Mac and Cheese is an extremely popular and splendidly creamy pasta dish that oozes a mixture of gooey cheese within layers of soft and chewy macaroni. Many claim it to be the ultimate comfort food, and why not? It checks all the features to be on top of the list; cheesy, creamy, and deliciously satisfying!
But even a wholesome dish like this can get a little lonely at the dinner table – it needs a bit of company to feature a complete meal.
What Can Go With Mac and Cheese?
When planning on what to serve with Mac and Cheese, you’ll want to select food items that contrast its already rich and creamy flavors. Also, look for colors that complement the classic yellow-orange shade so that your flavor combinations are vibrant and exciting.
The best side dishes can be as simple as sliced apples, carrot sticks, a light-bagged salad, and even a bag of frozen vegetables! But if you want to get a little more creative and have some time on your hands, you can make this dish feel more like a complete meal by pairing it up with a vegetable or protein side dish.
Sides that Pair Deliciously with Mac and Cheese
Fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood; anything and everything works amazingly with Mac and Cheese if you have the right technique and ingredients! Here are our favorite picks.
It goes perfectly with sweet and spicy meatballs! Serve BBQ meatballs in tangy sauce, or go for the traditional ones with marinara – it doesn’t get any better than this!
- ½ cup Breadcrumbs. (fine, dry)
- ½ cup Milk.
- 1 large Egg.
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese. (grated)
- ¼ cup Parsley Leaves. (fresh, finely chopped)
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt.
- Black pepper. (freshly ground)
- 1 pound Ground Meat. (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, veal, or a mix)
- ½ cup Onion. (finely chopped or largely grated)
- 1 clove Garlic. (minced)
- Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl so that they turn soggy. Set to one side as you prepare the remaining meatball mixture.
- Whisk an egg and add salt, parsley, parmesan, and a good quantity of black pepper.
- Add ground meat to this mixture and mix thoroughly using your hands.
- Add soaked breadcrumbs, garlic, and onions. Mix thoroughly as you pinch the mixture between your fingers.
- Form regular evenly-sized meatballs by taking about 2 tablespoons of meat and rolling it between your hands.
- Option 1: Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and place them in the oven to broil for about 20 to 25 minutes or roast for 25 to 30 minutes at400°F. The meatballs will be done when the outsides are brown and at 165°F in the center.
- Option 2: Simmer some marinara or other pasta sauce and add the meatballs to it (4-5 at a time to cook comfortably). Cover and let them cook for at least 30 to 35 minutes. The meatballs will be done when the outsides are brown, ad at 165°Fin the center.
- You can double this recipe for larger crowds.
- Make sure you don’t overcook the meat; otherwise, the meatballs will become hard and dry.
- Store leftover meatballs (separately or in sauce) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Before serving, simply reheat in a saucepan over a low flame or in the microwave.
Why not serve this wholesome dish with green vegetables to complement its richness and cheesy goodness?
- 1 head Broccoli. (approx. ½ lb.)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil.
- Coarse Salt. (to taste)
- Black Pepper. (coarsely ground, to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 425 °F.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the broccoli to remove all grit and dirt. DON’T skip the drying part! You may use a salad spinner or simply shake all the water and pat dry with a towel.
- Cut the dried broccoli into medium-sized spears. Coat generously with olive oil.
- Layout the broccoli onto a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
- Bake each side for 10 minutes.
- To make sure the broccoli remains crispy, ensure the oven is preheated to the correct temperature, and the broccoli is thoroughly dry.
- You may substitute olive oil with avocado, vegetable, or grapeseed oil.
- Garnish with some lemon juice/lemon zest or grated parmesan cheese.
Some More Recipes for You to Try!
Looking for some more ideas? Why not try these delicious combinations and give us a shout-out in the comments section!
- Dash Diet Salmon
- Dr. Eric Berg Kale Shake Recipe
- Pampered Chef Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe
- Panera Quinoa Salad Recipe
- Pan-Baked Lemon-Almond Tart Recipe as a dessert combo!
I am a yogi with a smoldering passion for nutrition and healthy living. I have been a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach for over 11 years and now I want to help you. My mission is to inspire as many people as I can to expand their awareness and broaden their horizons by giving a voice to the choices that create abundant, radiant health. Here I share deliciously simple plant-based recipes, nutrition resources, detox tips, and a glimpse into my whole lifestyle.