6 Ways to One-Up Side Dish Favorites with Cheese — Sensational Sides

Cheesy does it, cheese lovers. Instead of taking your favorite food by the block, use cheese to improve your favorite go-to side dishes.
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Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

Cheesy does it, cheese lovers. In addition to taking your favorite food by the block, don't forget that one of the most-splendid ways to use cheese is in go-to side dishes.

1. Mashed Potatoes + Cheese

Mashed potatoes are normally improved upon with a lake of gravy in the center, but they're even better than  that when a little cheese gets involved. Ina Garten stirs garlicky herb goat cheese (as well as sour cream, butter and half-and-half) into her  Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes for Food Network Magazine (pictured above). After sprinkling the creamy side with Parmesan, she sets it in the oven so it gets a nice golden-browned top. You might never take your mashed taters without cheese again.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

2. Biscuits + Cheese

The Pioneer Woman's  plain buttermilk biscuit always does the trick, but Kelsey Nixon's Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Biscuits kick it up with added goodies. Picture these meaty and cheesy biscuits slathered with butter and served beside a bowl of chili.

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

3. Veggies + Cheese

How can anyone turn down veggies when cheese enters the mix? Sunny Anderson's Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole lays on the good stuff for a creamy, comforting veggie side that comes with a satisfying base of rice.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

4. Grains + Cheese

Though you may be more accustomed to finding potatoes taken with an au gratin approach,  Cheesy Barley Gratin proves the technique is no one-trick pony. You'll find this perfectly cooked grain — along with a luxuriously creamy sauce of Gruyère, Parmesan and mozzarella — under a delicious, crispy blanket of buttery panko breadcrumbs.

Ree Drummond's Cheddar Bacon Wedge Salad, as seen on Food Network's Pioneer Woman, Season 7.

Photo by: Coral von Zumwalt ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Coral von Zumwalt, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

5. Salad + Cheese 

This is probably not news to you: Even your salads are better with cheese. Take Ree Drummond's Cheddar Bacon Wedge Salad, for example, which covers the customary iceberg lettuce with thick-cut bacon, grated sharp cheddar and homemade cayenne-spiked buttermilk dressing.

Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese as Seen On Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

6.  Pasta + Cheese

Who are we kidding? Would we ever dream of having pasta without cheese? Macaroni and cheese has made quite the name for itself for a reason, and Ina's easy tomato-topped  Mac and Cheese is here to remind you why.

Get more cheesy recipes from our friends:
Creative Culinary:  Cilantro Serrano Rice
Daisy at Home: Bell Pepper Pizza

Elephants and the Coconut Trees:  Indian Cottage Cheese & Bell Pepper Quick Stir-Fry

Weelicious:  Cheesy Turkey Meatballs
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