There are many amazing ways to prepare spuds, but mashed potatoes are a classic for a reason!
Mashed potatoes are fluffy, creamy, and super comforting. They’re great plain, but even better with your favorite toppings and flavorings added in.
However, what really makes this carby side shine is pairing it with the perfect main! That’s why for this article, I’ve compiled all of my go-to recipes for serving with mashed potatoes, including:
Plus some sauces for when you really want to go the extra mile. Let’s dive in!
This short ribs recipe is everything you’re looking for in a beef dish. It’s tender, falling off the bone, and saturated with amazing hearty flavors.
To get the meat to this ideal texture, you do need to get started on this recipe early.
However, it’s the perfect meal to prepare in the morning and then come home to a scrumptious and quick-to-serve dinner in the evening!
When making this dish, you will first brown the short ribs and briefly cook the onions and garlic to soften before adding all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and leaving for six to eight hours.
Once it’s thoroughly cooked, strain the cooking liquid out, and add in a cornstarch slurry while heating to make your gravy. Then, get ready to eat!
This roasted chicken recipe is bursting with spicy, savory flavor, and has the perfect crispy skin and firm meat.
As a fan of hot food, I usually max out the chilies in this dish, but the recipe is very easy to adjust if you prefer things on the milder side.
This dish uses harissa made from scratch, but it’s shockingly easy and so much nicer than store-bought (not to mention cheaper.)
You simply broil halved and deseeded red bell peppers, garlic cloves, and lemon until charred, then sprinkle with toasted spices.
Rehydrate dried chilies, then combine with your other veggies and chickpeas in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Once you’ve made your harissa, coat your whole chicken in it and marinade for twelve to twenty-four hours!
When you’re ready to eat, roast your chicken at 350ºF for an hour and fifteen minutes and serve garnished with diced bell pepper and parsley.
This recipe makes the most juicy and succulent roast beef, and it only takes forty-five minutes in the oven!
It’s the perfect choice when you’re craving a hearty, tender, meaty main, but don’t want to spend all day on it.
To make this simple and delicious dinner, first tie off your roast in one-inch increments with kitchen string, to add thickness and create that classic checkered texture.
Then, rub all over with oil, rosemary, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and bake at 450ºF for fifteen minutes before reducing the temperature to 250ºF and leaving for another twenty-eight to thirty minutes (depending on how rare you like your roast!).
While the roast is resting, make a simple gravy by deglazing the roasting pan with red wine over medium heat and adding in beef broth, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, butter, and a cornstarch slurry.
Slice the roast very thinly, slather in gravy, and dig in!
Salisbury steaks get a bit of a bad wrap from their prevalence in T.V. dinners and other frozen meals. However, when you make them from scratch, they’re comforting, flavorful, and a treat any night!
To make Salisbury steaks, you just mix together ground beef, panko crumbs, an egg, ketchup, mustard, oregano, and salt, and form patties with your hands.
Cook the steaks in oil in a large skillet for about three minutes on each side until a brown crust has formed, then place aside to rest.
Following that, make a simple mushroom gravy in the same pan, and serve the steaks over mashed potatoes with the gravy on top!
This meatloaf recipe is tender and moist, with the best sweet, tangy, sticky glaze.
It took me a long time to find a meatloaf recipe that I actually liked, but this one really takes the cake.
To make this meatloaf, you only need an hour and some common ingredients.
First, combine your ground beef, onion, egg, garlic cloves, ketchup, parsley, breadcrumbs, milk, and seasonings in a large bowl and mix well, then press firmly into a loaf pan and bake for forty minutes.
While your loaf is in the oven, whip up your glaze, and coat the top of the meatloaf before returning it to the oven for another fifteen to twenty minutes. Then, slice and serve!
This chicken piccata is crunchy, chewy, and delightful breaded chicken breasts swimming in a tangy, satisfying lemon and butter sauce.
It’s simple to prepare, only takes half an hour, and is sure to hit the spot every time!
