35+ Amazing Healthy Sides for Meatloaf (Easy and Delicious!)

These healthy sides for meatloaf will turn your meatloaf dinner into a satisfying, feel-good meal that tastes amazing and the whole family will love.

The best meatloaf, sliced on a plate with snap peas.

Move aside rice and garlic bread, here is what I suggest you serve with meatloaf, especially if you’re after a menu that is on the lighter, more nourishing side.

Pick a few (or a lot) from this list of lovely vegetables and meatloaf dinner sides. 

From the effortless to the more traditional, I’ve included 35+ of my favorite hearty-yet-nourishing side dishes for meatloaf.

Meatloaf with healthy sides.

Candied Brussels Sprouts

Add some sweetness to your meal with Candied Brussels Sprouts.

Their caramelized flavor, enhanced with maple syrup and bacon, provides a delicious pairing with the savory meatloaf.

Candied Brussels sprouts.

The Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

This recipe for my mashed potatoes is wholesome and hearty all at once.

You can make and serve mashed potatoes with white potatoes or adjust the recipe to use sweet potatoes or half cauliflower and half potatoes if you like. 

A bowl of mashed potatoes with butter.

Crispy Air Fry Eggplant

My crispy air fryer eggplant puffs are just a healthier version of classic fried eggplant cubes.

They are way lower in oil but deliver all the crispy goodness you’re after. 

Close up photo of air fryer eggplant recipe.l

Miso Carrot Mac and Cheese 

My Miso Carrot Mac and Cheese is loaded with carrots and miso for a lighter twist on good ol’ fashioned macaroni cheese.

You will love the umami-goodness in this recipe and the pretty orange color from the carrots. (Of course, if you prefer the traditional mac, try my ultra creamy cheese sauce for mac and cheese.)

Miso Carrot Mac and Cheese.

Tossed Green Salad

A simple, fresh tossed green salad with this yummy lemon dressing that I used on couscous salad can add a refreshing touch.

It’s light, crisp, and balances the richness of meatloaf perfectly and it’s such an easy side dish recipe.

Green salad.

Cucumber Salad

This Indian Cucumber Salad with yogurt dressing is good with so many dishes other than Indian food.

With just a handful of ingredients, you’ll be hooked on how easy it is to make!

Indian Cucumber Salad.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Don’t miss out on trying my delicious Instant Pot Mexican Rice.

It’s so easy, tomato-y and packed with flavor, you’ll want to eat it as a side dish to meatloaf as well as everything else.

Instant Pot Mexican Rice.

Pan-fried Asparagus

Light and elegant, pan-fried asparagus is a healthy and delicious side that complements meatloaf’s rich flavors.

This stovetop method is so simple and quick.

Pan fried asparagus.

Tomato Soup

Pair your meatloaf with a comforting bowl of the best tomato soup.

Made with milk instead of cream, the mild flavor is reminiscent the comforting canned soup of childhood. It’s so delicious and lighter than typical cream soups.

Homemade Tomato Soup in a bowl with cream and croutons

Kale Caesar Salad

A kale Caesar salad is a nutient-packed and flavorful option.

Its creamy dressing and crisp texture are a great match for meatloaf.

Kale caesar salad.

Sweet Potato Fries

Baked sweet potato fries are a colorful and healthier alternative to traditional fries.

They offer a sweet and crispy side that pairs well with meatloaf.

crispy baked yam fries with chipotle aioli.

Panzanella Salad

An Italian classic, Panzanella salad offers a mix of tomatoes and toasted bread in a zingy dressing.

It provides a light yet satisfying side dish for meatloaf.

Panzanella salad.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

For a fresh and fruity option, try a strawberry spinach salad. Its sweet and tangy flavors are a delightful complement to meatloaf.

In the winter months, swap strawberries for in-season citrus fruit or pomegranate arils.

Strawberry Spinach Salad.

Quick Roasted Veggies

Simple and healthy, a tray of roasted vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans, bell pepper, mushrooms or a mix provides a nutritious and colorful addition to your meatloaf meal.

Just lightly coat with oil, sprinkle with salt (and any other seasonings you like), and bake in a single layer at 425ºF for about 20 minutes or until tender, flipping once.

Roasted Broccoli.

Roasted Corn Off the Cob

This recipe for Mexican Roasted Corn off the Cob is also known as Elotes Salad, Mexican Street Corn Salad, Mexican Corn in a Cup, or Esquites.

It brings all the flavors of classic grilled Mexican street corn into a convenient and delicious salad form.

Mexican roasted corn off the cob.

Zucchini and Mushroom Side 

This tasty side is flavored with garlic and herbs. It’s lighter than the usual creamy mushrooms served alongside meatloaf but just as delicious. 

You can grab this recipe off Diethood. 

Healthy Meatloaf side with mushrooms.

Crispy Zucchini Fritters

These zucchini fritters deliver the same crunch as crispy potatoes (without being potatoes).

They are a veggie-packed, tasty side for meatloaf.

These oven baked, crispy Zucchini Fritters recipe are so quick to make and make a great savoury breakfast or a delicious party appetizer! Made with bread crumbs, they're the perfect zucchini recipe for leftover summer squash and so easy to make!

Crunchy Green Beans with Almonds

I struggle to imagine serving meatloaf without a side of bright green beans. This recipe gets topped with toasty almonds for an extra (classic) crunch. 

Grab this recipe from Fool Living Proof. 

healthy green beans.

Chili Garlic Broccoli

These sassy broccoli florets get topped with chili flakes for a little kick. Despite their flavor, they are light and healthy and the perfect side to meatloaf. 

