One of my favorite ways of serving duck is to make duck a l’orange. It’s a classic French dish that has been around for years and will always remain on menus in fine dining establishments.
For those of you who don’t know, it’s a duck that has been seared and then slowly cooked in an oven until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the skin turns a nice golden brown.
However, most people have no idea what side dish to serve with duck a l’orange. That’s why I’m going to give you 31 different options that range from easy to make to gourmet and everything in between.
I hope that after reading this article, you’ll have a better idea on what to serve with duck a l’orange the next time you have company or want to treat yourself!
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Duck a L’orange?
If you’re not familiar with the dish, duck a l’orange is a French dish that uses duck breast, orange sauce, and even sometimes breaded onion rings.
The main component of this dish is the duck breast which is seared, pan-fried, and then served with an orange sauce.
It sounds very simple, but it can be quite delicious when paired with a side dish.
In fact, it works wonderfully with the orange sauce because the breading adds a unique crunch to the dish.
The breaded onions are another great element of this meal because they provide a great contrast to the duck breast and the orange sauce.
Therefore, serving side dishes with duck a l’orange can make the dish even more exciting and flavorful.
For example, consider serving it with a salad to keep it simple.
Or, serve alongside a steak or burger for something that is out of the ordinary.
What to Serve with Duck a L’orange – 31 Easy Sides
Before jumping into the list of sides
1. Green Beans
This is classic side that you can serve with duck a l’orange, but it’s also one of the easiest ones to make. You’ll need fresh green beans that are steamed or sauteed in some butter.
You can then season them with salt and pepper as well as a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.
- You don’t have to buy fresh green beans. Frozen ones are okay too!
- You can steam them if you don’t have a steamer. Just use a colander and put it over some boiling water.
- If you use canned green beans, drain them before serving.
2. Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms
This is a great side dish to serve with duck a l’orange because it has the same flavors. Duck and mushrooms go together like peanut butter and jelly, and since both duck a l’orange and risotto have mushrooms, you’ll get a harmonious meal.
- Instead of using olive oil, you can use butter. It will add even more flavor.
- The secret to making a good risotto is to add the broth in small amounts and stir, while listening to it simmer.
- Don’t add all of the broth at once.
- Once you have added all of the broth, let it cook for about 18 minutes. Then take it off the heat, cover the pan, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
3. Roasted Potatoes
When I’m entertaining, I always make sure that there’s something for everyone to eat. This is why I love having a side serving of roasted potatoes to go alongside duck a l’orange!
They’re really easy to prepare and are perfect for when you’re in a hurry, as they take very little time to cook and can be made in advance.
The key to getting them right is making sure that you get the timing right – they’ll be ready in the time it takes for your dinner guests to finish eating their meal! You can also serve them as a snack with your own homemade chutney or mustard.
- If you use red-skinned potatoes, leave the skin on. It’s nutritious!
- You can also dice them up before adding them to the pan to create a crisper texture.
- Remember to coat them in oil and seasoning before roasting them!
4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a great addition to this dish, as they add a nice crunchy texture, along with some sweetness. They’re also a great option for vegetarians, as they’re really filling without being overly stodgy.
The key to cooking them perfectly is to get the temperature right in the oven. Don’t over cook them or you will lose their crispiness. The ideal cooking time here is around 20 minutes, though of course you should check them every now and again to ensure they don’t burn.
- If you do want to add bacon, then cook it first in an oven or pan and then added with the Brussels sprouts when they are nearly done so that they sauté in the juices.
- For more flavor, you could spray the grated Parmesan over them before serving.
5. White Rice Pilaf
A bowl of white rice works perfectly well alongside duck a l’orange. It has the added advantage of being pretty quick and easy to prepare too.
Just add a bit of stock, cook it for a few minutes, and you’re good to go. Serve in a shallow bowl with some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro scattered on top.
- You can also add some peas, carrots, and celery to the rice.
- Don’t let it boil or you will lose all of the flavor.
- Let it simmer for about 8 minutes.
6. Green Salad
Another great side option is a green salad. The sweetness of the fruit will work really well with the savoury, citrus notes in duck a l’orange. You can use any of your favourite salad leaves, but I like to go for cos, baby gem, or baby spinach as they’re so delicate.
You could also add some roasted nuts like almonds or walnuts, or try serving duck a l’orange on a bed of leafy greens topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- If you’re looking for a salad dressing, then try making your own with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice.
- You don’t have to stick to traditional salad vegetation, as you can try adding fruits like pears too!
