9 Meat-and-Three Dinner Menus for the Ultimate Comfort Food Feast

country fried steak on a plate

In the South, the meat-and-three restaurant is a quintessential comfort food staple. Menus vary at each restaurant but often are handwritten in chalk. With several entree meat options and a list of vegetables, salads, desserts and bread selections, diners can create their own custom plate. Whether you choose the traditional three sides to accompany an animal protein or opt for an all-veggie meal, the meat and three is made to fill your belly without emptying your wallet. Bring the meat and three home with these menu options. Mix and match your favorite meat, veggie, bread and dessert recipes to create your own comfort food fun at home.

01 of 09

Mix Up a Meat Loaf and Three Menu

Easy Meatloaf on a white plate

The Meat: Easy Meatloaf

The Three: Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Southern Fried Green Beans, Orange Gelatin Salad

The Bread: Sweet Dinner Roll

The Dessert: Aunt Betty's Banana Pudding

If you're trying to recreate the meat and three experience at home, start with a meat loaf. Janet Caldwell describes this recipe as a "very easy and no fail recipe for meatloaf." Pair with 5-ingredient green beans where the secret is in the sugar, a mandarin orange and pineapple gelatin salad, and lump-free mashed potatoes. Creamy banana pudding adds the finishing touch to this comforting menu.

02 of 09

Instant-Pot Pot Roast With All the Fixins

Instant Pot® Pot Roast

The Meat: Instant Pot Pot Roast

The Three: Candied Carrots, Roasted New Potatoes, Easy Lima Beans

The Bread: Soft Dinner Rolls

The Dessert: Chocolate Silk Pie

While this Instant-Pot Pot Roast can be cooked with its own carrots and potatoes, adding candied carrots, simple roasted new potatoes and lima beans adds more color and additional servings to this meat-and-three plate. Mix up these soft dinner rolls in your bread machine and then bake in the oven. If you still have room, consider adding a silky chocolate silk pie, billed as a "Miller and Rhoads department store chef secret."

03 of 09

Fry Up a Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner

Wire rack on a baking sheet holding fried chicken pieces

The Meat: Southern Fried Chicken

The Three: Red Skinned Potato Salad, Southern Style Collard Greens, Cucumber,Tomato and Red Onion Salad

The Bread: Angel Biscuit II

The Dessert: Brownie Pie

No meat-and-three menu would be complete without a crunchy fried chicken. This Southern Fried Chicken recipe is described as being a recipe "originally from Alabama, and has been passed down for generations." Keep up with the picnic theme and add a creamy red potato salad with textural elements of bacon, hard boiled eggs, celery, and spicy onion. Put an angel biscuit on each plate; the bread option is a Southern sent-from-heaven bread that crosses a biscuit and a roll. Brownie Pie is part brownie, part pie and all chocolate!

04 of 09

This Little Pork Chop Went to a Meat and Three

fried pork chops on a plate with red potatoes

The Meat: Mom's Best Pork Chops

The Three: Southern Fried Apples, Authentic German Potato Salad, Homemade Mac and Cheese

The Bread: Homesteader Cornbread

The Dessert: Coco-Cola Cake III

Start this cozy meat and three menu out with Mom's Best Pork Chops that are described as "tender and crunchy breaded" and "everyone's favorite!" Make them your new favorite with traditional fried apples and gooey homemade mac and cheese. It wouldn't be a complete Southern meal without a Coca-Cola cake; try this fun recipe with its distinctly-flavored frosting.

05 of 09

A Turkey Dinner Menu for Any Time of Year

sliced turkey breast with gravy on a plate

The Meat: Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

The Three: Holiday Dressing, The Best Mashed Potatoes, A Cranberry Salad Keepsake

The Bread: Quick Yeast Rolls

Dessert: Mrs. Sigg's Pumpkin Pie

Meat and threes are a great place to get Thanksgiving-style dinner all year round. Make the same at home with this sliced turkey; make yours easily in your slow cooker. Adding dressing and cranberry salad alongside juicy turkey breast brings fall flavors home. Finish off with Mrs. Sigg's pumpkin pie and lots of whipped cream.

06 of 09

Catch a Catfish and Sides

Southern Fried Catfish
Soup Loving Nicole

The Meat: Southern Fried Catfish

The Three: Fried Okra, Cindy's Cole Slaw, Broccoli Rice Casserole

The Bread: Vicki's Hush Puppies

The Dessert: Crisp Peach Cobbler

Fish Friday is a familiar fixture in the South, especially at meat-and-three restaurants. You can enjoy Southern fried catfish at home any day; complete the meal with fried okra, slaw, and hush puppies. A crisp peach cobbler adds a sweet touch to your "fish and three" meal.

07 of 09

Stake Your Dinner on a Hamburger Steak

Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy

The Meat: Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy

The Three: Bacon Pea Salad, Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole, Cream Corn Like No Other

The Bread: Teena's Overnight Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

The Dessert: Pecan Pie

If you have a package of ground beef on hand, hamburger steaks are the perfect comfort-food entree. This traditional Hamburger Steak with Onions and Gravy is complemented by corn and a refreshing Bacon Pea Salad. The textural contrast of a southern pecan pie finishes off your delicious trip away from a hamburger bun.

08 of 09

Make Supper a Little Bit Country Fried Steak

country fried steak on a plate

The Meat: Country Fried Steak and Milk Gravy

The Three: Chef John's Succotash, Mom's Scalloped Potatoes, Fresh Broccoli Salad

The Bread: Kentucky Biscuits

The Dessert: Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler

If you love meat and potatoes, try this meat-and-three twist: a breaded country fried steak served up with milk gravy and Mom's Scalloped Potatoes. Kentucky biscuits and a warming blueberry cobbler will make you forget a ribeye or porterhouse.

09 of 09

Ham It Up

spiral cut ham in roasting pan

The Meat: Ham With Honey and Brown Sugar Glaze

The Three: Grandma's Corn Pudding, Slow Cooker Spicy Black-Eyed Peas, Classic Macaroni Salad

The Bread: South Georgia Biscuit

The Dessert: Buttermilk Chess Pie

It wouldn't be a meat and three without a ham option. While many meat and threes serve up country ham, this sweet ham features a honey and brown sugar glaze. Grandma's Corn Pudding and lucky-any-day black-eyed peas balance the sugar level. A South Georgia Biscuit and buttermilk chess pie too? Yes please!

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