If you’re looking for the perfect side dish to serve with duck meat, look no further! We’ve gathered 10 of our favorite recipes that will complement the crispy skin and juicy meat of a roast duck. From creamy mashed potatoes to flavorful cranberry sauce, there’s something here for everyone. So get ready to wow your guests with these fantastic ideas!
Believe me when I say that food pairing is an art. Choosing a side dish that goes perfectly with your main dish is really important. The symphony of flavors will make your simple dinner exquisite. Today, we will explore some side dishes that will elevate the flavor of the main dish, which in this case, is a duck, which is always a wonderful meal for a special occasion.
You can cook the duck any way you like. You can roast it or pan-sear the breast; it is delightful either way. With a meaty texture and fatty richness, you can call the duck the poultry steak (a term I just coined).
You’d think a duck would taste more like chicken, both from the poultry genre. But, in reality, duck tastes more like red meat. Some may say it has a taste closer to steak as well. It is protein-loaded and has a strong flavor. The richness of the duck needs to be paired with dishes that allow it to shine while complementing the savory duck. This can be a hard balance!
It is a good idea to have the right dishes with your duck. The ideal pairing with a duck would be a dish with a soft texture, complimenting the texture of the duck and a flavor that doesn’t overpower the main dish. So, I have compiled a list of the ten best side dishes that you can serve with a duck that will certainly please your taste buds. Here we go!
1. Arugula Salad
Let’s kickstart the list with something refreshing. If you want to pair your duck with something light, go with a side of Arugula salad. The salad is easy to make and requires no hard labor.
Just toss some fresh arugula with some cherry tomatoes. Top with some toasted walnut and sesame seeds for the crunchy bit. Finish with a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing, and you’re done. It will complement your pan-seared duck breast beautifully.
2. Mashed Potatoes
Want something classic with your roasted duck. Try pairing it with mashed potatoes. This is a recipe for regular and holiday seasons alike. Versatile, I know!
The mashed potatoes are made by boiling potatoes. The potatoes are then mashed with butter-fried garlic, chives, milk, salt, and pepper. Just mash ’em all together and serve with your beautiful crispy roasted duck.
Here are some other great mashed potato recipes:
- How to Make AMAZING Mashed Potatoes with a Kitchen Aid Mixer
- The Easiest Instant Pot Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
- Copycat Longhorn Steakhouse Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
3. Mashed Pumpkin
Another great ‘mashed’ dish to go with your duck is mashed pumpkin. I mean, mashed potatoes are great, but if it’s fall, you know it’s better to go with pumpkins. Mashed pumpkin is a particularly great side dish if you have cooked your duck with sauce.
The mashed pumpkin has a delicate flavor and a creamy texture. All you need to do is bake and mash the pumpkin along with some heavy cream, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper. I’d suggest using a food processor for a creamier texture.
Here is a great way to make pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot
4. Creamy Polenta
Thinking of switching things up? Serve your crispy roasted duck with some creamy polenta. Creamy polenta offers a great contrast in both texture and flavor to the duck.
You need some cheese and butter to make creamy polenta. Just boil some coarse yellow cornmeal in water and then add some butter, cheese, and salt to it. It will give the duck a creamy and rich taste without overpowering its taste.
5. Mashed sweet potatoes
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a savory sweet potato mash. Sweet potatoes are a great side dish for everything, but I feel like it’s just a step above regular mashed potatoes.
Here is our favorite mashed sweet potatoes recipe. It will go perfectly with your duck!
6. Glazed Carrots
Glazed baby carrots are a great companion to your roasted duck. They are sweet with earthy tones, perfect for pairing with the meaty delicacy. They are very simple to make too. Just slice some carrots thickly and then glaze them in butter and brown sugar.
The butter adds a rich taste to the carrots and makes a thick glaze. You can throw a few herbs as well. It will be a great amalgamation of flavors. Glazed carrots are the best way, in our opinion, to serve your duck.
7. Orange Sauce
Want to add a tangy twist to your duck dish? Well, you can pair it with some citrusy and tangy orange sauce. It adds a refreshing taste to your dish with subtle citrus notes hanging here and there.
The orange sauce is favorable for poultry dishes (remember orange chicken?). Thus, it will be a great addition to your pan-seared or roasted duck. You’ll need some orange juice to make the sauce; you can also add pulp if you want.
Add flavor to the sauce with soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, and vinegar. Thicken it with some cornstarch, and it’s done!
8. Green Bean Almondine
I love plain green beans (especially when drizzled with olive oil), but a dish that is a little more elevated is green bean almondine. Don’t worry, though – it’s super easy to make.
You just need some green beans, almonds, and bacon (plus a few other staples). Here is our favorite recipe for it.
9. Roasted Veggies
Roasted veggies add an earthy touch to the duck. You can roast some veggies in the oven and serve them with the duck. But if you want to make them flavorful, roast them in duck fat. This will give them a rich taste and crispy texture.
Root vegetables are a great choice. Just cut some delicata squash, carrots, turnips, beetroots, yams, parsnips, and potatoes. Season the veggies and see the magic happen.
