What to Serve with Mac and Cheese: 12 Terrific Dishes

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There’s no arguing that macaroni and cheese is a favorite in homes everywhere, but figuring out What to Serve with Mac and Cheese is a whole other story!

So, I scoured the over 300 recipes on my site to find the best main dishes, side dishes, and salads to choose from to make your mac n cheese meal one to remember. Whether you are a fan of BBQ, sloppy joes, chicken, or some tasty veggies to compliment your homemade dish, I have you covered.

a close up picture of a very creamy macaroni and cheese
Homemade Creamy Mac & Cheese recipe by Not Entirely Average

And in case you don’t have a Mac and Cheese recipe yet, may I humbly suggest giving mine a try. It boasts an incredibly creamy sauce of cheddar cheese and savory flavors. It makes use of simple ingredients and is the pinnacle of cheesy classic comfort food!

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Alright, you’ve waited long enough! Let’s dive right into these yummy side dishes for mac and cheese…

hands holding a spoon, with creamy stove top mac and cheese

What to Eat With Mac and Cheese

Meat and Protein Dishes

The question of what goes well with mac and cheese is answered daily in the American South. That’s right, because you needn’t look further than virtually every barbecue joint menu. So, it’s no surprise that these first main dishes are some of my smoky grilled favorites!

Smoked Carolina Pulled Pork

close up of a meat sandwich on a bun

The beautiful ‘bark’ or crust on the outside of a long and low smoke is both the prize and the goal of any great pitmaster. And to play off that smoky bark, a rich macaroni and melty cheese is just the side to compliment!

Perfect Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

barbecued chicken legs on a copper platter

In this method, briefly brining the drumsticks achieves a quickly cooked, fall-off-the-bone, crispy chicken skin, ultimate family barbecue favorite, the drumstick. Pair these childhood faves with a smooth and melty mac and you’ve got instant comfort on a plate. Best of all, this combination resonates with kids and adults alike!

Best Damn Wagyu Meatloaf

featured image for How To Make The Best Damn Wagyu Meatloaf

Ground beef mains paired with mac n cheese have made sense to home cooks since forever because served together, they represent a complete and full meal.

This recipe yields a single superiorly flavored 2-pound meatloaf that is wonderful pulled hot from the oven. To make it a meal, offer a quick stovetop macaroni and cheese or a baked mac to complete an otherwise classic diner menu combination.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe meat, with a griddled bun

The combination of tangy Sloppy Joe sauce paired with your best mac recipe equals a menu that’ll end up on rotation often if you have kids. It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s messy, yummy, kid-friendly perfection – all hail the Sloppy Joe!

15 Minute Honey Garlic Chicken

a platter with rice and Honey Garlic Chicken

This recipe for 15 Minute Honey Garlic Chicken is a sticky glazed masterpiece that falls on the flavor scale somewhere between the authentic Chinese dish Kung Pao and the American-originated dish we call General Tso.

To team it up with a homemade macaroni and cheese means to ramp up delish tenfold! The profile these two recipes offer when they are served side by side is unmistakably a match made in gastronomic heaven.

Master Recipe Lemon Dill Chicken Cakes

A close up of Cackalacky Chicken Cakes, with Lemon and Dill

Master Recipe Lemon & Dill Chicken Cakes are super flavorful, can be air fried or pan fried, and are incredibly moist and juicy!

They begin with canned or leftover roasted chicken and are an entirely flavorful plate of WOW served with a cheesy, creamy side like mac and cheese. Prepare for forkfuls of crunchy, creamy goodness.

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

a fully cooked and sliced bacon wrapped pork tenderloin

Follow this seven-ingredient method for the best gosh darn smoked pork loin wrapped in bacon that you’ve ever tasted, no smoker required! And because this will fool you into thinking you’re dining on authentic ‘cue, an easy mac is fitting as this is one of those tasty side dishes you’d be served in the south alongside mouthwatering barbecue and smoke.

Herb Crusted Pork with Zinfandel Sauce

Featured image for herb crusted pork loin with zinfandel wine sauce.

During prep time, the pork is rubbed with an herb-sugar-Dijon paste which forms a sweet and sticky crust while roasting. And for serving, a spiced old vine Zin is reduced to an intoxicating sauce you’ll soon not forget. Melted cheese tames the acidity of the Zinfandel in this case and also makes for a superior play on textures.

Vegetables That Go with Mac and Cheese

Prepared well, vegetable sides carry a lot of weight in that they absolutely elevate a meal! Spare no expense and buy the freshest you can afford and taste the difference.

Brown Butter Green Beans with Pecans

Brown Butter French Green Beans With Toasted Pecans

One heck of an awesome side, French style green beans together with lightly toasted sweet pecans are gently tossed in nutty and sweet brown butter may just steal the show. I personally cannot think of a more intense flavor profile than to pair melted cheese with brown butter. This is a MUST TRY.

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts With Cipollini Onions

featured image for Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Trending on almost every menu here in the south are super crispy flash fried or roasted Brussels sprouts, and they’re MIGHTY POPULAR! They are typically served up in a mini cast iron pan and go great with an ultra-rich macaron and cheese.

Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mothership’ Tomato Salad

A plate of food, with Salad and Tomato

So, we all remember Grandma offering up bowls of stewed tomatoes alongside her macaroni, yes? Well, tomato dishes have come full circle so to speak. This side dish eats like a main dish salad and can be made any time of year with fresh tomatoes sourced from your local farmers market or grocery. The tomatoes, juicy and sweet, are reminiscent of that one food group so well known to macaroni and cheese!

Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup

a white bowl, with healthy roasted tomato soup

And if cold tomatoes are not your jam, roast ’em up hot! Fresh tomatoes, root vegetables, and garden herbs mingle with warm spices and sweet honey in this creamy homemade cherry tomato soup recipe. This is as prominent alongside a good macaroni as stewed tomatoes ever were.

How about it?? I have an idea this post has given you some delicious options for what to eat with Mac and Cheese! Don’t forget to check out my Homemade Mac recipe and let me know what you think!

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