When it comes to choosing sides for frozen macaroni and cheese, you can go one of two ways: cook some vegetables to serve on top of (or folded into) the macaroni, or make a fresh slaw to serve alongside it. Truthfully, sometimes I do both to satisfy everyone at the table. Here are 10 of my favorite sides that make mac and cheese a meal.
This easy side dish doubles as a macaroni mix-in. Broccoli is my 6-year-old's favorite vegetable these days, so I've got a freezer stocked full of it. Did you know you can roast broccoli straight from the freezer? Just slide it right into the oven alongside the frozen mac and cheese.
The beauty of a sheet pan side is that you can roast a little something for everyone. The kids get sweet and juicy tomatoes, and the adults can fold both the rich mushrooms and tomatoes into the creamy pasta.
These potatoes are packed with garlicky flavor, and their crisp exterior is an ideal complement to the rich mac and cheese.
Spinach cooks quickly on the stovetop, making it a smart and easy side for the nights when you want to microwave that frozen mac.
Often served as a dip, this no-cook recipe is actually the perfect make-ahead side. We love it mixed right into our bowls.
These no-cook cucumbers balance the richness of mac and cheese with their tangy, salty bite. If your kids love salt and vinegar potato chips, they will love these crisp cucumbers.
This is one of my family's favorite slaws, and it's so simple my 6-year-old often makes it. Pre-shredded carrots from the produce section make it even faster.
This creamy slaw has lots of crunch, thanks to chopped red onion and toasted nuts. It's perfect for pairing with any kind of cheesy macaroni.
The slightly sweet honey dressing makes this fruit-and-veggie slaw a true crowd-pleaser. To ensure your kids love it as much as you do, chop the cabbage into extra-thin shreds.
10. Apple-Bacon Slaw
This is everything I want in slaw served with cheesy pasta. It can be built on a base of cabbage or shaved Brussels sprouts, making it a versatile option for frozen mac and cheese night.
What is your favorite frozen macaroni and cheese partner?