Whether you’ve DIYed mac and cheese or simply popped some in the microwave (hey, no judgment), you’ve committed to something gloriously cheesy for dinner. But to round out your indulgent entrée, you’ll need a side dish or two to play supporting roles. Wondering what goes with mac and cheese? From tangy coleslaw to sheet-pan chicken meatballs, here are 32 sides that will transform it into a full meal.
1. Spicy Broccoli Sauté
A spicy, crunchy vegetable side is a welcome accompaniment to all that gooey cheese.
2. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
No one will mind if these balsamic-laced vegetables mingle with the macaroni entrée.
3. Strawberry, Basil and Arugula Salad with Lots of Black Pepper
The strawberries are macerated in vinegar and honey beforehand, so the dressing practically makes itself.
4. Baby Vegetables with Orange and Thyme
Since this side dish is cooked in a parchment parcel (aka en papillote), there’s almost no cleanup.
5. Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs
Take it a step further and serve the meatballs on top of the mac and cheese. (You’re welcome.)
6. Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw
It’s creamy, crisp and vegan-optional.
7. Cherry Tomato Galette with Garlic and Herbs
Slice it into strips then watch it disappear in a flash.
8. Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
These are a few of our favorite things.
9. Strawberry Cobb Salad with Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
Lettuce is great, but we’re really here for the toppings.
10. Keto Guacamole Burger Bites
Finger foods always have the edge—it’s just a fact.
11. Korean-Style Popcorn Cauliflower
These sweet and tangy flavors pair deliciously with gooey mac and cheese.
12. Zucchini & Tomato Ragù
It’s saucy, savory and ready to eat in just 20 minutes. (Plus, it’s an excellent way to use up zucchini.)
13. 15-Minute Skillet Pepper Steak
Meat, vegetables and pasta? That’s what we call balanced.
14. Family Style Chicken Caesar Salad
Cheesy mac and crisp salad are a match made in heaven.
15. Lemon-Tahini Salad with Lentils, Beets and Carrots
Psst: To shortcut this salad, seek out vacuum-packed cooked beets at the supermarket.
16. Brussels Sprouts Latkes
You’ll need something crispy to go with all that creamy.
17. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers
We can’t get over these cuties. The pepper boats are optional but highly encouraged.
18. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa
It’s ready in just 30 minutes.
19. Swedish ‘Pizzasallad’ Cabbage Slaw
This sharp, vinegary dressing was literally created to complement melty cheese.
20. Delicata Squash Agrodolce
We love a good high-low pairing, not to mention the sweet-savory combination of winter squash and macaroni.
21. Sheet-Pan Chicken and Rainbow Vegetables
Not today, dishes.
22. Easy Zucchini Chips
Potato chips won’t know what’s coming.
23. One-Pan Eggs with Asparagus and Tomatoes
It’s impossibly easy and adds a boost of protein to your pasta dinner.
24. Light and Tangy Coleslaw
We love pairing pasta with something crunchy.
25. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sriracha and Lime
We love the combination of sweet, spicy and sour.
26. The Best Damn Tomato Soup
Tomatoes and cheese are a natural duo.
27. Asparagus Caesar Salad
FYI, you can totally make it in advance.
28. Chilled Cucumber Salad
We love no-cook recipes.
29. Beef Empanadas
Bonus: They can be frozen for three months.
30. Crispy Mushrooms
Cremini + garlic + salt + vinegar = bliss.
31. Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
You can’t go wrong with something spicy and sautéed.
32. Coconut Creamed Spinach
Even the kids will want seconds of this easy, saucy side.