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Menu help - What do you serve with Mac and Cheese?

I'm organizing a dinner for some dear American friends and want to serve comfort food. Can you please tell me what do you serve with Mac and Cheese?!
Thank you!

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  1. this belongs in the home cooking board - btu i can't help replying since i love throwing mac and cheese/comfort food dinner parties.

    i like to have the theme be comfort food through out - i.e. - food that is familiar and hearty. thick soups (especially clam chowder) are good, as are traditional desserts like apple pie/ice cream, or brownies. if you're feeling up to making your own bread - something like biscuits are fun and not too time consuming

    1. I would balance that out with something light-- mac and cheese is really heavy. A fruit or garden salad, maybe?

      1. Petit peas
        sauteed haricots verts
        salad of baby greens, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and chevre, with olive oil vinaigrette

        1. I'm from the South where macaroni and cheese counts as a vegetable. :) If you want to serve meat, I would recommend serving with pork chops or oven roasted chicken along with a vegetable like green beans or broccoli. To really impress, try your hand at Southern style biscuits or homemade yeast rolls to round out the meal.

          2 Replies
          1. re: timeforgoodfood

            I served it with tender braised greens and a salad of heirloom tomatoes shallots & sherry vinegar. I think I had seeded flatbreads on the side.


            1. re: LiveRock

              If only heirlooms were in season, that would be perfect. I thought about tomatoes too, but then realized it is February. Love the braised greens.

          2. Ham! I love ham with mac and cheese. And broccoli. But if it was for a big group, I would do ham and a salad since it's easier.

            2 Replies
              1. re: raclette

                That sounds perfect. The ham really goes with it and a green salad would lighten things up.

              2. If you want the mac and cheese to be the main, I would serve tomato and onion salad and if you want to be Southern, the dessert should be cake, like a coconut layer cake or a pound cake with ice cream. If the mac and cheese is a side, grilled pork chops, chicken, meatloaf, any homey meat is good. Up north, mac and cheese is a main, in the south, it's a side. Plus, how many people are you having. You can always bake a ham.

                1. Forogt, don't forget soft homey rolls

                  1. Broccoli. Broccoli. More broccoli.

                    1. Growing up in the Midwest, my mother always served succotash (corn and lima beans) with mac and cheese. Depending on your friends' tastes, that could be an easy and adaptable side dish.

                      1 Reply
                      1. Mac and cheese is a different dish depending on where in the country your friends are from. In New England, my family serves mac and cheese as a side dish to a cob-smoked ham along with some green peas or brussel sprouts. My husband, raised in the deep South, thinks mac and cheese accompanies BBQ, mustard rub, along with some baked beans. In Montana, people served hamburgers with mac and cheese.

                        So this is a really large country, and what comforts people in one area, might not comfort someone in another part.

                        So, where are they from in culinary terms?

                          1. Looks like it's not a simple question. Maybe you can switch to pot roast.

                            1. When I first saw this I assumed you lived overseas but it appears that you live in DC. So it makes me curious why you would want to serve "comfort food" if they're right in the midst of it. But perhaps you aren't in the US?

                              1. Thank you everyone! I truly appreciate your suggestions. My husband is a southern boy and he told me about pork chops with Mac and Cheese. I have to confess that I also love the ham idea.
                                Oliver - I am in DC, but I am a foreigner, and my friends are extremely busy professionals who do not cook and often times talk about how much they love American comfort food, this is why I want to honor their wish. The guest (about 10) are mostly from the East coast, 3 foreigner and the guests of honor are from NY!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: LPGourmet

                                  Oh, now you are in my husband's wheelhouse..... find some really nice bone-in pork chops. Salt and pepper the chops and let them come to room temperature in some paper towels. Heat about an inch of peanut oil in a cast iron skillet, to about 325º or 350º. Dredge the chops in plain flour and fry. This meal gets served, in his perfect world, with lima beans in addition to the mac/cheese.

                                  For dessert, a fruit cobbler. Peaches if you can find some flash frozen would be the preference around here.

                                  1. re: LPGourmet

                                    Aha! The rest of the story :) Guests of honor from NY. How about bagels ordered from H&H with lox etc.

                                  2. I am surprised no one has mentioned my idea of quintessential comfort food: mashed potatoes! (Maybe I overlooked it.)

                                    Also meat loaf. Fried chicken. Beans and cornbread. Apple pie. Cherry pie. Chocolate layer cake with fudge icing. Homemade ice cream.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: laredo

                                      waaaait.... mashed potatoes WITH mac and cheese?? eek, that's carby!

                                    2. As others have said, if mac-n-cheese is not the main, a nice pork chop or even some sliced pork tenderloin. and how about brussel sprouts on the side?

                                      1. Fried Chicken or Pork Chops.....
                                        Rice & Gravy ( Are you sure everyone likes Max & Cheese?)
                                        Purple Hull Peas or Butter Beans.....
                                        Boiled Okra or Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens....
                                        Corn Bread....
                                        (Mac & Cheese)
                                        Banana Pudding or Peach Cobbler/Nilla Ice Cream

                                        1. Ketchup. I know, I know, it sounds disgusting to me too. But that's what my young nephew and niece would say...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                            I am salivating already! Thanks everyone! I'll let you know of my final menu!

                                          2. if i am eating mac and cheese..either from the box or homemade ..then i just have the mac and cheese..sometimes adding hot dogs or ham cubes or sometimes spam..then its just by itself..
                                            nothing else...

                                            otherwise its a side dish for any number of things...
                                            fried chicken,ribs,pork chops most any meat ...

                                            1. Roast chicken w/ lemon and garlic cloves
                                              Stewed tomatoes w/ croutons (aka scalloped tomatoes)
                                              Broccoli - steamed or sauteed until just tender....
                                              Your mac and cheese

                                              1. balance it out with something light like a salad or roasted broccoli.

                                                  1. Just by coincidence, I had to make dinner tonight (i.e. clean out the icebox mode). Came up with leftover wild salmon, mac&cheese, corn plus beet,lettuce&walnut salad with russian dressing.