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What to eat with turkey?

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Similar texture and flavor as chicken, turkey is bit gamier and more rich in flavor. It goes well with a variety of dishes from Thanksgiving holidays to  everyday dinners.

Turkey is versatile and can be transformed into a simple sandwich, ground meat for patties or meatballs, and served with a glass of wine, every dish can be paired wonderfully in healthy and nutritious ways.

What to eat with turkey? Whether turkey is roasted whole or the breast is cooked by itself, the meat serves well with stuffing, herbs, vegetables and classic sauces. 

Turkey breast, leg, slices, and ground meat can be transformed into various forms, but it is important to cook properly and pair with foods that help to maintain its moist and tender texture. 

Regardless of the cut, turkey does not have an overpowering flavor. As a result, it tastes good with many ingredients and side dishes including mashed potatoes, roasted green beans, spinach, sausages and bacon.

That being said, the side dishes are as important as the turkey itself. Still contemplating what to serve with turkey but still can’t put the finger on it? Well, in this article, we answer frequently asked questions that go into depth about what to pair with the turkey for your next meal.

What flavors go best with turkey?

Spice blends are primarily savory with a hint of brown sugar to counterbalance the salt, spice and herb flavors. Brown sugar also contributes immensely to the browning of the turkey crust.

Savory and sweet flavors pair perfectly with turkey. With these ingredients in mind, here are flavor combination that go best with turkey:

  • turkey + broth + rosemary + Worcestershire + cranberry
  • turkey + potatoes + cream + butter + black pepper
  • turkey + yam + marshmallow +  cinnamon + brown sugar
  • turkey + balsamic + brussels sprouts + bacon
  • turkey + sourdough + rosemary + sage + celery + eggs

What is turkey served with?

Traditionally, turkey is either served with dressing or stuffing with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side. Other complementary dishes served with turkey include vegetables, bread, and baked goods or dessert. 

  • Fruits: apples, cranberries, white grapes, lemon, lime, orange, yellow raisins
  • Nuts: walnuts, pine nuts
  • Cheese: white sheep, goat, feta
  • Baked goods: cornbread, pot pie, dinner roll, breadcrumbs, sourdough
  • Desserts: pies, cookies, cake
  • Wine: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Beaujolais, Sangiovese, Zinfandel

Vegetables to serve with turkey

Vegetables are a must-have regardless how the turkey is prepared or which part of turkey is consumed. They are not only healthy, but make the turkey even tastier and the meal more complete. 

Chef’s favorite vegetables to serve with turkey include:

  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • mushroom
  • broccoli
  • swiss chard
  • green beans
  • cauliflower
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes

What to serve with turkey breast?

The primary issue with cooking whole turkey is that the turkey breast tends to overcook and dry out before the rest of the parts get cooked. That’s why most people tend to cook turkey breasts on their own. 

So what should be served with a turkey breast? Turkey breasts pair perfectly with:

  • green salad
  • mashed potatoes
  • coleslaw
  • stuffing
  • roasted vegetables
  • bread
  • Italian sausage
  • bacon
  • gravy 
  • cranberry sauce

What to eat with turkey slices?

Turkey slices are a great form to serve in a sandwich or as a simple dinner meal with side dishes. Bread, vegetables, salad, condiments, and cheese, there are many things to eat with turkey slices for lunch and dinner. 

  • baked, roasted or mashed potatoes
  • garlic bread
  • green salad
  • fried rice
  • sautéed carrots
  • grilled, roasted vegetables
  • potato chips
  • fruit salad

What to eat with a turkey sandwich?

When preparing a turkey sandwich, it’s essential to consider the texture and flavor of the sides. Slices of bread, dijon mustard, lettuce and tomatoes, there are lot of complex flavor that assemble into a simple sandwich.

The classic sides to eat with a turkey sandwich include: 

  • chips
  • coleslaw
  • macaroni salad
  • fruit salad
  • fries
  • soup
  • green salad
  • onion rings

What to eat with ground turkey?

Ground turkey is versatile form of turkey that can be used in variety of dishes like soup, pasta, and meatloaf. It is less likely to dry out the texture due to visible fat and skin processed in the minced form. 

Depending on the time of day you are serving ground turkey, here are classic breakfast, lunch, dinner, and appetizer meals to try with ground turkey:

  • Breakfast: turkey sausage or patties, eggs, egg skillet, scramble, breakfast burritos, egg casserole
  • Lunch: lettuce wrap, rice bowl, salad, pasta, tostadas, 
  • Dinner: Shepard’s pie, spaghetti, burger, lasagna, chili, meatballs, meatloaf, soup
  • Appetizer: stuffed peppers, dip sauce, meatballs, tacos, bites, pot stickers
Turkey food pairing

Eat With Turkey: Conclusion

Turkey is a versatile protein that can be used in many styles of food or cuisines. It’s incredible how a few humble and straightforward ingredients can take a meal with turkey to a whole new level. 

It fits in perfectly without compromising the flavors of the other ingredients including vegetables, fruits, nuts, cheese, condiments, and wine to make the dish flavorful and more complete.

Whether turkey is roasted whole, sliced or ground, there are many ways to transform the protein with added sauces and sides to make a nutritious and wholesome meal to serve for a holiday or dinner meal.

Due to the flavor being richer than chicken yet mild tasting, it pairs beautifully with gravy and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans and spinach, sausages and bacon to wrap the skin for a crispy and meaty taste. 

If you want to make an easy, quick yet delicious meal every time, take advantage of the sumptuousness turkey has to offer. Use these flavor combinations with different parts of turkey to enjoy the most of every bite.

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