7. Grilled Asparagus
Grilling asparagus can be surprisingly tricky, but it doesn’t need to be if you know the right approach. To begin with, preheat the oven to gas mark 5, or 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once it reaches this temperature, slide the pan onto a baking tray to allow the asparagus to cook evenly. You’ll then be able to easily remove it once it’s cooked through and ready to eat.
8. Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash
This is a classic combination that works really well when you’re trying to impress your dinner guests. Slice the zucchini and yellow squash into batons, drizzle with olive oil, and place on a grill pan.
You’ll want to cook them for about 6-8 minutes on each side to ensure they’re cooked through, but the exact timing will depend on the thickness of your vegetables. Just make sure not to overcook them, as they will become mushy.
You could serve these as a side dish, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you could also stuff them into a large pita pocket and serve as an open-face sandwich.
9. Creamed Corn
A side serving of creamed corn is one of my all-time favourite foods, so I’m always delighted when I have the chance to serve it up alongside duck a l’orange!
Duck a l’orange is a French classic, and is traditionally served with an orange salad or a creamy sweet potato purée. You can find the orange salad recipe here. It’s really easy to prepare and tastes amazing!
10. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
There are so many different variations on mashed potato, and garlic mash is definitely one of my favourites. It makes a fantastic side dish with duck a l’orange and is super simple to prepare.
Just peel and boil your potatoes, then mash them with lots of garlic and butter. You can serve them straight away, or chill in the fridge for a couple of hours if you prefer a more chilled meal.
11. Butternut Squash Casserole
Butternut squash casserole is an excellent choice if you want to impress with a sophisticated main dish. It’s really quick and easy to prepare and is packed with flavour too, thanks to the mix of spices in the curry paste.
You can make your own or buy it from the supermarket, so there’s no need to get stuck in with fancy kitchen skills.
12. Twice Baked Potatoes
A side serving of twice baked potatoes is the perfect accompaniment to duck a l’orange. It’s a great option for a dinner party because it’s simple to make and you can prepare all the components ahead of time.
Plus, you can add any number of extras to the mixture if you’re making it for more than just one person! Try adding some grated cheese, chopped chives, chopped rosemary, or chopped spring onions.
13. Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms
If you’re looking for a side dish that’s going to be a real crowd pleaser, try this creamy polenta. Polenta is the perfect base for a delicious, filling meal and is just as good served warm as it is cold.
It’s made from polenta, which is cornmeal cooked with milk until it forms a stiff, porridge-like consistency. You can vary the flavours by adding a few different herbs, such as sage or rosemary. For this recipe, I’ve added a selection of mixed mushrooms and garlic, but feel free to get creative with the vegetables that you have on hand.
14. Homemade Flatbreads
A great alternative to a traditional flatbread is a homemade flatbread, which makes for a quick and easy mealtime option! Homemade flatbreads are so versatile and can be used as a wrap, or you can make them into pizzas or even burgers, depending on what type of recipe you’re working with.
All you need for these is flour, water, yeast, salt, oil, and flavourings such as garlic, herbs, and chilli. You can use any type of flour you like, but I personally prefer gluten-free options. My favourite is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix.
15. Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is one of my absolute favourite side dishes, and it really works well as an accompaniment for duck a l’orange, because it’s really filling and rich in flavour. Just mix together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and Parmesan cheese.
Add your choice of fresh herbs, and stir in a generous amount of crushed garlic. To make your Caesar dressing extra creamy, you can add some crumbled feta or goat cheese. This salad is particularly good if you serve it with chicken or pork too.
16. Couscous Salad with Veggies
A couscous salad offers a fresh and healthy alternative to rice, and is a great way to pack in more vegetables into your diet.
There are lots of options for this one, and you could add chopped up boiled potatoes, chopped peppers, tomatoes, and even cooked baby spinach! It also works really well with grilled meat, such as chicken breast or lamb shanks.
Fries go so well with duck a l’orange, and they’re so easy to make too! Just grab some nice waxy potatoes from the supermarket, slice them into batons, and fry them up in some oil until golden and crisp.
They’re best served piping hot, though you can also leave them to cool down slightly before serving if that suits your needs better.
18. Balsamic Mushroom Spinach Salad
This salad is another great option for what to serve with your meal. It’s full of flavour and very healthy, with plenty of protein and low in fat. The key ingredients here are balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, and spinach.
You can choose to make this as simple or elaborate as you want to. Just be sure to use baby spinach, though. This will keep its colour and taste much better when it comes to serving time.
