What to serve with duck breast! The best side dishes for duck, so your dinner menu is delicious and memorable.
So you’ve decided to serve some mouth-watering duck as your main dish, but now you might be stuck for side dish ideas.
Something so special deserves some impressive accompaniments.
Luckily, I put together a great list of side dishes that compliment duck!
What is duck usually served with?
A duck breast dinner menu typically contains a starch like potatoes or rice, a salad, some wine, and a flavorful, fruity sauce. Wine is often served to drink.
What flavors go well with duck?
Duck meat has a rich, slightly gamey flavor that pairs well with sweet and sour food pairings like balsamic or orange sauce. It is commonly associated with autumnal flavors such as cinnamon, fennel, allspice, or dried fruit such as cranberries.
Roast Duck Side Dishes
Potatoes that go with duck breast
1. Duck fat potatoes
Duck fat potatoes are arguably the most delicious potatoes you will ever make.
When cooked in duck fat, the crispy potatoes take on a seriously rich flavor that makes them the perfect accompaniment.
The firm texture on the outside and creamy inside makes them downright mouth-watering.
All that added flavor makes excess fat all the more worthwhile!
2. Mashed potatoes
Not only are mashed potatoes easy to make and budget friendly, they’re always a crowd pleaser.
Perfectly rich, creamy, and full of savory flavor, this classic side dish never goes out of style.
Let’s face it, mashed potatoes are just always a good idea.
3. Sweet potato fries
The sweetness and crispiness of sweet potato fries makes excellent accompaniments for duck.
Simply slice and toss in olive oil and a little seasoning, pop them in the oven, and you’ll have an easy and down-to-earth side to balance the richness of duck.
4. Au gratin potatoes
Sliced potatoes get bathed in a creamy, cheesy sauce and baked to perfection.
Potato dauphinoise are easy enough for a Sunday supper but special enough for a holiday meal.
5. Mashed sweet potatoes
Savory sweet potato mash is made with butter, herbs, and sour cream.
If you’ve only had sweet potatoes doused in brown sugar and marshmallows, it’s time to try this savory version!
Vegetables to serve with duck breast
6. Roast carrots
Oven roasted carrots look really special, but take just a few minutes of prep.
Toss them in a little oil and seasoning, then let them get tender and golden in the oven.
It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this, so you’ll have lots of energy to put into your duck recipe.
7. Garlic parmesan green beans
Sauteed green beans with parmesan cheese and garlic are oddly addicting.
Six ingredients turn into a simple dish that everyone will love.
8. Roasted root vegetables
Roasted root vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes, onions, turnips or any of your favorites look fancy, but couldn’t be simpler.
A simple seasoning mix and the vegetables get placed on a baking sheet or roasting pan, then baked to utter perfection.
Hint: A variety of colors make it look even more appealing on your dinner table, so feel free to add in your favorite colorful veggies!
9. Balsamic brussels sprouts
Roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar and honey are like a symphony of flavor.
The delicious balance of sweet, tangy, and slight bitterness will make your taste buds go wild.
Which means that everyone will be having seconds, so be sure to make extra!
10. Creamed spinach
Creamed spinach is a decadent side dish that comes together in minutes.
It’s silky, cheesy, and downright savory.
Your guests will feel like they’re at a five star restaurant, but only you’ll know that a few simple ingredients turned into something so magical.
Salad to serve with duck
11. Spinach salad
While any simple salad would do, an apple spinach salad is so crisp, and fresh, which makes it the perfect dish to balance the richness of duck breast.
The blend of tart apple, sweet cranberries, and tangy goat cheese makes it the perfect blend of flavors.
Don’t be surprised if everyone asks you for the recipe!
12. Roasted beet salad
Don’t let this gourmet sounding recipe fool you – roasted beet salad is actually easy to make.
You can even buy roasted beets from the grocery store to make it really simple!
Just a few ingredients get tossed in a delicious honey-dijon vinaigrette.
It’s equal parts beautiful and delicious.
13. Arugula with fennel salad
Speaking of fresh, restaurant-quality salads, consider this arugula fennel salad recipe.
The arugula is a tad bit spicy, the fennel has a slight licorice flavor, and the dressing is both sweet and tangy.
The perfect blend of flavors to balance the richness of duck breast meat.
Rice side dishes for duck
14. Rice pilaf
It’s so amazing how cheap ingredients like rice, onion, celery, and stock can turn into something as special as rice pilaf.
It’s light and fluffy, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Feel free to use a little rendered duck fat in place of olive oil for even more depth of flavor.
You could also do a wild rice pilaf instead, if you want something with more texture.
15. Fried rice
Fried rice is a major staple in Chinese cuisine, as is peking duck.
To recreate your favorite Chinese restaurant side dish, you’ll just need some pantry staples.
Cooked rice, carrots, onions, peas, green onions, and soy sauce are the most commonly used, but feel free to include your favorite mix-ins.
Other delicious peking duck side dishes
16. Egg noodles
Parmesan herbed egg noodles are a quick, tasty, and versatile side dish.
They’re tender, savory, and feel like quintessential home cooking.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy coming back for seconds!
17. Creamy polenta
Polenta is creamy and silky, with a slightly sweet buttery corn flavor.
You can top it with cheese, herbs, cartelized onions, or even sliced roasted duck.
18. Roasted chestnuts
Roasted chestnuts with butter and rosemary are the perfect side dish if you’re serving fresh duck for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
They’re special and festive, so if you’re up for creating a really unique meal, this is the dish for you.
19. Spring rolls
If you’re looking for what to serve with peking duck, give spring rolls a try.
They’re a super light, crispy, and tender appetizer or side dish, and can even be prepped and frozen ahead of time.
20. Mandarin pancakes
Mandarin pancakes are basically thin pancakes made from a simple dough of 3 ingredients.
Often served with beijing duck to be used as a “wrap” when eating, similar to how flour tortillas are used for tacos.
They’re quite unlike traditional breakfast pancakes, because they’re so light, chewy, and savory.
You’ll have fun making and serving them!
21. Cranberry relish
Cranberry relish is a sweet and tart condiment or side dish made from cranberries, apple, orange, and sugar.
It’s chunkier and fresher than cranberry sauce, and balances the gamey flavor of duck splendidly.
What sauce to serve with duck breast
Sweet and sour fruit sauces pair best with duck. The balance of sweetness and tartness cuts through the rich flavors of savory duck.
A sauce made from orange juice, white wine vinegar, and chicken stock provides the perfect balance.
The best sauces for duck are:
- Orange sauce
- Plum sauce
- Cherry and red wine sauce
- Sticky marinated duck sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Thyme and redcurrant gravy
- Sweet chilli sauce
What wine to serve with duck
Wine and delicious duck go so well together because their flavor profiles elevate each other.
The fruitiness of wine helps balance duck’s rich, fatty, and strong gamey flavor.
Your specific wine choice can be based on exactly which duck recipe you’re serving.
Here are some delicious wine and duck pairings:
- Pan-seared duck breast meat and Pinot Noir
- Duck confit and Malbec
- Peking duck recipe and and Zinfandel
- Roasted duck and Barolo
Ready to make some of these duck side dishes?
I hope this list of duck breast sides has given you lots of inspiration for what goes well with duck breast meal.
With these ideas, you can plan either a really upscale dinner menu, a special holiday meal, a really fantastic date night, or a regular weeknight supper.
I’d argue that preparing a whole duck with crispy skin (finished at high heat in a hot oven) is the best way to serve it, but what are your favorite duck breast recipes?
Pro-tip: For best results, have a really sharp knife and large cutting board ready, especially if you like a crisp skin or plan to stuff the cavity of the duck.