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26 Side Dishes For Duck – Best Dinner Ideas

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Explore these 26 delicious side dishes that complement the robust profile of duck. From sweet and tangy cranberry orange relish to the earthy notes of honey-roasted parsnips, these sides are chosen for their harmonious interplay with duck’s unique taste.

Duck, with its rich and succulent flavors, has long been a staple in gourmet cuisines around the world. However, the art of pairing this luxurious meat with the perfect side dish can elevate a dining experience to extraordinary heights. Let’s discover together the perfect pairings !

26 sides for duck 1

1. Orange-Glazed Carrots

A Classic Combination

Carrots and duck are a match made in culinary heaven. These orange-glazed carrots offer a hint of citrus sweetness that complements the rich flavor of duck perfectly. It brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetable and pairs beautifully with roasted or pan-seared duck.

Why it Works

The slight tang of the orange cuts through the richness of the duck, ensuring your palate is refreshed with each bite. The vibrant color also makes your plate visually appealing.

Check this recipe.

2. Dauphinoise Potatoes

Creamy Indulgence

These creamy, garlicky, and thinly sliced potatoes layered with cream are the epitome of comfort food. Their creamy texture provides a lovely contrast to the crispy skin of a well-roasted duck.

Why Choose This Side

The richness of dauphinoise potatoes is perfectly balanced by the distinct flavor of duck, making for a satisfying meal that feels gourmet.

Check this recipe.

3. Red Cabbage Braised with Apple

A Sweet and Sour Delight

The natural sweetness of apples combined with the tang of red cabbage creates a side dish that is both vibrant in color and taste. This combination provides a palate-cleansing effect when paired with duck.

Why It’s a Must-Try

The crunchy texture of the cabbage and the softness of the apples make for a contrasting bite that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

Check this recipe.

4. Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Elevate Your Greens

Brussels sprouts, when sautéed with crispy bacon bits, become a dish that’s hard to resist. Their nutty flavor, combined with the smokiness of bacon, complements duck wonderfully.

Why They Pair Well

The slight bitterness of Brussels sprouts is beautifully offset by the saltiness of bacon and the richness of duck.

Check this recipe.

5. Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Comfort on a Plate

Creamy mashed potatoes infused with roasted garlic is a side dish that screams comfort. The silky texture and subtle garlic flavor make it a perfect side for duck.

Why You’ll Love It

Mashed potatoes provide a neutral base that soaks up the flavorful juices from the duck, making every bite heavenly.

Check this recipe.

6. Cherry Compote

A Sweet Surprise

The natural sweetness and slight tartness of cherries create a compote that’s bursting with flavor. This side dish provides a sweet counterpoint to the savory flavor of duck.

Why It’s a Winner

The contrasting flavors make for an exciting palate experience, ensuring each bite is a mix of sweet and savory goodness.

Check this recipe.

7. Green Beans Almondine

Crunchy Goodness

Green beans sautéed with butter and topped with toasted almonds is a simple yet flavorful side dish. The crunchiness of the beans and almonds pairs wonderfully with duck.

Why Pick This

The buttery flavor of this dish adds an extra layer of richness, making it a suitable accompaniment to duck dishes.

Check this recipe.

8. Caramelized Shallots

Sweet and Savory

Slow-cooked shallots that have been caramelized to perfection are a treat for the senses. Their sweetness enhances the deep flavor of duck.

Why It’s a Perfect Match

The soft, jam-like texture of caramelized shallots offers a sweet contrast, making each mouthful of duck even more enjoyable.

Check this recipe.

9. Wild Rice Pilaf

wild rice pilaf (1)

A Nutty Side

Wild rice pilaf, studded with bits of dried fruits and nuts, provides a unique texture and flavor that complements the richness of duck.

Why It Stands Out

The nuttiness of the wild rice and the sweetness of the dried fruits offer a well-rounded flavor profile that pairs beautifully with duck.

Check this recipe.

10. Honey-Roasted Parsnips

A Touch of Sweetness

Parsnips, when roasted with honey, become caramelized and deliciously sweet. This side dish adds a touch of sweetness that enhances the flavors of duck.

Read also: 30 Sunday Dinner Ideas For The Family

Why You Should Try It

The natural earthiness of parsnips combined with honey’s sweetness creates a harmony of flavors that’s hard to resist.

Check this recipe.

11. Sautéed Spinach with Garlic

Simple Yet Flavorsome

Fresh spinach sautéed with fragrant garlic offers a fresh and light side dish. Its simplicity works wonders, allowing the duck’s flavors to shine while adding a touch of garlicky goodness.

Why It’s Ideal

The mild bitterness of spinach combined with aromatic garlic complements the rich profile of duck dishes, providing balance to your meal.

Check this recipe.

12. Roasted Beet Salad

Earthy and Vibrant

Roasted beets, with their earthy sweetness, combined with a tangy vinaigrette and sprinkled with goat cheese, create a salad that is as flavorful as it is visually appealing.

Why Pair with Duck

The earthy tones of the beet salad provide a grounding counterpoint to the rich and savory notes of duck.