To make this chicken dish, first bread the chicken in flour and seasonings, then lightly fry it in butter and oil until cooked, roughly four minutes on each side.
Then, using the same pan, make your sauce of chicken stock (and/ or white wine), lemon juice, butter, and heavy cream.
Add the chicken back in until it’s thoroughly heated, then garnish with parmesan and lemon wedges and dig in!
This dish comes together in just over twenty minutes and just a handful of common ingredients. The pork chops are tender, drippingly juicy, and perfectly seasoned.
This recipe couldn’t be more simple! Just drizzle your pork chops in olive oil and sprinkle them with a spice mix, then pop them in the oven for roughly eighteen minutes (this varies based on the size of the chops, a good rule of thumb is seven minutes per half inch of thickness.)
Make sure to let the meat rest for at least five minutes, then you’re ready to serve.
This British delicacy is a classic for a reason! It’s satisfying, indulgent, and of course perfect with mashed potatoes.
To make the sausages (or bangers), heat some oil in a frying pan and cook them until browned all over and cooked through.
Then, remove them and use the same pan to make your gravy. Serve slathered in gravy on mashed potatoes with a side of peas.
Osso buco is a dish originating in Italy, of veal shanks braised with vegetables. It is often featured in fine dining, but you can also make your own at home – and it’s surprisingly easy!
Simple season and sear your veal shanks, then add them to a slow cooker along with onion, celery, carrots, garlic, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, black pepper, thyme, and rosemary.
Cook on a low heat for eight hours for maximum tenderness, though you can also cook it on a higher heat for four. Then garnish with parsley and serve!
If you’re a fan of chicken liver, this recipe is the one for you! Even if you haven’t tried it before, give it a go and you might have found a new food to love.
To prepare it, dry off your livers with a paper towel, then sprinkle with flour and saute in butter.
After it has browned, add in your mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, chile sauce, thyme, and pepper, and cook for another five minutes or so. Then, add in sour cream and more flour, bring to a boil, and serve piping hot!
These simple kebabs are savory, hearty, and the perfect addition to many meals. I love serving them with potatoes and vegetables for dinner and putting leftovers in a wrap or sandwich for lunch the next day.
This recipe is super easy to make as well, and it only takes about twenty-five minutes from start to finish!
Simply blend roughly chopped onion, fresh parsley, and fresh mint leaves in a food processor until liquid, then combine the mixture in a large bowl with ground beef and spices.
After refrigerating for twenty minutes, shape the meat into your desired shape, and grill for five minutes on each side. Then, you’re good to go!
This recipe makes the most comforting, satisfying, and flavorful beef ragu! Plus, you can make the entire thing (apart from cooking the pasta) in an Instant Pot, which saves so much time and effort on dishes!
To make your ragu, first sear your beef in oil until browned on all sides, then remove.
Add in your onions and garlic, and saute until translucent. Then, add in your beef stock, tomatoes, basil, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red, salt, tomato paste, and sugar, and cook for thirty-five minutes, plus an additional ten to release the steam.
Put the beef back in along with a cornstarch slurry, and let thicken for five to ten minutes before adding in your cooked pasta. Garnish with basil, and serve hot!
This lemon garlic butter shrimp is fresh and zesty, while still being salty and indulgent. It’s such a great seafood to serve with a creamy starch like mashed potatoes!
This recipe comes together in just twenty minutes and only uses a handful of standard ingredients.
To make it, you’ll just need to sautee your garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant (about three seconds), then add in your shrimp and cook until pink and done (which takes three to four minutes).
Finally, add in fresh lemon juice and zest, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately!
This grilled salmon is flakey, rich, and flavorful – not to mention super healthy! It’s one of my favorite simple seafood dishes, and it always leaves me feeling nourished and energetic.
It’s so quick and easy to make as well! Just coat your salmon fillets in oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for six to eight minutes.
Then, flip and grill for another two to four, or until the desired level of doneness is achieved. After letting them rest for a couple of minutes, serve with a lemon or cucumber garnish and dig in!