19. Potato Wedges
This is probably the easiest of all the options on this list! The classic side dish of mashed potato is perfect for stuffing with some duck meat (the orange version of which is usually known as duck a l’orange).
It’s so easy to make, too, and I love the way it looks served in a bowl with a selection of toppings. You can make them into individual potatoes, or go for whole ones, if you prefer. Either way, they’re good for packing along to work and school, or even for lunchboxes.
20. Smashed Potatoes
Smashed potatoes are a real crowd pleaser, and they make a great accompaniment to whatever you’re cooking.
They’re the ideal accompaniment to a spicy meal, and are very versatile, too. Try using a potato ricer to make them into little fluffy balls instead of chunks, if you like. Alternatively, you could use a fork to do the job!
21. Sweet Potato Fries
These crispy chips are so good that you might not even know they’re low in fat, thanks to the fact that sweet potato is a very healthy food! You can serve them in a bowl with a side of duck a l’orange for an easy, delicious meal.
Just open the bag of sweet potato fries from your local supermarket, remove some chips for now, and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25 minutes at 200°C.
22. Roasted Pepper Salad with Feta
I really love this salad because it’s packed full of flavour, and it’s a great way to get lots of veggies into your diet.
It’s also surprisingly filling, which means you won’t need to make yourself another side serving after you finish eating. Just throw all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and toss together.
23. Glazed Carrots
Carrots are an essential part of many meals, serving as a tasty, finger-friendly accompaniment, and you can make them extra special by glazing them with orange zest.
It’s really easy to do, just whisk some orange juice, sugar, and butter together and spread over the carrot before baking at 180C for 10 minutes.
24. Whipped Sweet Potato
A good potato salad is one of those simple yet delicious meals that’ll make your dinner guests really happy. Whipped sweet potato offers a creamy alternative to traditional potato salad, and it’s also a great option if you’re looking for something different to serve with duck a l’orange.
Just peel and cook the potato in boiling water, then mash with a fork or potato masher before mixing in mayonnaise, yoghurt, and chilli sauce. I like to season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, but feel free to add in any other spices or herbs that sound good to you!
25. Orange Sauce
Duck a l’orange is such an elegant, sophisticated dish that it’s always worth serving with something equally sophisticated. An orange sauce would definitely do the trick here.
There are loads of recipes online that you can follow to create a homemade sauce for duck a l’orange, but I think it’s much easier to pick up a bottle of orange sauce in the supermarket and serve alongside.
If you’re going for a fancy touch, try adding some sliced almonds to the sauce to make it look extra attractive on your plate!
26. Roasted Beet Salad
Beets are full of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fibre, so they’re a great healthy option to serve alongside your duck. Peel, cube, and roast the beets, then toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper before serving.
You can also add some chopped chives or dill if you prefer, to give them an extra flavour kick. Try not to overcook them though as they lose most of their colour, so keep an eye on the stovetop throughout.
27. Mashed Pumpkin
If you want to make a lighter meal out of your duck, a side serving of mashed pumpkin is the way to go. It’s a tasty vegetable mash, packed with nutrients, and it’s also very easy to prepare.
To make it, cut some pumpkin into small cubes and boil in a pan for 5-10 minutes. Drain the cooked pumpkin and press through a sieve or ricer. Add some salt and pepper, and then mash the pumpkin with a fork until smooth.
28. Rosemary Parsnip Fries
As well as being delicious on its own, this side dish can be used to accompany duck a l’orange as well. Rosemary adds a beautiful earthy flavour to the crisp parsnips, and it’s really worth making the effort to pick out the sprigs from the rosemary bushes in your garden.
Simply wash the parsnips, peel them, then cut into batons. Boil in salted water for 6-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then toss in some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, mix together, and serve!
29. Pomegranate Salad
Pomegranates are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them an excellent choice for healthy snacks or as a side dish to accompany duck a l’orange.
You can make your own so you get the freshest, most authentic flavour, or you can buy a ready made pomegranate salad mix from the supermarket. This one comes ready-to-eat, but you can also add your own dressing if you prefer.
30. Sweet Chili
When I was in Hong Kong, I couldn’t get enough of the sweet chilli sauce that they put on everything in their restaurants.
The flavour is spicy, sweet, and incredibly addictive! For a delicious accompaniment, serve it alongside a bowl of ramen noodles, or simply drizzle it over a bowl of steaming hot broth to finish off the meal.
31. Roasted Chestnuts with Butter
There’s something about the combination of roasted chestnuts and melted butter that makes the perfect side dish!
