Did you know that duck meat is considered red meat and white meat? (*)
Duck is white meat based on its myoglobin content and since it’s considered poultry. However, it’s red meat by culinary standards because it’s darker than chicken and turkey and is cooked differently.
But regardless of what type of meat you think duck is, one fact remains: it’s best served with side dishes.
So what to serve with duck breast? Read on to find out what our best recommendations are.
What to Serve with Duck Breast: Top 3 Classic Potato Sides
When it comes to what to serve with duck breast, you can never go wrong with potatoes. With that said, here are the best potato sides to serve with duck breast:
1. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes may be the simplest and most common side dishes of them all, but it’s also the most versatile.
A perfectly cooked duck breast leaves a lot of succulent juice on your plate. This is where mashed potatoes will enter in and soak up all of that juicy duck goodness and incorporate it into its creamy and buttery texture that will undoubtedly make anyone drool.
Pro Tip: If you want something with fewer carbs, go for mashed sweet potatoes. Aside from being a healthier alternative, what we love the most about sweet potato mash is its slightly sweet taste which offers a nice balance for the duck’s rich flavors.
2. Dauphinoise Potatoes
Okay, we used the fancier term, but you most likely know this as potatoes au gratin. This French potato dauphinoise is the best option if you want a step up from the usual mashed potatoes.
This casserole-style potato au gratin side features thinly sliced potatoes simmered in a mixture of butter, cream, and cheese. The creamy sauce and the crispy potatoes deliver contrasting textures that you’ll surely love.
Same with mashed potatoes, the creaminess of this dish is meant to soak up all of the duck’s rich and savory juices.
Pro Tip: To prevent the potato mix and cream from separating, add a pinch of baking powder.
3. Potatoes and Fried Eggs
Try the classic combination of fried eggs and potatoes for a simpler yet equally delicious side dish option.
If you love having hash browns with egg for breakfast, then you’ll undoubtedly love this pairing! It’s a lot easier to make too!
All you have to do is cut the potatoes into 1/2 -inch cubes and fry them in melted butter over medium-high heat until all sides are browned.
Afterward, top off with parsley and serve with a fried egg on the side.
Pro Tip: Make sure that the egg yolks are runny to complement the duck breast pretty well.
What To Serve With Duck Breast: Top 10 Vegetables Go Best
Do you want to serve duck breast with something healthy and light? Then, vegetables are your best bet. Below are some of the best recommendations that we have:
4. Mushroom, Spinach, and Pomegranate Salad
Salads are quick and easy to prepare, but the main reason why we love them as a side dish is that they are highly versatile and customizable. You can use a wide range of toppings and dressings too.
Well, here’s our candidate for the best salad to serve with duck breast: mushroom, spinach, and pomegranate salad.
We love this because it has a complete flavor profile—sweet and sour taste from pomegranate seeds, salty and sweet flavors from soy and honey dressing, and earthy richness from spinach and mushroom.
5. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are the most hated vegetables in the world, but you can easily convert the haters when you use the right cooking technique—roasting. (*)
After all, no one can ever resist the caramelized surface and nutty, sweet, and earthy flavor of roasted brussels sprouts.
Top off the dish with toasted pine nuts and bacon bits for a crunchy and crispy touch.
Pro Tip: Duck-fat roasted brussels sprouts are more flavorful.
6. Glazed Carrots
Is your duck breastplate looking bland? Glazed carrots will undoubtedly add a pop of color and more flavor to them.
If you’re not a fan of carrots, this side dish will surely change your mind because the honey glaze will make it sweeter and more palatable. Plus, the glaze will give it a caramelized exterior that will make its texture more interesting.
To prepare, you just need to melt brown sugar in butter and toss the carrot slices in the butter glaze.
Pro Tip: Make it more flavorful and refreshing by adding the mint sauce.
7. Spicy Red Cabbage
One of the best vegetable sides to serve with duck breast is red cabbage.
We love it because it adds a nice crunch to the overall meal, which provides fantastic contrast against the duck’s tender and soft meat.
But wait, there’s more. It also delivers a pop of color to your plate, making it look more appetizing.