This easy cod recipe comes together in twenty minutes or less and is the perfect light, healthy, and delicious seafood dish!
To make it, you simply bake your seasoned cod, along with capers, fresh thyme, minced garlic, and olive oil for fifteen to seventeen minutes.
Then, rest for a handful of minutes and serve; that’s all there is to it!
There’s no reason why you can’t make lobster at home! This lobster themidor is succulent, butter, cheesy, and all-around gourmet.
It’s a little more involved than some other recipes, but the result is so worth it.
Clean and separate your lobster meat, then chop into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.
In a deep skillet, melt butter, then add in garlic and shallots and sautee until fragrant (about thirty seconds.)
Next, add in flour and whisk until thickened, then add in cognac, milk, and cream.
Take the mixture off of the heat, then add in your parmesan cheese and mustard, tarragon, parsley, and prepared lobster meat.
Finally, spoon the mixture into the clean lobster shells, sprinkle with gruyere, and broil until browned and melty. Serve immediately and enjoy!
These scallops are the perfect butter, savory, and springy bite of goodness that every meal needs.
They’re perfectly cooked and swimming in garlic butter – what could be better?
Plus, they come together in just fifteen minutes! Simply sear your seasoned scallops in oil until golden brown, roughly two to three minutes per side.
Then remove from the pan, add in garlic, lemon juice, and herbs, and saute for thirty seconds before returning the scallops to the pan. Cover in the sauce and serve!
These crispy, hearty crab cakes are an excellent meal for any occasion; they’re herby, savory, and extremely addicting!
These crab cakes come together in under half an hour (including the remoulade sauce), and they don’t require any specialized ingredients.
Simply mix together egg, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, old bay seasoning, dijon mustard, and crushed saltine crackers in a bowl, then gently fold in your crab meat.
After refrigerating, mold the mixture into patties, pop them back in the fridge for another ten to fifteen minutes, then fry in a skillet of oil for three to four minutes on each side (or until crispy and golden brown).
If you’re making your own remoulade sauce, combine mayo, lemon juice, onion, garlic, mustard, sriracha, paprika, and salt and pepper in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Then, stir in capers and serve with your crab cakes!
This delicious recipe uses fresh mussels, which are always a real treat! They’re buttery, salty, chewy, and reasonably healthy!
To make them, firstly saute your shallot in butter, then add in garlic and red pepper flakes.
After cooking for a few minutes, add in lemon juice and zest along with your cleaned mussels, wine, and chicken stock.
Cover and let steam until the mussels have opened (about three minutes), then reduce the heat and add in heavy cream salt, pepper, and parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!
If you’re after something a little more out there, try out this grilled octopus recipe. It’s a Mediterranean delight that’s hearty, chewy, bright, and zesty.
It also only uses a few common ingredients (aside from the octopus of course) and is simple to make!
First, boil your octopus to soften and cook it, which takes about forty minutes.
Then rinse it off, coat with olive oil and chopped garlic, and let rest for around an hour.
Finally, slice the tentacles and grill for about three to four minutes on each side, drizzle in olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and dig in!
This tilapia is crispy on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. It’s fragrantly spiced with a touch of heat, and the perfect meal any time!
Simply coat the tilapia filets with seasoned butter, then top with the spiced panko crumb mixture.
Heat in a butter-filled skillet until golden brown, then bake in the oven for ten to twelve minutes, or until pulling apart easily. Serve straight out of the oven and enjoy.
This indulgent salmon recipe is savory, creamy, cheesy, and jam-packed with spicy cajun flavor.
It’s a great option when you’re craving salmon, but also want a really warming and satisfying dish.
It’s not difficult to make, either! You first marinade your salmon in olive oil, lemon juice, cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper, then fry them in oil and butter.
Setting the salmon to the side, add onions to your pan and cook until softened and translucent, then add garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, cajun seasoning, and white wine to deglaze the pan.
After reducing, add in stock, heavy cream, parmesan, and spinach. When the sauce has thickened, and the salmon filets back in and enjoy!
