What goes with mac and cheese? Try these best sides to serve with it: green salads, sautéed vegetables, and zingy coleslaw make it a meal.
Looking for what to serve with mac and cheese to make it a meal? Ooey, gooey mac and cheese is the perfect comfort food. But making it into a meal can be tricky. You’ll need contrasting flavors, textures, and ingredients to balance out all that richness. And don’t forget about color! There’s nothing worse than a plate of yellow and beige. (Pretty please do not accessorize with cornbread and mashed potatoes.)
What goes with mac and cheese? There are crisp green salads that go with anything (feel free to use with lasagna or salmon, too). We’ve got crisp tender steamed green veggies that are flavored to perfection. Even zingy coleslaw is the perfect fit with a cheesy plate of pasta. Ready for those recipes?
Top recipes for what to serve with mac and cheese!
First up in our what to serve with mac and cheese: something that goes with anything. Meet our "Goes with Anything" salad! Crisp veggies the perfect pair against the rich cheese. This salad features a rainbow of veggies: radishes, carrots, red and green onion, and tangy jarred pepperoncini. The salad dressing is customizable: here we'd recommend Healthy Ranch, Best Balsamic Vinaigrette, Easy Honey Mustard, or Homemade Caesar.
Another great side to serve with mac and cheese: green veggies! This broccoli is seriously quick to whip up: it takes only 10 minutes total and it comes out bright green and crisp tender. Mix with olive oil, red onion and feta cheese (or skip the cheese if you don't want a cheese overload). Or try our Sauteed Broccoli or Roasted Broccoli methods!
More green veggies to serve with mac and cheese: these lemony green beans! The bright, zesty lemon is a fantastic contrast to rich cheese. These bright green beans also take about 10 minutes to make and are a beautiful pair to pasta of any kind.
Here’s a refreshingly simple side to go with mac and cheese that’s just begging to jump on your table: citrus salad! It stars all the beautiful, vibrant citrus: tangy grapefruit, navel oranges, and sweet blood oranges. They’re drizzled with a zingy dressing, then topped crushed pistachios and fresh mint. The juicy citrus pairs well with the richness of the pasta.
What to serve with mac and cheese to add back some nutrients and fiber? This sauteed spinach, which actually does taste amazing! Scented with garlic, it's wilted until bright green in a bit of olive oil. Then it's finished off with lemon juice to give it a brightness. The flavor is fresh and vibrant, not lifeless and mushy as you might expect! It tastes so good, you'll find yourself sneaking seconds.
Can you serve coleslaw with mac and cheese? You bet. This refreshing, crunchy colelsaw is covered in a tangy creamy dressing that has a healthy spin. This recipe is totally balanced in sweet and savory flavors, and there's less mayo than most coleslaw recipes. Even better: it's sweetened with a touch of maple syrup instead of a load of refined sugar.
See also: Easy Vinegar Coleslaw or Mexican Coleslaw
Back to the green vegetables: this kale salad really is the best! Dark green Tuscan kale is covered in a tangy, Italian-style lemon and garlic dressing that is out of this world good! It's flavored with a little Parmesan cheese for savory element. The zesty flavor is a fantastic contrast with gooey pasta.
These Brussels sprouts take no time at all to make, and come out bright green and crisp tender! You'll need a pressure cooker for this one, which is perfect for making a side while you have the stovetop or oven busy with mac and cheese. Mixed with a hint of butter, chives, and Parmesan cheese, they’re super flavorful and a healthy side to serve with mac and cheese.
This spinach apple salad is so simple to make, no one will believe it took minutes to put together. Even better, the crisp apple and juicy pear pair perfectly with rich pasta. Our best balsamic vinaigrette covers it in tangy sweet goodness, and the best part? Maple-glazed walnuts or pecans! Just a few minutes in a hot skillet with maple syrup makes the nuts come out shiny and lightly sweet.
And last up in what to serve with mac and cheese: radish chopped salad! This springy salad features radishes, crisp romaine and shredded green cabbage. It's jumbled with gorgonzola crumbles and a creamy Blue Cheese Dressing. Not a blue cheese fan? No problem. Omit the crumbles and top with Creamy Pesto Healthy Salad Dressing.
What Goes With Mac and Cheese: Easy Green Salad & More Sides!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
What goes with mac and cheese? This “Goes with Anything” green salad recipe is totally versatile, featuring colorful veggies, crunchy homemade croutons, and a variety of salad dressing options.
- 1/2 recipe Homemade Croutons (optional)
- 1 romaine heart (3 cups chopped)
- 5 cups mixed greens
- 1/4 small red onion
- 1 to 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cucumber (1 cup peeled and chopped)
- 1 carrot (shredded)
- 4 radishes (thinly sliced and halved)
- ¼ cup pepperoncini
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- Sea salt, for garnish
- Salad dressing: Homemade Ranch Dressing, Best Balsamic Vinaigrette, Italian Dressing, or Honey Mustard Dressing
- If using, make the Homemade Croutons.
- Wash and chop the romaine. If necessary, wash the mixed greens. (You can use any mix of greens here; measure about 2 cups of greens per serving.)
- Thinly slice the red onion. Thinly slice the green onion.
- Peel and chop the cucumber.
- Shred the carrot (we used this Handheld Julienne Shredder).
- Thinly slice and half the radishes.
- Make the dressing: Homemade Ranch Dressing, Best Balsamic Vinaigrette, Italian Dressing, or Honey Mustard Dressing.
- Toss together the greens, red onion, green onion, cucumber, carrot, radishes, and pepperoncini. Top with sunflower seeds and croutons, and drizzle with dressing.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: What to Serve with Mac and Cheese, Salad Recipe, Green Salad
Some favorite mac and cheese recipes
Wait, you want mac and cheese too? (We’re so glad you asked.) Here are all our favorite mac and cheese recipes:
- Homemade Mac and Cheese The classic! Gooey and cheesy, cooking this ultimate comfort food from scratch and it’s better than any you’ve ever had.
- Pesto Havarti Mac and Cheese Swirling basil pesto into mac and cheese is a stroke of genius! The sauce uses creamy havarti cheese.
- Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli Opt for lighter with less cheese and broccoli!
- Best Gouda Mac and Cheese This one is rich and creamy, and makes a huge 9 x 13″ pan for entertaining.
- White Cheddar Mac and Cheese Full of flavor, this creamy white cheddar mac and cheese features roasted tomatoes as a tangy balance.
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Cozy and cheesy: the ultimate comfort food! It’s fast and easy to whip up in a pressure cooker.
- Creamy Mac and Cheese with Greek Yogurt This virtuous mac and cheese is swirled with Greek yogurt and spinach, but tastes anything but healthy.
More sides to go with…
We love helping you find great recipes to pair with main dishes! Here are a few more recipe collections:
Thankyou, this is of great help. God bless you.