However, there’s one catch: it can taste a bit bland if not seasoned properly. Thankfully, you can easily avoid this issue by sautéing it in butter and garlic. Season your cabbage with coriander, cinnamon, and five-spice Chinese powder to make it more flavorful. Another option is to add extra sweet chili for a slight kick.
Pro Tip: Go for pre-shredded cabbage in your supermarket to save time.
8. Roasted Veggies
Duck breast is fancy enough in itself, so we recommend pairing it with a simple yet delicious side dish if you’re strapped for time.
For a fuss-free prep, go for a simple yet delicious side dish like roasted vegetables. This side is so simple that you can use just about any leftover vegetable in your refrigerator.
You can quickly whip them up into a side dish worthy of being served with duck breast by tossing them in balsamic vinegar or dressing and roasting them for a few minutes in the oven.
Pro Tip: If you have a bit of time to spare, we recommend going for the best of the best—brussels sprouts, carrots, or asparagus.
9. Zucchini Noodles
Okay, that sounds a bit formal. So let’s go for the millennial term—zoodles.
Whatever you want to call it, one thing remains the same: zoodles will put a refreshing spin on your savory, rich, and heavy duck breast meal.
Plus, it’s a tastier and healthier alternative for carb-heavy sides like rice and pasta.
10. Pumpkin Mash
Are you serving duck breast for a fall event? Make it a fall to remember by serving duck breast with a fall-themed side dish—pumpkin mash.
Same with mashed potatoes, this creamy side dish will soak up all the juices from your perfectly cooked duck breast, making it more delectable.
But what we liked the most about this side is that it’s considered to have lesser carbs than potatoes, so it’s the best option for people who limit their carbohydrate consumption. (*)
Bottom line: What vegetables go best with duck breast? You can pair a duck breast with baked asparagus, green peas, zoodles, braised white cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli, carrot, arugula, baby spinach, pumpkin mash, or different kinds of potato dishes.
What to Serve with Duck Breast: Top 4 Sauces Worth to Try
Duck breast is succulent and delicious, but the right sauces will make it even tastier and crave-worthy. So, with that dais, here are some of the best sauces that can take your duck breast to a whole new level:
11. Orange Sauce
Asian-style duck breast recipes usually come with a bright orange sauce which makes the plate come to life, and we have the Chinese to thank for it!
While duck breast is considered healthier than pork, we can’t deny that its high-fat content can become too overwhelming at times. However, your zesty and thick orange sauce can help cut through all that richness and give your meal a vibrant twist.
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12. Sticky Marinated Duck Sauce
Do you love the sweet and savory pairing? We do too! That’s why sticky marinated duck sauce is one of our favorite sauces to serve with roasted duck breast.
The good news is you don’t need to be a chef to whip up this recipe. All you need to do is mix equal amounts of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar or honey, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a crushed garlic clove.
Pro Tip: For the best sticky duck experience, marinade the duck breast in this sauce overnight and then sear it to perfection.
13. Plum Sauce
If you decide to pair your duck breast with stewed cabbage and onions, you must not forget to top it off with plum sauce, and there are many reasons why.
For one, it delivers a sweet taste which provides a nice contrast against the rich flavors of duck breast and spices of stewed cabbage.
For the best plum sauce, you’ll only need four ingredients: plums, beef stock, brown sugar, and red wine.
Pro Tip: Use frozen plums to achieve a thick consistency quickly.
14. Redcurrant Jelly
This is also commonly known as redcurrant gravy. But regardless of what you wish to call it, I know you’ll agree with us when we say that this is one of the must-try sauces for duck breast.
The sauce adds slight sweetness and creaminess to the overall dish, making it more delicious than ever.
Even though it sounds super fancy, it’s pretty easy to make. You just need to add redcurrant jelly to your usual gravy recipe, and you’re good to go.
Pro Tip: Use the duck juices in making your gravy.
Wrapping It Up
What to serve with duck breast? You can choose from many sides, and we’ve shared the best ones on our list.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a sauce, a vegetable side dish, or potato sides, we’ve got them all for you.
So, which of these is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!