You can buy bags of roasted chestnuts from the supermarket, and if you don’t have any around, you can easily roast them yourself in the oven at 180°C/350°F for about 15 minutes. It’s so easy to prepare that it’s worth giving it a try, even if you don’t normally enjoy chestnuts!
9 Tips for Choosing A Side Dish to Go with Duck a L’orange
Since it can be very difficult to find the perfect side dish to serve with duck a l’orange, it may seem like an impossible task.
However, if you find the right recipe or mix of vegetables, you could have a winning combination!
The first thing to keep in mind is that you need something sweet or sour to contrast with the richness of the duck.
If you’re looking for something with a rich, strong flavour to contrast with the sweetness of your duck, try cherries or carrots.
2. Prefer Red Fruits and Vegetables
Another way to contrast is by choosing fruits and vegetables that are red in colour. These include tomatoes, beetroots, sweet potatoes, squash etc.
3. Cook Your Vegetables with Duck Fat
A really simple way to add even more flavour to your side dish is to cook it in duck fat instead of oil or butter.
You can buy this inexpensive ingredient from most supermarkets, and you’ll get amazing results with anything that you cook down!
4. Add Orange Zest
You can add some orange zest into your side dish to give the flavours of your duck a l’orange even more punch.
5. Cook Your Vegetables in The Duck’s Pan Drippings
If you have some duck fat still left on the pan, don’t let it go to waste! Pour some into a frying pan and heat it through on low.
Then add your vegetables and cook them down with the duck fat until they’re soft and tender. This adds an extra layer of flavour to your side dish that you just can’t get with oil or butter.
6. You Can Do Bitter, Too
Just because you want something to match the sweetness of your duck a l’orange doesn’t mean it has to be sweet! There are several vegetables that have a bitter taste, including broccoli and endives. This is a very different flavour that can actually work really well.
7. Grate Your Vegetables
If you’re looking for something with contrasting flavours but that isn’t too difficult to prepare, consider grating your vegetables instead of chopping them up. Carrots are especially good when grated, and they have a similar flavour to sweet potatoes. I don’t know why this works so well, but it just does!
8. Pick The Right Sauces
Sauces are another way to add flavor without taking up too much room in the dish. If you’re making the duck a l’orange, go with the classic French sauce, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other sauces that go well with duck. Try a salsa verde, mango chutney, or even a citrus sauce.
9. Pick The Right Wine
If you’re going with a red wine, pick one that is hearty enough to stand up to the duck. For example, if you’re making the duck a l’orange with beef bourguignon, then go with a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon.
What potatoes to serve with duck a l’orange?
When serving duck a l’orange, you can go with any type of potato. However, if built in the classic French style, they will need to be potatoes that are creamy, fluffy and soft when cooked. Your best bet is to use baby red or white potatoes.
Can you use mary berry orange sauce for duck a l’orange?
A classic duck a l’orange is served with orange sauce, which you can easily make by taking the orange zest from the oranges you’re using for the duck a l’orange, adding some flour and butter to it, then slowly cooking it into a thick sauce. The easiest way to do this is to simmer the orange zest in half a cup of boiling water, then add all other ingredients into that one pan and cook for 30 minutes.
What wine goes well with duck a l Orange?
When pairing wines with duck a l’orange, you’ll want to go with something that is full-bodied. This means picking a wine that has a rich, strong flavour. Some good choices with this dish include cabernet sauvignon or merlot.
This is another one of those meals that goes great with many side dishes.
You can eat this dish with almost any side dish, but the great thing is that it’s very versatile.
It has lots of flavor, so try a dish that complements it well.
If you want to keep it simple, you can go with a salad or a simple vegetable dish.
If you want to add some spice, there are plenty of side dishes to try.
31 Duck a L’orange Side Dishes
- Green Beans
- Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms
- Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- White Rice Pilaf
- Green Salad
- Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash
- Creamed Corn
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Butternut Squash Casserole
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms
- Homemade Flatbreads
- Caesar Salad
- Couscous Salad with Veggies
- Balsamic Mushroom Spinach Salad
- Potato Wedges
- Smashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Roasted Pepper Salad with Feta
- Glazed Carrots
- Whipped Sweet Potato
- Orange Sauce
- Roasted Beet Salad
- Mashed Pumpkin
- Rosemary Parsnip Fries
- Pomegranate Salad
- Sweet Chili
- Roasted Chestnuts with Butter
- Pick any of these tasty sides to go with your duck a L'orange.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to serve and eat your duck dinner in no time!