Check this recipe.

13. Polenta with Parmesan

Creamy Consistency

Polenta, when cooked with broth and sprinkled with Parmesan, offers a creamy, cheesy side dish. Its smooth texture provides a contrast to the crispy skin of duck.

Why It’s a Must

The subtle corn flavor of polenta acts as a gentle base, making the flavors of duck pop even more.

Check this recipe.

14. Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Sweet and Tangy

Ripe pears paired with the tang of blue cheese and crunchy walnuts form a refreshing salad that’s both sweet and savory.

Why It’s Delightful

The sweetness of the pears cuts through the richness of duck, while the blue cheese adds a tangy twist, making it a refreshing side option.

Check this recipe.

15. Mushroom Risotto

Rich and Earthy

A creamy mushroom risotto, with its deep, earthy flavors, is a delightful pairing for duck, mirroring its richness while adding a comforting touch.

Why You’d Love It

Mushrooms and duck are both known for their umami-rich profiles, making this combination a taste sensation.

Check this recipe.

16. Asparagus with Hollandaise

Elegant and Decadent

Tender asparagus spears drizzled with creamy hollandaise sauce make for an elegant side dish that’s sure to elevate any duck meal.

Why It’s a Classic

The crispness of asparagus combined with the rich hollandaise complements duck’s savory profile perfectly.

Check this recipe.

17. Fennel and Orange Salad

Crisp and Citrusy

The crunch of fresh fennel paired with juicy orange segments creates a citrusy salad, offering a refreshing contrast to the deep flavors of duck.

Why It’s Refreshing

The anise notes of fennel and the bright citrus tones cut through the richness of the duck, ensuring a balanced meal.

Check this recipe.

18. Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sweet and Caramelized

Brussels sprouts, when roasted with balsamic vinegar, take on a caramelized sweetness that’s both tangy and delicious, making them a suitable companion for duck.

Why It’s Compelling

The tangy sweetness of balsamic vinegar enhances the nutty flavor of Brussels sprouts, complementing duck’s rich profile.

Check this recipe.

19. Butternut Squash Purée

butternut puree

Silky and Nutty

A smooth purée made from roasted butternut squash is both nutty and slightly sweet, making it a harmonious pairing for duck.

Why It’s a Favorite

The natural sweetness of the butternut squash provides a subtle contrast, elevating the taste of duck.

Check this recipe.

20. Potato and Leek Gratin

Creamy and Savory

Sliced potatoes and soft leeks baked in a creamy sauce result in a gratin that’s both savory and comforting, making it a fantastic side dish for duck.

Why It’s Irresistible

The creamy texture and savory notes of the gratin are a match made in heaven for the rich flavors of duck.

Check this recipe.

21. Cranberry Orange Relish

Tangy and Sweet

The combination of tart cranberries with the citrus burst of orange creates a vibrant, tangy relish that can brighten up the palate.

Why It’s Perfect with Duck

The fruity contrast helps cut through the richness of the duck, adding a fresh and zesty dimension to each bite.

Check this recipe.

22. Roasted Broccoli with Chili Flakes

Crisp and Spicy

Broccoli roasted to perfection and sprinkled with chili flakes adds a touch of heat and a crispy texture.

Why It’s a Fiery Pairing

The spiciness of the chili flakes and the charred flavor of roasted broccoli add a different dimension to the taste palette, working wonders with duck’s richness.

Check this recipe.

23. Apple and Walnut Salad

Crunchy and Fresh

A blend of crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, and a tangy dressing forms a refreshing salad that is as invigorating as it is flavorful.

Why It Harmonizes with Duck

The crisp texture and sweetness of apples combined with the earthy walnuts offset the succulence of duck.

Check this recipe.

24. Cauliflower Rice with Herbs

Light and Fragrant

Cauliflower transformed into rice and tossed with fresh herbs offers a light, grain-free alternative that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Why It’s an Airy Complement

Its lightness and aromatic herbs ensure that the duck remains the star of the show, while still enhancing the overall meal.

Check this recipe.

25. Red Cabbage Slaw

Crunchy and Tangy

A slaw made from finely shredded red cabbage, combined with a tangy dressing, provides a crunchy and zesty accompaniment.

Read also: 30 Date Night Dinner Recipes

Why It Elevates Duck

Its vibrant colors and refreshing tang cut through the richness, adding a touch of brightness to the plate.

Check this recipe.

26. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy and Naturally Sweet

Sweet potato fries, baked to a crisp, are both nutritious and full of natural sweetness.

Why They’re Irresistible with Duck

Their inherent sweetness complements the savory richness of duck, adding a playful contrast to each bite.

Check this recipe.


Perfecting the art of the side dish is essential when serving a star entrée like duck. The right sides can enhance, contrast, and complement the meat’s richness, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite. Whether you lean towards classic comfort with garlic mashed potatoes or seek a refreshing palate cleanser in a red cabbage slaw, this list offers a diverse array of options to suit every culinary preference. So, the next time you’re planning a duck dinner, let these 26 exquisite side dishes guide your culinary journey to perfection.

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