It’s almost time for dinner! Are you about to pull a beautiful casserole dish out of the oven and want some ideas for what to serve with mac and cheese?
We’ve got 22 ideas for you to consider when making sides for mac and cheese. YES. And some may surprise you.
Mac and cheese, are the proverbial fan favorite.
No matter the place, the meal, the occasion, or the age of the guests.
It is deliciously ooey and gooey, well-seasoned, and with such simple ingredients is well received at parties, picnics, potlucks, game day, snack time, and every weeknight meal!
Everyone loves mac and cheese, which is often made with more than one kind of cheese.
But that can sometimes leave the chef in a dilemma over what to serve with mac and cheese.
In my mind’s eye, this is a blessing because sides for mac and cheese can run the gamut from fancy to casual, hearty to light, and traditional to whimsical!
Sometimes a satisfying protein is the perfect pairing, and sometimes a beautifully plated veggie fills the bill.
Occasionally, if the mac and cheese already have a lovely add-in, making it an all-in-one dish-type entree, a wonderful dessert can be the perfect conclusion to the meal.
If you are considering a mac and cheese bar, here is all you need to know about setting that up.
From the Famous Couples(r) handbook, the 4-ingredient, savory Stuffing-Mix Meatloaf to kid- and grownup-friendly Pigs in a Blanket all the way to #12, a slider that will make your mouth water!
Once you have pulled out your favorite mac and cheese recipe, sit back, take a deep breath, and read through these 22 ideas for what goes with mac and cheese.
When wondering what to eat with mac and cheese, these adorable finger food Cheeseburger Tots are a super cute and tasty choice!
When you pull out the mini muffin tin, you know it’s gonna be FUN!
Bake the tots a bit, press them down, fill them with beef, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup, and pickle mix, and back in the oven, they go.
Sweet and savory and perfectly pleasing!
The only kind of ribs to serve are the ones that fall off the bone so that criteria brings this next option to the table for what to serve with mac and cheese!
The magic is in the lower temperature with a longer baking time.
Bonus since these can be made any time of year.
Start those ribs three and a half hours before you want to serve dinner.
Continuing on the heartier sides for mac and cheese list, I present an outstanding 4-ingredient recipe for meatloaf.
Yes, I know your mom probably made them often, but seriously, this dish should not be left for only older generations to enjoy!
It is so yummy and satisfying!
Flexible use of meat and a premade stuffing mix make an easy, tasty meatloaf!
A sandwich is an outstanding choice when considering what goes with mac and cheese!
How about a delicious, messy, tangy, savory sloppy joe?
A full recipe for the sauce is included, and we all know homemade is always better than store-bought.
There are also several bread options given when looking for something different than a bun.
Meatballs can indeed be served as sides for mac and cheese.
The trick is to pick a recipe that focuses on the meatball since it has to carry itself on taste alone and not rely on the pasta.
This recipe combines different meats with excellent seasonings and a unique liquid addition!
A zippy salad option for what to serve with mac and cheese is yet another picnic favorite, coleslaw!
The colors and texture combination are a win.
Talk about QUICK!
Shred the cabbage and carrots, make the dressing, combine and chill!
Oh, and that crunch!
What goes with mac and cheese?
More cheese, of course! But also, veggies absolutely do, too!
Served up as a side on the plate or even mixed right on in!
Broccoli is a typical crowd-pleasing veggie, and this easy preparation will have folks coming back for seconds!
Olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and freshly grated parmesan cheese dress up this broccoli for success!
8. Tossed Salad
Looking for what to eat with mac and cheese and want something lighter?
Consider this flavorful Tossed Salad!
Crispy, crunchy, and fresh taste balance the cheesy, savory mac and cheese.
Additionally, the combo makes a colorful presentation!
Salads are wide open to personalizing ingredients and flavors.
When time is of the essence, and you can’t decide what to serve with mac and cheese, pigs in a blanket are on their way to your rescue.
All that is needed is refrigerated crescent rolls, little smokies, and cooking spray.
Honestly, it is their cuteness that wins me over here.
Which also tells me they will be consumed just as quickly as mac and cheese.
If it is a cold night and you want a double dose of comfort, your sides for mac and cheese options might include chili!
A piping hot bowl of satisfying chili!
This recipe is straightforward and only needs 30 minutes to simmer.
If you don’t want beans, just leave ‘em out and substitute in riced cauliflower.
Pasta and soup, a winning winter’s night menu!
Okay, I know.