10. Creamy Spinach and Mushrooms
Creamy spinach and mushrooms are a great side dish for roasted duck. Spinach, when creamed, gives a creamy texture and a rich taste. It is blended with some butter and sour cream. The added mushrooms add the umami and earthy flavor.
This dish accentuates the flavor of the duck and is a rich and creamy potion. You can pair it with other poultry meat like chicken and turkey as well.
11. Cranberry sauce
We love a good cranberry sauce! It’s tart yet sweet, and it really complements the richness of the duck. You can make a sauce from scratch or even dress up canned cranberry sauce. It’s really up to you! Here are a few recipes to consider:
- The Best Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 4-Ingredient Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- How to Make Canned Cranberry Sauce Taste Homemade!
12. Potatoes Au gratin
Potatoes au gratin is a dish made with thinly sliced potatoes and cheese. The potatoes are usually layered with Gruyère or Swiss cheese, but other kinds of cheese can also be used. The dish is then baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
13. Redcurrant gravy
A redcurrant gravy is a type of sauce or gravy that is made from redcurrants. Redcurrants are small berries that have a tart and sour taste, and they are often used in jams, jellies, and other desserts. The juice from redcurrants can also be used to make a sauce or gravy that is perfect for duck, chicken, pork, or beef.
The gravy can be made by cooking the redcurrants with some stock or water until they are soft, and then blending them until they are a smooth consistency. The gravy can also be thickened with a bit of cornstarch if desired, and it can be seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
14. Plum Sauce
Plum sauce is a type of condiment that is made from plums. It has a sweet and sour flavor, and is often used as a dipping sauce or spread. Plum sauce can be made at home using fresh or canned plums, or it can be purchased pre-made from stores.
15. Garlic Broccoli
Garlic broccoli is a type of broccoli that has been infused with the flavor of garlic. This gives the broccoli a more intense flavor that can be enjoyed by itself or as part of a dish. Garlic broccoli is a healthy option for those who are looking for ways to add more vegetables to their diet.
Our Longhorn Steakhouse Broccoli recipe is one of our favorite versions of this!
16. Dinner Rolls
Ah, is any meal really complete without dinner rolls? There are so many varieties and you can either make them homemade, buy them from the store, or even use frozen rolls (like Rhodes Rolls).
Here are a few dinner rolls we always love to make:
- Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls Recipe
- The BEST Lion House Rolls Recipe
- Easy Yeast Dinner Rolls – Fluffy and Delicious!
- Homemade Sourdough Rolls Recipe – Super Fluffy!
17. Greens with Vinaigrette
A green salad is a salad made primarily of leafy green vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, or arugula. It can also include other vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. A vinaigrette is a dressing made with vinegar and oil.
It is often used on salads, but can also be used on other dishes like chicken or fish. Vinaigrettes can be made with different types of vinegar, such as balsamic, red wine, or white wine vinegar. They can also be made with different types of oils, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or avocado oil.
Here is our favorite vinaigrette – Cinnamon Honey Vinaigrette with Sweet Green Salad Recipe.
18. Rice Pilaf
Rice pilaf is a perfect dish option for you if you want to have a fulfilling meal. Duck paired with seasoned rice, i.e., rice pilaf, is a great and hearty dinner option. You can add spices and herbs to your basmati rice as it is fragrant. You could also use brown rice if you’d rather or wild rice to make a wild rice pilaf.
You can also accentuate the dish’s flavor by adding dry fruits and nuts to it. This gives the pilaf an array of flavors of textures. It also gives it the health factor making it rich in protein and fiber. We love this Longhorn steakhouse rice pilaf recipe!
19. Cauliflower Mash
A mashed cauliflower dish that is a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes. Cauliflower mash can be made with or without milk, butter, and cheese. It can also be spiced up with garlic, herbs, or other seasonings.
20. Potato wedges
This may not seem that elegant, but they sure are delicious. Potato wedges can be made in the oven, stovetop, or even in your Air Fryer. They can be a fun addition that your guests may not expecting. Our BBQ potato wedges are absolutely delicious!
21. Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is a type of soup made from butternut squash. It is usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices. Butternut squash soup can be served hot or cold, and is often garnished with croutons or chopped nuts.
While this isn’t butternut squash, our Autumn Harvest soup is TO DIE for!
22. Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Last on my list is roasted Brussel sprouts. Roasted Brussels sprouts are healthy and prove a crunchy sidekick to your roasted duck. If you think Brussel sprouts are bitter, you can drizzle some honey over them and roast them after. This adds some fantastic rich flavors to not just the Brussel sprouts but the meal as a whole.
One of our most popular recipes are these Copycat Longhorn Steakhouse Crispy Brussel Sprouts.
We hope that this list of simple dish ideas that you could serve with duck breast recipes or whole duck recipes will bring the perfect balance to your meal. This will alleviate the taste and texture of your duck without taking away its flavor. Give these dishes a try and let me know which one you liked best in the comments. See you next time!
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- About the Author
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Katie Clark is a mom of three with a passion for creating home-cooked meals every night for her family. She has learned the skill of cooking from the time she was young and comes from a long-line of women who love to cook. Over the years, she has developed this skill to not only help her family but thousands around the world with her popular copycat recipes, jello salads, and twists on traditional favorites. She has a degree in journalism and loves to help others succeed in getting dinner on the table!
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