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What meat goes good with cheesy potatoes?

Cheesy potatoes are a classic comfort food that can be paired with a variety of meats for a hearty and delicious meal. When choosing a meat to serve alongside cheesy potatoes, there are a few key factors to consider:


Beef is one of the most common and versatile options to pair with cheesy potatoes. The rich, beefy flavor complements the creamy, cheesy potatoes nicely. Ground beef or steak work particularly well. You could make cheesy potato casserole with ground beef mixed in or serve steak with loaded baked potatoes. Here are some specific beef dishes that pair excellently with cheesy potatoes:

  • Pot roast
  • Meatloaf
  • Hamburgers
  • Steak tips
  • Beef stew

Beef has a satisfaction factor that matches the heartiness of cheesy potatoes. The fat content in beef also helps cut through the richness of the cheese and potatoes. Leaner cuts of beef like sirloin can work too, but fattier cuts tend to taste best. Overall, beef is a foolproof choice to serve with creamy, decadent cheesy potatoes.


Like beef, pork also goes quite well with cheesy potatoes since it has a hearty, savory flavor. Pork tenderloin, chops, or roasted pork loin are all excellent options. The slight sweetness of pork contrasts nicely with cheesy potatoes. Here are some specific pork dish ideas to pair with cheesy potatoes:

  • Baked ham
  • Pulled pork
  • Sausage
  • Meatballs
  • Pork carnitas

Fattier cuts of pork like shoulder also stand up well to cheesy potatoes, but leaner cuts work fine too. The only thing to watch is to not overcook lean pork, which could dry it out too much. But properly cooked porkpaired with creamy cheesy potatoes is a delightful combination.


Chicken may not be quite as hearty as red meat, but it can still complement cheesy potatoes wonderfully. The key is to use chicken with some texture and flavor. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts tend to be too mild and get lost with cheesy potatoes. Instead, choose chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings for more flavor. Here are some excellent cheesy potato pairings:

  • Roasted chicken
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Fried chicken
  • Chicken parmesan
  • Buffalo wings

The crispy skin and juicy meat of properly cooked chicken thighs or drumsticks holds up to the creamy cheesy potatoes. And chicken wings with buffalo or barbecue sauce pairing with cheesy potatoes is a match made in comfort food heaven. The acidity and spiciness contrast the richness of the potatoes.


You may not think of fish as an obvious pairing for cheesy potatoes, but certain preparations work extremely well. The key is choosing fish with enough robust flavor to stand up to the cheesy potatoes. Oily fish that can take high heat work best. Salmon, tuna, trout, and arctic char are great choices. Here are some specific fish dishes that complement cheesy potatoes wonderfully:

  • Blackened salmon
  • Seared tuna steaks
  • Roasted whole fish
  • Fish tacos
  • Trout almondine

The char and caramelization from searing, blackening, or roasting adds a depth of flavor that pairs perfectly with creamy, cheesy potatoes. Even though fish is lighter than red meat or chicken, these preparation methods give it enough character to stand up to the potatoes. For a satisfying meal, flaky fish with a crisp outer crust along with indulgent cheesy potatoes is hard to beat.

Other Proteins

In addition to the most common meats outlined already, there are several other protein options that pair beautifully with cheesy potatoes, including:

  • Sausages – Bratwurst, Italian sausage, chorizo
  • Lamb – Chops, meatballs
  • Veal – Cutlets, schnitzel
  • Eggs – Frittatas, omelets
  • Tofu – Roasted or fried
  • Lentils – In stews or patties

Having some protein to balance out the starch and fat of cheesy potatoes is important for a well-rounded meal. The proteins mentioned here all have enough richness and flavor to complement cheesy potatoes perfectly.

Factors for Pairing Meat with Cheesy Potatoes

When considering what meat to serve with cheesy potatoes, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Flavor – Choose meat with robust, savory flavor to stand up to the cheesy potatoes. Avoid mild flavors that may get lost.
  • Fat content – Meat with moderate fat content usually pairs best to balance the richness.
  • Preparation – Meat that is caramelized, roasted, seared, or crisped on the outside provides nice textural contrast.
  • Weight – Heartier meats like beef, pork, and chicken tend to complement cheesy potatoes better than lighter proteins.
  • Accompaniments – Sauces, glazes, and spices that use acid, sweetness, or spiciness to contrast the cheese work well.

Taking these factors into account will ensure you choose a meat pairing that perfectly complements the indulgent cheesy potatoes.

Side Dishes to Serve

In addition to meat, here are some excellent vegetable side dishes that pair wonderfully with cheesy potatoes:

Side Dish Pairing Notes
Green beans The fresh, crisp green beans contrast the richness of the potatoes.
Roasted broccoli The char and deep flavor of roasted broccoli balance the creaminess.
Steamed carrots The natural sweetness offsets the saltiness of the cheese.
Garlic sautéed spinach The earthy, garlicky spinach cuts through the heavy potatoes.
Brussels sprouts The bite of brussels sprouts balances the soft potatoes.

Aside from roasted and sautéed veggies, a fresh green salad also pairs nicely with cheesy potatoes to lighten up the meal. When planning your whole plate, aim for a balance of flavors, textures, and nutrition.


Cheesy potatoes make the perfect comfort food base for a hearty meal. Pair them with beef, pork, chicken, or fish prepared with plenty of flavor and some caramelization or char. Hearty meats work best to stand up to the creamy cheesy potatoes. Roasted or sautéed vegetables like green beans, broccoli, and spinach make excellent contrasting side dishes. With the right meat and veggie pairings, cheesy potatoes can be transformed into a well-rounded, satisfying meal the whole family will love.