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 Healthy Meatloaf Sides
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.
Candied Brussels Sprouts
Their caramelized flavor, enhanced with maple syrup and bacon, provides a delicious pairing with the savory meatloaf.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
Butternut Squash Salad
There’s no such thing as a perfect side dish when it comes to meatloaf, but this one is pretty close.
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.
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.
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.
- My Lipton meatloaf recipe: this ground beef meatloaf makes a delicious, succulent meatloaf in record time. Nobody will know your secret ingredient.
- The ultimate meatloaf recipe: If you are nervous about making meatloaf, this is the recipe for you. It’s so flavorful and moist, everyone will rave.
- Easy meatloaf glaze : This super simple glaze is the only one you’ll ever need.
- For a classic sauce try my meatloaf with brown gravy.
- Here’s my meatloaf temperature guide to help you get top results.
- Here’s my article on what to serve with meatloaf that includes more hearty, stick-to-the-ribs ideas.
35+ Amazing Healthy Sides for Meatloaf (Easy and Delicious!)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Pick your favorite healthy sides from the collection above, and enjoy a satisfying, feel-good meatloaf dinner!
Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD