Macaroni and cheese is a staple for many families, and many food items will complement the dish. However, choosing which will work best depends on the kind of macaroni and cheese you will be serving. Homemade versions are often heavier and are better served with lighter fare, but some versions are lighter, and a heartier main course could be in order.
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Main Dishes to Accompany Macaroni and Cheese
If you are serving macaroni and cheese as a side dish, you might consider choosing to serve hamburgers, hot dogs or barbecued ribs. Meatloaf and fried chicken are also popular choices that go well with the cheesy side. Many people also enjoy cooking up their ground beef separately and then mixing it in with their macaroni and cheese. Fish is often served as a main course as well, especially if it is of the battered and fried variety.
Macaroni and Cheese as a Main Dish
When serving macaroni and cheese as a main dish, it is best to serve side dishes that are lighter, so your meal does not weigh your diners down. A salad with Italian dressing can be a desirable choice. Mixed vegetables will not only be a tasty light choice, but they will also add an appealing color to the plate. Avoid serving vegetables that are yellow like wax beans or corn for the same reason. Occasionally, the best choice is too keep it simple and just garnish the dish with some tomatoes or parsley.
Adding Vegetables to the Dish
Macaroni and cheese can be made healthier by adding vegetables to it before baking. Simply steam or stir fry your selections slightly before mixing with the dish before baking, or stir in after cooking for a looser-looking macaroni and cheese. Squash, broccoli, peas and tomatoes combine easily in this dish. Other recipes may include layering eggplant or bell peppers within the casserole. For a spicier dish, you might even consider using jalapeno or habanero peppers.
Combining Meats With Your Macaroni and Cheese
For a meaty main dish, there are several choices. As mentioned previously, you can add browned ground beef, or perhaps chopped hot dogs or any variety of sausage. Many people add chopped ham, chunks of chicken or turkey to their recipes. Seafood is also a popular choice. Add items such as chopped lobster, prawns, scallops or even crayfish along with some butter and seasoning, and your casserole will be complete. Add a side salad and you will have a satisfying meal.