flavor.

Crispy potatoes

Put a twist on your classic mashed potatoes by baking them instead! For a crunchier texture, use red and yellow potatoes and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. Or try sweet potato wedges tossed in olive oil and herbs.

Grilled greens

Whether it’s spinach, kale or some other leafy green, grilled vegetables are always a welcomed addition to a plate of meatloaf. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling to bring out their natural flavors.

Fresh salad

If you’re looking for some lightness on the side, why not try a simple salad? Toss together mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and feta cheese for a mediterranean-style salad. Add some fresh herbs for extra flavor.

Fresh salad
Fresh salad

Creamed spinach

Who doesn’t love creamed spinach? Saute chopped onions and garlic in butter before adding some heavy cream and wilted spinach. Simmer until thickened, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg then serve alongside your meatloaf.

Rice or couscous

If you’re looking for something heartier, a steaming bowl of rice or couscous is the perfect side dish. For a flavorful twist, add some dried herbs and spices like thyme, oregano and smoked paprika.


Nothing goes better with a plate of meatloaf than a slice of warm, buttery cornbread. Whether you opt for a classic version or make it even tastier by adding some cheese and jalapenos, this Southern favorite is sure to please.

Potato wedges

There are plenty of ways to dress up French fries, like adding garlic and parmesan or chili powder. But for something a bit different, try baking potato wedges as an accompaniment. Toss cubed potatoes with olive oil and paprika before baking at 400F until golden brown.

Mashed cauliflower

Can’t decide between mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower? Have both! Cauliflower mash is a healthier alternative that has all the creaminess of mashed potatoes without the carbs. Feel free to add some garlic, butter and herbs for extra flavor.

No matter what you choose to serve with your meatloaf, you can’t go wrong! With these tasty options at hand, it’s sure to make for an unforgettable meal!

What dessert goes with meatloaf?

If you’re looking to round out your meal with a sweet treat, what dessert goes with meatloaf? While there are many different options available, here are some of our favorites:

What dessert goes with meatloaf?
What dessert goes with meatloaf?

Pecan pie

Nothing says classic comfort food like pecan pie. Topped with a layer of sugary, luscious caramel, this dessert is the perfect way to finish off your meal.

Apple crumble

A delicious combination of tart apples and a crunchy oat topping, this easy-to-make classic is sure to be a hit. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or some warm custard for an extra special treat.


Rich, chocolatey brownies are always a safe bet. Whether you go for the classic version or add some extra goodies like nuts and marshmallows, they won’t disappoint.

Bananas Foster

For an over-the-top treat, try making bananas foster. Sautéed in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and rum, this decadent dessert is sure to be a showstopper.

How to store meatloaf leftovers?

Leftover meatloaf should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated within two hours of cooking. To prevent spoilage and bacteria growth, make sure the meatloaf has cooled completely before storing. For best results, use your leftovers within 3-4 days.

You can also freeze leftover servings for up to three months. Make sure to wrap the slices tightly in aluminum foil or a freezer-safe container before freezing. To reheat, thaw the meatloaf overnight in the refrigerator and bake at 350F until warmed through.

How to store meatloaf leftovers?
How to store meatloaf leftovers?

Conclusion: What goes well with meatloaf?

No matter what type of meatloaf you’re making, there are plenty of delicious sides to choose from. From roasted vegetables and creamed spinach to mashed cauliflower and cornbread, these tasty accompaniments will make for an unforgettable meal! When it comes to storing leftovers, just make sure that your meatloaf has cooled completely before storing in an airtight container and refrigerated within two hours of cooking. With these tips, you can enjoy your meal for days to come!

Read more: how to make meatloaf without eggs

FAQs Meatloaf

How do you serve meatloaf for dinner?

For dinner, meatloaf can be served with a variety of sides such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, steamed rice or couscous. You could also include cornbread and a green salad for an extra special meal.

What is the difference between meatloaf and meatballs?

Although they may look similar, there are a few key differences between meatloaf and meatballs. Meatloaf is usually made with a combination of ground beef, pork, or other meats as well as vegetables, eggs and breadcrumbs. Whereas meatballs are typically just seasoned ground beef formed into small round balls.

What does Ina Garten serve with meatloaf?

Ina Garten serves her meatloaf with a simple salad of mixed greens and roasted potatoes. She also suggests adding some cooked macaroni and cheese for a delicious side dish.

Can you freeze leftover meatloaf?

Yes, you can freeze leftover servings of meatloaf for up to three months. Make sure to wrap the slices tightly in aluminum foil or a freezer-safe container before freezing. To reheat, thaw the meatloaf overnight in the refrigerator and bake at 350F until warmed through.

What vegetables can be added to meatloaf?

Vegetables such as carrots, onions, celery and bell peppers can be added to meatloaf for extra flavor. You can also try adding grated zucchini or mashed sweet potatoes for a nutritious twist.

Can you make meatloaf in the slow cooker?

Yes, it is possible to make meatloaf in the slow cooker. Simply mix together all of the ingredients, shape into a loaf and place in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until cooked through.

What is the best way to reheat leftover meatloaf?

The best way to reheat leftover meatloaf is in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave, but be sure to cover the meatloaf with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out.

What makes meatloaf unhealthy?

Meatloaf can be unhealthy if it is made with too much fat or processed ingredients. When making your own meatloaf, opt for lean ground beef and omit any added sugar or high-sodium ingredients to ensure you are getting a healthy meal.

How can I add flavor to my meatloaf?

For extra flavor, try adding herbs, spices or a homemade sauce to your meatloaf. You can also mix ground pork into the beef for added richness and flavor. For a savory twist, add grated parmesan cheese and some chopped green onions.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

The secret to moist meatloaf is to not overmix the ingredients. You want the mixture to just come together and then stop mixing as soon as it does. Also, adding some vegetables such as grated carrots or mushrooms can help keep your meatloaf from drying out.

Is it better to cook meatloaf covered or uncovered?

It is best to cook your meatloaf uncovered so that the top can brown and crisp up. If you cover it with foil, the steam will cause the top of the meatloaf to become soggy instead of golden and crispy.

Why is milk added to meatloaf?

Milk is added to meatloaf to help keep the mixture moist and tender. It also helps bind the ingredients together for a delicious, well-seasoned loaf.

Do I cook rice before adding to meatloaf?

No, you do not need to cook the rice before adding it to your meatloaf mixture. Simply measure out the amount of uncooked rice that is called for in the recipe and mix it with the other ingredients. The heat from cooking will cook the rice in the oven as well.

What is the sauce on meatloaf made of?

The sauce on meatloaf is typically made from ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. This sweet and tangy topping pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of the meatloaf.

Should you cook vegetables before adding to meatloaf?

It is best to cook vegetables such as onions, garlic or peppers before adding them to your meatloaf. This helps soften the vegetables and infuse the flavors of the dish. You can also add fresh herbs like parsley or thyme to add extra flavor.

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