This homemade falafel is moist, tender, perfectly seasoned, and way better than store-bought.
The falafels’ crispy exterior and tender, flavorful inside complement the creamy texture of mashed potatoes perfectly. Plus, they are quick to whip up.
While you do have to soak your dried beans, the active time in this recipe is only thirty minutes.
Once you’ve made your batter, you can shape and cook your falafel however you like! Balls and fried is one of my favorites.
This vegetarian play on beef stroganoff uses mushrooms instead, and they’re the perfect substitution.
In about 30 minutes, you can have this vegetarian side ready to spoon over your mashed potatoes.
Plus, it’s healthier and kinder on the wallet than the beef version.
I just grab whichever mushrooms look fresh at the market (mixing varieties adds a little extra flavor) then sauté them up with onions, garlic, and a few simple ingredients.
This stroganoff is hearty, earthy, “meaty”, and super warming and satisfying.
This veggie pot pie is the ultimate winter warmer, though it’s a tasty treat year-round.
This recipe swaps the usual pie crust for a homemade biscuit topping. It’s super simple, it uses just five ingredients, and you can make it ahead of time.
One of my favorite features of this recipe is that you can use whatever vegetables you like (or whatever is in season).
However, the classic combo of onion, carrot, celery, and mushroom is pretty good too.
This vegetable lasagna is so indulgent, you won’t even miss the meat!
It’s packed full of nutritious and delicious veggies, slathered in a generous amount of herbed, tangy tomato sauce, and dripping with gooey melty cheese.
The preparation takes roughly 20 minutes of prep and about 45 minutes in the oven
Just try and only have one slice!
There are many amazing ways to prepare green beans, but this recipe is my favorite at the moment.
They’re super crispy while still being tender with a sharp crunch, and the garlic saturates them with flavor.
These beans are a quick fix, especially when you’re short on time. It takes just about 10 minutes from start to finish.
Eggplant is such a delicious vegetable, but to cook it right in the oven it can take a long time.
This recipe utilizes an air fryer instead, giving you soft, flavorful, and creamy eggplant in just twenty-five minutes.
Just preheat your air fryer, lay the seasoned eggplant in, and let them cook.
Sometimes I’ll toss leftovers into a quick salad or even a hearty casserole the next day—they’re just as good!
If you’re looking for a vegan meal that’s creamy, filling, and indulgent while still being super healthy and packed with nutrients, you’re in the right place!
This French-style stewed lentil dish hits the spot every time.
So nestle those fluffy potatoes next to this stew-like lentil, maybe over some crispy toasts, and let the cozy vibes take over. It’s food that’ll make you forget the cold right outside your window.
Is there a better vegetarian dish than eggplant parmesan? If you’re a fan of comfort food like me, serve your mashed potatoes with classic eggplant parmesan.
The soft, tender, creamy eggplant layered with gooey, stringy melted cheese, and a crispy, crunchy, and salty top – there’s just nothing better.
You can also choose whether to bake or fry the breaded eggplant in this recipe, making it so versatile and convenient!
Stuffed peppers are also a classic vegetarian option! They’re stuffed with a taco-seasoned mix of beans, rice, and just the right amount of cheese – a solid pick to go alongside your creamy mash.
These peppers are inspired by Mexican cuisine, and stuffed with rice, black beans, corn, and other veggies – not to mention topped with a generous amount of pepper jack cheese.
They’re crispy, hearty, cheesy, and all-around delicious.
I love this roast vegetable dish as you can use any veggies you like or have on hand.
It’s a colorful and nutritious side that fits perfectly with the comfort of mashed potatoes.
It’s simple to prepare, looks and tastes absolutely gorgeous, and is jam-packed with nutrients!
If you’re not a fan of eggplant or green beans, swap them out. Use what you enjoy and make it your own.
If you prefer curry, this paneer tikka masala is one of the best (in my opinion).
This dish has tender chunks of marinated paneer in a spicy and creamy gravy, which adds a burst of flavor to the mellow taste of the potatoes.