This quick and spicy recipe from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen has got to be one of my favorite healthy side dish veggie ideas. Free from butter and cream, it’s all goodness and wellness.

healthy broccoli.

Roasted Cauliflower Florets

Following on from the chili garlic broccoli recipe – There is nothing pale or pasty about these crispy cauliflower florets. You will love their golden color and wonderful texture. 

I found this wonderful recipe on The Guccha for you to try. 

Healthy cauliflower.

Maple Roasted Carrots with Cranberries 

I love finding new ways to make and serve carrots – this recipe is Holiday-ready and smothered in maple syrup and cranberries. Keep your carrot tops on for a gourmet look as they come out of the oven. 

This pretty dish comes from Lazy Cat Kitchen.

carrot side for meatloaf.

Grilled Peppers with burrata

These peppers have that wonderful charred look on the edges . I love the rustic crunchy bread and pulled burrata cheese – a total showstopper. 

Grab the recipe off How Sweet Eats. It looks so good!

healthy side for meatloaf.

Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms 

This vegan mushroom side is a crowd-pleaser and real comfort food – gluten-free, vegan, and oil-free. They are full of savory flavors like garlic, onion, and walnuts. These make a lovely main course for vegetarians or vegans and, of course, as a healthy side to your meatloaf. 

This simple recipe from At Elizabeth’s Table is perfect. 

heathy meatloaf side.

Swiss Chard with Peas 

This healthy side has a wonderful texture and adds loads of color to your table. It’s one of the best side dishes if you’re looking for a warm, sauteed green side. 

You can find this recipe on Jernej Kitchen’s lovely blog.

Lightened-up Creamed Spinach

I could eat a whole bowl of creamed spinach. This recipe is a must for those who love the creamy texture of creamed spinach but want a healthier, lighter version. 

This easy recipe from Sinful Nutrition is delicious and a great side dish to try. 

Spice Roasted Parsnips

Parsnips are the best alternative to carrots, in my opinion. I recommend trying them as a meatloaf side dish. They come out golden brown and have a great texture. I love these as a healthy alternative to sweet potato fries.

This delicious and lightly spiced recipe is from Cooked and Loved. 

healthy meatloaf side.

Beets and Sweets Gratin 

This is such a pretty pan of veggies – I love the look of this rainbow spiral of beets and other earthy veggies. The flavors are lovely and simple in this dish, but you could add parmesan cheese, spices, etc. if you wanted to.

Here is a great recipe from Imperfect Foods for you to try out. 

healthy meatloaf side.

Tomato and Oregano Potato Bake 

This healthy tomato and oregano potato kale is a delicious side dish that is on the lighter side. I love this as an alternative to a heavy, creamy potato bake (which I love too, but this is a go-to when you want to create a lighter menu). 

Try this recipe from Tesco is easy and delicious. 

Chickpea Kale Salad

If you love kale, you need to try this recipe – light and lemony. I love the inclusion of tahini to flavor kale with its warming, toasty flavor. This is not a classic side dish to meatloaf, but it works really well with it.

Cabbage Slaw

Cabbage is underrated in my opinion – this slaw for fish tacos is perfect with so many dishes other than tacos and is loaded with tangy flavor.

So full of nutrients and color, you’re sure to love it.

Cabbage slaw for fish tacos.

Butternut Squash Salad

There’s no such thing as a perfect side dish when it comes to meatloaf, but this one is pretty close. 

The dried cherries and chili make a vibrant combination. Try this recipe from Eating Well if you are looking to upgrade your regular salt and pepper-seasoned butternut squash. 

healthy meatloaf side.

Vegan Polenta with Spinach and Mushrooms 

I sometimes forget about polenta as a side to meatloaf and an alternative to rich mashed potato. This is a lovely loaded polenta recipe – topped with cozy mushrooms and spinach to amp up the veggies on your menu. 

Grab the recipe from Bianca Zapatka’s blog.  

healthy meatloaf side.

Shaved Zucchini Salad

How pretty is this ribbon salad? I love a good shaved ribbon salad on the table – it just looks fresh and adds lightness to the look of the spread. 

Try this quick and simple recipe from Plays Well With Butter with pistachios and shaved parmesan!

Healthy Meatloaf zucchini side.

The Best Meatloaf Recipes

Here is a collection of my beloved meatloaf recipes and related posts to read – I love making homemade meatloaf and know you will love these recipes and guides.

Meatloaf with healthy sides.

35+ Amazing Healthy Sides for Meatloaf (Easy and Delicious!)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Side Dish
Keyword Healthy Meatloaf Side Dishes, Healthy Meatloaf Sides, Healthy Sides for Meatloaf


  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Green Beans
  • Salad


  • Pick your favorite healthy sides from the collection above, and enjoy a satisfying, feel-good meatloaf dinner!
Keyword Healthy Meatloaf Side Dishes, Healthy Meatloaf Sides, Healthy Sides for Meatloaf

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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1 month ago

5 stars
Haha, you’ve put my mind at ease with all these ideas.

1 month ago

5 stars
I appreciate the variety of vegetable sides you’ve included here. It’s a great way to get more veggies into our meals. Thanks for the inspiration!

1 month ago

5 stars
These sides are a perfect match for meatloaf. I tried the polenta with spinach and mushrooms, and it was a hit. Even the kids loved it!

1 month ago

5 stars
Meatloaf is a family favorite, but I’m always looking for new sides to pair with it. These options are so creative. Thanks Jenn!

1 month ago

5 stars
This list of sides is a game-changer for serving with meatloaf. It takes the classic comfort food to the next level. Can’t wait to try these ideas!

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