The Perfect Pairing: Classic Side Dishes for Turkey
If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that turkey is the star of many special dinners. But, what truly elevates a turkey dinner are the side dishes that accompany it. One of the most classic pairings for turkey is stuffing. The rich, savory flavors of stuffing made with onions, celery, and bread crumbs, seasoned with herbs such as sage and thyme, complement the turkey beautifully. Whether you choose to stuff your turkey or serve it on the side, this traditional side dish is a must-have. Add a homemade cranberry sauce, with its vibrant color and tangy-sweet flavor, and you have a combination that's sure to please everyone at the table.
Vegetable Sides: A Healthy Addition to Your Turkey Dinner
Vegetable side dishes not only add color to your turkey dinner, but they also add a variety of flavors and textures. Green beans, whether you choose to prepare them in a classic green bean casserole or sautéed with garlic and almonds, are a wonderful side dish for turkey. The slight crunch and fresh flavor balance out the richness of the turkey and stuffing. If you're looking for a touch of sweetness, consider roasted carrots or sweet potatoes. These vegetables, when roasted, develop a natural sweetness and a delightful caramelization that pairs well with turkey. And let's not forget about mashed potatoes, a staple side dish for any turkey dinner. Creamy, smooth, and comforting, mashed potatoes are always a crowd-pleaser.
Creative Twists: Modern Side Dishes to Serve with Turkey
While there’s nothing wrong with sticking to tradition, it can be fun and exciting to mix things up a bit. A modern twist on a classic side dish could be just the thing to wow your guests. Consider trying a wild rice salad with dried cranberries and pecans for a side dish that’s both hearty and packed with flavor. Or, for a unique take on mashed potatoes, try a mashed cauliflower with garlic and parmesan. It’s a lighter alternative that doesn’t skimp on flavor. For a truly unique side dish, consider a curried butternut squash soup. The warmth and spice of the curry beautifully complement the sweetness of the squash, creating a side dish that’s both comforting and adventurous.
The Sweet Side: Desserts to Follow Your Turkey Dinner
Even though turkey and its side dishes tend to steal the show, let's not forget about the sweet ending to the meal. Pumpkin pie is a classic dessert that rounds out a turkey dinner nicely. The creamy, spiced filling and flaky crust provide a sweet and satisfying conclusion to your meal. Another popular choice is apple pie. The tartness of the apples balanced with the sweetness of the sugar and the crunch of the crust make for a dessert that's hard to resist. For a lighter option, consider a fruit salad made with seasonal fruits. It’s a refreshing and vibrant way to end your meal.
Beverages: The Final Touch to Your Turkey Dinner
The right beverage can enhance the flavors of your turkey and side dishes. Wine is a popular choice, and for good reason. A fuller-bodied white wine, like a Chardonnay, can stand up to the rich flavors of the turkey and stuffing, while a light red wine, like a Pinot Noir, can complement darker turkey meat and flavorful side dishes. If you're not a wine drinker, don't worry. There are plenty of other beverage options. A crisp cider, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, can be a refreshing counterpoint to a hearty turkey dinner. For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, a sparkling water with a twist of lemon or a homemade iced tea can be just as satisfying.