This post is about what to eat with mac and cheese, but I am going out on a bit of a limb here and assuming some protein or veggies are already involved, so I am moving on to dessert.
Come on, don’t brownie cookie ice cream sandwiches sound like exactly something a meal that includes mac and cheese should be finished with?
See what I’m saying?
Homemade, decadent cookies with ice cream filling that have been frozen and then dipped in melted chocolate chips are exactly how I want every summer night to end!
What goes with mac and cheese better than a tasty morsel of a sweet slider?
Perhaps a maple bacon Hawaiin roll turkey slider, to be specific!
It’s got a little bit of everything from cheese, to salt, to sweet, to smoky, to turkey, to BACON all inside a Hawaiian roll.
There is absolutely nothing that could go wrong here.
Sweet potatoes might not be the first side that comes to mind when thinking about what to eat with mac and cheese, but this roasted diced sweet potato recipe just might have you thinking otherwise!
Dicing them, followed by tossing them in olive oil, parmesan cheese, melted butter, garlic, salt, and Italian seasoning, is all the work that is required.
Then just bake and stir!
You might need a fork.
If fresh green beans are more your jam, that is a super idea for what to serve with mac and cheese.
They are already bright and colorful, so all that’s needed is a touch of seasoning!
Four minutes plus some olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and a bit of water will take these beauties from raw to ready.
Sides for mac and cheese abound, and now we are cooking asparagus!
In the air fryer!
Adding olive oil, garlic powder, minced garlic, salt, and lemon juice before air frying is the magic!
A few minutes later, you will be serving up a healthy veggie everyone will give a try!
16. Sauteed Spinach
Sauteed Spinach may go with mac and cheese for the grown-up crowd you serve.
Starting with baby spinach is key, and then add olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
Super quick and super simple, and super colorful!
I might be tempted to sprinkle bacon pieces on top.
Who’s with me?
I will pull apart this last recipe a bit and encourage you to prepare only the teriyaki chicken portion.
Then add it as the sweet and sour side for what to eat with mac and cheese.
Together on one plate, these complement each other beautifully in tastes and textures!
18. Sauteed Broccoli
Though it’s quite simple, this side dish can take your mac and cheese to new heights!
This sauteed broccoli takes 15 minutes from start to finish using only olive oil and salt.
Add more flavors by sauteing garlic with broccoli, additional herbs, and spices.
19. Caesar Salad
If you hate the idea of adding anchovies and raw eggs, then our version of Caesar Salad is for you!
The recipe calls for romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons, egg-free mayo, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and garlic.
The key to this recipe is to refrigerate the salad before serving it.
Make the salad at least 2 hours in advance, so you have enough time for the flavors to meld.
You shouldn’t miss this Apple Carrot Slaw–you’ll love its sweet and tangy crunch balance!
Be creative! Tweak the recipe by adding other ingredients; putting sour cream into the slaw incorporates a wonderful creamy tang–yum!
21. Cobb Salad
This recipe includes crispy bacon, nice-salty blue cheese crumbles, creamy avocado, juicy chicken breast, and a simple dressing.
Truly hearty and filling, this salad starts by cooking the bacon, eggs, and chicken.
Using the freshest ingredients possible is also recommended, as it makes a big difference, flavor-wise.
22. Apple Salad
Here’s another side dish that’s perfect for your mac and cheese–Apple Salad!
The combination of candied pecans, red onions, pomegranate seeds, gorgonzola cheese, pumpkin seeds, and apples blends well with creamy mac and cheese.
Pro tip: Don’t add any vinaigrette to the mix until you’re ready to serve the recipe.
The bottom line
Mac and cheese is the quintessential comfort food!
When deciding what to eat with mac and cheese, everything can inspire you.
Consider the season, the meal, and the guests; you will have selected the perfect addition to the meal in no time.
- Cheeseburger Tots
- Oven BBQ Baked Ribs
- Stuffing Mix Meatloaf
- Authentic Sloppy Joes
- Meatball Recipe (Baked Or Fried)
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Tossed Salad
- Pigs In A Blanket
- Ground Beef Chili
- Brownie Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Maple Bacon Hawaiian Roll Turkey Sliders
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Skillet Green Beans
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Sauteed Spinach
- Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl
- Sauteed Broccoli
- Caesar Salad
- Apple Carrot Slaw
- Cobb Salad
- Apple Salad
- Choose one or more options for What To Serve With Mac And Cheese here!
- Create your new favorite dish.
- Pat yourself on the back for making food at home for you to enjoy!
- Share and comment! Did you make any tweaks, so it’s all your own?
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