What To Serve With Duck Breast – A Chef’s Choice

So, what should you serve with your duck breast? You are spoiled with options, from luscious, fruity sauces to vegetable dishes like leafy greens, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. The important aspect is ensuring the flavors harmonize with the duck’s robust taste.

Serving duck is always a delight, with its crispy skin and tender, juicy meat underneath. However, choosing the perfect accompaniment can be challenging, as duck is considered a luxurious protein.

The dilemma is whether to serve elaborate sides or simpler dishes that complement the duck’s rich flavor. The key is striking the right balance to enhance the dining experience.

You don’t need to break the bank to serve extravagant sides with duck. With a combination of exquisite sauces and well-prepared vegetables, you can create unforgettable meals featuring duck breast!

What To Serve With Duck Breast

Duck breast is a popular and delectable meat, often pan-seared and finished in the oven, resulting in crispy skin and tender, succulent meat inside.

Although considered white meat, duck breast has a unique taste, leaning more towards red meat in flavor and richness than chicken. Its texture is denser than chicken, yet it remains moist and juicy when cooked. The thick, fatty skin crisps beautifully when cooked properly.

Duck breast cooked on a plate. Credit: Unsplash
Duck breast cooked on a plate. Credit: Unsplash

This versatile dish pairs wonderfully with various sauces and side dishes. However, depending on the quality and preparation, some duck breast can taste gamey. To counter this, consider pairing it with complementary foods or sauces that neutralize or mask the gaminess.

Read also: What To Serve With Duck Confit – What Pairs Best By A Chef

Best Sides For Duck Breast

Duck breast is a succulent, decadent cut of meat that works well with both sweet and savory dishes. Complementary sides like dauphinoise potatoes, spinach, sweet potato mash, and delicious sauces such as plum or orange sauce can elevate your duck breast meal.

Consider these sauces and sides to create the perfect pairing for your duck breast, whether you prefer a traditional combination or want to try something new and exciting.

1. Orange Sauce

Duck breast and orange sauce form a heavenly pairing. Duck’s high-fat content can make it oily or greasy, but the zesty, citrusy flavor of orange sauce cuts through the fat.

There are several easy orange sauce recipes to try, most made with concentrated orange juice. You can also use freshly squeezed orange juice, incorporating zest and pulp for added flavor.

2. Potato Dauphinoise

Potato dauphinoise is a classic accompaniment to duck breast. Duck is a rich, hearty meat, so pairing it with a delicious, creamy dish like potato dauphinoise complements it well. The dish has a crispy crust and soft interior, with the garlic and cream flavors melding perfectly with the duck.

3. Redcurrant Gravy

Redcurrant gravy or jus pairs wonderfully with dark meats like duck. It is simple to make by combining store-bought gravy, hot water, and redcurrant jelly. The resulting sweet, rich sauce enhances the duck’s flavor.

4. Sweet Glazed Carrots

Sweet glazed carrots balance the savory flavors of duck breast, adding a pop of color to the dish. Sauté baby carrots in honey, butter, and parsley, then roast until tender and glossy. For extra sweetness, sprinkle sugar on top!

5. Sticky Sauce

Duck’s tender meat pairs well with sweet, sticky sauces, which also complement its crispy skin. A simple sauce can be made with balsamic vinegar, honey, crushed garlic, and lemon juice. Marinate the duck breast in the sauce overnight or for a few hours, letting it absorb the flavors before cooking.

6. Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potato mash is a warm, flavorful side that pairs well with duck’s rich taste. The sweetness of sweet potatoes balances the dish nicely. To make, boil peeled, chopped sweet potatoes until soft, then mash with butter and seasonings.

7. Grilled Asparagus

Grilled asparagus adds a fresh, appealing flavor to duck breast. Grilling asparagus with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice softens it and brings out a delicate sweetness.

8. Spinach and Pomegranate Salad

Pomegranate seeds complement duck’s flavors, adding a sweet and tangy element to the dish. A tasty salad can be made with pomegranate seeds, baby spinach leaves, and sautéed mushrooms, dressed with a soy-honey vinaigrette.

9. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts, when cooked properly, make a great side for duck breast. Pan-sear Brussels sprouts in duck fat for maximum flavor, adding bacon pieces for extra saltiness if desired.

10. Wild Rice Pilaf

Wild rice pilaf is an inviting side for duck breast. To enhance its suitability for duck, add dried fruits like sultanas or cranberries and chopped almonds, which balance the savory flavors and provide textural contrast.

11. Sweet Chili Sauce

Homemade sweet chili sauce pairs perfectly with duck’s dark, rich meat. Make it with minced garlic, chili, sugar, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar, then cook until it reaches a jelly-like consistency.

12. Creamy Polenta

Creamy polenta, enriched with parmesan and herbs, is a delightful side for duck breast. It’s easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time.

13. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic, simple side that complements duck breast well. Add butter and seasonings or mix in garlic, cheddar cheese, or cream cheese for extra flavor.

14. Tenderstem Broccoli with Chili

Tenderstem broccoli, sautéed with chili and lemon zest, adds an exciting flavor that pairs well with duck breast. This low-calorie, low-fat side is also great for those watching their calorie intake.

15. Plum Sauce

Plum sauce is a delicious addition to duck breast, drizzled over the meat or served with sides like sweet potato mash or braised onions and cabbage. Make your own with crushed red plums, brown sugar, soy sauce, and star anise, simmered until thick and sweet.

16. Sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms

Sautéed spinach and mushrooms are quick to prepare while the duck breast cooks. In the same pan used for the duck, cook garlic and mushrooms, then add spinach, salt, and pepper. This flavorful side complements the duck breast nicely.

How Do You Cook Duck Breast?

The pan to cook the duck breast by placing it at a medium to high temperature. The duck breast should be placed in the pan with the skin side facing downwards.

Let the duck breast cook until the fat begins to leak out of the duck. Then add some thyme, garlic, and garlic, and allow them to simmer in the oil.

Once this occurs, turn the heat down, and cook for approximately 15 minutes (it may take longer depending on the breast size). It should have skin that is crisp and dark brown.

What Is The Best Temperature For Duck Breast To Be Cooked At?

Duck breasts must be cooked to an internal temperature of 170degF. This will ensure that any harmful bacteria are eliminated. If you wish it to taste medium rare, cook it until 135 degF.


What Sides Go Best With Duck Breast?

Duck breast pairs well with a variety of sides, including dauphinoise potatoes, sweet potato mash, grilled asparagus, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, and wild rice pilaf. Complementing these with sauces like plum, orange, or redcurrant gravy can further enhance the flavors.

What Is A French Side Dish For Duck?

A classic French side dish for duck is potato dauphinoise, which features thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy garlic sauce. Another option is sautéed green beans with shallots, providing a light and fresh accompaniment to the rich duck flavor.

What Does Duck Taste Good With?

Duck tastes excellent with a range of flavors, including sweet and fruity sauces like plum or orange, as well as savory accompaniments like redcurrant gravy or creamy polenta. It also pairs well with vegetable sides like grilled asparagus, tenderstem broccoli, or sautéed spinach and mushrooms.

How Should Duck Breast Be Served?

Duck breast should be served with crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. To achieve this, pan-sear the breast skin-side down until the skin is golden and crisp, then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. Slice the cooked duck breast and serve it with your choice of sides and sauces to create a delicious and balanced meal.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

Exclusive Coupons & Discounts and Yummy Recipes!

Sign up to our free newsletter!