For me, the best part of this recipe is the masala gravy. It’s made with a blend of onions, tomatoes, and cashews, all seasoned with garam masala and other spices. It’s moderately spicy and perfectly creamy thanks to a touch of heavy cream.
This dish isn’t the quickest to make because of the marinating and grilling. But if you’re in a hurry, you can make the gravy ahead of time and just grill the paneer when you’re ready to eat.
This gravy is super quick and easy to make, and you can make it using only beef stock.
That means you can enjoy it anytime, without needing meat drippings!
Just beef stock, butter, and a bit of flour whisked into a roux, and voilà! Quick, simple, and so tasty.
I add a hint of garlic and onion powder which adds that extra layer of flavor. If you’re looking for a special touch for your mashed potatoes, this gravy is it.
This gravy is indulgent and hearty, and adds depth and intrigue to any meal.
While I normally use drippings or lard, you can also make it with only butter if you prefer – making it vegetarian.
And get this, it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. I used to turn my nose up at mushrooms, but now they’re a staple in my kitchen, especially for this gravy.
This vegan gravy utilizes the incredibly savory and sweet flavor of caramelized onions to make it pop. It’s super rich, decent, and delicious.
The onions bring a depth of flavor that traditional drippings can only dream of.
I always make this gravy because it’s simple and quick. Just caramelize the onions beforehand, and on the day, the rest is a breeze.
Slather this over mashed potatoes and I can assure you, your taste buds will thank you.
This simple horseradish sauce comes together in a couple of minutes, and perfectly enhances any meal! It’s tangy, creamy, and delightfully herby.
Just stir sour cream, prepared horseradish, mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, black pepper, and some finely chopped chives together.
In just two minutes, you’ve got yourself a sauce that can hang out in the fridge for up to two weeks, although it’s so good, it rarely lasts that long in my house.
If you love the bold, zesty flavor of the sauce with a milder partner like mashed potatoes, try this. Spoon some on your plate next to those creamy spuds.
This aioli recipe might be the only one you’ll ever need.
By using roasted garlic, the flavor is more rich and subtly, rather than spicy, and it’s the perfect balance of creamy coolness and flavor.
One of my favorite combinations is mashed potatoes served with a hearty stew.
What To Serve With Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Rich Gravy
- Harissa Roasted Chicken
- Roast Beef Recipe with Gravy
- Easy Homemade Salisbury Steak
- Meatloaf Recipe with the Best Glaze
- Chicken Piccata with Lemon Sauce
- Juicy Baked Pork Chops
- Bangers & Mash Sausage with Onion Gravy
- Slow Cooker Osso Buco
- Chicken Liver Stroganoff
- Kofta Kebab
- Instant Pot Braised Beef Ragu
- Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Grilled Salmon
- Baked Cod with Lemon and Capers
- Classic Lobster Thermidor
- Seared Scallops with Garlic Butter
- Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
- Mussels with White Wine Garlic Sauce
- Grilled Octopus with Olive Oil and Lemon
- Panko-Crusted Tilapia
- Creamy Cajun Salmon
- Mushroom Stroganoff Vegetarian
- Biscuit Vegetable Pot Pie Casserole
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Crispy Garlic Green Beans
- Air Fryer Eggplant
- Comforting Creamy French Lentils
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- Roasted Vegetable Medley Ratatouille
- Paneer Tikka Masala
- Easy Brown Gravy no drippings
- Mushroom Gravy
- Caramelized Onion Gravy
- Horseradish Sauce
- Quick & Easy Roasted Garlic Aioli Sauce
- Pick a meaty or vegetarian side.
- Pick a sauce.
My name is Beth, Elizabeth Evelyn to be exact. A native Tennessean, I was born in the South.
I am the author behind Local Milk Blog.
Local milk is a journal devoted to home cookery, travel, family, and slow living—to being present & finding sustenance of every kind.
It’s about nesting abroad & finding the exotic in the everyday.
Most of all it’s about the perfection of imperfections and seeing the beauty of everyday, mundane life.